The Totally Awesome Hulk #1
Pak, Cho, Oback
Amadeus Cho takes his turn as the Hulk in this first issue by the character’s co-creator, Greg Pak. The comic clocks in at a five-dollar cover price for thirty pages of story. The comic is mostly action centric, but there is some character development here and there. This is a very average read for your money. If you are fan of Amadeus Cho then you might be in for a jolt in terms of his depiction.
Cho has aged. He’s now 19 and he has taken on the mantle of the Hulk. He has a handler. His 16-year-old sister, Maddy. The comic has him take down a random monster and after he does so we learn a little more of the plot that is in the works. Then we get to know the brother and sister a little bit before the next stage of the plot is fired up.
The comic has a lot of action and that action is “big” thanks to Frank Cho. You could make a case that this type of “cheesecake” artwork is most appropriate for a Hulk book. On the other hand, you could make an argument that there are just as many human moments and this artwork simply doesn’t fit those scenes. However, I found the funnier moments, when Cho is not the Hulk, to be rendered really well. This makes the book a better read and that is a credit to the artwork.
Amadeus Cho talks several times about how he is the eighth smartest person in the world. However, as presented in this comic, he is simply a really horny, wise-ass. Cho chases the babysitter of a kid he rescues in the first scene, makes comments about his manhood in the next scene, flirts with She-Hulk and then with the villain at the end of the book. There isn’t anything in here that would lead you to believe he has any intelligence at all unfortunately.
The missteps don’t stop at the personality of the lead character. The sister is not only more mature in dialogue, but she appears to be much older than her brother. In fact, she appears older than She-Hulk. Additionally, there are other strange parts to the story, such as the kid getting launched into the air by the turtle and Cho-Hulk losing his pants. Too many visuals happen for the sake of happening instead of getting shown on the page. I’m not sure if this is the art or the direction but I’m not sure why editorial ignored them.
“Totally Awesome Hulk” is a very average first offering. The book is over-priced at five-dollars but includes ten extra story pages. The comic takes Amadeus Cho and dumbs down his intellect to the point where he appears to only be after sex. The comic has a lot of action and the artwork provides some great visual in that department. The art also conveys the quiet scenes between Amadeus and his sister perfectly to round out the art in the book. I’m not sure what to make of this series and the direction for Amadeus. If you are a fan of the character you might be a little surprised at what you find here. This is an average read. By Brandon Borzelli