Overview

World War Hulk #1

Review

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World War Hulk #1

Credits

  • Words: Greg Pak
  • Art: John Romita, Jr.
  • Inks: Klaus Janson
  • Colors: Christina Strain
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 13, 2007

After spending a year off-planet in one of the greatest Hulk stories ever written, Ol’ Green Skin has once again returned to Earth. Look out, Illuminati.

World War Hulk is here and I am excited. The inaugural issue of what will surely bring about a few more changes to Earth-616 begins with a simple and clear recap of events leading up to the Hulk’s return to Earth (on the off chance that anybody out there in comic book reader land hasn’t been paying attention). Then there is a battle between Hulk and Black Bolt, the results of which might surprise you. After Hulk gives the people of Earth twenty-four hours to serve up the other three responsible for his current situation—Dr. Strange, Iron Man, and Mr. Fantastic—readers then get to see how everyone else reacts to Hulk’s return. Some are excited, some are happy, some despair, and some are down right scared. The scared ones are the smart ones. Culminating in a huge battle between Iron Man and Hulk while Hulk remembers his beloved Caiera whose death he blames on the four who sent him to the planet Sakaar, World War Hulk #1 does its job exceptionally well. It briefly tells what led up to this story, introduces the major players, and the lets the action unfold.

When considering what he has already done and what he intends to do, Greg Pak could very well be responsible for the best Hulk story ever. With an intriguing ensemble of heroes doing villainous things and villains acting on the side of the angels, the shades of gray couldn’t be clearer. As writer Daniel Way sent the Hulk into outer space, via the Illuminati and their duplicitous ways, I had no idea Greg Pak would turn him into an interstellar Conan the Barbarian. Once I realized that was what was happening, I had no inkling the story would be as phenomenal as it was. Can it be topped now? Yes and no. One has to look at World War Hulk as not a separate story from "Planet Hulk," but a culmination of events—the final arc in what has been Hulk’s wild ride for the past couple of years. So yes, the story can only get better with Pak at the helm, taking the green goliath in directions no one saw coming and making the stories intriguing and complex. And no, it can’t be better because it isn’t a new story; it is a continuation of "Planet Hulk." Pak’s story isn’t over yet, you just turned the page to a new chapter. Then again, would I disparage a writer who has recently become a fellow Frontiersman?

This story was meant to be drawn by someone good. It was meant to be drawn by someone who can tell a story with images that are both dark and crisp at the same time, images that are gritty but nonetheless charged with energy. This story was meant to be drawn by John Romita, Jr. It is a large tale that will eventually encompass the whole of Earth-616’s heroes. Romita’s ability to draw splash pages that quite literally jump out at the reader has always been astounding, but now it is more so. His brutal facial expressions and destructive scenes capture the feel of this epic of pain, revenge, and fear. Additionally, Romita, Jr. is also one of the few who can capture the Hulk’s serious emotional problems as well as massive size and strength in one panel. In short, he is the man to draw World War Hulk.

World War Hulk will not capture the media attention that Civil War did. Seeing the Hulk as an angry gladiator from another planet would just confuse the squares out there who know nothing of comics, making this book distinctly ours, comic book fans’. This is the type of "big event" comic the Big Two haven’t done enough of lately—something for us. With Pak writing, Romita, Jr. drawing, and the world shaking at the Hulk’s steps, this story is the big one to watch this summer.

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