Recovery Means Coming to Terms with the Monster Within in Hulk 7

by Spencer Irwin

Hulk 7

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Recovering from a traumatic incident is a process that never quite ends. One can’t expect to ever be the exact same person again that they once were before the incident; instead, they have to learn to move forward and live with their new status quo. That seems to be the point Jen Walters has reached in Mariko Tamaki and Georges Duarte’s Hulk 7 — having come to terms with the fact that her life has changed, Jen’s now looking to figure out what, exactly, these changes mean and how they’ll fit into her life going forward.

Of course, Jen being Jen, her “changes” involve a transformation into a giant gray monster, and of course, Jen being Jen, she prefers to work out her issues through some gratuitous destruction rather than a trauma support group.

I love how Tamaki and Duarte don’t seem to condemn Jen’s decision to do so. It helps that she’s procured a location where she can Hulk-Out to her heart’s desire with no consequences, but even so, Jen understands her own mind and emotions, and knows what will work best for her. After the events of the first storyline, Jen’s come to terms with the fact that the she’ll “always be Hulk.” So now she has to figure out what it means to be this version of the Hulk; how it works, how it affects her emotions, and perhaps most importantly, how it fits into her work.

That’s where Oliver comes in. In the first storyline, Maise Brewn was an obvious reflection of Jen at that point in her journey: a woman whose life was stolen from her by trauma. Now that Jen’s moved forward, Oliver seems set to take over that role: he’s a man who’s become a monster over which he has little control and even less understanding. If Jen can help Oliver deal with the monster within, maybe she can do the same for herself.

However this pans out, it’s sure to be just the next step in Jen’s journey of recovery. Thankfully, Hulk 7 proves that this is a journey that doesn’t need to be endlessly traumatic or depressing. In many ways this is a notably lighter issue; Jen’s still cranky, but she doesn’t seemed as troubled, and is even rekindling her friendship with Hellcat. If the road to recovery is one that never quite ends, at least it’s good to know that it does get easier as it goes.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

One comment on “Recovery Means Coming to Terms with the Monster Within in Hulk 7

  1. I really like how this book seems to have a real plan. Each storyline taking place at a specific point, with a very specific threat connected ot this stage of the healing process. Sometimes, the needs for serialization cna keep character relatively static, but the best part of this issue is how things most certainly aren’t static. Jenn is growing. This is a book you can tell is tightly planned, in a way that is unique. You know what? This book would work really well with the Image style break between arcs. Honestly, I think this will work amazingly in a trade I was a little surprised at Jenn Hulking out at the start, but it really makes sense since this book wnats to discuss the next stage, instead of being stuck in stage one. The way it uses time and wants to have actual meaningful time skips would work really well with some way to very clear keep issues 6 and 7 treated disinctly in a way we usually don’t treat a traditional superhero release schedule. Hell, let’s put it like this. THis issue doesn’t feel like the start of Hulk’s second arc. It feels like Hulk’s sequel, and I really love that vibe

    That could end up being the most interesting part of this book, in the end. It does a lot of things differently to other Marvel books, being a neo-gothic horror thriller. But it is even struturing itself in a unique way, and I hope it gets all the time it needs to tell a complete story. Because the way this arc feels like the sequel to the previous arc is actually unique, and somethign I’d love to see more writers use

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