World War Hulk World War Hulk 3, X-Men 2, Frontline 3
As the story begins the JRJR rendition of the choppers really catch my eye.
General Ross has been granted the power of the entire U.S. military to stop the Hulk. Here is the Hulk bearing the brunt of a military attack.
Those are not normal bullets. They're made of adamantium - the hardest metal in the Marvel Universe.
At this point, Doctor Strange comes into the picture. But before we take him up. let's take a peek at his Greenwhich Village sanctum.
I hate this period. It started around the time before Civil War. The once gorgeous brownstone is now mystically disguised as a condemned property. Sad.
Anyway, the Doctor. He was trying to get into the Hulk's mind without success but the military attack somehow drops the Hulk's mental defenses allowing the Doctor access.
Quite brilliant really. Doctor Strange has taken the Hulk to a place where Hulk cannot smash.
Hmmm, look at this.
It was around this time that Doctor Strange began to give Marvel writers a headache I believe. You see, Doctor Strange's powerset is such that in any book he's in, he can automatically become a deus ex machina, a 'god inside the machine'. Able to resolve any plot in anyway possible. A natural cop out for any writer and therefore, a story killer. Just look at the panel above showing the Sorcerer Supreme in unabashedly powerful form, dwarfing even the Hulk.
I thought I would never see him in these pages, but because of Strange, Banner returns, if only for a moment.
At core, the need for revenge is occasioned by the loss of someone who can be considered the love of Hulk's life.
Strange, one of the Illuminati, starts to explain - the first such attempt from an Illuminati.
In effect, guilty of one crime but not the other.
One moment they're talking, then the next moment this.
How? How is the Hulk able to do this? In any case it has an effect on Stephen Strange's physical body.
Not to worry though, Wong can heal him.
Back in the physical world, the Warbound surround the Hulk protectively.
What happens next is a classic Marvel trope: the Hulk going against the military, culminating with this one-on-one with General Ross.
Note that Ross shoots the Hulk's eye at point blank range. Ouch.
Back in the Oval Office, a discussion is going on.
Hmmm, interesting trivia - a nuclear attack will only make the Hulk stronger.
Korg has a great point.
Here's the Hulk's response.
My knee jerk reaction to this is negative. I want the Hulk hero persona back. But. Come to think of it, isn't the Hulk all about anger? The unleashed anger of Bruce Banner stemming from his past, specially from the time when he was abused as a kid. Anger is merciless, and cruel, and unreasonable and a villain. Just like the Hulk in the panel above. World War Hulk shows us a world being devastated by anger.
Meanwhile, the Warbound find themselves in front of Doctor Strange's Sanctum and no amount of mystical illusion is able to prevent them from seeing it as what it is. They begin there assault. The house is not undefended. Besides Strange and Wong, Iron Fist, Ronin, and Echo are also there and the three confront the attackers.
Hiroim, after an arrogant little speech, gets to feel the might of the Iron Fist.
I've always wondered about what Elloe was like in a fight. In a word: spectacular.
In the end, all three defenders - even Iron Fist - fall, after which Hulk's forces make their way into the Sanctum.
Looks like the Doctor - just like Tony Stark - has some kind of doomsday plan. And, in the same way that Tony's plan scared Dum Dum Dugan, the Doctor is also frightened of his own plan.
And here's the plan
Doctor Strange summons Zom, an ancient foe of incredible power. This is an 'unleash the Kraken' moment.
The Hulk's forces have been piling victory over victory. I can fault but not wonder at the increasing arrogance of the Warbound but here they encounter a bump on the road. The harbinger is the defeat of Hiroim.
Folowed by the arrival of a Doctor Strange/Zom hybrid
And with this fearsome cliffhanger this issue of World War Hulk ends.
Bonehead move or smart move?
This is Professor X's answer to Hulk's question whether he would have voted to send the Hulk away. The Professor was not present at the time when the decision was made. First of all, it's unfair for the Hulk to level the question in the first place. Charles Xavier wasn't there, the Hulk should have left well enough alone.
Before Xavier's answer in the panel above, the White Queen gave this advice.
So bonehead move or smart? My answer: bonehead. The Professor should just have said no and let the Hulk leave. Even though the answer he gave was a technical 'yes'. If it was just him and the X-Men weren't around he could have just been honest and damn the consequences. I know for a fact that you get older honesty really starts counting for a lot and things like death or discomfort aren't so weighty as they once were. But not the death or discomfort of others. By saying what he just said Charles just endangered his X-Men.
The Hulk wants to drag the Professor to be chained with Stark and the others. Of course, the X-Men will never allow such a thing.
As usual, ten bucks on the Beast.
I've been waiting for this: Cyclops cuts loose with the 'evil eye'.
I'm kidding myself, of course. If the Hulk can withstand Black Bolt's voice he can withstand Cyclop's optic blast.
Uh, Professor, now would be a good time to fry the Hulk's brain.
Uh-oh, the cavalry has arrived.
So what do you think the chances of this trio are?
The White Queen and Colossus are diamond hard and made of metal respectively. Beast has a healing factor but he's the most vulnerable. Colossus was not as strong as the original Hulk. Hank is superhumanly strong but he's fighting well above his weight class here. Perhaps the most formidable at this moment is Emma with her mind powers.
Oh, look who scores against the Hulk.
But just for a moment.
For the third time in World War Hulk, the thunderclap.
With the X-Men down, hopefully only temporarily, the unfortunately named Cuckoos alerts every mutant and X-Men ally in Earth.
One thing I can say for the Beast: at least he went down fighting.
My heart is with Colossus but he simply does not have the raw power.
Oh my God! Hulk broke Peter's arms.
I'm really starting to hate the green guy.
Once again the cavalry!
Behead this bastard Wolverine!
Wolverine pretty much gets pummeled to inactivity. I hate Hulk!
Whoa! The Juggernaut. This might work.
Costume Mr. Marko where's your costume? You need it. Specially the armored helmet. Oh no.
You know what I think it is? Cyttorak. He denied Juggernaut his full power. You know what I hate about demons? They act like, you know, demons.
Ok, we might have something here. It's Hulk against everybody else in the X-Men family (except students and trainees).
But that is a story for another issue.
That was crazy wall-to=wall action. Let's go and see if we can slow things down with the Front Line reporters.
Sally is in a place quieter than the X-Mansion. She's in Harlem in the middle of a military buildup.
Ben is in a tent city just outside New York.
You want a crisis? Here's a crisis.
One bar on phone no charging stations. I know we can all relate.
I don't care if it's the end of the world, Jonah and Robbie will be in the Bugle.
Both of them have a point about the unplugging comment. Sometimes the technology can get invasive can't it?
Looks like Jonah was not the one who funded, and continues to fund, Front Line. Whoa! Bottom Line: Jameson wants to take down Ben and Sally - yeah, like that's news. Moving on.
As you can see, the war just might do Jameson's job for him.
One can't blame the Army for not trying.
I love that when the pressure builds our intrepid reporters get both scared and funny.
True to its purpose Front Line really does take us down to ground level. This issue really makes a good case for the devotion to duty of the U.S. Armed Forces.
More crazy quips.
The issue ends on a sad note. That old woman in the beginning, who was adamant she wasn't moving? A Blackhawk just went down on her place.