World War Hulk #5


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World War Hulk #5


  • Words: Greg Pak
  • Art: John Romita, Jr.
  • Inks: Klaus Johnson
  • Colors: Christina Strain
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Nov 14, 2007

Greg Pak and the higher ups at Marvel might have been more accurate if they called their latest summer mega event, Minor Scrimmage Hulk, as the world breaking war that many of us imagined hasn’t exactly panned out that way.

As readers of the series have undoubtedly gathered, World War Hulk is contained to New York City and occurs within a relatively small space of time. Much of the kinetic energy of the excellent first issue has fallen to the wayside as the Green Scar battled foe after foe, not really having much difficulty with any of them with the exception of a demon possessed Dr. Strange. However, things take a turn for the better here in the climactic issue when Hulk comes face to face with the Golden Guardian of Good, the Sentry.

As soon as the event was announced, fans bickered over who Bruce Banner would ultimately battle in the final issue. Early speculation leaned towards Thor, but by the close of the first chapter it became very apparent that Robert Reynolds laid waiting in the wings. This dynamic definitely works against the pacing of the series. This final confrontation was made so obvious that it’s lost almost all steam in the five months since the King of Sakaar arrived on Earth and took vengeance on the Illuminati.

But if you’ve stuck with the Hulk’s rampage through the Big Apple this long, you’ll be pleasantly awarded with a slugfest that recalls the best days of the 90s super brawls. For the first time the Sentry holds nothing back and his true power is brilliantly rendered by John Romita, Jr. His fight scenes have never looked better. Sometimes he skimps on the background details during the quieter scenes, but all that’s forgiven with one glance at the Sentry unleashing the power of a million exploding suns.

One criticism lobbied at WWH thus far is that it didn’t appear to have much lasting impact on the Marvel U at large. Chalk this up to the multiple books occurring post-WWH ever since the middle of the summer. And to an extent this is true. You shouldn’t go into issue five expecting any Civil War/Initiative style changes to the universe. However, the resolution actually manages to cause a couple of subtle changes and one longtime Marvel mainstay appears to have died in an especially climactic scene. An unexpected double cross ratchets up the tension in the final act and Greg Pak does a great job of leading up to a barrage of new titles centered on the aftermath of WWH without shortchanging this epic’s ending.

World War Hulk has been hyped as a summer blockbuster that would cleanse the palate between the more engulfing, sprawling narratives of last year’s Civil War and the upcoming Secret Invasion. And in that sense, Greg Pak’s revenge yarn has proven completely successful. Did it deserve to be Marvel’s big summer event instead of being contained in the pages of Incredible Hulk? That’s debatable. But what most people will agree on is that WWH told an entertaining, albeit simplistic, story that will be fondly remembered alongside the best of the Hulk’s most canonized adventures.


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