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Hulk #5: Review

Mar 2022
Donny Cates, Ryan Ottley

Story Name:

Smashtronaut…Part Five

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Hulk #5 Review by (March 30, 2022)

Review: And it just keeps getting scarier. The Spider-Hulk, whose sudden appearance at the end of last issue promised much, turns out to be no match for Hulk so things are kicked up a notch or three. This issue delivers the apocalyptic action a Hulk comic requires to be epic as well as giving us an offbeat look into Bruce’s psyche. Betty is his gentle feminine side—until the end when we see she’s also harboring Brian Banner’s warped and vicious nature. Next issue closes out the story arc which should be a marvel to behold as Bruce must not only defeat his opponents but face the greatest enemy inside his own head.

Comments: The gods seen at Stage Five are mostly the extended cast of the Thor comics. There is a very odd note: when Banner mentions that the Abominations thrown through the portal have to go somewhere, a footnote tells us to wait for issue #9. Ryan Ottley is co-credited for colors.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hulk #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In the alternate reality, their Bruce Banner is a captive, being beaten by President Thunderbolt Ross, demanding to know how to kill Starship Hulk, which this Banner, of course, has no control over. Banner laughs, telling Ross that “he’s me…when I’m angry.”

Outside, our “Starship” Hulk is fighting the giant Spider-Hulk on the power of Stage Four: Marvel Zombies. Bruce’s wife Betty appears by his side, showing sympathy for the irradiated Peter Parker being forced to act as a weapon. Bruce balks so Betty reminds him that she doesn’t exist, this is in his mind and she also asks him to remember what happens when a child is locked away and abused and how that applies to the trapped Hulk, forced to power this starship. Bruce kicks the power up to Stage Five: Gods, allowing Hulk to defeat the Spider-Hulk….

The tortured Alt-Banner tries to explain to Ross that he has been trying to control the Abominations and that this Hulk is not under his control. Ross won’t listen, telling him that these Abominations come in handy from time to time….

The Spider-Hulk returns to his Peter Parker form, begging Hulk to stop fighting. Then a series of huge bombs fall on the area. Then there is an explosion, hurling Bruce from the command chair and compromising the ship’s hull. Betty rebukes him, pointing out that he is at the mercy of violent forces he can’t control, like Hulk. She once again reminds him that she isn’t real before taking the command chair and raising the power to Stage Six: Demons. The huge bombs open, revealing an Abomination in each, directed to fight Hulk. Betty tells Bruce, “I’m proud of you, son” before Bruce is sucked out into the void. Then she raises the power level to Nine and Hulk’s eyebeams obliterate an Abomination….

Ryan Ottley
Cliff Rathburn
Frank Martin
Ryan Ottley (Cover Penciler)
Ryan Ottley (Cover Inker)
Romulo Fajardo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Bruce Banner)

> Hulk: Book info and issue index

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