Colin Smith, in his traditionally wonderful way, manages to sum up my problems with last week’s Indestructible Hulk in a far cleaner, far more intelligent way than I ever could. Namely, Lenil Yu’s art underperforms, and flattens the subtlety in Mark Waid’s script:
Whether it’s the lack of any precise emotion in individual panels, or the absence of an easily understood continuity of feeling between one frame and another, Yu’s focus on isolated moments of eye-catching comic-book cool constantly derail proceedings on anything but the most facile of levels. And so, where Waid’s words have Banner declaring that he’s “sorry”, Yu delivers a face that’s anything but, while the artist’s depiction of a supposedly-surprised Banner actually transmits all the concern of a man idly checking his watch against the time given by a wall-mounted clock. Because of this strange narrative-killing preference for the fannishly obsessive moment over the narratively specific, we just can’t tell whether this Banner’s genuinely cheerful or putting up a playful front, a brilliantly Machiavellian operator or an almost-overwhelmed victim attempting to cobble together a grand strategy. Beyond a single frame in which Yu shows Banner hammering his fists on a table in what might be jealously or frustration at the very thought of Tony Stark, it’s hard to know anything much about him at all that might lend us give a reason to empathize.
There’s much, much more to read in the original post, both on the topic of Yu’s art and the complexity of Waid’s writing. If you read Hulk, you should read this.
(He also takes on Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.’s Captain America #1, as well, but is far less complimentary.)