Writer â€“ Greg Pak
Artist â€“ Carlo Pagulayan
For those who aren’t up to date on the Hulk, he was sent into space by Earth’s heroes who believed he could no longer be contained. Hulk was, however, sent to the wrong planet, ended up a gladiator, and took over the planet with his Warbound warriors. After he was in love and ruling the world, the planet was blown up, making Hulk angrier than ever and giving him a huge power up. Hulk with Warbound now come to destroy Earth’s heroes who he holds responsible for the death of his world and his love in a crossover called World War Hulk. This is a review for Hulk #110 which is, of course, a tie in to that crossover.
Much of this issue is a conversation between Amadeus Cho and the Hulk. Amadeus is a boy genius who covers all the angles. He wants to discuss what Hulk is doing and why, determining how and why the Hulk, when infused with Banner’s brain, has never killed anyone save in wars. Of course, this being World War Hulk, the Hulk still plans to kill when necessary. Cho naturally has a backup plan, which works perfectly and keeps the Hulk entirely in character for this storyline without changing his motivation or making his actions any more questionable.
Cho is a fantastically written character. It’s very easy for a character who â€œknows thingsâ€ to come off looking extremely contrived (I’m looking at you Claremont and Waid), but Cho comes off as someone taking calculated risks with plans for likely scenarios without being absurd of seeming like a device to humanize the Hulk, even though that’s exactly what he is. He’s a character in his own right and behaving in a clearly logical manner, as is the Hulk after his own way. The rest of the Renegades are rather pointless in the issue, but that some heroes can still support the Hulk and find their own way provides an interesting parallel to the recently completed Civil War while showing the rift that exists within the hero community. Cho appears to be playing both sides brilliantly, ensuring no one gets hurt, while letting everyone know he’s capable of hurting them. Great character work on both Cho and the Hulk here.
The art is great. This issue is two characters talking, and while having what they’re discussing appear in images behind them is hardly new, it is done to good effect here when mixed in with the telling emotions on the characters faces. Hulk is menacing, but still somehow endearing through the issue. It’s easy to understand his desire for revenge and the art seems to play up that determination, with the gladiator set up making Hulk seem strangely honorable. Cho, though clearly brilliant still stands and moves like a child, making sure that the character is not lost in his ideas. Further, this provides an interesting contrast with the innocence of the Hulk, both in his former childlike state and in the fact that he is merely seeking justice and didn’t deserve the fate cast upon him. The art relies on several reveals based on camera angle, all well set up, and even while they are obvious, they make clear the Hulk’s ability to make the proper decisions in context regarding human mortality. This obviously plays up a huge theme for the series and in the hands of a lesser artist, simply would not work.
This issue is nearly perfect. Two characters speak, setting the perfect contrast for each other, discussing similarities and solutions with the fact that one is utterly disadvantaged being a nice role reversal, since the one at a disadvantage is the one who here is not thinking clearly, not the physically imposing one. If you can follow the backstory, and for once, it isn’t complex and makes sense, this is a great character piece and fits the themes of the overall series and character with perfection.