Released: January 2nd 2018
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: The Totally Awesome Hulk 19, 23, 1.MU; Generations: Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk 1, Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur 4
I read The Totally Awesome Hulk Vol. 4 as single issues through Marvel Unlimited.
The Totally Awesome Hulk Vol. 4 is one of those volumes where they collect multiple storylines and plots all into one volume. Unfortunately that means that we don’t really get a cohesive plot for the volume either, which is a bit disappointing.
I wasn’t able to confirm the reading order for this, so I went by the publication dates so decide the order that I read them in (because that’s how they’d be read if I was buying them as they came out). In that case it’s Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur 4, The Totally Awesome Hulk 1.MU, The Totally Awesome Hulk #19, Generations: Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk 1, The Totally Awesome Hulk 23.
Volume four of The Totally Awesome Hulk is a series of different issues, but they all sort of have a point they’re trying to make; that Armadeus Cho isn’t as in control of the Hulk as he’d like to think. Maybe I’m reading into it a bit by assuming that, but its how it felt to me. One could also argue that they’re questioning if Armadeus himself is the monster.
Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur’s plot is all about Hulk showing up and fighting Devil Dinosaur. It’s fun because it’s full of action, but you can also tell that it’s really upsetting Moon Girl. After all the Devil Dinosaur saved her and to her the dinosaur is her friend, not a threat. The issue ends on a somber tone, leaving us questioning if Cho was actually on the right side of that conflict.
The MU in the 1.MU issue of Hulk stands for Monsters Unleashed. Obviously it’s a tie in with the major event that was happening in 2017. I already knew that Hulk was a part of that, since that’s where he meets a certain character that I’m totally shipping. This issue tells two different stories. The first is focused on the Hulk, and it’s mainly him trying to help stop all of the events that are going down. Unfortunately he came up against somebody doing the same thing, just in their own way. The end result was Cho having his emotions and more importantly his anger bared for all to see (okay, there weren’t actually that many people there for the fight, but you know what I mean). I think we’re meant to once again question Cho’s control over the Hulk side of himself. The other story doesn’t really tie into that theme as well, since it focuses entirely on Cho’s sister, Maddy. It’s a fun and short story though, so I have no complaints with it.
I’m a little confused by including issue 19 of the Hulk in here. I can see how it fits, but I think it would have fit in better with the Weapons of Mutant Destruction volume. I suppose we could argue that it’s foreshadowing for the 23rd issue of the Hulk. Otherwise I’m just not happy with its inclusion here, and actually triple checked that I had the issues right for this volume.
The Generations issue brings both Hulks together, thanks to time and wibbly wobbly-ness, so we really get to see a direct comparison between the two. We’ve been led to believe that Cho has better control over his Hulk – that there isn’t really a Hulk persona deep down in there, but Banner’s Hulk ridicules him for that thought, and after seeing what we have, I can’t really say I blame him for that.
The last issue in the volume sort of ties it all together. It openly questions Cho’s control, and in fact makes effort to show us his lack of control. It seems like the more time he’s spent suppressing his Hulk the worse it’s gotten. I wouldn’t say that the Hulk has gotten stronger – more like Cho only knew one form of dealing with the issue, so when that control broke he had nothing to fall back on. The conclusion to this issue was probably the most interesting part of the entire volume, and I’m truly curious to see where that goes next.