World War Hulk Iron Man 20, Heroes for Hire 12, Gamma Corps 2
World War Hulk escalates as the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier goes against Hulk's stone starship.
An excellent match-up.
An interesting conversation inside the Helicarrier.
Point 1: Stark made S.H.I.E.L.D. too dependent on him, not surprising really, Tony has many qualities, good ones, but he also has this huge ego. Point 2: The stone starship has no weapons! Now that's a surprise. It is claimed that Hulk is knocking the missiles out of the air. This is too much for me to believe. The Hulk does not have the ability to protect a wide field. He'll be able to block focus attacks but a lot of missiles in the air at the same time? No way.
Uh-oh. Hulk is inside the Helicarrier and he's "thunderclapping".
Hulk confronts officer-in-charge Dum Dum Dugan.
It's a genius name really. If things get messed up Dugan can just say "My name is Dum Dum, what do you expect?". That said, I'm not used to Hulk going Conan on us and packing a sword - it's overkill. Also, I love the expression on Dugan's face: "So you're the Hulk, bully you!". Anyway Hulk is looking for Fury who supposedly was part of the trick perpetrated on him by the Illuminati. Hmmm, it seems Nick Fury is innocent.
Hulk is about to walk away. Dum Dum is in a fix. He can't let the Hulk walk away but he doesn't have the power to make him stay, so Dugan mouths off. The Hulk gets pissed. Fortunately, Dum Dum decides to save his ship.
It was a tough call for Dugan. He had to save face but at the same time he had to avert the destruction of the Helicarrier and everybody on board. Tough call.
Too much action will kill you so let's sit down to look in on a meeting. Dum Dum Dugan has called in two agents who have the most experience with the Hulk to ask them what they recommend. Both agents have different opinions.
First, Clay Lindsay.
I think Lindsay is the one who has it right.
By the way, let's not be surprised that Tony Stark is not in an Iron Man comic - he took a beating in his Hulkbuster Armor. I'm pretty sure we'll see him later.
Dum Dum doesn't deserve his name. He's pretty smart
Dum Dum goes to Tony Stark's office and it looks like this.
It seems that Stark is a Japanophile - reminds me of Larry Ellison who regularly goes to Japan. So Stark has armor art on the wall and Dugan starts venting and talking to the art. I was like that when I was programming and I'd get stuck on a coding problem - I'd walk around talking to myself. Much to Dugan's surprise this happens.
You have to hand it to Tony. He's able to talk to Dugan through his armor but he's not exactly having a fine time.
So the Hulk ripped him out of the Hulkbuster and chained him like a dog. Stark says he's able to do this comm trick because of his Extremis abilities.
Did I say chained? It's worst.
Okay, so Tony reveals a contingency plan and it scares the crap out of Dugan.
Do you want something more creative than a nuclear strike? You got it.
The discussion in this panel is interesting and important but I really like the layout, details and angle of this panel.
That was a great Iron Man comic but a bit heavy. Maybe the Heroes for Hire will be a bit lighter. Let's see . . .
The last time we left the crew they were preparing to board the Hulk's starship. Clandestinely, of course.
Oh look, the alien hivelings can talk and their leader is the Warbound Miek.
Mixed in with the aliens are the Heroes for Hire.
The heroes are considered 'hivelings' because they smell like the aliens. Humbug explains what they're trying to do. Notice one of the hivelings coping a feel of the Black Cat. Mmmm Hmmm.
They smell like the aliens because Humbug slaughtered one of the hivelings and smeared the dead carcass over the entire team. Just to ramp up the grossness of the entire thing, Humbug does this.
Yup he's eating what remains of the slain insectoid. He explains that to waste the protein would be regarded as disrespectful in the insect world. I'm never looking at a bug the same way again. Look at Coleen covering the face of Moon Boy.
The hivelings report to their King.
Miek is not so easily fooled and he sounds the alert.
Hiroim is the first of the Warbound to attack. Shang-Chi manages to block him - barely.
Judge the toughness of Hiroim by the state of his foes: Tarantula and Shang-Chi.
Meanwhile, Korg takes on the girls.
This little discussion reveals that the Warbound and Hulk really did only come for the Illuminati.
As the issue ends, Humbugs insectoid identity seems to be taken over and he seems to be swearing allegiance to the Brood.
Even without the betrayal, Humbug is at the top of my list of the most disgusting comics characters ever.
Okay, second half of the book let's check in on Scorpion and Paladin where we left them squaring off in that warehouse.
Scorpion hits Paladin with a concussion grenade gun.
Fortunately Paladin is armored; he counters.
These two are just picking up stuff from this NYPD warehouse. Paladin hits the jackpot; the gun he picked up turns things into gold. Of course, Paladin tries to high-tail it with that gun but Scorpion can't allow that - it's a security risk. Scorpion manages to use another item, Whiplash's whip, to destroy the 'lotto jackpot gun'.
That is going to really piss off Paladin. He picks up another item, Gladiator's blade glove, and let's loose with it.
Scorpion scrambles for cover. Paladin picks up another item - this time from the Melter.
Some warehouse this. Scorpion finds the Stilt-Man's armor and uses it to retaliate.
Having fun yet? I know I am.
Paladin goes down and Scorpion receives orders to terminate him. Before the suspense really builds up, Paladin comes to - just in time.
And with that we once again leave this wild pair.
Let's check out the Gamma Corps who, the last time we saw them, were celebrating an imminent encounter with the Hulk.
Here's the roll call.
We come upon the team ganging up on the Hulk
Only it's not really the World War Hulk, look at the pants - this is the old Hulk. Actually this is an LMD or Life Model Decoy of the old Hulk. They defeat it handily. Looking at what the current Hulk is like we all know that this counts for nothing.
Looking at her from her human side, Mess looks quite good.
The offer is made.
Next Timothy Wilkerson a.k.a. Prodigy. Still in his mother's womb his parents had a Hulk encounter. It damaged Timothy and he was not a normal kid.
His parents made the choice for him.
Gideon Wilson a.k.a. Mister Gedion was a preacher. His son went to New Mexico the site of the latest Hulk rampage. His son died of AIDS, not the Hulk, but Gedion blames the Hulk nonetheless. He gets the offer.
Next, Elliot Franklin a.k.a. Griffin. Elliot was once a part of the Circus of Crime - he was a clown. He's also a habitual insulter who gets his ass kicked on a regular basis but he enjoys it in a demented sort of way. It's always easy to ask crazy people to go up against the Hulk.
The following panel shows Ryker. He's as crazy as the rest of the team; intentionally baiting the Hulk.