Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 14: Going Gray

incredible hulk epic collection volume 14 going gray cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Significant Hulk events

Hulkbusters drama

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Incredible Hulk (Volume 2)/Marvel Fanfare (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  John Byrne/Al Milgrom

Artist:  John Byrne/Al Milgrom/Sal Buscema/Steve Geiger/Dwayne Turner/Todd McFarlane

# of Issues:  20

Release Date:  2020

incredible hulk #324 cover gray joe fixit

Incredible Hulk (2) #324

Reprints Incredible Hulk (2) #314-330, Annual #14-15, and Marvel Fanfare (1) #29 (December 1985-April 1987).  With a belief that he can cure Bruce Banner of the Hulk, Doc Samson has an experiment that could change Bruce Banner’s life forever.  Without the Hulk, Banner is able to pursue his life and relationship with Betty Ross, but without Banner, the Hulk is on a dangerous and destructive rampage.  As the tension rises, a decision must be made about the Hulk’s future, and an entirely new Hulk might emerge…or two.

Written by John Byrne and Al Milgrom, Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 14:  Going Gray is a Marvel Comics superhero comic book collection.  Following Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 14:  Crossroads, the volume features art by John Byrne, Al Milgrom, Sal Buscema, Steve Geiger, Dwayne Turner, and Todd McFarlane.  Issues in this collection were also featured in Marvel Universe by John Byrne Omnibus—Volume 1, Hulk vs. the Avengers, and Marvel Weddings among others.

This starts a strange period in the Hulk.  While before this, the Hulk was sometimes stuck in “wandering man” (like the TV series) or creature on the run, this Hulk is much more stationary.  Removed from Bruce Banner, much of the story involves the Hulkbusters chasing after the Hulk, and the problems once Bruce is rejoined to his monster.

It is a pretty significant portion of the Hulk “mythos” since a lot of things happen.  Bruce and Betty finally get married, Thunderbolt Ross dies (he’s of course resurrected), Joe Fixit (aka the gray Hulk) returns, and Rick Jones has his own Hulk-outs.  It doesn’t always tie together nicely (especially around the return to Gray Hulk) with an Annual that doesn’t seem to quite fit in and a few extraneous issues that feel like they are fillers. This is a different approach to Hulk who sometimes suffers from one-dimensional writing, and when a writer can change up Hulk (as seen in The Immortal Hulk), Hulk can shine.

incredible hulk 325 cover marvel 25th anniversary

Incredible Hulk (2) #325

Like The Immortal Hulk, there is a bit into the body horror of the Hulk which is weirdly omitted.  In this volume, Rick talks about the pain of the transformation and how it feels like he’s being torn apart and put back together each time.  Likewise, Bruce finds himself literally trapped inside the Hulk’s body and trying to force himself out through the skin…it is creepy and terrifying.  The Hulk benefits when it realizes that it is a horror story as well.

The Hulkbusters are a bit of drag.  You have Clay Quartermain and S.H.I.E.L.D. being rather skeevy, and the classic “group of strangers” thrown together to just follow the Hulk around.  Tragedy strikes early then you have Sam LaRoquette moaning about the death of Carolyn Parmenter the rest of the collection.  It becomes a bit of a bore after a while and the Hulkbusters aren’t defined enough to really care about any of them.

Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 14:  Going Gray is an important Hulk storyline and leads into one of the best (and longest) Hulk runs with Peter David.  If you are a fan of Hulk, you should definitely seek out this collection even if it is a bit uneven and has some so-so stories and characters.  Incredible Hulk Epic Collection—Volume 14:  Going Gray is followed by Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 1.

Followed By:

Hulk Visionaries:  Peter David—Volume 1

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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