Or – “These Guys Sure Do Like To Introduce Themselves A Lot…”


I have to hand it to Green Scar and his band of Merry Somethings-That-Resemble-Men… They’ve got the dramatic entrances down pat, and their tough-guy dialogue is top-notch. I’m a little confused by the timelines of the Marvel Universe right now, but thankfully, all we really need to know is that the beatdown of Iron Man came last issue, and Hercules and his amazing friends have not yet joined Hulk in his quest for vengeance. The Avengers are preparing to engage, but the Warbound have superior strength, vast determination, and no mercy whatsoever…

Previously on World War Hulk: Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Namor, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic and Professor X came together with the best of intentions: to share information WWH1.jpgand insights from all corners of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, they quickly found themselves acting as a Star Chamber, secretly manipulating events and digging holes so deep even their superhuman powers couldn’t get them out. Their alliance ended with the decision to remove Bruce Banner as a threat to their world, with Namor and Xavier leaving, and the Illuminati crumbled after sending him into space,. A fatal miscalculation caused The Hulk to lose his new home and family, and he vowed to bring the fight back home, angrier than he’s ever been. His demands are simple: the four remaining Illuminati’s head on sticks, or people die. His battle with Black Bolt was frighteningly short, and his clash with Iron Man resulted in pure devastation. Acting under a general amnesty, the super-strong members of both New and Mighty Avengers have entered New York City to try and stop Hulk, while the not-so-invulnerable ones (including Doctor Strange, who regrets the decisions his little coterie made) are forced to watch from a distance…


“…and I know not where they’ll lead.” The Doctor says that he’s searching for a hero, the only one who can defeat AND redeem Greenskin. Some miles away, in the wreckage of Stark Towers, The Hulk drags a crushed Iron Man armor behind him as he advances on the rest of the makeshift Avengers. Luke Cage suggests a full-on attack, and the assembled heroes start to move, when the other Warbound leap down from the ship with a mighty KRAK-A-DOOOOOM! (Well, actually, it’s rendered “WhakOOOM!” but since it has three ‘o’s, it counts.) They introduce themselves (“Hiroim the Shamed. Korg the Kronan. Elloe Kaifi. Miek the Unhived. No-Name of the Brood.” Somewhere, Ben Grimm just choked down the urge to say, “And I’m the Easter Bunny!”) and Hiroim informs the heroes that they’re doomed so long as they stand with the Illuminati. “Murderers. Child killers. World breakers. But we’ll give you one chance, humans. Speak your true names and be bound to us forever.” Ares quickly moves in for an attack, but She-Hulk wants to try and parley with her cousin…


Jennifer’s attempt to find her beloved relative fails, as Bruce is awash in a sea of Hulk’s rage, and even She-Hulk is surprised when he takes the first shot. Though once nearly as powerful as The Hulk himself, Jennifer is no match for the enraged Green Scar, and he drives her neck through the pavement with brutal force. She-Hulk’s eyes are filled with horror, as the other attack, and Hulk dispatches Ares with a single blow! The other Avengers wade in, but the Warbound cover their leader’s flank, and an all-out battle ensues. Doc Samson is woefully outmatched by The Hulk, and Hiroim actually blasts Luke Cage halfway across the island before somebody realizes that the frontal assault was a real bad idea…


“…maybe Reed Richards can.” At the Baxter Building (or is it still Four Freedoms Plaza? I don’t recall…) the Fantastic Six work feverishly on some sort of weapon. Reed tells The Black Panther that he and Storm can go, reminding him that this isn’t their fight. Panther replies (pretty much correctly) “You MADE it our fight. You and your friends made it the WORLD’S fight.” Reed weakly tries to send them away again, but Sue shuts him down with a quickness, telling him to shut his rubbery face and get back to work. Suddenly, the Hulk leaps in, but Storm blows him away with a hurricane-force wind, and once again The Warbound attack. The Human Torch and Storm combine forces for a lightning and plasma attack that would probably have downed an entire European country, but Hulk slaps Johnny down and rises from the crater. The Thing sees his pal in peril, and leaps into action, as Hiroim warns him that he’s already lost. “People been telling me that all my life, fella. But Mrs. Grimm’s blue-eyed boy never walks away when it’s CLOBBERIN’ TIME!” He punches the Hulk full-force, bloodying the monster’s nose, but Hulk… just… STANDS… there. Ben wades in to spar once again with his oldest rival, repeatedly smashing his rocky fists into Hulk’s body (and Romita’s art in this section is amazing, giving the indication of REAL boxing moves and earth-shattering force.)


Ben stumbles from the massive shots to the head, and Hulk is raring back for the killing blow when a bright light shines from above, and a man flies into view, glowing like a thousand suns. “Hello, Hulk,” says a familiar voice… (“Took ya long enough,” mutters Ben through a mouthful of whatever passes for his blood.) Hulk is suddenly still, the battle-hardened face of Green Scar replaced by the familiar childlike Hulk everyone remembers, looking up at the one person he always trusted implicitly.


Hulk smashes the metallic apparatus, and “Sentry” is revealed to be Reed Richards himself, wearing whatever device he was building before. Hulk tries to kill him, but an invisible force shield stays his hand. Sue insists that he stop, and the Hulk actually stops to explain himself to her. Maybe he respects her more than the others? “If I set a BOMB, killed your husband, killed your children, you whole WORLD… WOULD YOU EVER STOP?” Sue is taken aback by his pain and hatred, and her resolves slips for a moment, as Hulk hammers again at the forcefield, causing Sue to collapse from the sheer feedback. Reed is able to respond, wrapping him up, but Hulk batters him into unconsciousness, as Sue calls the REAL Sentry for help. “We need you now. The REAL you. The hero.” Sentry sits, catatonic in his empty house, making no response. The Hulk supporters cheer as the Warbound carry their defeated enemies out into the streets. A roving reporter asks the assembled loonies why they’re here, and only one of them has a good answer. “I had to meet a friend,” explains Rick Jones as he steps out into the path of the Hulk…


“A lot’s happened since you’ve been away,” Rick tells him. “Tony and Reed… They kind of screwed things up. I wish you’d been here before. You may go nuts, but nine times out of ten you seem to his whoever needs hitting. And those guys sure needed it… But not like this, Hulk. Not like this.” Hulk’s face softens for the first time, and he places a hand gently on Rick’s shoulder. And at that precise moment, Doctor Strange #&@s it up worse than ever, having found what he was looking for: the hero inside the monster. His magics entwine around Hulk’s head, in the process making Rick look like a spy (not a good idea in the midst of the Warbound) but Hulk leaps away, trying to break the hold. Crashing into the river, Hulk manages to throw off Strange’s eldritch tendrils, and the Doctor falls as his spell is broken.


At this moment, Hulk engages Hercules (presumably in the battle we’ve already seen in Hulk #107 a few weeks ago) as Gabe Jones and SHIELD’s troops watch from afar. Jones reports to an unseen superior that Hulk is fighting the last few superhumans, and is told to stand down. When he points out that civilians are still in the firing line, Jones is once again told to get out. “Forget it,” the voice tells him…


Spoilerites, meet General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, the first commander of the Hulkbuster Battalion, and one of the few men to ever take the monster down ONCE, much less as many times as he has. Judging from the dozens of armed helicopters, Ross has come armed for bear. They’re all going to die, of course, but at least he’s making a good showing coming in.

This issue was… odd. I loved the art, in every single panel, and the story wasn’t exactly disappointing, it just sort of… happened. Perhaps it’s the pervasiveness of World War Hulk stories right now, but this issue doesn’t feel as ground-breaking as #1 did. I’ve read the Ghost Rider crossover, the first issue of Frontline, (won’t be reading any of the other ones, though, as it didn’t do much of anything for me) Hulk #107, & Heroes for Hire, and the sliding timelines are bugging me. Initially, I thought that the Hercules fight took place BEFORE this issue… but at least I’m not recapping Coundown, right? The battle with Reed took a lot of the fun out of Hulk’s rampage, as I didn’t want to see him get beaten as badly as I did Stark. Reed’s attempt to trick Hulk with his emotions makes Mr. Fantastic look a bit heartless, and I’m afraid for Rick Jones’ life in the hands of the Warbound. Still, the plot is strong (if battle-heavy) and seeing Hulk responding to the few remaining Earthers that he cares about works to make his plight even more heartbreaking. My love for the art still rates this 3.5 out of 5 stars, not as much fun as last issue, but still impressive in a Summer Blockbuster kind of way…



About Author

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.


  1. Does anyone else feel that most of the destruction is going to be done by Ross’ crew rather than the Warbound?

  2. Is the entire WWH story taking place in one night? I mean his revenge is already nearly complete. Just gotta take out the Doc and he’s all set right?

  3. I just hope that Marvel doesn’t feel a need to kill another Marvel super hero as a result of the Hulk’s rampage…whether he’s A, B, or C List…

    But I am still enjoying this. I completely share your assessment that the 2nd issue doesn’t touch the first, but I think it was because we were all like 10 years old again in great anticipation (been a long time since a comic did that for me). The timelines are definitely bugging me…but you know I could right a dissertation on how convoluted Marvel continuity is. I keep telling you they need a “Civil Crisis of the Infinite Secret Wars” for this. While I’m on a rant, do you remember Marvel Saga that helped you understand the order of events in the new Marvel Universe at the time?

  4. p.s.

    I got the new school yard insult for the upcoming school year: “That’s why your mama’s a Skrull!” You heard it here first:)

  5. Speaking as someone who didn’t read “Planet Hulk” (and that puts me in the same boat as three-fourths of the people buying this event), I really haven’t seen anything in these first two issues that would make me sympathize with the Hulk at all; he’s so far been portrayed as an almost mono-syllabic, totally unreasonable, ultraviolent thug. The Avengers and Four come across as the heroes, since they’re the ones facing actual overwhelming odds, while the Hulk really comes across as having a cakewalk (there’s never any suggestion he’s in real trouble). Indeed, this whole crossover is framed like a classic heroes vs. monster story, with the exception that the monster is the Hulk, the main character.

  6. The only thing that’s diminishing my enjoyment for WWH is the confusion with the current MU timeline. I learned from Civil War so I’ll be staying with the main books: WWH, IH, & Front Line. I skip WWH: Xmen at the store to get this gist … because I just don’t care for any of the X books.

  7. Baal: Yeah, you just might be the only person on Earth. You have to see his body of work. He saved WWH #2 from just being average. Did you SEE the fight between the Hulk and Thing??

  8. I think this series is great, and the artwork carries real impact. Having read Planet Hulk, I’m enjoying how this is a logical extension of the things that happened there, up to and including Hulk’s commitment to his anger. Also, from Hulk’s intelligence and speech patterns, its awesome that Banner’s personality is totally in synch for the first time in like 20 years. BRUCE is pissed at what the Illuminati did, not just his Hulk persona. And that means trouble.

  9. Matthew, could you send me a version of that header pic without the ‘Review’ logo? Believe it or not, I’m requesting on another board to have it in a comedic ‘Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps War’ Banner.

  10. Baal: No, you’re not the only one. At least here, for the first time I can recall, there are at least some brief sequences that don’t look like they were shot straight from Romita’s breakdowns. Someone finally found the cajones to ink the guy, just like a regular penciller would be inked. The Strange/Iron Fist exchange is actually almost up to pro-level work.

    But then there’s that truly ugly Rick Jones sequence. And all those I-just-discovered-Photoshop blur FX. And his anorexic General Ross. And… just, no.

  11. Matthew Peterson on

    Art is in the eye of the beholder. Even Romita, Jr. has quirks to his style that can put people off…

  12. Can we assume that’s sarcastic? ‘Cause part of that acclaimed work is the recent Eternals title that was a waste of paper and better off forgotten…

  13. Eh? What? Eternals has been critically acclaimed as an epic masterpiece that brought back one of Jack Kirby’s forgotten creations to the MU! Neil Gaiman himself said it was an honour to work with JR jr. – to quote, ‘I’m amazed that I can just write down anything I want, and John will draw it’ – which is a lot more than most artists…

  14. Okay, not sarcasm. Aside from my problems with Eternals ‘story’, the art looked to me chunky, scratchy, partially finished, and a tad bit on the ugly side. Typical JRJR. I get that he’s a nice guy and you can see that he’s a fast artist (the things he skips doing would speed him up) but he’s not my taste. Cake frosting on cucumbers, I guess.

  15. Matthew Peterson on

    Can we assume that’s sarcastic? ‘Cause part of that acclaimed work is the recent Eternals title that was a waste of paper and better off forgotten…

    Okay, there’s a fine line between saying you don’t like it and saying it’s trash. The recent Eternals miniseries has it’s fans (myself included) and Romita’s art gave it a wonderfully alien and unreal tone. You don’t have to like Romita, but there’s enough snark on the Intarwebs already. :)

  16. Romita’s art is highly stylized and I can appreciate that it doesn’t appeal to everyone. I have to admit he wouldn’t have been my first choice for this particular book either. That said, he’s undisputedly one of the best artists in the industry. Also consider the history Romita brings to the table. His father practically invented the modern day look of the Hulk that we all know and love and his style is very reminiscent of classic Kirby. Very appropriate for such an epic storyline. But what everyone should realize and appreciate about the man is his work ethic. He always delivers excellent quality and quantity. He not only draws well, he draws like the wind. How many times have you started a great story like this only to be disappointed by constant delays? So far, I think Romita has outdone himself. And hit for hit, some of the best fight scenes I’ve seen in a long while.

  17. He’s also first chocie for the Hulk. I remember once, a story where Spidey believed Mj to be dead, and took out is rage on Hulk. When the Jolly Green Giant took a moment to reason with Webhead and ask him WHY he was being beaten up, Spidey told him. The reply – ‘Spider’s Wife Dead? Hulk’s Wife Dead too. Hulk…sorry.’ – was so eloquently and wonderfully captured, in a way that no other Mackie-era illustrator would have been capable of.

    That’s why I support him being on this title.

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