After leaving the Planet Sakaar en-route to Earth seeking revenge for the death of his wife and city. The Hulk unknowingly leaves behind an offspring. His child who later on grows up to become a warrior named Skaar, was born in the lava sea of the planet. He rises from the lava and is taken under the wing of a man who goes by Old Sam. He seeks to bestow Skaar with the Old Strong power that once belonged to his mother Caeira. Along the way he finds himself helping a tribe who are trying to survive an onslaught against a supposed tyrant named Axeman Bone. -summary
Greg Pak hit a home run with his Planet Hulk story, which told an epic tale of the green goliath stranded on an alien world fighting for his life in a weakened state. He was on a world where being a monster was the law of survival. It truly turned out to be one of the best, some feel the absolute best in the Incredible Hulk mythos. There are plenty of reasons on why this story worked. Pak knew he delivered something special, so he attempted to create a situation where lightening would strike twice, with another sequel to Planet Hulk. This time the story follows the Hulk's forgotten son Skaar, who must embark on the same trials as his father. However, this time, Greg Pak's story feels very bland and it suffers from some major pacing issues and very forced character development. I'm beginning to actually question did he actually write this story. This book collects Skaar - Son of Hulk 1-6.
Skaar - Son of Hulk feels like a phoned in work. The identity of Planet Sakaar wasn't lost, as it still feels like a place only monsters can survive on, as the reader is bombarded with two warring tribes, where one resorts to cannibalism in addition to wholesale slaughter. There even appears to be no honor among thieves, as one of the main antagonist Axeman Bone must even watch his back amongst his own allies. This isn't exactly bad material, however, Greg Pak attempts to juggle too many story elements, and crams in a lot of forced character development that seriously damages the pacing. For a brief moment the reader will be following the story in the hear and now, then a pretty long flashback would soon occur. These flashbacks definitely add to the story, by playing into the peoples legends as well as referencing the Hulk's stay on the planet and his past deeds. But I found some of this to be hard to follow at times. The main story feels way too cluttered to the point where it seems plot less. Although the main point is to help Skaar become powered by the Old Strong, and take over the planet as its ruler.
I really enjoy the concept of Hulk having a son who is every bit as rage-filled as he is, and Skaar has an interesting ability of his own, such as being completely resistant to fire and intense heat. His origin story on how he came to be is an interesting element as well. Unfortunately, he's a tough character to actually like, yes he's strong, blood thirsty, and ferocious, but he comes off as a short sentence dimwit to me. Eventually, he does come around. I also didn't grow a liking to the antagonist, and this entire world feels like a watered down rehash.
The artwork is the strongest portion of the story which is a plus. Although most of the action isn't truly spectacular, there are some gory moments with guts being on display. The character designs are also very good with some nice details and Skaar looks great, as he resembles a cross between the Hulk and Conan.
The story isn't a complete mess though, since there is quite a bit of background given and what little bit of a climax there is ends on an interesting cliffhanger, but this story just never truly gripped me. The flashbacks would have worked out completely had the characters not felt like cheap carbon copies of the original Planet Hulk story, and if they had some type of personality earlier on. In short, if I can't invest in the characters, then there's just very little hope for me to invest in what I'm reading.
Pros: -Artwork, lots of background
Cons: -Story doesn't flow too well due to choppy pacing.
Having read Greg Pak's thrilling PLANET HULK and (less thrilling but still greatly entertaining) WORLD WAR HULK, I feel very qualified in saying that he's capable of so much more than what he delivers in SKAAR: SON OF HULK. A comparison may not be entirely fair, but, given the 'shared destiny' and obvious relationship between the subject matter, I think it's entirely warranted. The chief similarity that sets the HULK works and SKAAR apart is the narrative: whereas PLANET HULK … more