Stronger than he's ever been, the Hulk has finally returned to Earth with vengeance on his mind, and a rage that can rip the planet in half. After invading the Moon and smashing Black Bolt, he hovers his ship over New York City, and demands that Ironman, Mr. Fantastic, and Dr. Strange surrender in 24 hours, or he's going to destroy the planet. Earth's heroes as well as the military scramble to find any means possible to either stop or kill the Hulk.
World War Hulk - Front Line
The Hulk has landed on the Earth and he's made his demands. Two reporters who write for the Front Line, Ben Urich and Sally Lloyd, leap into the action for a front row view of the carnage. These reporters are going to get the scoop on what they dubbed "World War Hulk" even if it kills them. -summary
While most of the World War Hulk
crossovers focused on the title character or even those who seek to help him. WWH - Front Line
, is a rather unique take on the tale, which was actually done before in the Marvel Civil War
. Written by Paul Jenkins, WWH - Front Line,
collects WWH Prologue - World Breaker
and WWH - Front Line
. It provides a street level view on the Hulk's attack against the superheroes, by taking the reader through the chaotic streets of New York, and showing that the innocent people are actually the ones who suffer the most. The story is an obvious commentary on the effects of war, and even when the battle is over, the only losers are the ones who had nothing to do with it.
The first story is a one shot tale written by Peter David called World Breaker.
Here, the Hulk is put on full display as he kills an alien group, who attempts to invade his ship on the way to Earth. His anger is put in the spotlight, and it shows how much of a danger he can be, not only to his enemies, but also to his friends. He reminisces on previous battles with the four he's after, and he later attempts to control and channel his anger. Another interesting portion of the story is a heated discussion between Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk and Doc Samson. She knows that the Hulk is going to come back for revenge sooner or later, and she wants no part of it. WWH - Front Line
begins with Ben Urich being made a deal on getting the full scoop on stories from a mysterious benefactor, with the intention on bringing down the Daily Bugle ran by J. Jonah Jameson. Together with Sally, they venture through many neighborhoods and see how people are dealing with the disaster. The low class districts have no faith in the government helping them in any way; during or after the conflict. There are even references on the Hurricane Katrina disaster which seems to fit right in, and it feels way too close to reality.
This particular crossover has received a lot of hate, and it's mainly only from certain folks who are only looking for pure, full scale Hulk action, and in their search, they completely ignore what bit of content is actually present. There really isn't much action to be found though, aside from a few glanced over conflicts. The artwork has some really good moments with the first story boasting the best character designs. Many of the other stories display some good backgrounds capturing the chaos in the city.
Even though I found some type of enjoyment in WWH - Front Line
, I don't recommend it as an essential read. It doesn't add much to the main storyline in regards to the Hulk himself or even his conflict. It's only meant to showcase the misery of the people. This is something that will only be valuable to the true completest. Pros:
-Not really essential, very light on action
Planet Hulk Prelude
World War Hulk
World War Hulk: X-Men
World War Hulk - The Incredible Hercules
World War Hulk - Gamma Corps.