Published: June 5th, 2019
Written by: Peter David
Art by: Dale Keown
Marvel Comics, 33 Pages
I’ve never been a massive fan of The Incredible Hulk, except for the Peter David and Dale Keown era. It was the era that I read when I really started getting into superhero comics beyond just Batman, Spider-Man and X-Men titles.
This one-shot is the first of several that Marvel is doing, which feature the reunification of some of the most iconic creative teams on the books where their work was most beloved.
What I really dug about Last Call was that it channels a lot of the material from the David/Keown era. The story is about Banner on a suicide hotline, talking to a girl that Betty Ross knew. Banner is suicidal but there is a part of him that doesn’t want to follow through, as he’s trying to find some resolution for his soul and all the trauma he’s endured due to the chaos he feels responsible for. Unlike Mister Miracle, there is enough historical context to understand why the Hulk is in this state of mind.
Ultimately, he finds some peace within the 33 pages of this short story. The girl on the other end of the phone helps him get some clarity and a brief scuffle with Mr. Hyde also helps him put it all into perspective.
Despite the subject matter, this doesn’t come off as a depressing read, by the end. It gives you hope for the Hulk and the tortured Banner that feels as if he has no control over the green man’s rage.
As far as the art goes. I enjoyed seeing Keown return to the Hulk but this does look rushed and I feel like it was, as this one-shot had four different inkers on the book. It lacks the great detail that Keown was known for on The Incredible Hulk and Pitt but it still hits its mark in the right way. I just wish that these guys had more time to give us something more refined.
Pairs well with: the classic Peter David and Dale Keown run on The Incredible Hulk, as well as the current title, The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing.