Incredible Hulk: World War Hulk

Writer(s): Greg Pak
Artist(s): John Romita Jr.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
ISBN: 978-0785125969
Price: $24.99
Page count: 224
Year Released: 2008
Status: in print
Original Source: World War Hulk 1-5
Other Collected Edition(s): hardcover (ISBN 978-0785126706)
Genres: adventure; fantasy; science fiction; superheroes
Recommended for Fans Of:
Possible Objectionable Material: violence
If You Like This Book, Try:
Also in This Series: preceded by Incredible Hulk: Prelude to Planet Hulk (ISBN: 978-0785119531)and Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk; concurrent with Incredible Hulk: World War Hulk – Incredible Herc

Plot Summary
Having at last found a world he could call his own in Planet Hulk, the Hulk is devastated when the nuclear core of the ship that brought him to Sakaar detonates and kills one million residents of that planet, including the Hulk's wife. Vowing revenge on the men who tricked him onto the ship in the first place, the Hulk returns to Earth with his Warbound comrades with the intention of killing Black Bolt, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and Reed Richards. Setting down in an evacuated New York City, the Hulk starts smashing everything in sight, including several of the superheroes who try to stand against him. Realizing that the Hulk is stronger than ever before, the so-called heroes of Earth attempt to recruit the Sentry (one of the most powerful beings in the universe--and the Hulk's friend) to their cause. But can anything stop the Hulk in his all-out rampage for vengeance?

My Own 2 Cents
After the thrilling Planet Hulk, with its fully realized characterizations, fascinating alien environment, and tightly plotted pacing, World War Hulk is a bit of a letdown (not to mention ill-titled, since most of the action takes place in the confines of New York City). At its best, World War Hulk is exactly what you might expect: a smashfest for the Hulk. He starts by pummeling Black Bolt on the Moon, then pummels Iron Man, the rest of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, General Ross and his soldiers, and Dr. Strange. Planet Hulk contained plenty of pummeling too, but in-between the pummeling was a great story. The story here, essentially, is that the Hulk wants revenge. Period. Greg Pak makes an attempt at providing a twist ending, but the twist doesn't make much sense based on what we know about the characters we met in Planet Hulk, and as such it seems tacked on as a way of bringing the story to a resolution. Speaking of the characters we met in Planet Hulk, the Hulk's Warbound have very little to do in this story except pummel superheroes right alongside the Hulk.

Even if you truly enjoyed Planet Hulk I still can't recommend World War Hulk. Granted, Planet Hulk ends on something of a cliffhanger, but you can guess what happens next (i.e., in this volume) so you don't really need to read it. For the uninitiated, all of the Marvel Universe references and superheroes running around in this volume will do nothing but cause frustration.