Book of Doom: World War Hulk #2

world war hulk 2If you’re wondering where the pick for this week’s Book of Doom came from, you may not be alone. Well, you may be alone, too, but, no, don’t worry, there’s no way you could’ve seen this coming, because I never posted an announcement earlier in the week. So, I guess you could say it’s coming out of left field. I don’t know why you’d want to say that, or even think about it past what you’ve just read, but, there you have it, for the guys out there keeping track of that sort of thing.

If you need a plot summary of this issue, well, I guess I’ll give it to you. Hulk’s mad. And smashing stuff. The rest of earth’s heroes are trying to play to his sympathies, but none of it works, Hulk beats guys up, and that’s the end of it. It closes with the military ready to fight the Hulk (y’know, because that’s worked so well in the past for them).

This series, to me, is entertaining enough, but it’s nothing too phenomenal. I mean, aside from a few bad-ass fight sequences, there’s really not all that much to it. Of course, I don’t think there’s supposed to be. My expectations were never really that high to begin with, because it seems like the whole creative process that went behind this was just a bunch of guys sitting around a room, and one of them said, “Hey, what if they made the Hulk mad?” And some other guy said, “Well, then he’d be mad, like always.” And the first guy responded and said, “No, I mean, what if they made him, like, really mad?” “How mad?” “Really, really mad.”

Yeah, I guess they did a good job of telling the story of how he got really mad, but I didn’t read it, and I probably never will. All I know is that, in this series, the Hulk sure is mad, and it’s a fun enough read where I’ll keep on buying it, I guess.

What’d the other members of the Legion think about this here book? Well, damn. For the second week in a row, we only have one guy who took the time to respond. This time, I fumbled and forgot to invite a guest reviewer, so, well, whoops for that, but our very own Fin Fang Doom still had some stuff to say. Allow me to defer to him:

During last week’s Book of Doom review of Green Lantern #21, I mentioned that “the second part of a mulit-part storyline rarely packs the same punch as the first one did.” Looking back at Infinite Crisis, Spider-Man: The Other, House of M and others, it seems to be the general rule. World War Hulk #2 must be the exception that proves that rule.

Last issue, The Hulk took on Iron Man mano-a-missilo and kicked his ass from Central Park to Avengers Tower (literally). That just left everyone else for this issue. The Hulk takes on the Mighty New Avengers, the Fantastic Six and the Champions and kicks the piss out of all of them. Two issues into World War Hulk and the Hulk has already taken down every single superhero on Earth with the exception of the Sentry. Holy crap. I’m left wondering how the heck Greg Pak is going to fill another three issues.

Amidst all the fighting, Pak even managed to deliver some really great character moments. First, SheHulk tries to reason with her cousin Bruce and gets pie-faced into the streets of New York for her troubles. Then Rick Jones tries to talk some sense into his oldest friend, and almost manages to do what the combined might of every superhero on Earth couldn’t do (way to screw that up, Doc!).

Of course, the highlight of the issue had to be the slugfest between the quintessential superhero sparring partners: the Hulk and the Thing. The confrontation only lasts for a grand total of fourteen panels spread out over five pages, but John Romita Jr. makes the most of those panels. Whoever was responsible for the blur effect during this sequence deserves extra special recognition. At first I was a little hesitant of the idea of the Hulk’s entourage helping him fight Earth’s heroes, because I wanted to see just the Hulk beating everyone up. But this one-on-one fight between the Hulk and the Thing wouldn’t have logically happened if the rest of the FF wasn’t busy fending off Hulk’s goons, so I’m actually glad they were included.

And who would have thought a double-page splash of an old man would work as a cliffhanger?