Book Review – Hulk: The End by Peter David

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This actually collects two stories, Future Imperfect by Peter David & George Perez and The Last Titan by Peter David & Dale Keown. Both stories take place in a future where Hulk has to deal with the consequences of being the last superhero alive. The two stories have some similarities but they offer different approaches as well. 

In Future Imperfect Hulk is brought forward into a dystopian city to try and save the people from The Maestro, who rules the place with an iron fist (that’s just a figure or speech, he doesn’t actually use Iron Fist). The artwork here is amazing. There’s a trophy room which holds many artifacts from the Marvel universe, and you could spend ages looking at everything and still see new things on each read-through. Because the story uses time travel there has to be some explanation of the mechanics, although I’m not sure these ones hold up to a lot of scrutiny. However, the explanation given was satisfactory so I was willing to just get on with the story and not worry about trying to dissect them. 

One thing I didn’t like, and this is just a pet peeve of mine, is the use of future slang. I get why writers use it but it just irritates me. Other than that the story is great. There’s plenty of references to the wide Marvel universe, the villain of the piece is actually quite sympathetic and you can understand where he’s coming from. The ending is poetic and caps off the story nicely and aside from the slang I don’t have any complaints. I think it’s a solid story with great artwork. 

The Last Titan is much more of a meditative take on being the last person alive. Again, there was an atomic war that wiped out all the heroes and just about everything else, leaving Hulk (and Banner) as the last beings on the planet. It’s mostly about the struggle Banner has with wanting to die, but Hulk won’t let him. I liked the dynamic between the two and some of the split-faced artwork was incredible. It shows the future as a much more desolate place and highlights the contrast between the Hulk’s determined will and Banner’s despair. It’s more of a character study than Future Imperfect so it’s nice to have two different styles of story about similar themes brought together like this. 

I liked the nods to the rest of the Marvel Universe and both stories are quite strong so I’d recommend these to any Hulk fans, although I think you have to have an affinity for the character and some knowledge of his past to get the most out of the stories. 

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