The misadventures of the Hulk had a rocky re-start. Chapter Four of Hulk shows promise to take the character in a different direction, which is, frankly, baffling. Mark Waid has an uphill battle in writing the character and bringing anything new to the table. The Incredible Hulk has been around for decades, and gone through several transformations for different takes on the character. You might be asking yourself, what's left? (Spoilers below.)
The Hulk stopped being Indestructible four months ago when a mysterious agent shot Bruce Banner in the back of the head. Twice. Banner's life was saved by a brain surgeon who knew him in college, while other operatives harvested... stuff... from Banner's comatose form and grew a new Abomination. Somehow.
I get it, it's a comic book injury. These things don't last, and they're never as bad as they seem. But having two bullets go through the brain— even through two specific points to minimize damage— and still expect the character to be, well, alive, is incredibly taxing on believability.
Banner spent the last issue as a mental infant. He could form words, which was generous, before the brand new Abomination crashed into town. Banner hulked out, which brings us up to this chapter.
The Hulk's always had remarkable healing capabilities. It's a fair cop on Maria Hill's part to admit that Hulk's healing of Branner's brain damage was a bad idea. When the danger passes, Iron Man and Captain America collect Banner and give Director Hill a thorough chewing out. Banner was her responsibility, and, well...
At which point, Stark takes over. He and Dr. Carpenter go back in to Banner's skull, operating a second time, pulling off what they admit is a freaking miracle. Banner seems to be completely normal again. The last panel suggests the good Doctor's genius may have just been expanded to cosmic levels.
My problem is the lack of consistency. Banner's ping-ponged back and forth over just four chapters, with no time at all to let any of these changes really land.
Banner's in complete control of his anger? Nope, he was just shot in the head. Good god, really? Yes. A brain surgeon's patching him up. Now he's the mental equivalent of a two year old. Has this impacted the Hulk at all? ... No, not really. Jeeze, how is this going to affect— Hang on. He's getting miracle surgery. He's good as new. Better than ever, actually. Wow. So, everything that's happened in the last four issues... Doesn't matter anymore at all, no.
The narrative ball was dropped. It's reflected in the comic, by Maria Hill. This was a bad stretch that got us, finally, to something potentially more interesting. But it's not here yet, we have to wait another month to see what Super!Banner becomes. I'm still interested. Very much so. But the past few chapters... yeesh.