adamwarlock's Hulk #35 - Planet Red Hulk, Pt. 2 review

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With the conclusion to the quickie 2-part "Red Planet Hulk", this formerly strong series is free to return to the multiple plot threads it's been slowly building up and getting back on track.  Only... apparently not, as the only real consequence of this story was that it keeps Red Hulk off of earth when Omegex arrives, which sends Omegex away to search for Red Hulk elsewhere; further delaying this inevitable confrontation that has been building for some time now.  Rather than get back to that, we'll be treated to a random confrontation with Zzzaxx next issue!  But all of that is a critique of Marvel editorial more than this issue itself.  Let's look at the actual issue, shall we?
Well, as my review for this story's first half observed, this issue is likewise formulaic and bland.  There are none of the strong character moments I'd gotten so used to from this title, nor is there any of the quirky charm.  This story is meant to channel the prestige of the landmark Planet Hulk story, but rather than epic, it comes off as derivative and BORING.  There is nothing new here.  It feels very much like the writer has been replaced for this ark as well as the artist, but no, it's still Jeff Parker on the byline.  Troubling.
This story's sole merit is some phenomenal art from guest Carlo Pagulayan.  This title's regular artist has done some very strong work as well, but Pagulayan's crisper and less surreal style is absolutely a better fit for this particular storyline.  And now that it's done with, I look forward to having Gabriel Hardman back.  I also look forward to Jeff Parker getting back to what he wants to be doing and less of what I'd like to assume the powers that be push upon him.  If I didn't have SO much respect for Parker's run on the title before this 2-issue misfire... it just might have made me drop the book.  If I were on the fence before, this two issue ark would have gotten me to stop reading this title.  And if it doesn't regain its prior strength quickly, I still might.  But based on the strength of Parker's issues up to this mess, I'm prepared to give the title another chance.

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