Joe Fixit #3
Peter David's mastery of all the different layers of Hulk are in full force as Bruce Banner takes on…himself! It's Joe Fixit versus the Hulk versus Bruce Banner with Spider-Man trying to keep it all from imploding!
Joe Fixit #3 starts with a flashback where Spider-Man runs into Hulk in a diner while waiting for the Absorbing Man to arrive. The timeline then shifts back to Joe Fixit about to stomp on Spider-Man’s face before Bruce Banner jumps into the fray, yelling at his alter ego in the classic “I blame everything that’s wrong with me on the Hulk” kind of way.
This series and Peter David’s other flashback Spider-man series, Symbiote Spider-Man, have featured spot-on depictions of that classic Peter that fans fell in love with throughout the 80s and 90s. Oddly enough, David’s depiction of Peter in Joe Fixit #3 seems off. Peter comes off as very cynical and sometimes even out of character. Towards the end of the issue, Peter confronts the scientist who helped Kingpin make the Hulk serum and has a total Batman moment. He angrily interrogates the scientist, raising him into the air and saying “wrong answer” before the scene shifts, implying that he is about to use some brutal interrogative force. Spider-Man has had anger spouts over the years, but this depiction seemed even more intense than many of the darker stories in the character’s past, like Kraven’s Last Hunt. Overall, David’s writing seemed just a bit off here, but only in the characterization of Spider-Man, with everything else feeling normal.
It took a few issues to get here, but this is finally the deep dive into Hulk that is to be expected with David helming a new Hulk series. While the first two issues felt like the Spider-Man show featuring some Joe Fixit, Joe Fixit #3 shifts the focus to the Hulk, with some seriously deep dives into his psyche. David touches on Banner’s suicidal tendencies while breaking into why the Hulk exists. The Hulk is a product of Banner’s fractured psyche more than the gamma bomb that gave him powers. This also helps explain Joe Fixit’s existence a bit more for readers who aren’t as familiar with him.
Yildiray Çinar’s art builds on the classic aesthetic to make this flashback series feel reminiscent of the period. Cinar’s Hulk harkens back to the old days of David’s classic Hulk series, with Joe Fixit #3 allowing him to draw two different versions of the character. Dee Cunnifee’s colors help give the classic green Hulk a nice, vibrant color that helps him pop off the page. This works well in contrast to the gray palette used on Joe Fixit, clearly differentiating the two versions of the character beyond what the recap page says. Ariana Maher’s letters further build on this by spacing out the speech bubbles to allow Cinar’s pencils and Cunnifee’s colors to take center stage. In a flashback-style series that so heavily focuses on David’s star power and nostalgia, it’s nice to see the art stand out magnificently.
Joe Fixit #3 depicts Spider-Man a bit out of character but shines in its breakdown of the Hulk. The art team does a great job bringing the classic aesthetic to life with Hulk popping off of each page.
Joe Fixit #3: Death By Hulk
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10