Or – “The Question Is Simple: Man or Monster?”


Problem is, the answer is difficult and a lot more complicated than it seems. For all my Iron Man bashing, (Hi, Zeke!) even I understand the impetus behind the Illuminati decision to remove the problem of the Hulk from their midst. The Marvel party line for years has been that the Hulk never killed anybody, but that seems to have been left aside for a more “realistic” approach. For his part, The Hulk had found love and acceptance, and blames the Illuminati for the death of his family. With both sides having already passed the point of no return, conflict is inevitable, and with any conflict, there are those who would choose sides…

In1.jpgPreviously, on The Incredible Hulk: Bruce Banner’s friends developed a desperate plan to send him into space, theoretically protecting the Earth. They hoped he’d find a world where he could live in peace, though the odds were more likely that he’d find death and endless grief. The ship they gave him was damaged and exploded, ending “Planet Hulk” in fire and death. Now, the Hulk and the allies he gained fighting in the arena have returned to Earth, ready to wreak vengeance on the heroes who were willing to cut corners to rid themselves of him. Young Amadeus Cho, (aka Mastermind Excello, a great name) once helped by the Hulk, has vowed to assemble a force to assist him. Since Reed Richards himself referred to young Amadeus as the 7th smartest person alive, he has the resources to do it, but the underlying question is: is the Hulk really who Amadeus thinks he is? Our festivities kick off aboard the Hulk’s ship immediately before the events of World War Hulk #1, as the Warbound discuss their targets. “These are the four who must DIE. Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Iron Man. Black Bolt, Leader of the Inhumans. And Dr. Strange, master of the mystic arts.” Hulk points out that there will be other defenders of Earth…


“…because they’re so small and stupid, they’re scared. If you stand with me, they’ll call you monsters. They’ll hunt you down to the ends of the universe. And they’ll kill anything and anyone you’ve ever loved.” This line takes my breath away… The classic Hulk that I read as a kid was always described as having the mind of a five-year-old, and it was true. Here we see the flipside of that, as people forget that children can be more vicious and hateful than adults, with their years of conditioning and civilization, can understand. The Warbound swear their loyalties, and Korg of the stone men asks if there might not be allies on the planet as well. Hulk replies, “If they’re HUMAN, Korg, they’re Banner’s friends…”


“I’ve also mastered the intricacies of the flushing toilet.” Heh. I’m loving Greg Pak’s dialogue throughout this issue. Hercules is a bit skeptical of the kid, asking how they know he’s a friend of the Hulk, to which the boy replies, “I’ve got all the right enemies.” On cue, a helicarrier appears (how many of these things ARE there now?) and Gabe Jones announces that Herc and Angel are harboring a dangerous fugitive. Amadeus tells Herc that they’re trying to kill him because he knows the truth about Hulk being fired into space, but Angel doesn’t believe it. Suddenly, onboard the carrier, we hear a warning from the computer. “Weapons system override.” As the missiles fire and the heroes respond, Gabe Jones has only one thing to say…


Gary Frank’s art is usually something I like, but I’m suddenly realizing that Gabe looks nearly exactly like Blur from Squadron Supreme. Some time later, we have the line of the issue, as Angel and Hercules are in an internet cafe, trying to get some sort of intel on their situation. “Thou shouldst learn the keystroke commands, much more efficient than all that pointing and clicking…” Ha! That’s brilliant. Next he’ll be trying to sell him on Firefox. What they find is unpleasant, to say the least…


“…I invested wisely.” Amadeus’ first purchase? Fifty million dollars worth of amphibious rocket ship… and 100 million dollars of New Mexico desert. With military downsizing, the former Gamma Base has been put up for auction, and Cho has bought the land to serve as a Hulk wildlife preserve. “All he’s ever wanted is to be left alone…” Angel is angry that he’s been robbed, roped into this madness, and is now a wanted fugitive. He grabs Amadeus by the collar and asks what gives the boy the right to play chess with people’s lives? “Dude, what gives YOU the right? You’re a trust fund baby! It’s not like you earned a dime of–” Angel snorts, “And you’re a SOCIALIST, too?” Heh. This is entertaining. The ship is suddenly rocked by a tidal wave, something Amadeus didn’t factor in. Hercules announces that they’ve arrived… in Atlantis.


The Hulk has arrived, as the events here catch up to the first pages of WWH. The announcement is the same, ending with Hulk holding up the devastated form of Black Bolt as warning to the humans. Angle is horrified, Hercules angered, and Namor resolute in his arrogance. “I told them they were dead. But now, it’s far worse. He’s ready to kill the whole planet.” Amadeus, however, still believes in his friend. “The Hulk’s never killed anyone in cold–” Namor grabs him by the collar (“What IS it with you guys and the collar grabbing?” Heh.) and tells him he’s a fool. “He found a queen. Who LOVED him. Loved the Hulk. And they KILLED her.” A sudden powerful stomp by Hercules startles even the scion of Atlantis…


Namora steps forward, knocking her cousin out of the way. He asks her what’s gotten into her, and Namora’s face twists in that awesome Gary Frank rage, as we remember that she, too, is a true Sub-Mariner. “I was frozen in ice for FIFTY YEARS. Forgotten. Where were you? Where were any of my friends?” Namor will not stand against his own blood, but angrily destroys the ship before taking his leave, in the hopes of protecting Atlantis. (“Man. He really IS a #&@$.”) Amadeus is able to affect repairs quickly, and they set off for New York. Arriving at the Hudson river just in time for the mass exodus from the island, Angel is stunned to find small boat full of people going the wrong way. Some claims that the Hulk is coming to heal them, or ascend them to the stars, but one young man has a more personal goal…


As Iron Man and Hulk collide in the skies of New York, Amadeus breaks through to the alien ship (translating a code in an ALIEN LANGUAGE in no time, proving he really is as smart as Richards thinks.) The ship responds by disabling their ship, and the heroes quickly step into action, saving lives and performing rescues as the supermen crash together in the sky. Even Amadeus helps, pointing out to Hercules where to smash in order to cause a water main to burst and put out a fire. After long minutes, the battle finally slows (and we’re apparently some time AFTER the end of WWH #1) as they confront the Hulk in the rubble…


Amadeus is sure that he’s safe, but his “friend” quickly attacks with killing force. Hercules’ years of battle allow him to respond in time, knocking the boy out of the way, and taking the brunt of Hulk’s rage. The Prince of Power takes a second blow to the head, knocking off his headdress, before Angel and Namora get involved. They both are swept away like insects, but they allow Herc one shot, DOWNING the Green Goliath. Amazingly, Hulk rises almost immediately, and Hercules holds up his hands. “No more, Hulk!”


He waves to the crowd of people watching, expecting their alien overlord, their strange green messiah… “They’re ALL here to help… Will you let us?” The Hulk seems shocked that ANYONE on Earth would support him, and the cliffhanger leaves us wondering what he’ll say.

I have to tell you… this book impressed the hell out of me. Greg Pak crafts an awesome tale, giving us a new side of Hercules (not the brain-damaged lout he’s usually portrayed as) a realistic look at the genius of Amadeus Cho, (who, by the way, repowered She-Hulk LAST issue, for those who, like me, wondered how she got back her powers) and what my honed instincts indicate may be the first appearance of the new Goliath… It’s a fast-paced and entertaining tale, and all these characters are given a good reason to get involved (a strong concern of mine after seeing Angel on the side of the Hulk in the Marvel Previews.) Not only that, they’ve made me like Hulk while simultaneously being afraid of him. I fear for what Amadeus will do if he finds out that Hulk is just as two-faced as the rest of the adults… Either way, with some very pretty art, a clever story, and nice pacing, Incredible Hulk #107 rates 4 out of 5 stars, very impressive for a book I haven’t read in years.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Previous post

Is This the End of Heroes for Hire?

Next post

Fun Panel of the Week: Wilson Fisk Edition


  1. Brent F.
    June 24, 2007 at 1:45 am — Reply

    With allies like that they are certainly making it difficult to take Iron Man’s side in this battle. However, I still feel that the quick KO of Blackbolt ruined a lot of the suspense for me.

  2. June 24, 2007 at 1:59 am — Reply

    I like how we have Bill Foster’s nephew out there.

  3. June 24, 2007 at 7:44 am — Reply

    Pak has redefined (and improved) Hercules in a single issue. Very cool.

  4. Alex
    June 24, 2007 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Is it me or is the Marvel Universe is slowly becoming “Ultimatized”? Oh, and here’s hopin Hulk accepts the offer.

  5. Brother129
    June 24, 2007 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    Bill Foster has other family who may pick up the mantle if you read any of the Black Panter Civil War issues…

  6. Mark I.
    June 25, 2007 at 11:08 am — Reply

    So…the Skrull within the Illuminati influenced the group to shoot the Hulk into space on behalf of the United Marvel Aliens (U.M.A., O.M.A.C….O.M.A.C., U.M.A.) with the perfect plan in mind to turn the most dangerous native of Earth against them and finally get revenge. Out of the 200 or so alien races introduced in the Marvel Universe since the 60’s, roughly 50 or so are involved, led by the Skrulls, who plan to swerve everyone in the end with their stolen Earth genetics and re-establish the Skrulls as Galactic Overlords.

    But once Tony Stark realized this he decided to save the Earth by organizing who he could into a unified army of Super-Heroes. BUT, to avoid being detected and quickly wiped out, he had to disguise it as a turn against super-humanity for his own purposes. Since he couldn’t risk detection, no one could know except two men: Nick Fury, who had noticed the signs years before; and Captain America, whom Iron Man trusted more than any man on Earth.

    Reed Richards is the mole. When he was replaced is not known, and in fact raises the issue of Franklin and Valeria Richards’ parentage. However, the problem with the Skrull sleeper agents is that they’ve been heavily disguised via a combination of mind-control, hypnosis, and magic. There are those (Sharon Carter & Jessica Jones, perhaps?) who are so deep undercover that they don’t realize it despite their subtle actions that aid the invasion. When their cover is released, many of these sleeper agents, having learned to love their “human” lives, will rebel and join Earth’s heroes.

    The Hulk is about to start questioning his mission. Fearing they will lose their biggest asset, the invaders will do something overly blatant to sway Hulk back to their side (a clumsy kill of Amadeus Cho, perhaps) that instead causes the Hulk to do a complete 180 turn. With their cover blown, the alien invasion begins in earnest as a hundred familiar old aliens turn on the one planet that has regularly stomp their teeth out for the last 50 years and probably ends with every member of the Skrull race being Nullified out of existence (the return of Reed Richards, perhaps) including several surprise “sleeper” heros who will now be retconned to the junk pile.

    Sound close or way off?

  7. Brent F.
    June 25, 2007 at 7:12 pm — Reply

    Sounds like Battlestar Galactica.

  8. Mark I.
    June 25, 2007 at 8:01 pm — Reply

    Yeah, I mentioned the Battlestar Galactica thing in another post, too…I wonder what the Marvel excuse will be if it’s correct? “This storyline was in place YEARS ago…”

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section