Writer:Sam Humphries / Artist:Marc Laming / Marvel
Planet Hulk is off and running as one of my standout picks for great tie-ins to Marvel’s HolyShitTheUniverseIsEndingButNotReally event, Secret Wars. As far as establishing the universe being unmade and remade with key differences to familiar characters and settings, it doesn’t get any weirder than Steve Rogers in a teamup with Doc Green and Devil Dinosaur, battling their way through a gamma irradiated wasteland lorded over by the Red King. Sam Humphries and Marc Laming has given us a page turner that has caught fire faster than your hair in Trey Songz’ bathtub.
The lion’s share of this issue takes a strange turn in pace with Doc Green and Steve exchanging ideologies, examining their reasons, not only for taking on this mission, but why they fight at all. The problem here is that it’s SO exposition heavy. Doc Green picked a weird time to be more talky and aimlessly philosophical than Season 2 of True Detective. Rogers wanting Green to shut up as he continues contemplating their navels seems to mirror the readers’ own want after a while. The only character I’ve known of that can get away with this whole “talk the hero’s ear off in the wilderness” thing is Tyrion Lannister and, as much as I love Sam Humphries’ voice for Doc Green, he’s no Tyrion Lannister.
However, seeing Devil Dinosaur earn his keep on the battlefield at least partially makes up for the glut of exposition, so that was a pretty fun highlight. Also, the flashback of Cap and Bucky in battle together makes for effective demonstration of the bonds of war as an ongoing theme. Marc Laming’s artwork is pretty much killing it. His designs for the various gamma irradiated life pay homage to various pulpy sci-fi landmarks but still sings with degrees of originality.
Bottom Line: A slightly chatty issue, but hopefully, it evens out when you read the whole story all together. Not as good as the last two issues, but still one of the best tie-ins to come out of Secret Wars. 7.5 out of 10