World War Hulk
Incredible Hulk 108, Marvel Spotlight, Incredible Hulk 109
We take up a previous subplot: The Hulk, in a fit of - what else - anger, has just beaten up Hercules. The green maniac manages to hang back just enough to realize that he's surrounded by supporters not detractors. Will he accept them?
Unfortunately, this issue doesn't get to answer that. This issue lollygags and wastes our time. Let's get to it . . .
As the comic begins we get a better look at the insectoid Miek.
Notice the he's lost one of his arms.
Then we get to look at Rick Jones.
What follows is a comparison of both: First friend of the Hulk on Earth for Rick. First friend on Sakaar for Miek. Troubled childhood for both. The writer must think it clever but it comes across as forced and corny. Here's a representative page.
Rick remembers the past
And so does Miek
If this comic doesn't stop with the flashback dichotomy soon I'm going to tear it up.
Rick Jones finds himself suddenly accosted by what seems like robots.
Those are actually S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Obviously wearing special armor since they're in such close proximity to the Hulk. Unfortunately Miek attacks them. The armor works though. The agents are down but not dead.
It all comes down to Rick Jones vs. Miek.
Point of disagreement: Rick wants to stop the Hulk; Miek wants the Hulk to continue his mission of vengeance.
Another insectoid is introduced at this point: Mung.
Mung, like Miek, belongs to a doomed race. A race that has lost all its females. Miek retains his composure but Mung is unhinged. Here he is slaughtering his own insectoid race.
The two insect giants eventually come to blows but the confrontation is not fatal.
The issue ends with a non-event with Rick and Miek going there own separate ways.
A nice enough panel but the issue sucks.
Let's open Marvel Spotlight. It's text heavy. Full of interviews and other articles. I'll share the most interesting tidbits and the best visuals.
World War Hulk was two years in the making.
Here's a great shot of Hulk on his stone starship.
Hulk spent time as a gladiator in Sakaar. Here he is with his fellow Warbound as gladiators.
Hulk's wife (Caiera, the Oldstrong) in Sakaar.
It seems that Sakaar is not merely a name and some hasty ideas. Greg Pak and the rest of the team really did traditional world building to create Sakaar - creating lots of background on the different aspects of the planet.
Miek vs Hulk very nice rendition.
The reason Amadeus Cho is such a Hulk fan is because he has history with the Hulk. The Hulk supported Amadeus Cho after Amadeus' family were murdered and Cho was a fugitive. Kindness begets kindness.
I was always waiting for ARCH-E-5912 to go out and fight but, up until his "murder", he never did. No wonder. He's a communications droid - just like the more famous golden one we all know.
Greg Pak, writer of World War Hulk started out as a film maker and got into Marvel's radar because of a script he did.
Here is the Hulk with Caiera.
The Hulk can certainly take a lot of punishment.
Artist John Romita Jr. (JRJR) is reknowned for his work ethic. Now I know that two books a month is a lot for an artist.
JRJR has a very high regard for Klaus Janson as inker. I have several Daredevil comics with Janson as penciller. Plus, I also know that Janson inks Miller's work too sometimes.
In describing how a writer and artist work together, JRJR gives me an appreciation of how intricate the creation of a comicbook can get. It's a give and take between two creative types.
Here's an example of early JRJR Hulk art. This was inked by the late (and legendary) Dick Giordano.
Gorgeous pencil-only art from JRJR. Go Thing!
Prior to being given World War Hulk, JRJR wanted to work on Spider-Man. That was also his father's, John Romita's, book.
For a "template" JRJR looks to Jack Kirby's Hulk - human proportions + bigger size. Personally, I like Herb Trimpe's Hulk - gorilla proportions and big as a mountain.
When JRJR draws fight scenes it helps for him to get up and throw punches in front of a mirror.
"Find ways to pull silhouttes in", is a technique to help artist meet their deadlines. JRJR says that he got this from two legendary artists: His father, John Romita and John Buscema - these two were major heavy-hitters for Marvel during their day.
Here is the Hulk's original gray coloring which he only had for issue no. 1.
Interesting note about Hulk's feet in the cover above - looks like it was corrected because somebody thought it was too oversized. The above is also a sample of the Hulk's first artist, the King himself, Jack Kirby.
Then, from the pages of Amazing Spider-Man comes the next Hulk artist: Steve Ditko.
Bill Everett (creator of Namor, the Submariner) follows.
When Everett died I saw a tribute page to him. It was a magnificent tomb under the waves. In front of Everett's tomb were the Atlanteans, all of them bowing with respect, led by their King, Everett's "son", Namor the First.
Gil Kane next.
My favorite, Herb Trimpe
Paul Jenkins, writer of Front Line says that Sally Floyd is not a very good reporter!
Let's move on to Incredible Hulk 109.
Hulk finally gets enough control to actually listen to the people - metahumans and common folk - who approach him in a spirit of alliance. What the non-powered ones have come to say is particularly touching and, well, timely:
While they are talking, the Hulk comes under attack.
As mentioned before, the military is using adamantium bullets againts the Hulk. Here's Amadeus Cho holding one of those bloody bullets.
In the Marvel Universe adamantium is extremely expensive. Look at the size of the piece Cho is holding. After the attach these bullets are scattered all over the street. I mean, pick three of those and you should be good for the year - assuming you know how to fence it.
I love this 'renegades/war zone' discussion between Amadeus and General Ross.
Beautiful visual as the Warbound try to outrun a missile.
Oh. Amadeus Cho in action.
It's the start of a terrible friendship.
During the big 'to do' a buildins starts to collapse. The Warbound and Hulk's allies find themselves on the same side.
Korg and Hercules try to brace the building but it breaks in half and starts to fall. It is Hiroim who launches into action.
The alliance is not destined to be the classic team-up we expected.
S.H.I.E.L.D. makes an appeal to Amadeus Cho but it is the layout of this panel that makes it stand out.
The earth-based Hulk allies are now known as the Renegades.
They're organizing, part of which is communications.
Beepers (or pagers). How quaint (Do you feel that the time is nearing when we'll say: Smartphones. how quaint). Come to think of it wouldn't the telecom relay towers be damaged at this point?
Here's a first look at what the Warbound are doing with the captured heroes.
Holy shit! Hulk and friends have got to go down.
This ends the issue.
So Amadeus Cho has infiltrated this ground-based 'arena' occupied by the Warbound. He is planning to talk to the Hulk but ends up talking to Reed Richards and Tony Stark instead. The whole thing resolves about whether the Hulk is a good guy or a bad guy and what Amadeus Cho should do. The conversation never finishes though, big green suddenly pops up as you can see in the panel above.