Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review: World War Hulk: Incredible Hercules

World War Hulk: Incredible Hercules, written by Gary Frank with Jeff Parker, penciled by Gary Frank, Leonard Kirk, and Carol Pagulayan, 2008, Marvel, 152 pages, $14.99

Hey, all you people who read The Incredible Hercules vol. 1: Against the World and liked it? (Like me?) Because it was good?

Don't bother with this one. Because it's bad.

This collects what was originally published as Incredible Hulk #106-111, and it takes place before the events of Against the World. It's tied in to the "World War Hulk" storyline, which was Marvel's 2007 summer crossover that touched most of the books in that universe.

If you enjoyed Against the World because you thought all the Greek mythology stuff was neat, none of that is in here. Or maybe you liked Against the World because Hercules is an engaging, charismatic character with a fascinating past; well, you also won't find that here.

In fact, it seems like Hercules said all of ten words throughout this book. (And those words mostly consisted of things like "Ow.") This really shouldn't be named after him at all. The book really focuses on Amadeus Cho, the "seventh smartest person in the world," and unfortunately, he just comes across as annoying. The other characters featured here -- the Angel (from the X-Men) and Namora -- also have very little to do other than fly around and hit things. This story could have been told using any other three random superheroes (plus Cho) and very little would have been different.

And the plot? About how Cho thinks that the Hulk is really a good guy and isn't going to kill people? It's okay, I guess. Doesn't really add much to the overall "World War Hulk" story since all of the important events happened in the collected-elsewhere World War Hulk mini-series. Plus, it's wrapped up after the first four issues, leaving the final issue to shoehorn in a silly story about Cho and his bunch trying to put a demon back in a bottle. That last issue is particularly poor: the art seems rushed, and the story just feels like filler.

This was very disappointing. I'm glad that this book was created before Against the World came out and made clear that Incredible Hercules is a good book. Because this one was bad.

Don't believe me? Buy it from Amazon here: World War Hulk: Incredible Hercules

Related: My review of Incredible Hercules vol. 1: Against the World

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