Mixing it up


World War Hulk #2

I know a lot of people who would deride the “World War Hulk” storyline as nothing more than wall-to-wall face-punching, “HULK SMASH!” and brutality. If you’re not into nonstop violence in your comics, the entire concept of the Hulk — a geek who turns into an unstoppable musclebound monster — is going to run you off.

Of course, find me a fanboy who only reads pure action comics. They haven’t made those since the dark days of the mid-’90s. We geeks like some thinking with our face-punching nowadays.

This issue sees the Avengers and the Fantastic Four trying to stop Hulk and his crew, a bunch of gladiatorial aliens who call themselves the Warbound (with names like Hiroim the Shamed, Mied the Unhived, and No-Name of the Brood). Hulk fights She-Hulk, Hulk fights the Thing, Hulk beats Mr. Fantastic into a Fantasti-puddle. There are lots of “WHAKOOOM!” and “THOOOM!” and “THRAKOOOM!” sound effects, though the Hulk-Thing battle is interestingly silent.

We also get some good stuff with She-Hulk trying to talk Hulk down, Dr. Strange working on a spell that he hopes will solve things before Hulk beats him into Strange-puddle, and Hulk’s oldest friend Rick Jones almost talks Hulk down. I’ll be surprised if the last issue doesn’t end with a five-page-long discussion about philosophy (probably accompanied by the occasional “WHAKOOOOM!”).

Verdict: Thumbs up. A little of the old ultra-violence, and a little of the old ultra-talking. John Romita’s art is wonderful, and the writing and dialogue are first-rate.

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