In their gearing up for the next "non-reboot," Marvel is releasing their Generation line of one-shots, wherein the new identity of some hero titles meets up with their old ones. Many seem to be time-travel stories, and among the first of such issues is The Strongest, which is about a meeting between Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho, the two Hulks.
Amadeus is shot into the past to meet up with the former Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner, whilst he is under attack from the military led by General Thunderbolt Ross.
He soon finds out that this was before Bruce met Amadeus, and the two Hulks soon team up to fend off the military and a monster that the battle has awoken. The two Hulks also clash as Amadeus tries to keep the other Jade Giant from hurting the soldiers that pursue him.
This is a fairly fun piece that harkens back to the older stories of the Incredible Hulk. It pits the Hulk trying to fight the military, a giant monster, and dealing with his inner demons that take over in his Hulk persona.
It also has some nice moments like Amadeus seeing just how bad Bruce had it at times when he was a fugitive. There is a scene where Bruce is having to dumpster dive for food because the general public know his face. Bruce also takes some cuts at Amadeus' bravado, as the Hulk shows him that he doesn't quite have this whole Hulk thing found out as much as he thinks he does.
To kind of spoil things, the resolution of the comic is that Amadeus faces the fact that being the Hulk is a curse. While that was certainly the case for Bruce, I don't see it for Amadeus. He may have had a couple of bad episodes, and he loses control briefly here, it doesn't seem all that bad for the Totally Awesome Hulk (I still hate the name of that comic).
Maybe things will ramp up for Amadeus from here and justify the lesson he has learned. It was still nice to see Bruce cut Amadeus down to size for his ego. I like Amadeus a fair bit, but his cockiness can get really grating in a way that the likes of Hal Jordan and Clint Barton don't.
The "potted history" of Bruce Banner feel does make the comic feel like it's trying to cover too much space in too short a time, even in this extended issue. Plus, the fact that Amadeus being shot back to the future as soon as he learns his lesson makes the story feel a little contrived. I don't know, maybe the premise this story has already been explained, or it will be explained later. Here, there is not really a lot of context for what is going on.
The fight between the two Hulks as well as the Hulks and the monster is pretty cool. That being said, the overall look of the art does give me some mixed feelings. The figures and landscape look pretty good, but the details look a little off and the Hulks seem to shine a lot. There's definitely some uncanny valley stuff here, but I can't say that it looks genuinely bad. It's a mixed bag. The shading is where it really hits some rough patches, and it interferes with the color work, which is otherwise really solid.
I do recommend this comic, because it has good action and character moments. However, it's not the epic meeting that I and others were probably hoping for, but it is nice to see Bruce Banner on the page as the Hulk once again and remind everyone why he is the strongest there is. Plus, it really has some rock-solid character moments, and it seems that this story is intent on bringing some of these high-flying heroes back to Earth a little (I hope that doesn't happen with Ms. Marvel though, I love how optimistic and high-energy she is). Give it a read if you're a Hulk fan. You will definitely have some good smashing fun.