HULK: PLANET HULK (Marvel, Seventh Printing, 2013)
Collects Incredible Hulk #92-105, Giant-Size Hulk #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, and Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook (cover dates January, 2006- June, 2007)
Writer: Greg Pak
Artists: Penciling by Carlos Pagulayan, Micahel Avon Oeming, Alex Nino, Marshall Rogers, Aaron Lopresti, Gary Frank, and Takeshi Miyazawa with Inking by Jeffrey Huet, Mike Allred, Alex Niino, Tom Palmer, Danny Miki, Sandu Florea, and John Sibal
Colorists: Chris Sotomayor, Laura Martin, Lovern Kindzierski, and Christina Strain
Everyone has raved about this event for years, but this was my first time reading it. There are so many comic books published every week that it is impossible to read them all. My 9 year old son checked this out of the library and wanted to read it with me. He has been on quite a kick lately and I have spent more time reading comic books with him than I have spent on reading my own backlog. It is interesting to read something that I did not pick out.
Everyone knows the gist of this, but for the Johnny-come-latelys like myself, humor me. Mister Fantastic, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man trick the Hulk into a spaceship under the guise of him saving the world, only to trap him in it to send him out of our solar system to a world where he can harm no one, not even himself. Of course the Hulk loses it, starts smashing the ship, and things go horribly wrong.
The ship goes off course and lands on a world called Sakaar, where the Hulk is temporarily weakened by some effect of the planet. This is a hard world under tyrannical rule of the Red King. He forces the Hulk to fight in his gladiator arena. It is here that the Hulk meets what will become the team that help him overthrow the king: Korg, one of the Stone Men Of Saturn who fought Thor way back in his first appearance; Miek, a bug-like creature who provides the light-hearted counterweight to the often oppressive tone of the story; Brood, one of the few surviving Brood; Captain Lavin Skee, one of the “pink skins” of the dominant race of the planet; Elloe, also one of the “pink skins” and former noble turned rebel; and Hiroim the Shadow Warrior. The Silver Surfer and Death's Head 3.0 are also featured here.
The Hulk is revered by the locals, who believe him to be either the savior or the worldbreaker. His green blood spawns plant life which the planet doesn't have and they think that he is the chosen one. They end up rallying behind him and help him overthrow the Red King. Things are going okay and then warp drive of the ship that brought the Hulk here explodes, killing almost everyone and everything on the planet that he loved. The Hulk was finally at peace and again the puny humans ruined it for him. He boards one of the ships belonging to the once-enslaved Spikes and heads back to Earth for revenge.
This was a good read with decent artwork, but it honestly went on way too long for my tastes. If you like epic battles that go on and on then this is for you. I am a casual Hulk fan and a little goes a long way for me. The Mastermind Excello (Amadeus Cho) story from Amazing Fantasy #15 was a nice coda to the event.
My son's take: It was pretty good. I liked all of it. I disliked the swearing (which I edited out as I read it to him). It took us a while to plow through this but it was a good time. My local library does not have World War Hulk in stock, so we won't be reading that one unless someone wants to loan us their copy.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Good weight coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback. There are times where I lay awake at night and worry about the glue in my trade paperbacks disintegrating and them falling apart. Checking out a book like this from the library, which is handled by countless hands far less careful than mine, has given me peace of mind. My books are going to be just fine.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover. It is interesting seeing how these hold up after being subjected to countless humans at the library.