World War Hulk Aftersmash: Warbound # 1
Writer: Greg Pak
Story 1 Artist: Leonard Kirk
Story 2 Pencils: Rafa Sandoval
Story 2 Inker: Roger Bonet
Greg Pak sure is writing a lot of WWH spinoffs nowadays. Sure, this is his big break, but with all that’s on his plate I wonder if he’s getting tired of the story and ready to move onto something else? A dip in quality would surely be a good way to tell if anything’s up…
The Warbound were Hulk’s sworn allies in Planet Hulk and they attempted to destroy the corrupted heroes with Hulk in World War Hulk. With Hulk defeated, they’re on the run from SHEILD. Another player shows up and weirdness occurs. There really isn’t a lot here and the first question that must be asked is what the hell normal SHEILD agents were going to do to stop creatures nearly as powerful as the Hulk himself. Using real heroes, since they’re all registered would have made a world more sense here. The Warbound aren’t shown with distinct personalities here either, but are merely presented as sympathetic characters. They crack a joke to establish reliability, care about safety to establish that they’re worthy of liking. Since I can’t imagine anyone getting this who didn’t get WWHulk, the transparent characterizations are a bit jarring.
The next story explains why a superhero wasn’t chosen to go after Warbound, but really has no reason to appear after the first story, since that’s what it would have set up nicely. The story is an annoying surprise character telling about the Warbound’s past. It’s fairly pointless background information, with obvious string pulling meant to show us about the characters.
Looks like Pak might indeed be done with these characters. Compared to the earlier stories in these arcs, this is superficial characterization with a plot that feels incredibly random and has a lot of holes to explain. Pak is talented enough to pull himself out of the hole, but for now this seems a rare misfire.