Comic Book Review: Incredible Hulk #107: World War Hulk

The Revolution has not regularly read a Hulk comic book since we were about 10 years old. But, with the massive World War Hulk storyline rampaging through the 616 Universe, I decided to start picking up the Incredible Hulk while the World War Hulk storyline was going on. I liked the last issue of Incredible Hulk and was pretty impressed with Pak’s writing talents. I’m interest to see what Pak has in store for us with Incredible Hulk #107. Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Greg Pak
Penciler: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We see Hulk’s ship three hours from arriving at Earth. One of Hulk’s crewmates asks him if Hulk has any friends on Earth that might help them. Hulk says there are only friends of Banner and not his.

We cut to Amadeus Cho meeting Hercules and Angel. Cho claims to be friends with the Hulk. Suddenly, the SHIELD Helicarrier appears on the scene. SHIELD Commander Gabriel Jones demands that Hercules and Angel turn Cho over to them. Jones tells Hercules and Angel to not believe a word that Cho says. Angel tells Cho that SHIELD doesn’t go around harming unarmed teenagers.

Suddenly, the Helicarier’s weapons system is overridden and it launches its missiles at Hercules, Angel and Cho. Angel grabs Cho and flies him to safety while Hercules attacks the Helicarrier.

We cut to Hercules and Angel at an internet café. Angel is on a news website reporting their attack on the Helicarrier. Angel bemoans that he was a beloved millionaire philanthropist and now he is a traitor and a fugitive who can’t get any money out of his frozen accounts. Cho tells Angel to relax. Cho hacked into Angel’s bank last week and transferred $1.2 billion into an off-shore account. Cho said he invested wisely. We see a hi-tech ship rise out of the ocean next to the café.

We see Hercules, Angel and Cho inside the amphibious flyer cruising in the depths of the ocean. Cho tells Angel that he also purchased one hundred million dollars of New Mexico desert. It is the land surrounding the military base where Banner became the Hulk. That is where they are going to create a sanctuary for the Hulk. That all the Hulk wanted was to be left alone.

Angel is pissed that Cho ruined Angel’s good name and blew a bunch of his money to create a Hulk Sanctuary. Suddenly, the ship arrives at Atlantis. Cho, Hercules and Angel meet with Namor. Namor tells Cho that he is an idiot and that his plan is stupid. That the Hulk has no friends and is a maniac.

Namora tells Namor that there is a transmission from the surface world. We then see the same transmission from the Hulk in New York City from World War Hulk #1. After hearing what happened to Hulk and the death of his wife, Hercules says that he will join Hulk in his fight against the Illuminati. Angel asks Hercules if he has gone crazy. Cho responds that it makes sense. That Greek mythology tells how Hercules was driven mad by Hera. That his own wife and children ended up dead. That Hercules understands how Hulk feels.

Namor tells Hercules to back down. That under the sea no one can match Namor’s power. Namorita steps in between Hercules and Namor and retorts that she has the power to match Namor under the water. Namorita comments how she was frozen in ice for fifty years. She asks where were any of her friends? That these heroes don’t forget. That they go to help a friend and that she will stand with them.

Namor says that he won’t fight his cousin, but if she helps these humans reach the Hulk then she could bring doom upon Atlantis. Therefore, Namor smashes a huge hole in Cho’s ship. Namor then swims off.

We cut to the Hudson Bay where Cho, Hercules, Angel and Namora have arrived. Cho managed to fix the ship so they could get to New York City. Cho then contacts Hulk’s ship and tells them that he is a friend of the Hulk. The Hulk’s crew then hits Cho’s ship with an EMG blast causing the ship to crash. Hulk, Angel, Cho and Namora abandon the ship. We see that one of the bystanders is Tom Foster, Bill Foster’s nephew. Tom comments that he is here to see Iron Man get crushed.

Angel, Hercules and Namora help evacuate people out of the way of Iron Man and Hulk’s massive brawl that we saw in World War Hulk #1. Hulk emerges victorious from the rubble. Cho approaches the Hulk and says he is Hulk’s friend and is here to help the Hulk. Hulk scoffs that Cho and his army of puny humans are here to help him. Hulk attacks Cho and Hercules pushes Cho behind him and locks horns with the Hulk.

Hulk and Hercules then engage in a titanic battle. Hulk brutally attacks Hercules while Hercules keeps exclaiming “No more. We are here to help.” Hercules points to Cho, Namora, Angel and a group of bystanders including Tom Foster who all believe Hulk is here to save them and to punish the so-called super heroes of this world. Hercules asks if Hulk will let them help him. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Incredible Hulk #107 was a good read. Pak turns in a nicely paced issue. Pak has a nice vision for the events of World War Hulk and this story is well plotted. What really impressed me was Pak’s fantastic dialogue. There was a nice natural flow to the dialogue. Plus, each character has a well developed voice.

Pak also takes the time to deliver some nice character work. The dialogue and well rounded characters creates some enjoyable chemistry between Cho, Hercules and Angel. Pak shows a good sense of humor as some of the scenes between these three characters were very entertaining. Plus, the humor is much needed to provide a little bit of levity in such a heavy and serious storyline in World War Hulk.

I absolutely love Cho’s character. He rocks. I dig his smart-assed personality and his cocky attitude that stems from his supreme confidence in his abilities. Cho is very analogous to Layla over in X-Factor. They are both characters that constantly remain a step ahead the reader and the other characters in the story. They are literary tools that the writer can use to shape the flow and direction of the story.

And as a big Champions fan, and probably the one Champions fan in the world, I totally dig seeing Hercules and Angel back together again. The Champions were such a wacky collection of characters. We get a nice taste of that in the humorous interaction between Hercules and Angel. Both Hercules and Angel are great characters that deserve some time in the spotlight.

Personally, I always preferred Hercules in the Champions over the Avengers since Thor overshadows Hercules. And honestly, there only needs to be one ancient god per super team. I always liked Angel on the Champions over the X-Men. Yeah, I know that is heresy since Angel is one of the original X-Men. However, Angel took massive time off from the X-Men and starred in other super teams like the X-Factor, Champions and the Defenders. The X-Men have enough characters and Angel gets more of a chance to shine on his own with a team outside of the X-Men.

I like how Pak handled Namor. The King of Atlantis has his requisite dick-ish personality. I’m glad that Namor is staying neutral. I would have been disappointed if Namor had joined either the Illuminati’s side or the Hulk’s side. Namor needs to remain independent and only look out for the best interests of Atlantis.

I’m sure that Namor won’t get mixed up in this war until it is brought to Atlantis. And the Hulk better look out because he Namor in his element is almost impossible to defeat. Of course, based on what we have seen in World War Hulk, evidently the Hulk can beat Black Bolt, Iron Man, Hercules, Thor, Namor, Silver Surfer, Galactus and God all before breakfast.

Pak delivers an interesting twist to the end of this issue with the humans flocking to Hulk believing that the Hulk can heal them, rescue them, see the super heroes punished. I certainly didn’t see that coming. And I love the addition of Bill Foster’s nephew Tom Foster. I’m glad to see Pak taking Bill Foster’s death and using it as the foundation for a new storyline. I thought that Foster’s death would be quickly ignored since he was such a D-list character. Tom Foster’s anger is understandable and he should add an interesting view to this World War Hulk storyline.
Frank and Sibal provide plenty of nice artwork. I have always enjoyed their artwork and this issue is no exception. And Frank and Sibal definitely draw a great Hercules.

The Bad: Now, I know this is Hulk’s title and Hulk’s big storyline and Hulk’s moment in the spotlight, but not for a minute do I buy that Hulk could take down Hercules. Hercules is a god. Hulk is a mortal. A god beats a mortal every single time. Period. Yeah, Hercules didn’t want to fight the Hulk and you could argue that maybe it would have been different if Hercules had cut loose on Hulk. But, I simply don’t believe that two free punches by the Hulk could make a god bleed and get black eyes.

I know that Hulk has to receive a serious power bump in order to wage war on Earth, but he does have allies. Hulk doesn’t have to do all the fighting himself. It is all right for Hulk to rely on the combined powers of his own army to defeat the heroes of the 616 Universe.

I’m still not sure why Angel is on for the ride in this storyline. I know that his inadvertent association with Cho made him a wanted man. But, couldn’t he just go to SHIELD and tell them that he isn’t involved with Cho? I know that Angel is friends with Hulk, but I just don’t see why Angel would want to join Hulk’s crusade. It lacks any reasoning or logic. Poor Angel just comes across as a bubble head that is simply coming along just for the ride.

I also found the reasoning for Namora’s involvement to be rather flimsy, too. I understand that she might sympathize with Cho and Hercules wanting to help their friend, but why would she want to join Hulk’s fight? She doesn’t have any relationship with the Hulk. Plus, her involvement in the Hulk’s war places her beloved Atlantis at risk. It just doesn’t make any sense that she would get involved in this war. This is Pak shoehorning Namora into this role in order to give Hulk’s army another heavy hitter and to create an excuse to pull Namor into this story at a later point.

Overall: Incredible Hulk #107 was a good read. Pak is a talented writer who has impressed me with his work. I like the collection of characters that Pak has assembled on this title. World War Hulk certainly has the makings of a wild and action packed storyline. It should be a fun ride.

9 Comments

  1. Actually, Hulk’s never had too much trouble with Herc in the last. A mindless, rampaging Hulk withstood Wonder Man, Iron Man, Namor and Herc all at the same time.

    In the words of Count Vertigo, when asked why the New Gods should fear the Suicide Squad, “Because mortals have slain Gods before.” 😉

  2. In principle, I agree with the “Gods trump mortals” idea, but in practice it’s never worked like that before; Hercules and Thor have run dangerously afoul of many mortals in the past.

  3. I agree with you on the Hulk; he’s always been fairly one-dimensional to me (he gets angry, he smashes stuff; later writers introduced a bunch of psychological complications and other personalities, but the core is the same), and never all that interesting. I enjoyed the 2003 “Hulk” movie, though (though I understand that’s a minority opinion).

  4. My stance on Hulk is that I can certainly see why many people didn’t like it, since it diverts from the usual handling of the Hulk in a lot of ways, but that was exactly the reason I really liked it. People wanted “Hulk smash!”, which, based on the comments made about the sequel/reboot-thingy, that’s what they’ll get (great cast though: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth). I loved the wild directing style. My only real complaint is the ending, specifically, Banner Sr. becoming the Absorbing Man and having a really weird showdown with the Hulk; it would have been better if he had become the Abomination, since that’s closer to the Hulk’s power set (thus, the effects of the gamma exposure are more similar, rather than wildly diverging), and you can have a massive Hulk/Abomination brawl as the climax, which I think would have gone a long way towards satisfying fans.

  5. Now, I know this is Hulk’s title and Hulk’s big storyline and Hulk’s moment in the spotlight, but not for a minute do I buy that Hulk could take down Hercules. Hercules is a god. Hulk is a mortal. A god beats a mortal every single time. Period.

    Hercules is the son of Zeus by a mortal woman, so only half-god. And the Hulk could be rather long lived if The End is any indication.

  6. Hercules started out as a demi-god, but upon his death the Centaur’s poison burned true his mortal element and left only the divine part.

  7. I’m pretty sure that the Silver Age Marvel doctrine was: Thor needs his hammer, his flight, and his magical powes to beat Hulk (or else he needs to get a special dispensation to absorb the hammer’s powers).

    Hercules is Thor without hammer, flight, or magical powers.

    And, as we’re told over and over agaian, Hulk is madder than he’s ever been before…

    I’m pretty much on board with the thought that no one in the Marvel Universe can win a toe-to-toe brawl with the Hulk, though lots of characters have other options besides toe-to-toe-brawls. After all, if Herc outmatched Hulk, then no one would have thought Hulk needed to be removed from the planet; Herc plus any two heavy-duty Avengers (Sentry and Wonder Man, say) should always be able to contain him if need be.

  8. I knew I should have been more specific the minute I posted that review.

    I didn’t mean to be picky. I was just showing there are always ways for the writers to rationalize these things that pretty much make sense. And that’s probably a good thing or there wouldn’t ever be much tension over who would win a battle and no need for most showdowns.

    Anyway, the son of the head Greek god definately gives you plenty of immortal cred.

    I don’t want to argue about who wins between them (haven’t actually picked up this issue yet, for one, so you might be right). As long as the writer and artist make me believe what they are showing is possible, that’s OK. Anyway, if you’ve seen the kind of things Hulk was enduring in Planet Hulk, like bombs and molten lava, maybe you’d give him a chance.

  9. The Hulk is highly resistant to mental assault. Although “World War Hulk: X-Men” is three issues of X-Men vs. the Hulk (he shows up looking for Professor X, since he was a part of the Illuminati, even if he wasn’t at the vote) by Christos Gage and Andrea Divito, so who knows what will happen there?

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