The problem with the style of story being told in Savage Hulk #2 is that, if it were part of the regular ongoing series, the title would get pretty stagnant pretty quickly. In fact, that’s what happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the Hulk was basically fighting a monster of the month and the book wound up plummeting in sales. Fortunately, when this sort of series is a side tale that doesn’t take focus away from the main book, it becomes a breath of fresh air.
Savage Hulk #2 is mostly occupied with a straight-up fight between the Abomination and the Hulk. The abomination begins by ambushing the X-Men, and our hero isn’t far behind. The resulting battle is refreshing mainly because it’s an example of the Hulk just smashing without time travel, conspiracies, or other items that have become a hallmark of the main series. It’s also worth noting that the Hulk talks here, and in a way that is familiar to fans. Very often, the Hulk’s dialogue is reduced to “Hulk smash!”, “Hulk strong”, and the like. In actuality, the old savage Hulk tended to be quite the talker, albeit with his overuse of third-person pronouns. In this story, we get that. The Hulk seems like a character that, even when his mind is clouded by rage, still thinks. I wish that happened more often these days.
Despite the storytelling limitations that are imposed upon it due to the book’s format, Savage Hulk #2 is a very fun comic. The art is excellent and the writing really sets a feel for the 1970s era of Marvel. About the only thing that really sets this comic apart from the period it draws from is the pacing, as modern comics tend to be much less compact than they used to be.
While HULK and ABOMINATION have the clash of the century...the X-MEN do the Monster Mash! And PROFESSOR X plans to...terminate the Hulk?!?