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by Cable » 20 Jan 2023, 19:00
In this issue Hulk plays sportsball!
- Spoiler: show
- The gamma being known as Brutal mocks Hulk's comparatively small stature as they prepare to play Godball but Pave reminds him of the many deeds they saw Hulk achieve in the Great Download. Hulk asks for the rules and Brutal explains you pick up the massive godball and hurl it at the ring of rocks that orbit the planet and try to break one. The godball happens to be the core of a nearby planet or moon, though Pave keeps breaking them and now no more planetoids around them exist so they better not break this one. The team on defense also gets a defender up in the ring, in this case being Kuss. Hulk is allowed to go first and Banner decides to give the Hulk in the engine room a break and not engage the system. When Hulk goes to throw the ball he gets smacked right down by Brutal. He gets one more try and decides to turn the engine up to level 1. The Hulk in the engine engages jet fighters while outside Spaceship Hulk is smashing the godball. Kuss moves to defend and Hulk and Pave leap into action to respond. Hulk bats aside a defender named Harold but then Brutal grabs him and accuses Hulk of being a disgrace by integrating tech into his body. He then smashes Hulk to the ground. The engine is increased to level 2 as the internal Hulk starts fighting Fin Fang Foom. Spaceship Hulk grabs Brutal and uses him like a bat to hit the godball and score three points at once as it smashes through rocks. The team celebrates but Pave gets too excited and breaks the godball again. They are interrupted anyway by a portal opening and a team coming through calling themselves the "protectors of the arterial dimensional between-space." This was a team that was previously smashed to death by an out-of-control Spaceship Hulk while he hurtled between dimensions. When the team dies, an alternate version of them takes their place to avenge them and take over their duties. They have now tracked down Hulk, and one of the team members named Lady Demoness teleports Hulk and Pave away to a barren crystal planet. Monolith broadcasts images from Hulk's helmet that show he did not consciously kill the team; the dimensional protectors accept this. Before Hulk can be teleported back, Kuss jumps down from space and murders the team all over again. Monolith is furious as they are now in a state of war and she has to continually keep killing alternate versions of the team as they keep teleporting in to replace the previous ones. Finally the leader of one of the teams pleads for peace. He says there is a bit of a lag for information travel but they have since received the transmission showing this was all a misunderstanding. They go to teleport Hulk and Pave back and find the two have smashed the planet to its core and now have a new godball! Brutal welcomes them back and the game resumes.
Ottley both draws and writes this issue and is taking over from Cates for the rest of this arc. Not sure if Cates is coming back after that. This is unfortunate as just as recently as last issue's review I was saying I had confidence in the long-term plan of Cates here. With his possible departure either we won't get to see that plan or he never really had one in the first place. Though then again Ottley has been on the book since the start so perhaps he knows himself what the long-term plan was. Regardless it is too early to tell how Ottley will do on writing because this issue is fairly straightforward as Hulk just ingratiates himself further with the gamma natives (though it does have a fun callback to issue #2 with the AUTHORITY team!).
Best Comics of Week 22
X-titles: X-23 Deadly Regenesis #3 by Erica Schultz (4) and Edgar Salazar (3)
Non-X titles: Dr Strange #3 by Jed MacKay (4) and Pasqual Ferry (2)
In parentheses number of times creator had best comic this year