Graphic Novel Review: Hulk: Banner DOA
- Credit: Archant
Bruce Banner has been shot... But why will becoming the Hulk have even worse consequences for the scientist?
A couple of bullets have been fired with precision accuracy into the brain of Bruce Banner, leaving him alive, but in a coma, his transformation into the Hulk prevented while surgeons battle to save his life.
But this is no assassination attempt, it is in fact a bid to harvest vital biological information from his body and use it to resurrect his long-dead foe the Abomination. The agency behind this plot is known as the Beehive, presumably some relation to the organisation responsible for the creation of Adam Warlock way back in the early years of the Marvel Universe.
When genuine medics involved in the operation realise what is going on, their actions lead to the Hulk’s revival, escape, and eventual recovery by agents of SHIELD. They discover that the regenerative abilities associated with the Hulk are causing Banner severe brain damage, unable to repair sections of the organ injured by the gunshots, and continuing to transform into the green goliath could leave him a vegetable.
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When the Abomination is unleashed upon a small Midwestern town where SHIELD is keeping the deteriorating Banner, he risks what remains of his intelligence to protect both the townsfolk and his Avengers comrades from the lizard-like behemoth, which is being remote-controlled by the mysterious Beehive…
Can Banner be brought back from the brink after this desperate sacrifice, and if so, what will it cost him?
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A short but sweet instalment which wraps up Mark Waid’s highly acclaimed Hulk run, and sets up a new status quo for the character with a different writer at the helm. There was perhaps scope for a longer narrative focusing on Banner’s worsening condition, as things are resolved rather too quickly with very little sense of peril.
The strength of Waid’s work with the Hulk proves there are still new and different stories to be told with the character after more than half a century, and it will be interesting to see where his successor Gerry Duggen takes the green goliath in the next phase of his life.