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Friday, January 9, 2009

Comic Review - World War Hulk

Title/Storyline
World War Hulk (WWH) Publish Date/Year
2007
Creative Team
Various
Issue (s)
Various
Publisher
Marvel
Story
This is basically the continuation of the Planet Hulk Story, where 4 of the Illuminati (comprising of Namor, Prof X, Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic), Tony Stark (Iron Man), Dr. Strange, Black Bolt) had decided that the Hulk was too dangerous for them to not do something about it. Hence they had decided that he ought to be sent away from Earth in a space ship to a place where the Hulk can be left alone in peace. However, because of a malfunction in the ship, ended up on a planet called Sakaar where he became king, fell in love and eventually,had a queen and child (Yup the Hulk was going to be a dad…altogether now, awwww). However, as comic books always are, the hero doesn’t have things easy. His Queen, pregnant with child and the city on Sakaar, were somehow destroyed when the space ship Hulk arrived in exploded and killed millions on Sakaar along with the Queen and the unborn child. Now the Hulk is raging mad and blames the Illuminati for destroying his family & world. Hence, he is now coming back with his alien buddies (called the Warbound) to Earth for revenge!

I have not read all the WWH tie-in issues of other titles, only the WWH Mini Series, Iron Man and Incredible Hulk issues which essentially has 90% of the story without the minute details.

* The WWH series focused on the main event – the battles.
* The Incredible Hulk issues focuses on how the Hulk’s buddies - Amadeus Cho, Rick Jones, & She Hulk, were rallying his supporters in WWH. Angel (from X-Men), the Scorpion (not to be confused with the Spidey villain), Namora (Namor’s royal cousin and part of Agents of Atlas) & Hercules were among the heroes who sided with the Hulk.
* The Iron Man issues focuses on the SHIELD aspect of the war.

In the very first issue before Hulk arrives on Earth, he makes a quick stop on the moon where the Inhumans now live. He is met by Black Bolt of course. To fully appreciate how powerful Black Bolt is, you need to picture that with the tiniest whisper, his voice can crack mountains! With a spoken word or a shout, he can theoretically split a planet in 2. The Hulk makes short work of Black Bolt on the moon and brings his battered body, barely alive to Earth before making a worldwide video announcement (with the battered Black Bolt in his grip) that he was here for some serious payback against the 4 Illuminati members.
In the subsequent issues, we see how the Hulk and his Warbound takes out Iron Man, Reed, General Thunderbolt Ross (Hulk’s long time enemy) and Dr Strange. (you have to see how the Hulk manages to defeat Dr Strange even on the astral plane and back on the physical plane, crushed both of Dr. Strange’s hands!)

Of course, the Illuminati always has a contingency plan for every situation. In this case, it was the Sentry. You will need to read the series to see how this WWH is resolved but I thought it was a bit of a let down. However, this is still one of the BEST stories to come out of the House of Ideas in years! The first couple of issues had gotten the fans really pumped especially when we see the biggest players in the Marvel Universe get trounced!

Art
The WWH series – John Romita Jr (JRJr)
The Incredible Hulk issues – Gary Frank, Leonard Kirk, Carlo Pagulayan
The Iron Man issues – Butch Guice

I have been a JRJr fan since his Amazing Spider-Man days back in the late 80’s. His art here somehow has lost its fine quality, but still manages to convey the power and awe the series required.

I love Gary Frank (see Action Comics and Supreme Power for some of his great work) and Butch Guice’s work here. Top notch all the way. I am not yet a fan of either Leonard Kirk or Carlo Pagulayan, but they do turn in competent work.
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