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Series: Incredible Hulk
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Marvel; First Printing edition (May 2009)
World War Hulk is the comic book equivalent of a summer action movie: long on action and fun, but short on plot. If that appeals to you, then grab your popcorn, sit back, and enjoy! Pretty much the same thing happens in all 5 issues: a succession of Marvel's heroes all line up to stop the Hulk, who's madder than he's ever been -- and one by one, they all fail. Up until the last issue, which seemed a little cliched (see spoiler alert below).
The Hulk has always been one of my favorite characters, and it was nice to see him in a big "event" comic which affects other Marvel characters. Then again, it doesn't really affect other characters much, because, by the end, lots of people have been beat up, and lots of property damage has occurred, but nothing else really changes. Nobody dies, nobody's life is changed, and the status quo is pretty much the same at the end as the beginning.
The fact that the Hulk is prepared to wipe out the entire eastern seaboard makes it a little hard to root for him. And the fact that no heroes have any success at stopping him makes the storyline seem a little repetitive -- like it doesn't really matter what anybody tries next, because the result is only going to be the same as with the last hero who tried. That is, until the last issue, when ...[SPOILER ALERT]... the Sentry fights Hulk to a standstill, and the Hulk finally calms down. Sentry is referred to all throughout the book as one of the Hulk's closest friends, and the one character who could always calm Hulk down, which does build up anticipation for the final battle, but to me it also raised another question: Who in the world is the Sentry?Read more ›
After the tragic events of the spectacular Planet Hulk, Marvel's green goliath returns to Earth with revenge on his mind in World War Hulk. Setting his sights on the ones that tricked him and shot him into space: Tony "Iron Man" Stark, Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards, Doctor Strange, and the Black Bolt, the Hulk takes on all those that stand in his way (including the New Avengers, the rest of the Fantastic Four, and more) as he and his Warbound turn New York City (and Madison Square Garden) into a total warzone. While the overall story of World War Hulk is great fun, the story as a whole just feels short. While there are a number of tie-in's to the event (but thankfully not as many as there were with Civil War), the main World War Hulk story just feels like there is a lot missing, especially the involvement of Hercules, who you will find plays a pretty big role in other featured tie-in's. While it isn't the classic that Planet Hulk was, writer Greg Pak still continues to be the best Hulk writer since Peter David (and Bruce Jones to a lesser degree), and the artwork from the great John Romita Jr. and veteran inker Klaus Janson impresses, even in the cataclysmic final battle between the Hulk and the Sentry, which is the comic art equivalent of an exploding sun. All in all, World War Hulk may be too short, but it is an enjoyable Marvel event, and ends up being more satisfying than Civil War ever ended up being.
Although it was short (especially in comparison to the year-long "Planet Hulk" epic that preceded it), "World War Hulk" is a very satisfying, action-packed read. This is exactly the kind of story that long-time Hulk fans will love: one by one, Hulk wipes the floor with almost all the other Marvel heros. Been waiting to see the jolly green giant peel Iron Man's armor off like a grape? That's the first big fight. The Avengers, FF, Doctor Strange and others follow. Black Bolt is a mere footnote to the main action. Particularly satisfying is a bare-knuckles smackdown with the Thing that has some of the best action art I've ever seen in a comic: John Romita Jr.'s use of computer-enhanced effects, particularly blurring effects, is stunning, and gives these issues a kinetic texture that we used to have to dream about. I thought this was a completely satisfying action epic. Not sure what the end meant, but I'm ready for the next graphic novel, so I can find out! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
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This trade paperback collects Marvel's 2007 five issue "World War Hulk" mini-series. After a grueling stay on the alien planet Sakarr where he ascended from slave to king, Hulk returns to Earth with his allied Sakaar gladiators to punish the Illuminati of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange and Black Bolt for blasting him into space. Crazy with anger, Hulk orders the 24 hour evacuation of Manhattan while Earth's superheroes attempt to repel him. While sometimes interesting, Pak's plot too often falls into a series of simple battles and features too much of the dull Sentry. Big fans of the Hulk will like this but the $25 list price seems high.
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I have been a HULK fan for decades. Although I do not buy HULK comics at the comic store, I often buy HULK trade paperbacks and Graphic Novels with HULK in it.
Highly recommended are HULK and Thing: The Big Change. Planet Hulk. Various Peter David HULK runs. HULK: The End. HULK: Future Imperfect.
This is supposed to be a no-brainer recommendation,but I cannot recommend it for casual comic fans. I think HULK fans will tolerate this limited series, but it can easily be forgettable. First off, the art is not that great. I'm not a fan of John Romita Jr. and I acknowledge he's a living legend, but his drawing style is hit or miss. I'm opting for pass on his art here. The writing should be superb, as it is written by HULK savior Pak. but I cannot see his genius nor can I feel the intensity of HULK's smashing in this series.
World War HULK has a lot of Marvel Universe heroes, but the smashing is at times boring and all too generic. Heroes weren't born and villains weren't terrifying. Hulk smashed but so what? Where was the major characterization or the major significance that resulted or arose? This needed to be major and for 19.99, it didn't deliver.
I do not recommend this book for casual fans and for those who want to try out HULK, try the recommended books above. Don't bother with this one. Marvel comics puts out books much better than this and so spend your money elsewhere.