Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Al Ewing
Artwork: Tom Reilly, Matias Bergara
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Release Date: 11th December 2019
Reading somewhat disconcertingly like a game of two halves, there was still undoubtedly plenty of entertainment for this comic’s 49,851 Hulk-Heads to take away from Al Ewing’s ‘The New World’ in December 2019. Yet whilst the murderous boardroom antics of Dario Agger provide the reader with a fascinating insight into the mindset of a man who, having been “transformed into the Minotaur of legend”, has subsequently become the CEO of the wealthiest and most powerful multi-corporation in the world, this comic’s secondary plot concerning the mental instability of an unnamed security guard working at a small Roxxon Energy Corp facility in Wyoming, is arguably far less satisfying.
True, the old-fashioned sentry’s desire to live in the apparently perfect world of yesteryear, where “you brushed your teeth and listened to your parents”, momentarily generates a somewhat sentimental liking for the heavily-moustached, blue-shirted relic. However, any thoughts of sympathy are soon washed away when the disenchanted man instantly recognises one of the youths protesting outside his employer’s building as his teenage daughter, and then deliberates as to just how he could get away with cold-bloodedly gunning down the young girl; “I know her…. She’s wearing his face. She might as well be a stranger… and… If I didn’t know it was her… I could feel threatened.”
Far more palatable and fascinating is the British writer’s handling of the increasingly irritated Minotaur, and his desperate attempt to thwart his conglomeration’s financial death-spiral as his main competitor, Bain Digital, witnesses its new video application breaking “half a billion downloads –”. Angered by the disrespectfulness of one of his advisors, and motivated by an urgent need to make some sort of monetary gain from the Hulk’s popularity with the “Teen Brigade”, the super-strong villain enthrallingly appears on the verge of murdering his staff without a moment’s notice throughout the entire twenty-page periodical.
Sadly, this comic’s consistency is also significantly diluted by Ewing’s deliberate intention to “not make this issue easy… at all” on his guest artists. Tom Reilly’s panels of the ill-fated Roxxon employee faced with the Hulk just before he was about to perturbingly shoot his own child are drawn well enough, but his Chris Samnee-like drawing style increasingly jars with the much-finer linework of Matias Bergara, especially once the Montevideo-born illustrator pencils the Minotaur visiting Monster Isle in an effort to find a solution to his problems…
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]