Hulk #8 Banner of War

Hulk #8 Review – Banner Of War Finale

After two months of waiting, we are finally getting the final chapter of the Thor and Hulk crossover event, Banner Of War. Before the long wait between chapters four and five Banner Of War was red, or in this case green, hot with Thor and Hulk’s clash of titans just continuing to escalate. It got to the point that both Thor and Hulk gained each other’s powers on top of their own powers. Now with both characters at a level of power never before seen what will it all mean for the Marvel Universe? Let’s find out with Hulk #8.

CREATIVE TEAM

Plot Writer: Donny Cates

Script Writers: Donny Cates and Daniel Warren Johnson

Artist: Martin Coccolo

Colorist: Matt Wilson

SYNOPSIS

With Hulk struggling against the Gamma-power Thor, Odin uses Mjolnir to transport them both back to Asgard.

On Asgard, while watching the fight Beta Ray Bill can tell that the Gamma-powered Thor is no longer fighting with his normal control, making things much more dangerous for everyone.

Odin orders Bruce Banner to drive Thor into Yggdrasil as the World Tree is their only shot at taking away the Gamma radiation out of Thor. Hulk is able to do so and Yggdrasil immediately traps Thor.

Much to everyone’s shock Thor is able to power out of Yggdrasil. The Gamma-powered Thor then proceeds to rip the World Tree apart.

Hulk #8 Banner of War
The Gamma-powered Thor proves to be too much for Hulk and Odin to handle in Hulk #8. Credit: Marvel Comics

Seeing this Odin takes over control of Hulk from Bruce. Odin is able to calm Thor down long enough to use Mjolnir to remove the Gamma radiation out of his sun

The process causes a massive explosion. With the battlefield covered in smoke, Thor decides to let Hulk escape without being noticed.

Once everything settles down Thor lies to Iron Man by saying Hulk and Bruce Banner died in the explosion.

While Thor and Lady Sif talk about Hulk’s status quo one of Thor’s armors appears to be taken control by a mysterious force. End of issue.

REVIEW

As with all the other chapters of this event Hulk #8 was a loud and destructive end to the Banner Of War event. Did the delay between the fourth and final chapters hurt the momentum of this crossover event as it was being released? Most definitely it did. But even with the stop in momentum, it doesn’t take long for Donny Cates, Daniel Warren Johnson, and Martin Coccolo to regain that lost momentum.

For as many major things that have gone on throughout the Banner Of War crossover, a large credit for the success of this event is Martin Coccolo. That is once again proven with Coccolo’s work on Hulk #8. The artwork is absolutely stunning as Coccolo perfectly captures how this latest Thor vs Hulk story reached a whole new level. There was a great sense of how scary the power being put on display as Thor and Hulk gained each other’s power set on top of their own.

This is where Cates and Johnson’s own dialogue really enhanced the phenomenal storytelling Coccolo’s artwork was executing. Beta Ray Bill gave us great context for how terrifying this current Gamma-powered Thor is. Because it wasn’t just that Thor suddenly gained Hulk’s powers on top of his own Asgardian strength. What truly made this version of Thor scary is that he was no longer holding back. There wasn’t even thought about his opponent, the Asgardians, or the setting. Thor was just an out-of-control monster that could not be stopped.

Thor’s uncontrolled state made the dynamic between Bruce Banner and Odin stand out even more. Even with Hulk having Thor’s powers it did not feel like it was enough because Bruce was simply fighting to survive. Odin calling this out and stepping in several times added layers to their quickly established dynamic. This put over how Thor’s current power level was too great for either of them to battle and they had to take the risk of using Yggdrasil to stop Thor.

Hulk #8 Banner of War
Thor lies to Iron about what happened to Hulk at the end of their fight in Hulk #8. Credit: Marvel Comics

That all worked to escalate the story, even more, there is a true shock felt when the Gamma-powered Thor not only breaks free from Yggdrasil but tears the World Tree apart. When you add in how we already the Gamma-powered Thor destroy the Bifrost this latest development really created greater concern for everyone on Asgard. It was all a great way to create concern for everyone on Asgard without having to rely on Thor creating a body count of people he took out in this state.

The resolution being that Odin, in control of the Hulk, was what brought Thor back to normal wasn’t the perfect ending. It did speak to the relationship Thor and Odin share that Cates has explored during his run on the series. But the way it was done with Odin using Mjolnir after Yggdrasil failed to do so did just seem like the story needed to end rather than figuring out a way that was built up during this story.

With that said, there is definite excitement with how things are left off at the end of Hulk #8, at least on the Thor side of things. I’ll be fully honest that this did not make me want to start reading the Hulk series. That said, I am interested in how Cates plans to have Thor and the Asgardians deal with the Bifrost being destroyed and Yggdrasil seriously damaged. How that all relates to the final shot of one of Thor’s armor appearing to gain sentient life will be interesting to see play out.

Hulk #8 (2022)
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11/26/2022 11:40 am GMT

FINAL THOUGHTS

Hulk #8 was an explosive final chapter to the Hulk vs Thor: Banner of War crossover event that ended exactly how I was hoping it would. For all of Donny Cates and Daniel Warren Johnson’s great writing, this was a true showcase of Martin Coccolo and Matt Wilson’s work as an art team. The artwork was absolutely stunning and is worth the price of admission just on all the action we got during the different stages of the Hulk vs Thor fight. I would not be surprised if Coccolo and Wilson were the art team of the next big Marvel event.

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10