At the end of the 90s of the last century John Byrne returned to the pages of the main Hulk collection to deal with a stage with more pain than glory. Panini Comics publishes a great Omnibus volume edition of a certainly expendable stage.
Not the whole mountain is oregano. Even being fans of a certain author, there will always be some of his works that remain in the background within our preferences. Not even John Byrne is exempt from it and this Hulk is a clear example of it. His inspiration was surely not in a moment of fullness and his usual formula of going back to the origins of the characters to revitalize them does not work at any time as the public would expect. At least we could talk about an interesting approach that he could not develop due to his usual disagreements with his superiors but that is not even the case, despite the disagreements.
Byrne returned to raise a more wild, uncontrolled Hulk and detached from his alter ego as Bruce Banner. He did it under the excuse of control by the villain on duty, a Tyrannus decaffeinated by packaging although dangerous in terms of consequences. This offered a picture that placed Banner as a victim even though it did not make him feel less responsible for the destruction caused by the Gamma Monster or the lives that could be claimed along the way.
The secondary ones that are being left behind do not give for a majestic development nor do they contribute much beyond giving a certain color. The town of Faulkner will hardly serve to justify the creation of a new site after the passage of Hulk, thank goodness that it dispensed with the adjective “Incredible” in its title, because it did not honor him at any time. Even Archer Leopold will hardly serve as a witness to what happened and thus be able to rid Banner of the most serious consequences of being deprived of controlling the Hulk.
Byrne barely lasted seven issues and an Annual. Jerry Ordway was in charge of closing the plots as best he could to make way for the next stage of the Green Giant, one that is well remembered, that of screenwriter Paul Jenkins. Not even the appearance of regular guests such as The Thing or Wolverine (the latter time later it would be discovered that it was not even him) served to raise the level after the departure of the British author residing in Canada. Nor the late arrival of Doc Samsom for the denouement.
And yet this short stage does have an attraction, the drawing of Ron Garney. He had already left a memorable stage with Mark Waid in Captain America but his representation of the Hulk shows us a beast of enormous proportions, terrifying when we compare it with everything that surrounds it, intimidating, visceral, with a single objective in that chaotic mind , the destruction. More Mister Hyde than ever before his weak and powerless Doctor Jekyll. In addition, after Byrne’s departure, Garney featured a luxury inker in recent issues, none other than one of the most remembered cartoonists from the original collection, the peerless Sal Buscema.
Therefore, and in line with the above, this volume is more focused on complete collectors than on true readers who enjoy an unparalleled delicacy. An ordinary reading far removed from the quality standards that Byrne had us used to, although around this time it also left a bad taste in the mouth at a one-year stage in Spiderman. He must not be in his prime as a writer. All this does not detract from his career since even the best clerk occasionally casts a blur.