Monday, November 19, 2007

World War Hulk (or) How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gamma Bomb

OK, so World War Hulk #5, then.

I confess I'm a bit baffled by some of the more prominent online reviewers who seem to think that A) this issue sucked and B) the miniseries overall wasn't that good. Let's start with World War Hulk #5.

Here's what happens:

1) The Sentry shows up and get his "uberpowerful asshole" on. He and Hulk proceed to beat the bejeezus out of each other for about 20 pages.

2) One of Hulk's Alien War Buddies cops to the fact that he blew up the ship on Planet Whatever, in order to blahbity blah blah blah doesn't matter. Hulk, who lost Mrs. Hulk in the explosion, gets understandably pee-yossed at this and starts smashing the Alien War Buddies. Oh, and Rick Jones gets ventilated with a spear.

3) Tony Stark uses his Stupid New Powers™ and calls down some sort of satellite beam thingamajig to del-Hulkify the Hulk, game over, that's a wrap, etc. Banner gets sent back to Omega Base. Elsewhere on Planet Whatever, some Hulk-y looking thing rises from what I can only assume is Green Hulk Emotion Goo (ye gods, did that sound dirty) and based on the solicitation on the last page, I'm assuming this is Skaar, Son O' Hulk.

(No, I didn't read a single tie-in, spin-off, or issue of Planet Hulk. Does it show?)

The Romita/Janson art was as good as it's ever been, and with the exception of a couple pages of Sentry/Hulk smashery, relatively easy to follow.

(Side note: two great sound effects in this ish as well, the first being the "JRJRKJCS" effect for the satellite beam --- love those little easter eggs to the artists there --- and the second was "VJJJWOMMMWWWB" when the Sentry 'splodifies the Hulk. I'd like to know if that was some sort of easter egg as well.)

So if you actually, honest-to-god believed in your heart of hearts when this miniseries began that:

A) The Hulk wouldn't get stopped at the end
B) Any major characters would be killed
C) It wouldn't use some deus ex machina at the end to wrap things up

...then you probably haven't been reading any sort of Marvel comic for the last 20 years or so.

Because when it comes to all-out throwdown Marvel superhero fights, those things never happen.

And frankly, we all bought into it at the beginning, and many of us got exactly what we wanted: 5 issues of the Hulk going medieval on the Marvel Universe. People complaining about things like "lack of consequence" or "emotionally flat" or "nonsensical" probably shouldn't be reading something called World War Freakin' Hulk.

So yeah: predictable, by-the-numbers issue that nonetheless delivered on the original promise and gave us 5 wonderful Pak/Romita/Janson issues and didn't try to do too much.

What exactly is the problem here, again?

Comic Book Goodness Overall: 4/5. Still don't believe me? Compare WWH to House of M, Civil War, Infinite Crisis, or any other Major Event Miniseries of the last 5 years and tell me which one you're most likely to reread on a rainy day. Yeah, that's what I thought.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Crackerbob said...

I'm particularly fond of the "GRRRRRGPAAAK!!!" sound effect.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Teebore said...

Well said! What a great smashy fun series.

Still, I wanted more comeuppance for Tony Stark, just so he could go back to not being a dick (or at least, go back to being the pre-Civil War dick he was) but I'm starting to accept that won't happen for quite some time.

Still, none of that takes away from WWH's smashy goodness.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Phallic Baldwin said...

Well, out of House of M, Civil War, and World War Hulk, the one I'd be most likely to ever reread is still Civil War, mainly because it's the only one of the three that I even bothered to read in the first place.

Then again, I haven't remotely cared about the Hulk in years. When it comes to characters to base an entire crossover around, the only character I could possibly be more be more apathetic towards than an intelligent version of the Hulk is Spider-Woman.

2:34 PM  
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