Totally Awesome Hulk #4 Review: Cho Time Part 4


The Totally Awesome Hulk wraps up its first arc with a very funny, artistically impressive final chapter.

Totally Awesome Hulk #4
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Frank Cho
Colored by Sonia Oback
Published by Marvel Comics

Last time in Totally Awesome Hulk: After saving the coast of Hawaii from Fin Fang Foom, Amadeus Cho is rewarded not with a drink on the beach, but by being kidnapped by Lady Hellbender. Her goal? To add him to her monster collection.

If you are a longtime reader of the various volumes of the Incredible Hulk that have been published over the years, then the new Totally Awesome Hulk has probably taken some getting used to. Whereas the Hulk in the past has always been the poster child for dark, tragic characters whose stories never end well, this new Hulk is the polar opposite of all that.

Amadeus Cho actually wants to be the Hulk. He loves the power, the adventures, how it helps him score with the ladies. As far as he is concerned, being the Hulk is the greatest thing that has ever happened to him.

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For now.

And that is what makes Totally Awesome Hulk such a great book. Pak, who knows a thing or two about writing the Hulk (see the brilliant “Planet Hulk” storyline), has hidden this layer of impending doom in the stories, just there below the surface. You watch as Cho saves the day with his brains, makes jokes and generally has a blast as the Hulk, but you know it can’t last. Any fan of the Hulk knows that tragedy and heartbreak are coming, it’s just a matter of when.

Concerning Totally Awesome Hulk #4 specifically, it’s a solid closing chapter to “Cho Time” that includes all the humor and action of the previous issues. As a bonus we get a small glimpse into how Cho exactly became the Hulk and what happened to Bruce Banner. It’s a plot device that has been used a number of times before in the series, but the execution here is what makes it unique.

Hopefully this is just a taste of the backstory to come, because it certainly seems like there is more story to tell on that front.

Totally Awesome Hulk #4 is also marks the final issue by Frank Cho, which is a real shame. If ever there was an artist meant to draw the Hulk, it’s Cho. His exaggerated anatomy, impeccable sense of storytelling and incredible ability to lay out a page will be sorely missed as he moves on to work on some creator-owned projects. I can only hope he may return at some point down the road to the title.

On the up side, word on the street is that Alan Davis will be taking over in a few months after a couple of issues by Mike Choi, so that is something to really look forward to.

More superheroes and comics: All-New All-Different Avengers #7 Review: Standoff Part 4

The Bottom Line: Totally Awesome Hulk #4 serves as a fitting finale to the book’s opening arc. It is filled with the jokes and action readers have come to expect by now, but also has a thread of menace running underneath that is hard to ignore. You get the feeling that once things start to go bad for Amadeus Cho, they are going to go really bad.

I honestly can wait to see it.