Hulk With A Sword And An Axe? sing Me Up!
Do you know what a successful story is? what criteria must be filled in order for a story to be great? well you might not know, but greg pak does. i could go in an talk about how awesome this story is, but this time around, i'm going to try something a bit different/ When a writer takes on a new character, it's important for him to do some research about the character , and greg pak does way more then that.
What does Planet Hulk tell You? or let me rephrase that, what does the NAME specifically imply? well for me, i expected something we have never seen before, and i was right, but is that good? is that how characters should be written? to be completely different? no, it should not, but lucky thats not the case here. As A hulk fan, i can safely say, that this is a definite hulk book, meaning that hulk is 100% in character. But how does that work? well thats the thing, a good writer can stay true to the character , While at the same time provide new elements that would evolve the characters, which is exactly what happens here.
Hulk is, as mentioned before, in character, but he is in an environment he has never been in , not the aliens mind you, but he is a slave, because of the effects of the portal have weakened the hulk for some time. This is a great devise to balance things out, hulk would have demolished half of the place without his power reduction, so seeing him in this condition is no problem at all. we also get a new cast of characters, who have their own interesting history. This is very interesting because Pak comes up with a whole race of aliens, and whole new powers for them. we get to see the introduction of the old power, which is very interesting to explore upon.
Hulk also becomes a part of the new team as well, which includes outcasts like korg, miek and etc. this team plays a very important role in hulks development that takes place during this long arc. Hulk, as many of you may know, is alone, always alone, he can't trust anybody, because his power is feared, but not here, his power, in fact becomes much more, it becomes prized as an idol, which helps the hulk warm up to his teammates, but thats not the only thing that makes hulk more comfortable around them , but also the fact that they are so similar to the hulk as well, they are all, as mentioned before, outsiders, people who lack acceptance and hulk understands that , he knows what it feels like, so they accept each other.
However who could forget the most important part, this is a hulk book, so there, unsurprisingly, is a lot of Smashing. The fight scenes are amazing, the whole revolution hulk leads is incredible( Pun intended). but this does not stay limited to hulks fists alone, it goes way further than that, in fact, as the title already tells you, hulk has a verity of weapons at his disposal, which gives the hulk tons of opportunities to smash. However, in the book, there is someone who does smashing just as well as hulk, which brings me to my next point.
Greg Pak Introduces a new character to the hulks mythos, and this character is Betty Ross's ant-thesis. Caiera is hulks equal, maybe not specifically in power, but she is a worrier, a smasher if you will. While Betty always tried to accept the hulk, Caiera accepts banner instead. Through the course of planet hulk, the two are always at conflict, the kemistry is very strong between these two powerhouses and most importantly, it's organic.
Furthermore, Pak creates a whole prophet around the hulk, which is similarly new and old at the same time. Among the heroes there has always been conflict about weather the hulk was the force of good or the force of destruction, but this is the fist( to my memory) where this manifests as a true concept. There are two things revolving around the hulk , The Devil and the Angle, but we refer to them as Sakaarson and WorldBreaker. this is yet again very interesting, and leads to something bigger.
you can't have a hulk story without a tragedy, which again, is very well executed. Hulk can never really catch a break , he unknowingly becomes the world breaker, which further cuts a deeper wound into the hulk. for once he has found a place where no one fears his immense power , but it again crumbles down to dust, and hulk blames the heroes who sent him here. guess we all know what happens when the hulks angry, and he has never been angrier.
as for The art, it is amazing. The details and the characters design are amazingly awesome. Hulk is crafted in a very detailed way, along with many other characters. The fights scenes are just amazing with gruesome art and fluidity. The coloring is amazing too, and it does not interfere with the details, in fact, it enriches it.
This is by far one of the best hulk stories to date, it has a lot of smashing, character development, tragedy, comedy and drama, all combined with awesome art and colors. if you are a hulk fan, this is a must read, and if your not, this is still a great story that has to be read.