Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: As the Hulk rages above Manhattan the Renegades head underground to clean up a loose ends from earlier battles.
Commentary: Um, what happened? I thought for sure this issue would provide some behind the scenes light on the events and ending of World War Hulk since the whole affair was rushed and confusing. Instead, Pak gives us a ďfillerĒ story about what happened to the demon Zom and Iron Manís Hulkbuster armor. Did any of us really care? I hadnít thought twice about either after the Hulk soundly trashed both. Additionally the question of whether the Hulk can kill or not is again tossed up in the air between Amadeus and Angel. Iím starting to think Pak has painted himself into a corner with this moral and physical dilemma regarding the Hulk. I donít know why but Iím still holding out for Pak to explain the apparent ability of Bannerís influence all of these years in regards to restraining even a rampaging Hulk from killing innocent bystanders. Thereís the whole physics element to if the Hulk being able to coordinate and telegraph his blows in a holistic way so that he can destroy structures but avoid killing. Mr. Pak, will you flesh this out for us already? Or, being painted into a corner are you just dropping that ball and hoping no one remembers you started it spinning? It appears this may be the case as near issues end Amadeus in desperation declares the Hulk is going to kill everyone. So, was the boy genius wrong all along? Did he make a near fatal error in judgement? Hopefully, in the ďAftersmashĒ storyline weíll get some answers.
Regarding the story at hand, again, did anyone really care what happened to Zom and the Hulkbuster suit? Long and short: Having left Dr. Strange, Zom seeks out a dumb and powerful new host. Whatís dumber than a discarded battle suit? Nothing apparently. Zom possesses it, accesses the suits databases and finds out SHIELD has a hidden bunker and a Negative Zone portal below Manhattan. He makes a beeline for those to destroy the island and everyone on it because after all, heís a demon! Amadeus, Angel, Namora and Hercules pursue the ďIron-DemonĒ to stop this simple plot. And oh yeah, Wong drops in just happening to have a mystical vase to imprison Zom in. Itís all very contrived to tie up loose ends I donít think anyone gave a second thought to. This issue should have been devoted to more answers from Amadeus and the reactions of the Renegades to the Hulkís defeat. The only interesting thing about this issue is the apparent burgeoning attraction between Herc and Namora. Itís manifested while both are literally holding the fate of Manhattan on their shoulders.
The artwork this issue is another seeming rush job by Leonard Kirk. Itís a far cry from the grandeur and scope this epic storyline started out with. That seems to be a constant issue with blockbuster events in comics these days. They start out strong but I donít know, in an effort to finish the stories on time quality and thought is sacrificed. Thatís whatís happened with World War Hulk. Quality has been sacrificed to finish the job. Iím still hoping Pak, Loeb and company can get back on track with ďThe Incredible HercĒ next issue, ďAftersmashĒ and the upcoming adjectiveless Hulk in a few months. If they donít itíll make me angry. And they wonít like me when Iím angry.
Final Word: Another less than satisfying concluding chapter in the saga that was World War Hulk.
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