Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 19: Ghost of the Past

incredible hulk epic collection volume 19 ghost of the past cover trade papeback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 6/10

Peter David did interesting things with the Hulk throughout his run

Average '90s stories

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Incredible Hulk (Volume 2)/Doctor Strange (Volume 3)/Silver Surfer (Volume 3)/Namor (Volume 1)/Marvel Holiday Special

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Peter David/Ron Marz/Roy Thomas/Evan Skolnick/Tom Brevoort/Mike Kanterovich/James Robinson/Ron Fortier

Artist:  Kevin Maguire/James Fry/Tom Morgan/M.C. Wyman/Dale Keown/Jan Duursema/Chris Bachalo/Gary Frank/Travis Charest/Gary Barker/Karl Altstaetter/Joe Phillips/Dan Lawlis/Kirk Jarvinen/Paul Pelletier/John Herbert

# of Issues:  16

Release Date:  2015

incredible hulk #398 cover leader

Incredible Hulk (2) #398

Reprints Incredible Hulk (2) #397-406, Annual #18-19; Namor (1) Annual #2, Silver Surfer (3) Annual #5, Doctor Strange (3) Annual #2, and Marvel Holiday Special 1993 (September 1992-June 1993).  The Hulk adjusts to his life at the Pantheon and finds himself teamed with his old allies the Defenders to protect the world from an entity called the Wild One.  After a confrontation with the Leader, Rick Jones faces a crisis that could shatter his life while Hulk finds himself in charge of the Pantheon and questioning how he can become a leader!

Written by Peter David, Ron Marz, Roy Thomas, Evan Skolnick, Tom Brevoort, Mike Kanterovich, James Robinson, and Ron Fortier, Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 19:  Ghost of the Past is a collection of Hulk stories falling in the Peter David period of the series’ run.  The collection features art by Kevin Maguire, James Fry, Tom Morgan, M.C. Wyman, Dale Keown, Jan Duursema, Chris Bachalo, Gary Frank, Travis Charest, Gary Barker, Karl Altstaetter, Joe Phillips, Dan Lawlis, Kirk Jarvinen, Paul Pelletier, and John Herbert.

I really enjoyed the Marvel Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David collection that Marvel was putting out a few years.  With a really long run, I read all the collections (Volumes 18) and was disappointed when the series stopped…leaving much of David’s run unfinished in reprints.  Incredible Hulk:  Ghost of the Past picks up where the Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David ends off and continues the fun.

I’m not going to pretend that the series is the best that it has been, but it is different.  It is hard to change up the story of an angry guy who gets strong over decades, but I felt that David did manage to keep evolving the character.  While I was  interested in the Pantheon when it first started, my interest quickly waned by this volume simply because not very many members of the group have really been developed.  Hector, Achilles, Ulysses, and Paris all are underwritten and have little personality…the only reason Atalanta and Delphi escape that is that they are women and at least look different.

incredible hulk #400 holographic cover

Incredible Hulk (2) #400

The Return of the Defenders portion of the story also drags and falls into 1990s “fights a lot” moments.  There are panels and panels of gibberish talk with Namor’s body switching with Rick and inter-dimensional villains.  It doesn’t help that the original Defenders aren’t my favorite Defenders so I had little interest in this story.

The best part about this run is probably the Rick Jones storyline though it does end up dragging out a bit too long due to the Hulk’s stories taking up most of the issues.  The Rick and Marlo relationship (and the weird addition of Betty) was a bit bizarre and almost felt more like a soap opera dropped in the middle of a super-hero comic…and that is part of the fun of David’s run.

As I said, the volume has lots of faults but overall it still is a light and fun “comic book” read that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  If you are a completionist like me, and you want to see Peter David’s run through, it is a must.  Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 19:  Ghost of the Past is followed by Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 20:  Future Imperfect.

Related Links:

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 1

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 2

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 3

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 4

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 5

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 6

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 7

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 8

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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