The Fallen #1 (Marvel Comics)
Last week Marvel showed us The Accused, a comic that was pretty much the definition of a “needless tie-in”. This week though is The Fallen, the Greg Pak written one-shot that explores the fallout of the death of Bruce Banner amongst his closest friends. Featuring art by Marvel legend Mark Bagley, The Fallen is a really well done “eulogy” for the Hulk, but like The Accused, it’s not very necessary.
Much of The Fallen focuses on the funeral and the will of Bruce Banner, and how that affects Betty Ross, Amadeus Cho, and Rick Jones. Greg Pak, the writer behind modern classic Hulk tales like “Planet Hulk” and “Fall of the Hulks”, really does a great job of nailing the connections that the Hulk made with people, despite being a raging monster. Pak’s dialogue for Bruce’s virtual reality “will” was really well done, and there’s even some fun appearances from some characters from the Planet Hulk era of the jade giant in this issue.
Mark Bagley is pretty well regarded in the Marvel offices, but unfortunately The Fallen is not his best work. While you can definitely tell that Bagley drew this issue, it’s pretty clear that he wasn’t taking his time. There’s a pretty sloppy look throughout the issue, and it doesn’t complement Pak’s script that well. For the amount of care that Pak put into this issue, it wouldn’t have killed Bagley to at least try.
Like The Accused, The Fallen isn’t a necessary book to flesh out your Civil War II reading experience, but it’s definitely a much better book than The Accused. You can tell Pak really cares about Bruce Banner and the Hulk. In fact, The Fallen would even serve as a great capper to Pak’s Hulk run if he decided to quit writing the character. As far as Civil War II tie-in books go, The Fallen is definitely one of the better things to come out of the event, but really only essential for Hulk mega fans.