I had heard a few comments referring to World War Hulk (WWH) a couple months ago, and it sounded really interesting. I looked into the Marvel comics event to learn the set up: who did what, why, how, and such. I learned what happened to the Hulk to make him go to “war”:
Fearing the threat he posed to humanity, Earth’s most powerful heroes shot Hulk into space.
Landing on a faraway planet, Hulk became an Emperor and fell in love.
But the shuttle that sent Hulk away from Earth exploded, killing millions of people, including Hulk’s queen and the baby growing inside her.
Filled with rage, Hulk and his Warbound warriors have set coure for Earth, to bring revenge upon those he holds responsible for destroying his world.
I picked up what I think is the first Incredible Hulk issue concerning WWH, #106, and read it. Hulk is not actually in this issue; this issue is about She-Hulk and Amadeus Cho. (I’ve never before heard of this “smart kid”.)
In the opening scene of this issue, Iron Man/Tony Stark easily infects She-Hulk with some “nanobot power inhibitors” that removes her big, green power. They reduce her to normal. My very first thought at reading this was, “Why didn’t they just do that to Hulk?”
I’ve since bought a few more issues of the WWH story: a total of three Incredible Hulk (IH), and two Iron Man (IM). Trying to follow this story is reintroducing me to something I really hated back when I was regularly collecting and reading comics: storylines that flow through numerous different titles.
In IH #107, you see the Hulk engage Iron Man, but then the story cuts away. A few pages later, Hulk is apparently done fighting Iron Man; obviously Hulk won the fight, but the action is not shown in this book. There’s no mention of what to buy to see the fight—I’d love to see Hulk beat the crap out of Tony Stark.
The cover of IM #19 shows Hulk’s fist knocking the head off of Iron Man, so I figured this is the action that IH #107 skipped. Inside, they eventually get to the Iron Man/Hulk battle. (Tony’s in his Hulkbuster armor.) Iron Man injects Hulk with the nanobots he used on She-Hulk—why inject? (He didn’t inject She-Hulk; he just snapped his fingers in her face.) But apparently the nanobots didn’t work on Hulk. IM #19 ends with Hulk starting to smash the Hulkbuster armor.
So I picked up IM #20 in hopes of seeing the end of the fight. But nope. The fight is over, and Tony is a prisoner aboard Hulk’s space ship. Is the fight wrap up shown in another title? I don’t know, because there’s nothing in any of these books directing the reader where to go for the next part of the story.
This is something that at least the old multi-title crossover stories gave the reader: notes on what book to get for the next part of the story. This WWH story is frustrating. IH #108 is about Rick Jones and one of Hulk’s new Warbound buddies from space. No Hulk action.
At the back of IH #108, there’s a checklist for the “Roadmap to World War Hulk”. Thirty-seven books from May to October. It’s unfortunate that this list is given in the September issue of IH. It would have been more helpful had it been in the May issue of IH, #106.
I’m actually loosing interest in the story now, because after purchasing five books, the story I’ve seen has so many holes (not plot holes, but missing pieces of the story), and is jumping around so much, that I’ve lost focus. I’m lost as to what is happening. I really hate this kind of comics series. It’s hard enough for the casual reader to pick up a series; the publisher shouldn’t make it a scavenger hunt to follow a single story.
I’m let down, disappointed, and very frustrated. Marvel won’t be getting any more of my money for this story.