World War Hulk
World War Hulk 2, Ghost Rider 13, Frontline 2
Buckle up as we head once again to a core World War Hulk title. Deep breath, let's go . . .
The two panels above present two courses of action for the 'Hulk Problem'. The first is exile, the second is execution. Any other hero, these would not be options. But not Dr. Strange. He can do both. The two panels above also show why he won't. This is a very important detail for World War Hulk because Strange can defeat the Hulk. It is his wisdom that prevents him from doing so.
Strange embarks on a third course of action.
The search for someone who can properly confront the Hulk. Properly being a redemptive, not a punitive approach.
In the meantime, Tony Stark has fallen in his Hulkbuster Armor. The frontline of battle moves from him to these guys.
For long-time Marvel readers these Avengers are very formidable. They need to be because they'll be facing these.
I thought the Brood Warbound was called 'Brood', no, he's (she?) called 'No Name' - mild improvement.
She-Hulk is here, she stops the initial action to do this.
Is Bruce even in there? I mean, he's in there but is he aware enough to hear? Unsurprisingly, She-Hulk talks like a lawyer.
I think Jen is missing the part where the law as she knows it applies to the U.S. or at most, the World. Sakaar doesn't have the same legal concepts, if any. Jen gets a very Sakaar-ish response from "Bruce".
The She-Hulk goes down.
And here we go!
Now it feels like World War Hulk. You know what? Iron Man should have fought with his team. Stark and his ego.
As Luke Cage is literally blasted out of the battle, Spider-Woman says something interesting.
So each of the Warbound is as strong as the original Hulk? I don't buy it. Jessica must just be under a lot of stress because she's in the middle of this chaos.
The Hulkbuster was Tony's big plan. Here is Reed's big plan.
Looks dangerous. Let's see how this goes.
Ok, so this next panel is a bit subtle.
The Hulk and the Warbound are nearing the Fantastic Four and their allies. Implicit in this panel is that all the Avengers have been defeated. Sobering.
Oh look! The fight that I've been asking for.
Oh, front and center! The Human Torch and his nova blast. Wow!
It's easy to discount the happy-go-lucky Johnny Storm but that nova blast!
Bad news: Korg-Thing fight not going to happen. Good news: We're in for a classic.
How many times for this pairing? I haven't been counting but enough for Hulk-Thing fights to be a Marvel tradition. Ben can't win but at least he's able to land this haymaker.
And then again!
The Thing goes down as expected but before the Hulk can land a killing blow Reed and Sue run interference. Of course the Invisible Woman would want to talk sense but the Hulk has a compelling argument.
The Hulk savages Reed; evidently testing the elastic power of Mr. Fantastic to it's limits.
I've never seen Richard's so bloodied. Part of me pities Reed, the other part remembers Civil War.
The Hulk's meeting with Rick Jones summarized in this panel.
It all seems to be calming down at last until Doctor Strange makes a stupid move and messes with the Hulk's mind.
Strange is doing this remotely from his Sanctum and he's giving us information about this particular move of his.
Oh Doc, you can't attack somebody and, at the same time, hope he opens himself up to you. You messed up.
Hulk gets thrown to another part of town and is suddenly tussling with Hercules?
Wasn't Herc supposed to be on the Hulk's side?
Before we can get this craziness answered, another classic move happens: Thunderbolt Ross comes in with the military.
Yeah, good luck with that one General.
The war is well and truly underway. Let's go check out a Ghost Rider comic.
With Johnny Blaze in control of the Ghost Rider persona he tries talking to the Hulk. All this happens before the Hulk's fight with the Avengers.
The Hulk likes it so much he applauds.
Incidentally, contrast this with Doc Samson's earlier display of the same thunderclap technique. Samson only managed to upend two civilians and a parked car, this, this is several order of magnitudes more powerful.
The Ghost Rider is a Marvel powerhouse. In spite of his mystical nature the Spirit of Vengeance is a very physical being. Here he collapses an entire skyscraper over the Hulk.
No go. The Hulk manages to get ahold of Ghost Rider and he throws flamehead away like a used match. Ghost Rider lassos him with a chain like so.
The plan is simple and at the same time it is a piece of buffoonery: Drag the Hulk out of New York using his mystical bike.
Notice the little 'he he' dialogue balloon coming out of the hole? That's the Hulk. And it's because he did this.
I now vote that Johnny Blaze relinquish control of the Ghost Rider persona to the smarter being he's sharing it with. If the train fiasco doesn't do it this should.
What you see above is the impact between a flaming Ghost Rider and an enraged Hulk.
Let's take a break to hear an expert assessment of the Ghost Rider's powers.
Now some further information.
Okay, so what we have is Johnny Blaze, the control, the safety valve, is out, the uber-powerful Ghost Rider is in. So what happens next?
Preceded by the biggest display of hellfire I've ever seen in a comic the Spirit of Vengeance comes riding in.
Then goes riding out.
What is happening?!
The next two panels show two things.
First, the impressive visual of the Ghost Rider riding through a tank.
Second, the narrative box featuring the voice of Stephen Strange. The complete commentary goes: "The Ghost Rider only avenges the innocent, which we, all of us, are not.
The Illuminati did trick the Hulk into exile. Like elites everywhere they justified the wrong act by pointing to the greater good. But a wrong act is a wrong act. if there was any doubt before, the judgment of the Spirit of Vengeance should lay all doubts to rest. Reed's reaction is the most heartbreaking.
Whew! Let's go visit Ben and Sally, maybe we can get a cup of coffee from the Front Line offices.
No go. We join the pair while they're riding around the city. Check out Ben's comment.
So that would mean Sally Floyd and Ben Urich belong to the crazy group.
Sometime later Sally is on observation duty at a rooftop and sees something flying her way.
It's Luke Cage
Now we can place the time, Luke Cage got thrown out of the Avengers-Warbound fight.
Next, Sally is witness to Daredevil rescuing a little girl.
That Daredevil red just jumps out of the page.
Ben is a witness to the Fantastic Four-Warbound fight.
Hey, a fellow Thing fan.
Here's the effect of the FF defeat on the ground.
With the fall of the first family of heroes, fittingly, New York blacks out.
Poor Danny, all of New York is on "holiday" but he has to work. But, of course, he's a cop and there is a crisis. Unfortunately, Danny's work involves a diplomatic touch.
Smiling on the outside and complaining on the inside is a hard skill to master that can lead to a stroke and a shorter lifespan. Unfortunately, most of us do it, everytime we get up in the morning to do our 9-to-5. By the way, we are now beginning a second story included in the Front Line comicbook.
This is funny.
Here's Danny and his partner.
The mystery they must solve is the death of ARCH-E-5912. From hence to be known as Archie.
I hate that this happened because Archie was a cool robot design that I would have very much liked to see in battle. I'm baffled that this is happening because this is war and war has casualties and do they really need to play detective with Archie instead of simply declaring him as a fatality of a war that the Warbound started?
Here's the poor robot now
So Danny agreed to an alien concept called 'judicial servitude' and he's finally learned what this is about.
Do you recall a day at work when something happens and your blood pressure suddenly became way too high? Danny is having that moment. The pressure is absolutely on. On the plus side Danny: dead men don't have problems. It's a bad joke but it's also true.