Artist: Matteo Scalera
This has been one of my favourite series from Marvel, producing some seriously consistent work. It has also given some amazing stories, as well as taken Hulk in a new, unique direction, which works perfectly for his character.
After a run in with the Sons of the Serpent, Bruce Banner is taken to an agency called T.I.M.E. to help with the recent problems that time travel has caused.
This was a phenomenal issue, and one of the best in the series, as well as the best from the last few issues. Mark Waid continues to build on this amazing run, setting up a story which looks into the affects of Age of Ultron perfectly. I also felt that for a set-up issue that it managed to be very suspenseful, and exciting, as well as dramatic, as although I've read some brilliant set-up issues, this is one of the best in recent history. Waid also did a great job of adding mystery to the storyline, as with multiple possibile changes it should be interesting to see exactly what will change in the Hulk's world, though I hope it's nothing terrible.
Matteo Scalera once again produced amazing artwork on this issue, and it has really started to grow on me, with this being the best he's produced so far. The detail in Scalera's art is simply outstanding, and he has also really improved on his layouts, as although they were good in the last couple of issues, they were much more dynamic in this issue, adding depth, as well as more drama to the story. Scalera also drew an amazing action sequence in this issue, and seeing Hulk fight on a plane was simply magical, and expertly handled. I also loved how Scalera managed to show the suspense, and atmosphere with the facial features of the characters, adding even more tone, and depth to the issue.
This issue started with Hulk fighting a group known as the Sons of the Serpent. Waid really seems to like using the Sons of the Serpent, as they are also the main villain group in his Daredevil series at the moment, and although they don't look to have a big role in this series, I found the connection interesting. The fight between the Hulk, and the Serpents was however one of the most exciting fights that I have seen in this series, being extremely entertaining, and explosive. It also had some interesting dialogue, with the Serpents being very scared, and Hulk having fun, which is also coincidentally fun to read.
There would also be a new agency introduced in this issue, named T.I.M.E. (Temporal Irregularity Management and Eradication). Now this doesn't hurt the quality of the story, I did feel that it was a little coincidental that there so happens to all of a sudden be an agency with the acronym, T.I.M.E. I also don't understand Marvel's deal with having to have so many of these, as we already have S.H.I.E.L.D. (which was also called H.A.M.M.E.R. for a while), S.W.O.R.D. as well as others, and I just feel that another it's not necessary for another. I did however love the concept, just felt that it didn't need an acronym name.
The villain known as Zarrko would also feature in this issue, helping T.I.M.E., and Banner with the problems that time travel has caused, suggesting that the Hulk is the only one capable of fixing this, and surviving the trip. Now I found Zarrko to be a very interesting character, as although I have never read anything he has appeared in, only knowing that he's fought the likes of Thor, Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four. The interaction between Zarrko and the other characters in this issue was also very interesting, with amazing dialogue, that added suspense, and mystery, as well as drama. I also look forward to seeing if Zarrko will continue to play a big role in this story, and whether he'll go back to his villain ways or not.
This was a fantastic issue, and one of the best in a while. It had some amazing action, as well as some suspenseful, and dramatic dialogue, all of which gave great tone, and depth to the issue. It also perfectly set-up this new story, and has me very interested in what will come next. This all makes it extremely easy to recommend this issue, as it's the perfect jumping on point for new readers, as although I'd also recommend the rest of the series, you can easily begin reading from this issue.