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World War Hulk: X-Men #1 (of 3)

Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2007
By: Martijn Form



Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Andrea Divito

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Plot: Hulk wants to smash Xavier.

Comments: So what did you think of Planet Hulk?

To me it was something different, and the initial idea got me pretty hyped, and Greg Pak hasn't lacked in delivering the goods. What Pak provided the Hulk with an excellent motivation to do some rampaging on good old earth. The Illuminati put a bomb in Hulkís shuttle, which killed over one million entities on Hulkís new home planet, and I was particularly touched when Hulk lost his new found love. I really felt for our green guy.

So far I love every issue of World War Hulk, even the tie-ins, especially World War Hulk: Front Line #1; that was a lovely read.

World War Hulk: X-Men isnít an essential read to follow the storyline of Hulkís search for The Illuminati but donít dismiss this issue yet.

The only motivation for me to buy this issue is the fact that Iím reading most World War Hulk titles. I didnít have high hopes or great expectations for this series, other than to see some action pages of the Hulk vs the X-Men. Well, I got a lot more than I expected.

Xavier is part of the illustrious Illuminati, but when they voted to shoot Hulk into space, he wasnít there. So now Iron Man wants to know how Xavier would have voted if he attended that meeting and so would I. This subject will probably be the main theme for this mini series.

Indeed, the issue presents some nice action scenes which Andrea Divito handles pretty well. His camera angles make these scenes vibrant and full of testosterone. The interpretations of Rockslide, especially when Hulk rips his arms off, are detailed and dramatic.

But the real gem lies behind the action scenes in which Christos Gage weaves some deeper character motivation. The so-called heroes who abandoned the Hulk into space like to portray the Hulk as a Monster, a murderer and a menace to society. But if the Hulk is the monster they say he is, why is Hulk holding back when he fights the students of Xavier? The Beast acts as a good teacher does and tries to protect his students, and when the Hulk smashes him around, it is the same students who help their teacher.

These young X-Men give everything they got to destroy the Hulk, but even with all his rage and anger Hulk knows who his real enemy is, and it isnít these kids. So the Hulk isnít just a one dimensional brainless monster who canít be controlled. Maybe Bruce Banner can not control the Hulk, but the Hulk can control himself, which is a strong point in this story. So are Iron Man and his partners in crime wrong for calling the Hulk a monster?

The other strong aspect of this story is Xavier. The creative team uses a whole page to show Xaviarís concern about the Mutants all over the world, but when the Hulk is fighting his beloved students, he isnít anywhere to be found. Finally, he appears: "I believe you said youíre here for me. Now that Iíve seen my students to safety. Youíve got your wish."

This puzzles me. Xavier could have avoided the confrontation his students had with the Hulk by showing himself to the Hulk right away and having someone else bring the students to safety. But now Hulk has injured several kids. So the X-Men make the same mistake the Champions did with the Hulk: first fight and then ask questions. When they finally see what the Hulk experienced, they are shocked.

The question of how Xavier would have voted is the cliff-hanger that has persuaded me to buy the next issue too.

Final Word: Strong writing, but not essential reading for those following World War Hulk.

For more information about this reviewer, go to www.martijnform.com



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