March 1, 2009

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World War Hulk Warbound

Written by Greg Pak
Illustrated by Leonard Kirk, Gary Martin, Rafa Sandoval, and Roger Bonet
Marvel

It's funny how being a library reader creates odd situations. I am now in the position of having read pretty much all of the World War Hulk stuff--except World War Hulk!

Oh well, it'll get to me eventually.

In the meantime, I'll happily take more enjoyable storytelling by Greg Pak, as he picks up some of the pieces he used in the Planet Hulk-World War Hulk and gives them a place in the Marvel Universe.

Hiding in the wake of the Hulk's defeat, the Warbound are desperate and dying. It looks bad when S.H.I.E.L.D. agents find them but suddenly a transport beam appears out of nowhere. But is the offer from friend or foe? The Warbound are given little chance to decide.

Soon the Hulk's former friends are faced off against an angry group of confused citizens and the crazed manipulations of one of the Hulk's oldest foes, with only a S.H.I.E.L.D agent as an unlikely (and unwilling) ally. Can they manage to keep one step ahead of the dangers they face and try to save more innocents from being caught in the middle of a ploy to stave off death?

Pak really does an amazing job of using continuity to tell his story without either destroying it or getting so bogged down as to be unable to move. It's a trick I wish more creators used. The Warbound are an interesting and unlikely pairing (I mean, one of these guys is a member of the Brood, for God's sake, and I don't want her dead--that's saying something) and the idea of placing them in a situation that keeps them isolated from the rest of the Marvel U but ready to appear when needed (as a friend of mine pointed out) by someone.

The dialog is crisp and the interactions between the characters, particularlyHiroim and Korg, are well done. I'm not big on space-opera type characters, but Pak keeps me interested. The only minor issue I have is their harping about puny humans. I get they're echoing the Hulk, but it gets on my nerves after awhile. Kirk's art is stellar as always, and you can always tell who is doing what. (I really wish I didn't have to comment on that, but so many artists today seem incapable of drawing people with enough detail to keep me knowing who's who.)

There are also a set of backups on each of the Warbound, which flesh out their lives. Honestly, they don't add a lot and probably could have been left out of the trade. I kinda feel they were part of a bigger plan that didn't materialize, at least not yet.

Warbound is an interesting group I wouldn't mind seeing more of someday.