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‘Clobberin’ Time ‘ TPB (review)

Written and Illustrated by Steve Skroce
Published by Marvel Comics

 

Steve Skroce is one of the artists remaining, alongside Geof Darrow, who have a fun sensibility about what they do. The two have been associated with each other for a while, largely because they worked with the Wachowski siblings both in comics and on the Matrix films.

Recently, Skroce has been doing a lot of creator owned independent work. So it is a rather rare surprise to see him working on a book starring the Hulk and the Thing and many more. A rare surprise for sure, and a really fun treat.

Throughout the publishing history of Marvel Comics, the Hulk and the Thing have been at each other’s throats. This has gone on for quite a long time and comic fans always show up for a fun slugfest between the two.

This time, however, the duo have something else to do: team up.

They have done so before, of course, but not quite like in the first chapter of this book.

The opening shots of this book show us that Ben Grimm and the Hulk (Bruce Banner) have been transported to a far away alien planet. It doesn’t take them that long from getting accumulated to their surroundings.

They wonder why they have been brought there, and quickly come to realize that they should work together rather than fight. It is beneficial to them both in this instance and they make peace with each other. But it turns out that they are facing a pretty big threat for the existence of the planet.

Immediately, they are introduced to the populace of this strange planet. The people there need a lot of help and support. They are facing a Deviant army that cannot be reasoned with.

The Thing and the Hulk realize quickly that this race of aliens cannot survive on their own without their help. So, the duo both leap into action to help these poor aliens. But there is definitely more happening than meets the eye.

The Hulk and the Thing fight and a lot of things get destroyed in a pretty epic and colorful way. They also start to dig deeper into their surroundings.

Who are these aliens? Can they be trusted? And can they even defeat these Deviant creatures that they find themselves against? These questions are answered fast and furious and there is a lot of humor that happens. There are also some fights that are pretty epic, especially artistic wise.

After that, the rest of the chapter play like the old Marvel-Two-in-One books with varying results.

There is a villain that interconnects them all, and that is what the Thing is fighting. The second issue has the Thing going to Krakoa to team up with Wolverine. They have to solve a case on Krakoa and they do. The same thing happens in chapter three with Doctor Strange making an appearance. The Thing is haunted by a vision and he needs the doctors help to deal with it. It gets a bit funny and interesting in this chapter and I quite enjoyed a lot of the interplay between the two characters. It’s a lot of different moving parts though for sure.

The fourth chapter is probably my favorite as the Thing has to team up with Doctor Doom. They have a lot of great moments between them, especially with the dialogue. I did laugh out loud a few times with this one. These two characters make quite an odd couple and it is very enjoyable indeed.

Finally, the Thing confronts the villain in the fifth chapter and then all is well that ends well.

The plot is fairly thin, to be honest. I kept hoping for more depth as the chapters continued.

Alas, that depth never came up in the series.

There were certainly many opportunities for it. Skroce doesn’t dig very deep on this, at least not in the writing portion of it. The artwork is fairly fun, and if you like Skroce’s work, you’ll like this. It doesn’t break any new ground though as much as you might want it to. That’s a shame too, as it could have been much stronger than this.

Maybe next time, whenever Skroce returns to Marvel.

RATING: B

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