Posted - October 21, 2016
World War Hulk
Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk, was on the Iron Man side of the Civil War. Until she found out that the Illuminati forcibly exiled the Hulk. Bruce Banner is Jen's cousin. As you can see in the top frame, She-Hulk did not take kindly to what they did. Tony with his contingencies wasn't unprepared. He used technology to revert She-Hulk back to Jen and left her to fend for herself. I guess it's safe to assume that Bruce's condition is unique and can't be handled by a simple dart formula. The Thing has the same situation. Reed Richards can figure out anything but he can't figure out Ben. If you're a major Marvel monster you're going to be incurable.
What really pisses me off is that Tony Stark dropped off Jennifer someplace barefoot.
What? S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn't spare a pair of shoes for a former operative? Being prepared for eventualities is one thing, Tony, but being inconsiderate and petty. This is why I am on Captain America's side of the Civil War.
It's Amadeus Cho to the rescue.
The mood just lightens when he comes in. I know that this guy is now a Hulk, but before that, Amadeus Cho was the quintessential hero for the computer age. His power? Information. Somehow Cho knows everything that he needs to know, and that's very powerful.
The appearance of Amadeus brings us to a nice substory I would like to call 'The War of the Smart Guys' (catchy). Reed is smart enough to track Cho and Cho is smart enough to know he is being tracked as can be seen below.
Reed refers to Cho as the seventh smartest person on the planet. Now, I'm curious. Where's the list? Who's number one?
Here's a great panel of Doc Samson flying on one component of the first version of the Fantasticar.
I'm not saying this because it's a Kirby design - which it is - but the minimalist design looks really good. It's from the same playbook as the Google search page and the iPhone before the Google search page and the iPhone.
Look at this.
I've never seen Reed so sinister. It is clear they're after Cho. I'm with the kid which really makes for an interesting read. I 'm against Hulk in this war, but with Cho, who is for Hulk. What? Not take sides? What's the fun in that?
This panel is worth showing because of the snarling coyote puppy.
I love that the the pup started snarling when Jen threatened to turn Cho over to the cops because he was a fugitive.
More flashbacks to the days of the short-lived Champions. They had an encounter with the Hulk too, of which this panel is noteworthy.
That's right. The hulk trashing a DeLorean. At least it initially looked like he was trashing it. He was actually saving it's occupant, his cousin, Jennifer.
Oh, Doc Samson demonstrates his Gamma heritage.
Enough to lift people off their feet; and that car off to the right, it's flying too (bad day for the owner). Impressive. Until I find out that this little power demonstration kills the coyote pup. I feel for Doc Samson here as much as anyone. He didn't want this. One time, I was trying to help feed a baby bird who had, apparently fallen out of a tree. I meant well, but I fed it a chunk of fruit that got stuck in its throat and the baby bird died. I felt terrible. Doc Samson must be feeling the same.
As Cho and the Doc talk it out it is revealed that Doc Samson not only helped in exiling the Hulk he also had a hand in depowering She-Hulk. All this makes Jen really, really angry. You know what happens when a gamma-based metahuman get's angry? All together now: Hulk Smash! But what about Stark's depowering nanobot dope you ask? Amadeus Cho took care of that by adding a bit of something to Jen's drink. I told you - a hero for the information age.
And she's back!
Normally this would be a sexy shot.
But the look on Jen's face is so unhinged that all I want to do is run away. Doc Samson doesn't get the opportunity. She-Hulk literally punches him out of this comicbook.
As a further testament to Cho's strategic approach (as opposed to the tactical approach of most heroes, strangely villains do 'strategic' more often), he informs Jen that the change is temporary - unless she sides with Team Hulk. Which of course she will after what the Doctor just did. At least I think so.
Okay, first of all Jen is out because she's 'law and order' and all that and Cho is a rebel. Next, Cho's coyote was just playing dead. And. And. Look at Amadeus' new allies.
Them old Champion hands: Hercules and Angel. Powerset assessment. Hercules is class 100, top of the line strength level. The Angel is reconnaissance, mobility, and if you harm him the X-Men will kick your ass.
The initial set pieces of the story are in place. The flashbacks have been flashed. Next up, let's dive into it World War Hulk 1.
In the World War Hulk Prologue the Hulk was shown fighting alien pirates on top of his stone starship. Here we get somewhat of the same scene but this time the artist is John Romita Jr.. The aliens depicted are stony ones not the insectoid ones in the Prologue though.
The Hulk's intended first target is Black Bolt. That would be New Attilan located in the dark side of the moon. It's high noon on the moon, get it?
So Black Bolt's voice is pure destruction. Here, with the Hulk dangerously close (too close if you ask me, Black Bolt should never let the Hulk touch him), he tries out a wispher.
The typeface is very small. Black Bolt said 'enough'. The result is impressive.
But not enough.
I think it's chilling that after this panel the focus of the story changes direction. It's up to us to provide the next panel in our minds and the one that I got in my head has me closing my eyes because it is not a good result for Black Bolt.
So here's the Hulk announcing his arrival to the planet.
So what place in the planet does he announce it from? New York City, of course. Some people call it the center of the world. It's more than that here. It's the center of the Marvel Universe.
I've always loved those panels were everyone is named. I even love them even if I'm familiar with everyone in the panel. In this case though, the Warbound are new to me so this is really helpful.
And now we know what happened to Black Bolt.
I'm starting to really not like the Hulk. This is your planet too you sonofa-!
The enormity of the return of the Hulk can be seen in this discussion between Doctor Strange and Iron Man.
Noteworthy is reference to the correlation between the Hulk's anger and the Hulk's strength. It has long since been suggested thet the Hulk's upper limit is, well, non-existent. The concept has made World War Hulk possible. Given enough anger, the Hulk can take on the world.
With the gauntlet cast and first blood to the Hulk, the brains start looking for a solution and this is the solution they're looking into.
Sentry has the powerset alright but we all know that this guy is not right in the head courtesy of Mastermind putting it (his psyche) in some sort of mental blender. It's like you have this gigantic, frothing-at-the-mouth razorback boar coming at you and you're holding a gun with enough power to stop him. You're finger is on the trigger but this gun is very unreliable. It could kill the boar, it could kick in your hand and miss, it could misfire, or it could explode in your face. That gun, that's the Sentry.
The Hulk has threatened to do something very bad to New York City so it's being evacuated. We have a gorgeous panel of that evacuation with the Spider in the foreground.
Oh look, a who's-the-most-powerful list.
So Spider-Man's list starts out with Sentry, then Black Bolt. Now it's Sentry, Hulk, Black Bolt. My list starts with Hulk or Thor, then the Molecule Man, then Thanos, then Doctor Strange. Your list will be different I know. This makes for hours and hours of arguments among comicbook fans. Be sure to read as many comics as you can, documentary evidence counts for a lot.
And now, the Hulkbuster armor.
Look closely. There are scratches, nicks and scars on this armor. Was it used before? And, if it was, why didn't Tony freshen it up, you know, re-smelted it or something.
Tony is arranging for a one-on-one with the Hulk and he assigns the strongest heroes to keep civilians safe. I agree with his choicest of the strongest heroes. Here they are.
Everybody is not only strong but tough too. Who's number one in this group in terms of sheer firepower? Ms. Marvel.
Here we go
Tony doesn't have a chance with that patch up job armor of his. He should have gone range weaponry. What kind of moron tries to arm wrestle with the Hulk?
Tony scores a hit with Hulkbuster
Okay so Tony manages to stagger the Hulk and while the Hulk is down they have a window. They, meaning the government, take advantage of this window ahd hit the Hulk with missiles. Surely not nuclear but we're talking direct hits with missiles. My boy Benjamin J. Grimm won't be able to survive something like that.
The fight has been epic and continues to be so. We have the Hulkbuster armor busted.
More than hat we have Avengers Tower utterly destroyed.
I'm not exactly teary-eyed at this, it was always Avengers Mansion for me.
I've never considered the Hulk scary. impressive yes. Unstoppable, of course. Savage, yup. But scary? As this issue ends he becomes just that - the Hulk begins to scare me.