Reviews: World War Hulk

Published on March 31st, 2009

Last time I did this segment, I wrote about the very amazing Planet Hulk. If you are reading this article and have not read Planet Hulk then I will warn you there are nasty, vicious, sexy spoilers laying ahead. But, you can just read my article on it and that will get you caught up.

World War Hulk takes place on Earth as Hulk has finally found his way back and is looking to seek revenge on the people that exiled him. WWH was one of Marvel’s big crossover events about a year and a half back, so there were many titles that were directly involved in the WWH storyline. If only there were someone out there who would just read them all and then report back which ones were good and which ones weren’t. Oh wait. That was ME. I did that. Yeah, I read every single effing comic involved in the entire WWH event. Right off the bat I’ll tell you to stay away from the one issue of Ant-Man that somehow crept into this line-up. The story was terrible, the art was terrible, it was clearly just an attempt to launch a new title using synergy and all that. Well, it failed. Fortunately, though, it never cropped up again. Now that that’s out of the way let’s get into the story. Hit the jump for more.

worldwarhulkAs soon as Hulk lands back on Earth he knows that he will have to send a message to everyone to let them know he is seriously pissed off. So he figures he will beat Black Bolt within an inch of his life and broadcast himself holding up Black Bolt’s bloodied body (an original Marvel tongue twister!!!). But Black Bolt has beaten ( I swear I’m not doing this on purpose) Hulk up without so much as a scratch on himself.

So, when Hulk faces his enemy we expect to see an epic showdown, right? Wrong. We see Hulk standing in front of Black Bolt and then a few pages later we see Hulk broadcasting to Earth a warning to evacuate NYC because he is going to destroy it in 24 hours, and in his hands is a bloodied Black Bolt. We are led to believe that Hulk somehow beat the 2nd most powerful person on Earth for the first time…without them showing us how. And please don’t use, “because he’s never been THIS angry before” because that is what we call a cop out.

S.H.I.E.L.D. and all the superheroes immediately spring into action to get everyone out of NYC. This is where most of the tie-in titles come into play. One of those being Heroes for Hire. I’m not going to spend too much time on this because it was pretty boring. I only knew about 3 or 4 of the characters involved and the entire plot revolved around them getting caught up in a scheme of one of Hulk’s warbound. Miek and the Brood act nothing like the characters we had been reading before, so that right there turned me off to the whole thing. Basically, the Brood is apparently a Brood Queen and can have babies, and is planning to hatch eggs and infest the earth. But she needs a King. Well there just so happens to be a bug hero with the Heroes for Hire group. That’s as much as I’m going to get into it. It’s dumb.

As NYC is evacuated, one by one each of the Hulk’s exilers battles him in an attempt to stop his destruction. Iron Man goes first and takes on the Hulk in a brand new Super Hulkbuster Suit. Guess what? He gets beat up and Hulk captures him. Reed Richards goes next and tries using a device that simulates the Sentry’s light and aura to calm the Hulk down. Well, the Hulk sees through that, smashes the machine, and captures Richards. Finally, Dr. Strange has his turn, he tells Wong that he’s gonna do IT. Wong is all like, “WHAT?! You can’t do THAT!” But Dr. Strange is all, “Yes Wong, give me the thing because it’s time and there is no other choice.” Fast forward to the next few panels and Dr. Strange is now a gigantic fiery demon. He fights the Hulk and seems to be making some progress, but no, Hulk beats him and captures him.

So now the Hulk has a collection of superheroes in his prison and we don’t know what he plans to do with them. That’s when the Hulk literally tears the roof off of Madison Square Garden and remodels the inside so that it is now an awesome gladiatorial Colosseum, just like the planet Sakaar had where he was exiled. I see what you did there Hulk. Hulk makes his captors fight creatures and go through the same trials he did. He even slaps the obedience disk on each of them and tries to make them kill each other! Hulk what have you become?! Oh but don’t you worry. After spending 7 issues trying to not be crazy, Earth’s most powerful hero, The Sentry, finally comes to everyones rescue and him and the Hulk fight for about half an issue, seemingly destroying New York City in the process. But it’s all good because they do the thing where there is a powerful blast that leaves a big crater and at the bottom you see Bruce Banner and everyone is like, “Oh thanks heavens! It’s over.”

Overall, WWH was just not very good. It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to Planet Hulk. As far as Marvel crossover events go, this one was severely lacking. If you want to read the story arc anyway I would suggest just reading The Incredible Hulk because when things were slow every single time that issue was next in line I got excited and it delivered. It follows arguably the best thing to come out of WWH which is the kid genius Amadeus Cho. If anything, reading all of these comics has taught me that Grek Pak is a fantastic writer and that when other writers start doing other writers characters, it isn’t always pretty.

Butner Brimberry
Butner@ComicImpact.com