Prepare yourself for Hulk's return and Banner's rise.
Alright, let's get it out of the way. It's pretty obvious at this point that I completely adore Mark Waid's work. He's written some of my favourite material and he's been critically acclaimed several times for a variety of his work so it's not just my inner fanboy talking here. Well actually... it is, but that's not the point. After a somewhat disappointing run of the Incredible Hulk, Jason Aaron steps down and hands over the title to Mark Waid.
One of the biggest changes to the Hulk and the series thus far is the name. It is no longer Incredible, but Indestructible. As for why that is, it's unsure of so far but I'm sure we'll find out if there is any true reasoning behind it besides differentiating the series from the prior one. Mark Waid doesn't write in the Hulk until the near end of the issue but what he does bring to the table for the better half is simply staggering. Not many people care for Bruce Banner, they just look to the monster within him but here, Waid makes Banner important and proves that he's worth far more than anyone expected him to be. Add in Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D. and the stakes just raise another level higher as Banner plans to ally himself with those who hunt him the most. It's definitely a change of pace from prior stories but a magnificent one at that.
Finally rejoining Mark Waid is Leinil Francis Yu, who has previously worked with Waid on Superman: Birthright. I have never seen a creative team work more cohesively than these two. Yu brilliantly illustrates every word that Waid writes and each expression is clearly understood, even if no words were to be said. He masterfully crafts even the most relaxed scenes and makes them worth noting.
Although, if I were to issue a single complaint, it would be that at times, Yu's art might seem a little confusing when it comes to action scenes. His art might seem a little static in a sense when movement is involved and you might find yourself taking multiple glances at a scene to understand what occurred. But it's only a minor gripe that doesn't even begin to interfere with the brilliance of this issue.
Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu are off to a extremely strong start and if Waid's previous work is any indication, it will only continue to become increasingly more interesting and satisfying. This is one series that you definitely don't want to miss out on.
Final Score: 9.75 out of 10.
ComicVine Score: 5 stars out of 5.