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Bringing popular characters up to date, combining them with others and making sure something new and progressive is offered must be one of the more pressured things to have to contend with in the Marvel offices. No doubt this goes the same for any comic book company, and here, with exciting writing and intricate artwork, two nearly indestructible Marvel character, Wolverine and the Hulk, are pitted against each other.
Damon Lindelof, as co-creator of the hit TV series Lost, is no stranger to what can grab an audience. His writing here flicks us back and forth through time, first looking at things from Wolvie's perspective, then from the Hulk's. We are given progression from both characters, and the changing timeline allows us to get important elements of the story in one bunch before then going back and giving us a different line and explanations.
The tale gives us the Hulk in a more educated sense than before. This Hulk is eloquent and intelligent, his alter ego Dr Bruce Banner having developed a serum along with Betty Ross that gives 'All of the Hulk. None of the rampage.' Wolverine is the same: aggressive and keen to provoke others, he is the ideal candidate when S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury need someone to find and kill the Hulk. However, there are, of course, ulterior motives, and things aren't quite as clear cut as they appear. This is not a simple case of beast vs beast, it's a carefully woven story with multiple characters and leaving a lot of scope for further development.
The artwork comes courtesy of Leinil Francis Yu, whose credits already include Wolverine comics. He certainly puts his brush and pencil strokes to Wolvie with expertise, and the intricacies of the Hulk are brilliant. There are a lot of closeups as well as landscape style frames, and the actioin ones really do display the exact movements very well. There isn't an overload of words to detract from it, and you can gather a lot of the info from the visuals and not just the words.
This publication collects Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk issues 1-6, and retails for £18.99 at the moment. I wasn't too sure whether I would enjoy this or not, as I had experienced a Wolverine vs Hulk series before, in the 90s, and had quite liked it. I didn't want this to spoil my memory. However, it attacks it from a very different angle. Both characters have moved on a lot, and their involvement this time is deliberate, whereas before it was accidental. Each time they meet, though, the results are explosive. These two are virtually indestructible, and it makes for great entertainment, with even a little comedy slotted in here and there. Recommended.