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World War Hulks: Hulked-Out Heroes #1

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
By: Matthew J. Brady

Jeff Parker
Humberto Ramos
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: World War Hulks: Hulked-Out Heroes #1 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 14.

For an Event, the current "Fall of the Hulks"/"World War Hulks" thing that Marvel has going on in its Hulk books (and it's kind of weird that the Hulk has a whole line to himself, isn't it?) is a strange one, kind of unfocused and wildly divergent in tone, sometimes taking itself quite seriously and then abruptly zooming off in the other direction for some lighthearted jokiness. The big twist that kicks off the current portion of the Event certainly seems like something that should send things in the latter direction, with the bad guys zapping everybody in the Marvel universe with a beam that turns them into Hulk versions of themselves. Come on, that can't be something to be treated with anything other than a self-deprecating smirk, right? This particular miniseries certainly treats it all as a big joke, which is nice (and a good chance for writer Jeff Parker to flex his "zany" muscles), although with all the characters it could have chosen to send off on some Hulk-tastic antics, it's a shame that the choice was Deadpool, who is already a comedy character; if the only difference is that he's now extra-big and speaks with poor grammar, why not just stick with one of the other ten books he appears in this month?

All complaints and equivocations about the premise aside, Parker certainly does come up with a really funny story here, as Deadpool (who insists on being called "Hulkpool" now) heads off on a mission to travel to the past and kill himself for no reason other than he feels like it, dragging along Bob, agent of Hydra/AIM to operate Dr. Doom's time machine. He ends up bouncing through time and encountering a succession of time-traveling Marvel characters, including the Thing as Blackbeard, Devil Dinosaur, and the Two-Gun Kid. It's pure chaos and silliness, but Parker makes it fun, and Humberto Ramos delivers some befittingly cartoonish, exaggerated art that's full of plenty of monstrous creatures rampaging around and causing crazy violence. It's ridiculous, but fun, and any other approach would just be stupid.

So, who knows where this Hulks thing is going or how stupid/enjoyable it will end up being. But given Jeff Parker's involvement, at least some of it should be readable. That's not the most ringing endorsement, but for this miniseries at least, it's nice to see a superhero comic that realizes how dumb it is and just has fun, rather than trying to somehow wring some drama out of taking a non-serious situation too seriously. Let's see more like this, please; as long as Parker is writing comics, I'm sure we will.






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