Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Planet Hulk

The Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner is not one of my favourite Marvel heroes. Nevertheless, I have been reading the Hulk stories and of various incarnation of the Incredible Hulk; from the mindless Rage “Hulk smash!” to the grey “Mr. Fixit” and then to the present incarnation after the movie where we have an intelligent Hulk. What drew me back to the Hulk was a powerful science fiction fantasy story arc that ran quietly in the background in Incredible Hulk issue #92-105 from 2005-2007 while the rest of the Marvel universe was turned inside out. This story was crafted by sci-fi writer Greg Pak and was collected in 2007 as Planet Hulk.

This storyline started with a secret meeting of the most powerful leaders of the Marvel superheroes: Iron Man, Reed Richards, Dr Stephen Strange, Namor, and Black Bolt (of the Inhumans). Apparently these have gathered to plan for the protection of the earth. One item on the agenda was the Hulk, whom the group thinks is dangerous to the humans on earth. Like many in leadership positions, they have the Messiah complex and think that it is their duty to save the world!

To do that, they came up with a plan to maroon Hulk on an uninhabited planet where as Reed said to Hulk later, “There will be no one there to hurt you. And no one you can hurt.” I really cannot imagine that Iron Man, Reed Richards, Dr Stephen Strange, Namor, and Black Bolt will do that to the Hulk. Apparently that’s what they did. Under the guise of a mission from S.H.I.E.L.D. to destroy an artificially intelligent satellite which has gone rogue, Hulk went into space, was betrayed by his friends and marooned on the planet Sakaar.

Instead of an inhabited planet, Sakaar was full of alien races ruled by the tyrant Red King. Hulk was sold into slavery and forced to fight as Green Scar, a gladiator. Then follows a riotous storyline that is like Spartacus, Conan, and Gladiator rolled up like a California roll sushi. Green Scar united his gladiators friends, overthrew the Red King and gain access to space. The Green Scar/Hulk led his army into space to seek revenge on his former friends on a planet named Earth! I cannot remember when I have enjoyed a Hulk storyline so much. Hull/Banner seems to have integrated into one who comes out as a person with integrity, wise leader and fair judge.
Nuff’ said.

more of my comments on other comics and mangas here.



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