Sunday, 3 July 2016

Planet Hulk Review (Greg Pak, Carlo Pagulayan)


The Illuminati banished Hulk to a remote alien planet called Sakaar far away from Earth where he would no longer have to worry about hurting anyone or being hurt back. He would finally have peace and might find happiness there. Yeah, right! Tony Stark and co. were wrong - Sakaar is ruled over by a cruel Red King who enslaves Hulk to be the star attraction in his bloodsport. But these aliens have never come across anyone quite like Hulk before… 

Billed as the quintessential Hulk storyline, Planet Hulk is actually a disappointing yawner. Greg Pak basically rewrote Spartacus with Hulk as the lead except it’s still not a very interesting story. Hulk goes from slave gladiator to people’s champion, and so on - I won’t spoil it but nobody ever beats Hulk so you can see the trajectory of the story. It’s soooo predictable. 

And boring too! Hulk smashes stuff left and right, his Warbound (cadre of blood brothers) are all dull, and that’s really it. Fighting, more fighting, still more fighting, some dreary origin for a character you couldn’t care less about, back to more fighting - and this goes on for 15 issues! Good lord is this a bloated overlong exercise in tedium! Carlo Pagulayan’s art is decent but it’s like Pak’s writing in that it’s competent yet very plain and unexciting. 

Maybe if you like A Princess of Mars-type stories you might get something out of this but I kept waiting to be impressed and waited and waited and then the book was over. Planet Hulk underlines how one-dimensional Hulk comics tend to be with this ridiculously overpowered one-note character.

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