Posted - February 5, 2014 | Updated : August 27, 2015

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Indestructible Hulk 18

Since this is a breakdown its pretty much all spoiler - come in and join the fun.

It's a common Marvel trope for the other heroes to 'misunderstand' the Hulk, and of course, we get these incredible fight scenes. Well, this time it is the Hulk's alter ego, Bruce Banner, who becomes the object of mistrust giving rise to an accidental detonation of a unique bomb designed to counteract the Inhuman Terrigen Mist. And so this issue opens with a great shot, not of the Hulk, or Banner, but of Hank Pym.

hank pym in subatomic mode

Here he is shrinking down to subatomic size to dodge the bomb's energies flying all around him like giant flaming boulders. Great shot.

Several pages into the issue, this is fast developing into an excellent Giant-Man comic. I've always been ambivalent about Hank Pym. He was a flawed and controversial man who, at one point, subjected his then-wife, Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, to domestic abuse - let's call it what it is, or was : wife beating. Bad enough. Then, in the Civil War event, he was on the wrong side. Or what I felt was the wrong side. But then that wasn't him right? Secret Invasion later revealed it was a Skrull. But I can't shake the feeling that the real Hank would have taken the same 'wrong' side.

Call him what you will: Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Yellowjacket or Hank Pym, at core, the most important thing to him is his work as a scientist. And he is a formidable scientist - he discovered and harnessed the Pym particles - but he works besides giants like Tony Stark and Reed Richards, and he felt inferior to them. This is the flaw in the Hank Pym armor, this feeling of inferiority. The poison that led him to become a wife beater and causes him to second guess and hesitate. Hank was never a leader. leaders have to have a core of confidence and at core Hank doubts himself. But not now. Not here. In the pages of the Indestructible Hulk we get a brief glimpse of what could have been and what could be. Here is Hank with his arm broken by the Hulk from the previous issue finding himself in a situation where people are in danger and acting every bit the hero.

hank pym the hero

Just wonderful.

Later we have another one of those great panels that has happened before.

meeting of the marvel minds

This is a meeting of the minds. Let's see: Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Hank McCoy, and Hank Pym - some of the brightest intellects in the Marvel Universe. I recall this happening before. One time was in an issue of the Fantastic Four; Michael Morbius and Reed Richards was in that mix too. The other time was in the 'wrong' side of Civil War with the triumvirate of Stark, Richards, and Pym.

Oh yeah, before we forget, this is a Hulk Comic. This one contains some wonderful information about how fast that transformation is between Banner and the Hulk. The stereotype about this transformation was ripped out of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" - a slow painful process. But take a look at this.

hulk's instantaneous change

That's right. Banner's forearm hit by a car at speed, threatening to break his arm, and transforms to the Hulk instantaneously, no injuries suffered. Wow. I've never seen this transformation this fast before. Taking this forward, this meansthat if somebody shoots Banner, the bullet would never hit the man; it would bounce off the impregnable hide of Marvel's mightiest monster. Right? Wow.

Another surprise from Mark Waid is the classic monster vs. monster fight.

monster fight

It ends with a happy Bruce Banner apparently falling to his death.

bruce banner falls happily

Next: World War Hulk 4