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Original Sin 3.n - Hulk vs Iron Man #4: Review

Aug 2014
Kieron Gillen, Luke Ross

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Story Name:

Hulk vs Iron Man part 4

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Original Sin 3.n - Hulk vs Iron Man #4 Review by (August 16, 2014)
So the outcome of this mini-series is that Bruce and Tony are still pals, but the super-intelligent Hulk has been created for his own series when it returns. This side-series is supposed to happen immediately after the incident of the Watcher's Eye at the beginning of Original Sin #3. So it's OK that Hulk and Iron Man are seen amicably together in later issues. But Hulk should be intelligent then. Jason Aaron wisely keeps him mostly in the background, not saying anything. He does seem reasonably articulate in OS#4. But in OS#7 he says "Hulk will smash". However he is recovering from having been thrown at the Moon. I'm still despairing of successfully reconciling the Banner/Hulk in Avengers and New Avengers with the 1 here and in his own series. Confusingly in NAv#20 he's in "Hulk is the strongest 1 there is" mode, but in this week's #22 he's a peacemaker although he only says 1 word "Enough".

The alternating script/art teams continues as Kieron Gillen, Luke Ross, etc, but the other art team does the cover this time as opposed to J G Jones who did the other issues. Presumably the fight at the beginning of #3.1 takes place between pages at the start of this issue. While pondering how to stop Hulk, Tony Stark thinks about a 'solar cannon floating around the Sun' (the partial Dyson Sphere in New Avengers #4 and Avengers #9?) and the 'keys for a 25,000-foot alien killing machine' (the Godkiller from Iron Man #13-16, but isn't that now in another dimension?). Hulk may now have the intelligence of Bruce Banner, but he still considers himself a separate being. And Banner doesn't remember what he does as Hulk (although Hulk doesn't seem to have that problem). Tony using e-mail in the time of Hulk's origin is another example of the general rolling forward of the start of modern Marvel to always be a decade or 2 ago.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Original Sin 3.n - Hulk vs Iron Man #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Hulk is coming after Iron Man because he believes Tony Stark messed with the Gamma Bomb and hence caused Bruce Banner to become the green monster. While Hulk fights his way through the weaponised city Troy, the Golden Avenger is fleeing through the utility tunnels heading for his armoury where he dons the Hulkbuster armour.

But when his foe arrives, Tony can only hope that the new smart Hulk can't get as angry (and hence as powerful) as the old dumb 1. That doesn't work out.

When Stark wakes up he's imprisoned in his crushed armour, and Hulk has brought him to the Gamma Bomb test site. Greengenes says he drugged Stark to keep him sedated while he brought him here from Troy in China - he makes a joke "Hulk got you smashed". He thinks it will be ironic to kill Stark here where Tony ruined Bruce's life.

Tony is stalling for time while he activates something. He speculates (correctly) that Bruce used the Extremis that brother Arno injected him with (in Hulk #4) to upgrade Hulk's intelligence. But Hulk also correctly guesses that IM is up to something. But it turns out not to be a weapon.

Instead Stark displays a hologram of the workings of the Gamma Bomb. Despite himself the intelligent Hulk is intrigued. And quickly works out what Tony Stark really did to it all those years ago. Then he sits down to have a chat.

As his anger ebbs away, Hulk is able to revert to Bruce Banner. Bruce is surprised to find Tony still alive - he can't remember what he did as Hulk. So Tony shows him the hologram. And we flashback to the fateful evening again.

Drunk Tony Stark had sneaked into the Gamma Base and opened up the Bomb. Gen'l Ross had asked him to decrease the Bomb's shielding to increase it's power - which is what Bruce thought caused the creation of Hulk. But now we see that Tony found that Bruce's overcautious shielding would have the opposite effect to that intended. It would contain the Bomb's explosion until it eventually burst out even bigger.

So Bruce now realises (as Hulk did) that Tony actually reduced the effects of the Bomb by reducing the shielding. Without his intervention Banner would be dead (as would Gen'l Ross and the other observers of the test).

Bruce speculates that the world would have been a better place without him and Hulk. But Tony won't accept that. And Stark still accepts that it was wrong to go behind Bruce's back to change the Bomb - it was their perennial rivalry at work.

Bruce leaves to find someone to get Tony out of the mangled armour. Tony can't help a parting needle "Try Thor. I hear he's the strongest 1 there is."

But when he's gone we're treated to another flashback courtesy of Tony's memory. Tony sent Bruce an e-mail in which he explained what he'd done. But also that he'd spotted stuff in the energy spectrum of Bruce's earlier tests. It wasn't his field of expertise, but it seemed similar to the results from morphogenic experiments. The Bomb might change people if it didn't kill them.

But Tony now figures that Bruce was so angry after their earlier argument (as seen in #2) that he'd deleted the e-mail without reading it. He's never going to tell Bruce about the e-mail, and that it was his own injured pride caused him to be turned into the Hulk.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Luke Ross
Luke Ross
Mark Bagley (Cover Penciler)
Andrew Hennessy (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Mark Paniccia.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


> Original Sin 3.n - Hulk vs Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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