THE HULK - Mania.com



Fiction Review

Mania Grade: B

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  • Title: THE HULK
  • Author: Peter David
  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • Pages: 352
  • Price: $6.99

THE HULK

Peter David novelizes his most famous character

By Chris Wyatt     June 30, 2003

STAR TREK fans think of him for IMZADI, which is still the best TREK novel ever written. And fantasy fans think of him for the dryly witty SIR APROPO OF NOTHING... but let's face it... despite all the great work he's done over the years, we're always going to think of Peter David as "the HULK guy".

Like Chris Claremont and his X-MEN 2 novelization early this year, Peter David decided to do the novel version of the film based from a comic that he popularized. In all honestly, it took this reviewer by surprise that David, who is such an inventive, original author, agreed to write a book based on someone else's idea of what THE HULK (the character he re-invented from almost scratch) should be... after all, didn't he leave Marvel because he didn't want to have to accept the HULK concepts that the new editor staff was inflicting on him?

But, it doesn't matter why David agreed to do it, because he did a great job with it.

Admittedly, the script itself has problems. Banner's father turning into a what...? The climactic battle with the new age ending? Whatever. David pulls it off with grace.

Where the film's character work becomes slow and arduous, David's novel instead snaps it up. David uses the reasonable tool of internal monologue to legitimize some of the film's melodrama. Particularly in scenes like the one where Betty takes Bruce on a tour of his old home.

If the film, for all its success and failures, did a good job of humanizing the plight of Brucethen the novel does an even better one.

But don't think this is all boggy character material... as is typical for David, when the action starts flying, he handles it. His novel version of the gamma-irradiated dog scene is a stunning as the film's version.

Basically, the novelization can be recommended to everyone who really liked the movie. But if you didn't like the film, hang back and read IMZADI again.

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