Hulk Smash

hulk smash

I like comics. My need to apologize for this proclivity is probably unhealthy. Here’s a post on the topic that hopefully isn’t too riddled with apologist recriminations.

Marvel’s Civil War event put them in the news with Capt America’s death and Spider-Man’s public revelation of his secret identity. Civil War was based around a super hero registration program to get super heroes to work for the government, probably a metaphor for something about Bush’s presidency but that subtext became predictably confused. There were some definite flaws (besides the half-hearted metaphorical leanings), mostly Iron Man being a dick and frustration from the ultimate victory of the “bad” heroes over the “good” heroes. Now, World War Hulk is here, and hopefully it comes as a response to these frustrations.

red skull cap

I’ll give a quick rundown on the salient plot points leading up to WWH, so I don’t lose anyone who actually got this far. Skip a paragraph if you don’t care about this. Between House of M (another event that ended with the clich├ęd all powerful entity putting everything back to normal and erasing almost everyone’s memory) and Civil War, the Hulk was trapped in a spaceship and sent off to the depths of space by a secret group of the premier Marvel heroes, the Illuminati, because the Hulk caused too much mayhem. (and probably because he would have been a bit awkward in Civil War and Greg Pak, the current Hulk writer, wanted to make something different. Maybe, he didn’t like Civil War or something). They packed the Hulk’s spaceship/jail with a goodbye video message, so he would know who to kill if he got back home, I guess. This group broke up, largely due to Iron Man being a dick, and the members mostly hate each other now. While Civil War raged elsewhere, the Hulk’s ship crashed on an alien gladiator planet, where he killed some bad aliens, became king of the world and got married to his pregnant alien girlfriend. This was called Planet Hulk. Almost done with the backstory. At the end of Planet Hulk, the ship blew up killing Hulk’s friends and his pregnant wife (not really but whatever), and now the Hulk is rocketing toward earth stronger and madder than ever with some friends.

This setup is rather fun for a Hulk-centric crossover and has raised my hopes for Marvel. Hulk’s enemies are in disarray. The Civil War after-fighting continues, and no moment of cosmic justice has returned things to normal. WWH should change the tone of the Marvel universe and push the atmosphere closer to normal. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like there are too many minor characters pushing in to muck things up. Hulk has some supporters, who hopefully won’t take up too much story. Basically, it’s this super smart kid, Mastermind Excello (version two – no longer a golden age Commie spy), the always popular She-Hulk who had been working for SHIELD but found out that they helped the Illuminati send her cousin into space, and the Champions, who I don’t care to learn about. On the other side, Iron Man is head of SHIELD or possibly a naked metal woman, Dr. Strange is still rebelling against the government in the new Avengers with Spider-man, Luke Cage, etc., Black Bolt is leading the quiet life on the Moon, Mr. Fantastic is spying on everyone for Iron Man, Namor is under the sea, and Xavier is walking around on his own two legs.

hulk strong

A recent preview showed the beginning of the first fight against Black Bolt and it looks pretty good. The Hulk is big and green and impervious to everything. The story will hopefully continue as a series of fights. That’s all I want. I don’t care about the Hulk’s friends. Those guys’ days are numbered. I don’t care about hypothetical odds making. The Hulk’s next series will be called “The Strongest There Is” and that’s how Marvel should always think of the Hulk. All of the cosmic powers and other nonsense should stay largely out of Hulk stories. The Hulk has a power that is old and established enough that no one should question it much. The Hulk isn’t one of these new heroes that require constant rationalization of their powers as if the story is written with a Marvel encyclopedia article in mind. Anyway, I’ll conclude by saying that I hope the writers find a decent way to end this period of mental stability on the part of the Hulk. The Hulk needs instability.

Postscript. In lighter news, the new Action Comics has Superman fighting a character fueled by the power of a church’s faith.

god vs. superman
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Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment