Posted - October 31, 2016

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World War Hulk
Frontline 1, Avengers The Initiative 4, Irreedemable Ant-Man 10

Frontline 1 Avengers the Initiative 4 Irredeemable Ant-Man 10

For those of you who've read Civil War, this is a treat, as we welcome back Ben Urick and Sally Floyd; definitely my favorite journalists in the Marvel U. J. Jonah Jameson is a close second (yup, I like the curmudgeon).

Look at this.

Ben and Sally in the Frontline newsroom

Back to the reality of the newsroom. You can almost smell the place.

And now a little flashback panel.

Ben and Sally at the start of Frontline

Eighteen plus four; that would be twenty-two hour days. An exaggeration I'm sure. I mean, two hours to sleep? 'Critical acclaim doesn't pay bills', now that's believable. Depressing but believable. Incidentally, Frontline is secretly funded by J. Jonah Jameson. I know, right?

I'm showing the panel below simply because of the incredibly detailed art.

Ben and Sally out in New York

Just beautiful. When I see panels like this I feel respected by the artist - in this case Ramon Bachs.

And here's how the Frontliners see the arrival of the Hulk.

Hulk's starcraft arrive in New York

To date, over the course of World War Hulk this incident has been shown several times. All the others have been good but this is the best one so far.

It's a terrible crisis for New York City but it's like Christmas for Ben Urich.

Ben loves being a newsman

Here's an interesting fact.

Ben commenting on the strength of the Hulk

Ben should make that two hours. This Hulk is the strongest iteration ever thanks to the direct correlation between the Hulk's anger and his strength.

The danger is dire and real and imminent so Ben gives his staff a choice.

Ben polling his staff

I'd be getting out myself. No job is worth my life.

Ben is staying (of course). His wife (Mabel? Doris? - her name was in Daredevil Born Again.

Ben and his wife

It's tough being Ben's wife. Back in the Daredevil story a nurse/assassin tried to hang her in the shower.

Over at Central Park, Ben is witness to the arrival of the Warbound.

The Warbound in Central Park

Ah, finally. I have the name of the robot Warbound.

Archie of the Warbound


You know who needs the after-work beer? This police officer.

A policeman facing down Korg

His job tells him to fire his gun but everything else tells him 'no'. He wisely follows 'no'. Still, sometimes it's one of those days at work.

Jameson is reading Front Line.

J. Jonah Jameson reading Frontline

Why not. He paid for it.

Comics. Entertaining and informative.

News anchors

A city is the world's twenty-fifth largest economy. That's a bit sad isn't it? Considering there are one hundred eighty countries on earth; only twenty-four of them is richer than New York. One city. I don't think New York is rich, I think the rest of the planet is too poor. People from the future will look back at us the same way we look back at the Dark Ages.

Okay, the aliens have gone to the bar in what could be this issue's most amusing panel.

A bartender talking

By now you're getting the concept behind Front Line. Marvel is taking us down to the street level; this is a lasting legacy of that legendary series Marvels. Take this fellow here.

A homeless guy talking

No home. hand-to-mouth existence. Yeah, if I was like that I'd say 'bring it Hulk, you'd be doing me a favor'. Losing everything is traumatic and painful, but after that - when you've got nothing more to lose - you're fearless. Depressed, yes. Miserable, yes. But also fearless.

Yet another scene.

An Earthman commenting about aliens

Beer for ray gun experience. I'd go for that myself. Of course there's this little matter of a drunken alien with a high-tech weapon.

Oh shit, they took out Archie.

Korg talking

Sarah's cop boyfriend, Danny Granville, is sent to investigate.

Here's the Front Line view of the Hulk-Iron Man fight.

Hulk Iron Man fight from ground level

Sally Floyd is a witness of the incredible amount of damage the fight does at ground level. And with that the issue ends.

We open an issue of Avengers the Initiative

So Yellowjacket and Baron von Blitzchlag (talk about a mouthful), is doing something and the concept of that 'something' being un-American comes up.

Hank Pym and Dr. Blitzschlag talking

Wonder what it is? Incidentally, 'e pluribus unim' means 'out of the many, one'. It is a motto of the United States.

Camp Hammond is a highly secure base facility, but this night there is an an armored intruder.

An intruder invading Camp Hammond

I find the intruder's thoughts both interesting and authentic. 'Desperate trumps stupid', so true.

The intruder finds the preserved and surgically disfigured body of MVP - an early fatality among the young Initiative traineees.

Hardball stumbling upon the body of MPV

MPV got killed in a training accident. It is a terrible thing, no doubt, but what really points to something being 'off' about the Initiative is not so much that MPV died but how they're treating his remains. Not only is it being experimented upon, the manner of death is being kept secret. The old Avengers would have come out openly about what happened and given MPV the dignity of a funeral. The Avengers have strayed far from their roots at this point in the Marvel timeline.

That intruder turned out to be one of the trainees, Hardball.


He's armored because he's dressed as a camp guard. What he stole he's holding in his hand. I have no idea what it is.

Ok so this is what's going down.

Hardball talking to a blackmailer

In a word: blackmail. Hardball is being forced to steal whatever that is because of his family's situation. The blackmailer here reminds me of the Penguin for some reason.

Here is Gauntlet.


Ridiculous isn't it? An outsized robotic glove, ergo, Gauntlet.

Because of his clandestine activities Hardball did not get any sleep.

Hardball in his bunkbed

In my life I'd had one true all nighter (meaning up all night with no sleep then on to a regular day), that was at work. I felt fine, albeit slightly 'floaty' all the next day, but when night came I just fell into bed into a deep sleep.

Here are the trainees.

Trainees readying for a morning run

Everybody looks fine except for the second trainee from the right - Slapstick. Ohmigod! He belongs in a Disney comic. It's Jar Jar Binks in Phantom Menace all over again.

Here is another trainee, Cloud 9. She is with Justice, formerly of the New Warriors, now of the Avengers.

Cloud Nine and Jutice landing

Obviously this is about the MVP training accident.

That run with the trainees, this visit that is happening here. All of this is happening shortly after first light. For the record, I hate getting up in the early morning.

Okay, it's time for the early morning wake up.

Cloud 9 and Justice are surprised

Why the surprise? Here's why

MVP answers the door

The supposedly deceased MVP just answered the door. You know what, I just noticed something: no Hulk in this 'World War Hulk' issue. At least not yet. Well, looks like I spoke just in time.

Justice talking to Cloud 9

Omega level threat. That's him. It's a green alert.

By now, the Hulk is in New York telling everybody what the Illuminati did. Here's James Rhode's a.k.a. Warmachines's reaction.

Inside the Camp Hammond command center

Not only is he Tony Stark's best friend. For a time, in the eighties, Rhodes was Iron Man.

For the first time, we are made aware that there is a contingency plan for the return of the Hulk: Project Achilles.

Hank Pym activating Project Achilles

'Achilles', makes me think of 'Achilles heel'. A weakpoint - the Hulk's weakpoint. That's tough. I can't think of a Hulk weakpoint. It used to be his need for air but partway in the journey to Earth the Hulk was standing outside his starcraft.

Oh, so this is project Achilles.

nano containers

The nano technology that Tony used when he hit the Hulk with the Hulkbuster spike. Well we know now that this is not going to work.

We have a great panel of Tony working on the Hulkbuster.

Tony working on the Hulkbuster armor

Look at this

Doctor Strange contacting everybody

Isn't it ironic? Tony Stark, master of technology, is using the mystic arts for networking.

Can't blame Tony for searching for the silver lining.

Tony Stark talking

This can only work if the Hulk was evil incarnate, which he is not. The Hulk seems to have a justifiable grievance.

Unsurprisingly, Initiative trainees don't get to face the Hulk - they're conscripted to help evacuate New York.

The Initiative trainees help to evacuate New York

The Hulk-Iron Man fight begins. It's nice to see he has a cheering committee.

The Initiative trainees cheer Iron Man

You know it just occurred to me that the reason why the nano injection a.k.a. Project Achilles will not work on the Hulk is because Hardball stole part of it. Look at him whoop it up in the panel above. You doomed it kid; you doomed it. Ha! He knows.

Hardball expresses regret

The kids see Avengers Tower go bye bye.

Avengers Tower collapse while the Initiative trainees watch

With that, the trainees decide to violate orders and fight the Hulk. I feel for their officer-in-charge, Triathlon.

Triathlon faces insubordination from Rage

You know, being in charge of a team is hard, it really is. With team members like Rage over here, a tough job just got tougher. Basically, Triathlon feels like a failure here. The guy is just trying to do his job. I hate Rage, I hope he gets a one-on-one fight with the Hulk. Hell, Korg can take this guy out. New Warriors loser!

Henry Peter Gyrich, Marvel's original G-Man, sends some mysterious metahumans to, in a phrase, retrieve the kids.

mysterious masked beings

Look at this.

The Initiative trainees running in New York

People, the New Warriors fucked up and caused the Civil War and now all of you are following a New Warrior. Time to wise up.

As the issue closes looks like the kids will be facing the consequence of their impulsiveness.

The Initiative trainees face to face with Hulk and his Warbound

For this panel only the Hulk is back wearing purple pants.

Let's read some Ant-Man

Because Ant-Man essentially stole his suit, he's running around incognito

Ant-Man talking to Visioneer

Yes he's calling himself Slaying Mantis and running around talking about 'going to mantis size' and it's half funny and all stupid. 'Slaying Mantis' has got to be one of the worst superhero names. Waitaminute, even a villain would not survive that name. It's one of the worst names for any metahuman. Period.

Are girls really upset by 'time of the month' statements?

Ant-Man talking

Because I know this to be a real thing.

Visioneer has something to say

Ant-Man and Visioneer talking

Ant-Man, I mean, Slaying Mantis (snicker), you don't want to have a girlfriend who can 'see' your emotions. Everybody else have girlfriends, and wives, who think we can read their minds. That's enough trouble.

This Ant-Man can fly; doesn't need flying ants.

Ant-Man flying

He and his crew are headed to a live viewing of the Hulk's Times Square rant.

Of all the panels we've seen so far this is the one that shows the most beaten-up (dead) Black Bolt.

Hulk holding a bloody Black Bolt

Looks like he's vomiting blood. This Hulk is insane.

This small team comes to a decision

Ant-Man's Damage Control team talking

Visioneer's powers are not stupid; they're just not combat powers so her decision to vacate is the correct one. Incidentally, the guy in the red suit is Monstro and he has super-strength, which means his decision is good too.

Nice rendition of the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier

Very rarely do we see a helicarrier without propellers. It looks good. Inside the carrier . . .

Guy with a disfigured face punching a mirror

Can't blame the guy for wanting to get back at Ant-Man if Ant-Man really had a hand in disfiguring him.

This is funny

A burglar in Ant-Man's apartment

The reason this is funny is because Ant-Man let slip that he might do some looting as New York evacuates. Later on he said he was kidding but I'm not convinced. Now he's apartment is being looted. I have been the victim of a burglary, committed while I was not in my apartment. When I think about the burglar or burglars I either wish them dead, or, better, I want them to know what it's like to be a victim of theft. They say karma is real; I hope it is.

Let's give credit to Ant-Man and Monstro, they both have an exit plan for taking on the Hulk.

Ant-Man's team talking

Monstro's 'he can't kill me' statement is doubtful though. Another way to put it is: This is not your grandfather's Hulk.

I knew it. Ant-Man is a thief.

Ant-Man in transit

Ok, the yuck fest begins: The Ant-Man goes inside the Hulk

Ant-Man inside the Hulk

Not really surprised with this statement

Ant-Man inside the Hulk

Bottom line, the Hulk is just as tough inside so Ant-Man gets out. He gets out just before the start of the Hulk-Iron Man fight. He does not get out in time and is pretty much beaten up because of the shock waves emanating from the fight.

As mentioned before, Ant-Man is a thief who stole the suit from S.H.I.E.L.D. Now S.H.I.E.L.D. has found their man.

Ant-Man captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.

Justice for an anti-hero? In any case the tale ends with this panel. Or rather, gives us a cliffhanger ending with this panel.

Next: World War Hulk 2, Ghost Rider 13, Frontline 2