Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: John Romita Jr.
I have enjoyed reading Hulk stories over the last few years some brilliant some dreadful but during that time I've been a huge fan on the amazing work Greg Pak's has produced on the character. With that I thought it would be only fitting to review the two stories Pak created that will not only go down as some of the best work he's produced but also two of the best Hulk stories ever told. I am talking about Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, so since I've already reviewed Planet Hulk here is my review on World War Hulk.
This story sees Hulk along with his Warbound (Miek, Korg, Hiroim, Elloe and No-name of the Brood) are heading to Earth to get revenge on Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Black Bolt for sending him into space but mainly for destroying Sakaar the planet he came to call home, Caiera his wife and the child she was carrying.
This was a brilliant story and a fitting way to follow Planet Hulk which was a great story. Pak has done an amazing job continuing Hulk's journey from Planet Hulk whilst making this story stand out on it's own. Whereas Planet Hulk was a story to see the transformation of a misunderstood monster into a peaceful King, World War Hulk shows how Hulk can transform back into the monster fuelled by anger, and hell-bent on getting revenge. I also like how Pak uses Hulk's anger toward Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Black Bolt to drive the story whilst making sure Hulk understands the difference between justice and revenge.
I was in two minds about the art throughout this story as I try to like John Romita Jr's art because on the right series like Kick-Ass his art is amazing. I do however think that his style of art doesn't suit a lot of characters and especially comics with multiple different type of characters. I have also thought that his art on Hulk usually isn't brilliant but this time I actually enjoyed his art on Hulk. With his Gladiator armour on him JRJR managed to make him look more the size he should whereas usually I feel he makes Hulk look to normal and small. I also thought his art during the big fight sequences was good and very detailed.
The thing I loved the most about this story was that we have Hulk's Warbound which was introduced in Planet Hulk coming to Earth where along with Hulk himself they will collide with not just previous Hulk characters but the entire Marvel Universe. I was however happy to see that besides Hulk's Warbound and his targets that prior Hulk related characters like Bruce's cousin She-Hulk and his long time friend Rick Jones play a big part. I liked that both She-Hulk and Rick tried to remind Hulk of his time on Earth before becoming Warbound and that they have been his friends much longer. I also loved the expression on She-Hulk's face when she realised that Hulk is angrier than he's ever been before and how that didn't bode will for Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Doctor Strange or Black Bolt as well as Manhattan.
The addition of Thunderbolt Ross later on in the story was also nice to see as you can't have the entire world trying to defeat Hulk without Ross having a shot. Whilst reading the sequences before and during Ross' attempt to subdue the Hulk it isn't hard to think of some of the great battles they have had in the past or the amount of times Ross has previously tried taking down the Hulk also. I also liked how Ross admitted that the Hulk could be a hero but that deep down he was a monster and due to the brilliant mind that Banner possessed they would always either make up an excuse or divert the blame from Banner. I also loved how Ross also brought up things things that Hulk's done that has affected his life, including blaming Hulk for the death of his daughter Betty Ross.
I have never been a Sentry fan, so due to that and the fact Planet Hulk is the oldest modern Hulk story I've read I don't know much about Sentry's connection to the Hulk or Bruce Banner. I did however think that he was a great addition to this story and with the big hitters like Captain America and Thor being out of the Marvel Universe during this event they needed someone that could either match or defeat the Hulk and Sentry who has the power of a million exploding suns more than fits the bill. I also like how their are similarities between Hulk and the Sentry as underneath they are both relatively harmless people underneath when they are Bruce Banner and Robert Reynolds, and then change into Goliath's that they find hard to control.
This was a truly brilliant story and a fitting follow up to Planet Hulk. I thoroughly enjoyed this story myself and would recommend this story to anyone whether a previous Hulk fan or not, whether having read Planet Hulk or not (I would however recommend reading Planet Hulk as it itself is a brilliant story and the two together are a better experience than individually) this is a brilliant book and a must read for any comic book fan.