Released: July 26th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Up until this point I’ve seen many appearances of the new Hulk, but not having read his plotline, I didn’t know much about Armadeus Cho (AKA the Totally Awesome Hulk). I saw him referenced in both the Civil War II plotline, as well as a guest star, so to speak, in Moon Girl. But I didn’t really know the guy, so I wanted to give his series a try (despite the lackluster rating the series holds).
I actually really like Armadeus Cho, he’s witty, he’s stubborn, and he’s trying really hard to do the right thing. Admittedly he totally has a bit of the Tony Stark complex (where he thinks he’s so smart that nobody could possibly know better than him), but at least he usually gets corrected pretty quickly about that. He’s supposed to be the eighth smartest person on the planet (or is it Marvel-verse?), but he seems to lose some of that while he’s in Hulk form. It makes for an interesting transition, to say the least.
I found Totally Awesome Hulk to be pretty decent, while still leaving room for improvement. I can see the complaints many have raised, and I agree with some of them. To begin with, I’m not a huge fan of how Cho gets the power of the Hulk. Maybe that’s just me, but it seemed almost too easy? Hopefully we’ll see more consequences (IE losing control of the Hulk) and that’ll make me more comfortable with it. I am curious to know if the Hulk (as in the personality of the Hulk, not just the ability set) is really lingering under his skin, or if he stayed with Banner and we just don’t know it yet (having read Civil War II I’m thinking this isn’t likely – anybody that’s read it can see why I have that assumption).
Additionally, I’m not sure how I feel about Cho being Hulked about but still being himself…I’m sure/hoping that’ll change, as I’ve seen hints that something more is going on. Which is a relief – control being a given isn’t something that’s typical to the Hulk. I’ve always enjoyed watching the balancing act between Banner and Hulk, so I’d really hate to lose that.
The plot for this volume was a little lackluster – it felt like it was missing something. That being said it was tolerable. It reminds me a bit of the Monsters Unleashed plot that’s currently going on (are they related/connected? I haven’t read enough of MU to say, maybe somebody can clue me in?). Lady Hellbender was funny, but she also reminded me of a knock off of Harley Quinn (ok, Harley Quinn plus a ton of muscle, but still).
I always love it when there are cross overs in a comic (within reason that is), especially when it comes to establishing a new character. In Totally Awesome Hulk we get a few right off the bat. She-Hulk makes an appearance (and came oh so close to beating up the younger and new Hulk, which would have been hilarious), as well as Spider-Man (Miles Morales version) and all of his wit and banter. Thor stops by later to make an appearance (and move another plot along), which was interesting to see. It brought some additional conflict to the Cho/Hulk mix. I’d be lying if I said those appearances didn’t help the rating of the review (I love character interactions).
All in all, while I think the series has a lot of room open to improvement, I do think it’s one worth reading, and I’ll continue to do so (admittedly, having a Marvel Unlimited subscription makes me less hesitant about reading series I’m not over the moon about)