Hulk vs Thor: Banner Of War is exactly what I expected it to be given the title of this crossover event. This has been a clash of Marvel’s two of their most powerful Titans. Thor and Hulk have not held anything back. Things got even crazier with Iron Man stepping in with his new Celestial Hulkbuster armor to try to match up against Thor and Hulk. Iron Man’s involvement led to the unexpected development of Thor and Hulk seemingly fusing into a whole new being. Can anything stop a fusion of Thor and Hulk? Let’s find out with Thor #26.
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Colorist: Matt Wilson
The Gamma-powered Thor demolishes Iron Man’s Celestial Hulkbuster armor. Tony Stark is barely able to escape in pilot Iron Man armor.
Hulk with Bruce Banner under control appears and hits Thor, saving Iron Man in the process. Gamma Thor and Hulk then start fighting with Iron Man running to safety.
Inside of Hulk’s Bruce Banner with the spirit of Odin about getting back to the control center and asks a favor from Odin.
As the battle between Gamma Thor and Hulk intensifies Lady Sif transports Iron Man to Asgard using the Bifrost Bridge.
Lady Sif then tries to use the Bifrost Bridge to teleport Gamma Thor to Asgard so she can help him. Gamma Thor completely powers out of Lady Sif’s attempt and destroys the Bifrost Bridge in the process.
Inside of Hulk, Odin senses the Bifrost Bridge’s destruction. Bruce Banner tells Odin he can stop Gamma Thor but needs the favor he asked for to do it.
Back on the battlefield Gamma Thor summons Mjolnir. Mjolnir flies right past Thor and into Hulk’s hand.
Hulk slams Mjolnir down to transform into the God of Thunder. God of Thunder Hulk and Gamma Thor once again start fighting with their blows being so powerful it causes the planet they are on to be destroyed. End of issue.
Hulk vs Thor: Banner Of War has been all about how does the new chapter get more epic than the last. That is a challenge that Donny Cates, Martin Coccolo, and Matt Wilson have completely embraced as a challenge they’ve set for themselves as a creative team. And just like the previous chapters Thor #26 shows that Cates, Coccolo, and Wilson more than live up to that promise of making each chapter bigger than the last.
As good as all the dialogue that Cates is writing is it’s Coccolo and Wilson’s artwork that is carrying the show for Hulk vs Thor: Banner Of War. Thor #26 is a visual showcase of why Coccolo and Wilson are such a great art team. Coccolo draws the Gamma Thor and God of Thunder Hulk to appear as the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Even when trading blows with the regular Hulk you can’t help but want to see how powerful Gamma Thor is.
As the battle goes on you are left wondering how Gamma Thor will be even stopped. Which is when God of Thunder Hulk appears and just takes things to the next level. Coccolo and Wilson’s take the design for both Gamma Thor and God of Thunder Hulk to show how this fight has reach a whole new level never before seen.
To Cates credit he does a lot of great work in having the dialogue enhance how dangerous the fighting between Thor and Hulk has become. You get how Iron Man as a human who just had his most powerful armor to date destroyed easily by Gamma Thor would be terrified being now stuck in the middle of this. In a rare instance Tony Stark became the eyes and ears of the audience.
Tony Stark’s predicament made the timely save by Lady Sif a great next step to show how things have gotten out of control. Lady Sif’s addition added a new layer to the story as Cates had a major game changing moment of the Bifrost Bridge being destroyed by Gamma Thor. The shock of this from Lady Sif’s face perfectly captured the gravity of this moment. This moment could very well be the defining moment of Hulk vs Thor: Banner Of War as it will impact a lot of the things Cates has been developing with Asgard.
Seeing how powerful Gamma Thor was added to how the only thing that could stop him was Hulk becoming the God Of Thunder. Cates does a good job at setting this up so it isn’t that Hulk suddenly became worthy of having Thor’s powers. Instead this was a final desperate move by Odin and Bruce Banner that will be temporary. This temporary alliance worked well in the context of everything Cates has developed in this story so far to make the ending as epic as possible going into the final chapter.
Thor #26 continued the epicness Hulk vs Thor: Banner of War has been known for the entire time of this crossover event. Martin Coccolo and Matt Wilson absolutely knocked it out of the park with incredible artwork putting over how this is truly a story that’s all about a clash of two of the most powerful Marvel characters. How things escalate to a higher level has me even more excited to find out how Donny Cates, Martin Coccolo, and Matt Wilson plan to end this event.
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