Comic: "World War Hulk"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Greg Pak
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Plot: The Hulk comes back from his year-long exile in space ready to exact vengeance upon those who sent him there: Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and Black Bolt. Smashing ensues.
Review: If you're expecting a deep, involved plot from this most recent Marvel event, I will refer you to look back at the title one more time. If you're still expecting a "thinking man's" story, then you're going to be insanely disappointed (and there's probably something wrong with you). Still, for what it is, World War Hulk is entertaining enough for a while, but eventually watching the Hulk punching guys over and over starts to wear a little thin.
I think the biggest problem with this story was that nobody reading it was suffering from any delusion that Hulk was going to succeed in his mission to kill four... well, three (sorry Black Bolt) major Marvel characters. Especially just after Iron Man became Marvel's poster boy for heroic assholes after Civil War. Because of this, the story carries little tension or emotional weight, especially when you compare it to the Planet Hulk story that led into it.
In Planet Hulk, he was interacting with a bunch of newly created alien characters, and they can and did die as the story required it. In fact, he fell in love with a woman on that planet, married her, and got her pregnant. And whoopsie, the ship that Hulk arrived in blew up, killing her and their unborn child, which is what prompted Hulk to desire revenge so strongly in the first place.
The series starts off promising enough, as Hulk beats the shit out of Black Bolt and Iron Man, but unfortunately, it quickly goes down hill from there. It turns out that Hulk's big plan for revenge involves capturing the targets of his rage and forcing them to duke it out with one another in gladiatorial combat, so they will know how he felt when he was on that alien world.
The final issue consists of almost nothing but panels of Hulk and the Sentry punching each other through buildings, with ridiculous "sound effects" that distracted me from the story. And the "twist" ending only served to annoy me and make me lose interest in following any more Hulk books, rather than achieving the desired effect of intriguing me into wanting to read what followed.
It's not all bad, mind you. John Romita Jr's artwork is as pretty to look at as it always is, and Hulk fans who enjoy even a simple story featuring the big green behemoth will be satisfied with what they get. But it doesn't offer anything new or present the same kind of interesting moral dilemma that Civil War did. I'd say it's fairly average as Events go. I've read better, but I've certainly read worse.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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