The Hulk and Thor crossover, Banner Of War, has been exactly what I expected it to be. It is all about the action with Thor and Hulk throwing down in a clash of titans with drama centered around Bruce Banner’s current character. Throwing the spirit of Odin into the story was the unexpected element for Banner Of War as we saw the former All-Father get some connection to Bruce. But now that Iron Man has appeared in his new Celestial Hulkbuster armor will everything escalate even further or will the Avenger be the one needed to calm things down? Let’s find out with Hulk #7.
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Colorist: Matt Wilson
As Iron Man attacks Hulk in his new Celestial Hulkbuster armor Bruce Banner is no longer able to contain the raging anger.
At that same time, Thor is done being a witness and knocks down Iron Man with one strike as Mjolnir’s Odin spirit took him over for a second.
This gives Hulk time to recover and goes all out attacking Iron Man. Iron Man tries to fight back but Hulk is able to power through all of the attacks.
As the battle intensifies Odin’s spirit commands Mjolnir to pin down Hulk in an effort to calm him down. Hulk’s rage grows even more out of control as Gama Radiation pulses out of his body.
Thor tries to reach Mjolnir but a massive Gama explosion happens when Hulk’s rage grows out of control.
As the smoke clears Tony Stark checks out the aftermath of the explosion in a special radiation-proof armor. Tony is shocked when he sees a fusion of Hulk and Thor towering over him. End of issue.
Who knew that what a Hulk vs Thor story needed was Iron Man showing up in Marvel’s version of a Gundam with his new Celestial Hulkbuster armor? But that is exactly the feeling you get while reading Hulk #7. This is exactly the type of “shut off your brain” and enjoy all the action story comic book that is just fun to read.
While Donny Cates does a lot of great things with the character writing it is Martin Coccolo’s artwork that is the main driver of Hulk #7. Coccolo’s art is on another level. Everything that happens feels like we are watching a big event blockbuster with an unlimited budget. Coccolo’s design for Iron Man’s new Celestial Hulkbuster is so over-the-top that it just works for the story being told. Iron Man going to such extremes shows how the latest Hulk vs Thor fight is one that has reached God-level.
But even more impressive was how Coccolo art along with Cates’s writing got over how Hulk’s rage was reaching new levels. From how Thor, Iron Man, and Odin were reacting to the few glimpses of Bruce Banner feeling Hulk’s rage, it all built to how Hulk was reaching unprecedented levels of his rage. This all made you feel the fear Tony Stark felt when he saw the new character that is a fusion of Hulk and Thor towering over him to conclude Hulk #7.
Before that, Cates did do a good job at presenting Iron Man as a naïve hero thinking that he can stop Hulk just because he has a new God-level armor with the Celestial Hulkbuster. It is fitting for Tony Stark’s character that he would think such a creation would work even though his past Hulkbusters eventually got outclassed. Thor’s Mjolnir being able to bring the Celestial Hulkbuster down just proved how big of a mistake Tony made in his own overconfidence, which was further proven when Hulk fully tapped into his rage.
This made Thor’s role in the story even more interesting as he has really become a third party in Banner Of War with Odin seemingly taking the main stage. Odin’s spirit trying to help Bruce Banner control Hulk has been unexpected but to Cates’s credit works because of the way Odin is being written. Odin is understandably trying to help his son in a situation that can’t be solved with fists, as Thor normally does.
By trying to go down this route Odin unintentionally caused an even bigger disaster with Hulk’s rage getting far too out of control. Hulk’s rage leading to him being seemingly fused with Thor was exactly the ending that leaves the reader thinking Banner Of War has reached an all-new level. There is a great unknown as to where things will go from here that creates greater excitement for what comes next in Banner Of War.
Martin Coccolo’s phenomenal artwork takes center stage with incredible visuals throughout Hulk #7. The way Iron Man’s participation causes the latest Hulk vs Thor clash to escalate to new, unexpected heights. Banner Of Hulk is escapism fun at its best and I’m excited to read the next issue of this crossover by Donny Cates and Coccolo.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10