Writer: Sam Humphries / Artist: Marc Laming / Marvel
The special Battleworld tie-in titles for Marvel’s Secret Wars have had as many misses as they have hits. I would say Sam Humphries’ Planet Hulk has a safe haven somewhere at the top of the “hit” column. This is the sort of thing that makes this event worth reading. “Take a well known event, turn it upside down and do the most ridiculous thing possible with it” seems to be a winning formula and Humphries takes it for all its worth.
Issue #2 sees Steve Rogers and his trusty steed, Devil Dinosaur teaming up with their mysterious guide, Doc Green as they traverse the treacherous Greenland in search of the Red King. We get some flashback insight into Rogers’ motivation for this dangerous mission. Humphries creates a perfect hybrid that mixes the outlandishness of a good Hulk book with that sense of loyalty and the bonds of war that come with a Captain America story. Doc Green has a unique, memorable voice of his own that sets itself apart from other Hulk incarnations without becoming too unfamiliar to fans of the mythos. Marc Laming’s artwork makes for consistently clean backgrounds and environments that really make the Greenworld come alive, really putting you in the mindset that every living thing there stands a good chance of killing you completely.
My only complaint is that the facial expression seem a bit stiff and limited in range. I don’t doubt that it’s something that can be fixed in the coming issues, but it’s sort of off putting when introducing new characters (despite them technically being old characters).
Bottom Line: Planet Hulk continues being a unique, well written reason to love the alphabet soup approach to Secret Wars. 8 out of 10.