Many people say the Hulk's fanbase is only interested in battles. They say you don't appreciate the development of the characters or the complexity of the plot. They say "Hey, it's easy to write a popular Hulk's story, just bring some punches,giant robots, lasers and distruction and that's it"
Hulk fans: how do you answer to this critic?
I am sure there are people that appreciate more the "smashing" side of the Hulk then his character and development and i am sure there are others that appreciate the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde side of it, everyone is different and i appreciate both aspects pretty equally. That's why my favorite Hulk story is Planet Hulk, it has decent action but what really shines is the story and Hulks character. Jason Aarons Hulk run had plenty of action, but the story and the characterization was awful(on top of having some of the worst artists that i have ever seen who changed with almost every issue) that's why that run failed, Mark Waids run gave modern Hulk some of his best feats used constantly in battle forums(you had plenty of punches, plenty of giant robots, lasers and destruction) but again it suffered because it dragged on for too long without any clear objective, some of the arks where lackluster with lackluster conclusions and overall it became boring later and Hulk fans where upset literally because Waid gave no characterization to Hulk himself, just tried to explore Banners character while giving us plenty of action thinking precisely the same thing as you are, that Hulk fans wouldn't care, but we did. Another favorite story of mine is Hulk: the end which is non-canon and has pretty much no action at all..
So personally i would say a good Hulk story needs to be a combination of both(story and action), but as i mentioned with Hulk: the end it doesn't necessarily have to be the case every time. While i don't think a good Hulk run would survive on having great action alone, at least i haven't seen it happen yet.
@moul: It's probably because it's so very different then the other Hulk stories people are used to, you can't really please everyone unfortunately. I'd kill for another Bruce Jones story over what guys like Aaron, Waid and Duggan gave us.... those where just failures for the most part. Aaron destroyed everything Pak build up only to come back to the same conclusion Pak made before him, making his own run utterly pointless, Waid ignored Hulk as a character of his own for 20+ issues as well as had some very poor arcs with boring conclusions and Duggan just went nowhere with his run it's so obvious he had to rush everything because of the Secret Wars event he left more then half a dozen plot points unanswered and leading to nowhere.
And now we have Amadeus Cho as the Hulk which is a HUGE mistake.... even if it is written by Pak i can't support something that just defies all logic when there is no Hulk without Banner, Hulk is born from Banners tragic childhood. I have no idea what the hell Amadeus has anything to do with it other then the obvious let's put someone other then a white guy as a A-list Marvel character. I wouldn't mind if Amadeus was a new Hulk, but not the original one...
Anyway i am just ranting now, sorry about that, the wounds are still fresh...
I have to admit I hated Bruce Jones' run. Just hated it. Before that i was a completist who had to buy everything but then i stopped buying the book and life went on so I suppose i should thank him for that.
There were a lot of reasons i hated it...hell i may as well do a list:
- It got a lot of critical acclaim from new readers/critics seemingly because it wasnt like a superhero comic but was instead extremely derivative of a conspiracy-driven, men-in-black-suits genre that was very popular in TV at the time.
- Jones decided not to show the Hulk much because it would make him "more scary" a la Jaws which of course doesnt work because we've seen the Hulk for 40 years and hes not that kind of monster
- From the beginning one got the feeling that there would just be endless mysteries and no real answers. After 5 years of endless mysteries during which the book lost all its early critical acclaim this was shown to be true
- Jones straight out said in interviews that "Mr Blue" was not Betty Banner. Mr Blue then turned out to be Betty Banner.
- The mysterious head of the organisation whose mouth/bottom half of face had been shown in many issues suddenly began to look like The Leader right at the end of the run. Was subsequently revealed to be The Leader.
- Agent Pratt or whoever: horrribly cliched B-movie type villain who would look evil and quote poetry and stuff
- Alonso admitted that they only did a "TV inspired run" because they assumed the 2003 movie would be heavily TV inspired and they wanted the comic and the film to match up. They didn't.
- During this period a Hulk Encyclopaedia was published - unbelievably it devoted 90% of its content to the Bruce Jones' run and left like 5 pages for stuff like Peter David's 12 year run.
- My girlfriend at the time spent good money on this encyclopeadia as a birthday present for me.
That probably sums it up...
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