Written by Greg Pak
Art by Greg Land
After taking on the mantle from Bruce Banner, Amadeus Cho is both the smartest and strongest one there is when he transforms into The Incredible Hulk!
The Story So Far: Amadeus hears a distress signal from the distant planet of Sakaar while in self-imposed isolation. Cho decides to lend his help to those in need. After arriving on Sakaar, Hulk learns that a new Warlord has taken over control since Banner’s departure back to Earth. The members of the Doka’abi clan are the only ones that have not been taken over by the Warlord, and they implore the Hulk to help on their behalf. Hulk agrees to compete in the Warlord’s gauntlet as a champion of their clan. Hulk triumphs over the first round of the gauntlet, bringing hope and celebration to his new friends. New friendships are made as rival clans give what they can in support of the Hulk and his endeavors. But there are more trials yet to come for our big green hero.
Today’s Gamma-Fueled Issue: The Hulk continues his run through the Warlord’s gauntlet. After another stupendous victory (but not without some costs), Hulk is invited to a dinner with the Warlord himself. Things go about as well as you would expect. Hulk returns to his friends to prep for the next round of the gauntlet. But without a moment to revel in his next victory, a familiar face appears to knock Hulk down a few pegs. Can the Hulk take down this new challenger and gain freedom and riches for his clan? Come back next issue to find out!
Thoughts and Opinions: On it’s own this comic is perfectly fine, but the overall narrative so far does have some flaws. It was an interesting idea to return to Planet Hulk but Greg Pak has been taking the story at a pretty blistering speed. Within the first 3 issues Hulk lands on Sakaar, makes friends, meets what I’m guessing will be the main villain of the arc (unless there’s some sort of plot twist) and goes through multiple rounds of the gauntlet. For someone who has read the original Planet Hulk story-line, like myself, this amount of speed going forward isn’t an issue. But I can’t help but wonder how a new reader to the series might follow along with what’s going on. Even Hulk himself in this book jumps right into things without really asking any questions. I guess Banner told him stories of what happened during his time on Sakaar? For anyone new to this setting Pak doesn’t really provide enough context or background to make things clear.
On the positive side though, the action and characters are still very well done. Both from a written and artistic standpoint. While the original Planet Hulk had a very Spartacus feel to it, this story gives me pretty strong impressions of Mad Max: Fury Road. There’s rival clans, crazy death cars and everyone’s very angry. I wasn’t a fan originally of Amadeus being the new Hulk, but I like how Pak has shown that Amadeus doesn’t have everything under control as well as he thought. He needs to let his anger out if he’s going to survive on Sakaar, which means he might very well end up being as much of a monster as Banner was. In terms of artwork, Greg Land has had some issues in the past with tracings from a rather “mature” source. Thankfully he seems to have evolved past this for the most part, although I did spot at least 2 faces that fall back on this crutch. Overall though the action is kinetic and brutal and the characters themselves are unique and recognizable.