Published: June 15th, 2011
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Art by: Tim Sale
Marvel Comics, 137 Pages
Being a big fan of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s work at DC Comics, especially on their iconic Batman stuff, I was pretty enthused about checking out their similar work for Marvel.
This is the first of their four color themed stories I read. The other three are Spider-Man: Blue, Captain America: White and Daredevil: Yellow. I’m not sure if the others also exist as re-imaginings of origin stories but I plan to read through them all shortly.
But that’s what Hulk: Gray is. It’s a Hulk origin story as told from the point-of-view of Bruce Banner to a friend, sitting in as a sort of therapist.
I’ve never been a huge Hulk fan but I think any fan of comics knows his origin story well. I really didn’t need to read another version of it just as I don’t need to ever read or see another version of Batman’s origin.
Still, I did enjoy this take on it.
But what stood out the most about this was the art by Tim Sale. Sale has a unique retro pulp type of flair with his art style and it jumps off of the page. The use of color (and lack thereof) was damn good. As simple as some of Sale’s art can be, he has a real talent for conveying emotion and I have always loved how he draws faces. He uses the Hulk’s eyes a lot in this and he says a lot with very little.
I also like that a classic version of the Iron Man armor shows up to do battle. It is a throwback to the earliest days of Marvel and seeing these two characters throw down in Sale’s art style was a real treat.
But in all honesty, this was pretty dry and it just didn’t hit the mark for me like it should have. It certainly isn’t an iconic body of work like The Long Halloween, which is still Loeb and Sale’s magnum opus, as far as I’m concerned.
However, this was still worth indulging in and it was a fairly quick read.
Pairs well with: The other color themed books that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale did for Marvel.