January 1, 2009

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World War Hulk Gamma Corps

Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Carlos Ferreira and Sandu Florea
Marvel

That's actually the back cover, but I like it better, as it gives you a feel for the characters involved rather than the front cover, where Banner is doing his impersonation of Luke Cage's Power Man days.

What I really didn't like was anything about this mini-series, which introduces a set of five more gamma-related characters and gives them all grudges of varying value against the Hulk. Created secretly by a rogue general, they've been doing black ops work, apparently without the knowledge of anyone else in the Marvel Universe (a bit hard for me to believe, given the point of the Illuminati).

Now that the Hulk is out there attacking the world, they're sent in to get revenge on him, using their anger and deviated powers.

Of course, they fail miserably. But while they do, the Hulk manages to convince them that he has nothing to do with their actions, and that the real villains are the Illuminati, who are responsible for their problems.

So guess what? According to Marvel, Reed Richards is responsible for not only bringing Galactus to earth, he also, I guess, should have cured aids. And Black Bolt obviously cares nothing about stopping the spread of heroin while Charles Xavier must have created the Abomination while he was out convincing Magneto to try and take over the earth.

There's nothing here that makes it required reading, unless you are into the graphic violence that pervades a lot of comics these days--heads are ripped off, arms completely crushed, and there's even a neck breaking in the bargain. Apparently Marvel and Tieri decided that it was time to make up for all the blood and gore not shown in the Hulk Comics I grew up reading.

I wish the story had been better, because I think Ferriera's artwork was pretty good. It can be hard to get the Hulk to look right--powerful and monstrous, but still human at his core--and he does that rather well, I think. I also do like the character designs, even if the concepts are a bit lame.

It's comics like these that make me ask why I read superhero comics at all anymore, but then I read Gotham Central and remember good stories can still be told. The problem is that it means reading some forgettable stories along the way. This is one such trade. So learn from me and leave this one on the shelf.