Friday, December 12, 2008

Frankenstein vs. The Hulk

You know how oftentimes you read a team-up that you've been waiting years to see and it just doesn't live up to expectations? That's because Jeff Parker didn't write it.

I love the idea behind Monster-Size Hulk. It's an anthology that pits the Hulk against classic monsters. Peter David has a text story about the Hulk's meeting Dracula. Steve Niles has a cool one where the Hulk fights a werewolf. My favorite though - because it's the Monster - is Parker's Hulk vs. Frankenstein.

In any standard superhero team-up you expect the heroes to duke it out when they first meet. It's a superhero cliché and it doesn't usually make sense to the story, but that's what a lot of superhero fans want to see. Who can beat who? And really, you wouldn't want to read a Hulk-Frankenstein comic without watching them trade some blows.

Of course, Hulk had to be weakened in order to make the match even, but Parker does an awesome job explaining that. And the scene isn't even really a cliché here because the Hulk and the Monster are both well known for their rages and violence-first personalities. Of course they would fight each other. Unlike most superhero-battles, this one makes perfect sense.

But Parker also understands that these characters are awesomely similar to each other and he delivers the second thing we really want to see in a meet-up between the two of them. Hulk... friend.

The heroes making nice and teaming-up to fight a common enemy is another superhero cliché, but again, it's exactly what needs to happen in this story. It more than makes sense; it's deeply satisfying on an emotional level.

Thanks, Jeff.

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