Stronger than he has 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: X-Men
The Hulk is just beginning his assault on those who shot him in space and ruined his life, so he claims. He knows who made the decision to betray him, and he knows Namor the Submariner was a part of the group and he voted "no" against the decision. Therefore, he holds no grudge against him. However, Professor Xavier of the X-Men, who is also part of the group, wasn't present when the decision was made. Hulk travels to the X-Mansion demanding to know Xavier's answer had he been present. Hulk doesn't like the answer given to him, and this gives him a reason to start smashing. -summary
World War Hulk X-Men
is a crossover in the World War Hulk
series, and it's among the better crossovers. The book begins with the Hulk taking on the New X-Men who are being lead by the Beast. Eventually, the battle goes straight to hell, and the multiple X branches all make their way to the battle site, delivering one of the more interesting bouts in this entire series. This chapter collects World War Hulk: X-Men
1 - 3, Avengers: The Initiative
4 - 5, Irredeemable Ant-Man
19 - 20, and Ghost Rider
12 - 13.
The X-Men story is written by Christos Gage, and he tosses together a mean all out confrontation. It doesn't take long at all for the fist to start flying. This is mainly a build up to display the power of the Hulk, and it's just so easy to get into. The Hulk mixes it up with quite a few big names in the X Universe, such as Colossus, Strong Guy, X-23, Cyclops, a brutal battle with Wolverine, and eventually against someone dubbed to be unstoppable. I have to come straight out and say that I never really cared for Hulk vs. Wolverine encounters though, because I feel the little mutant should be no match for the Hulk. It was so nice to see how a battle between the two should be, and should end. It's definitely amongst my favorite beat downs in all of comics.
Unfortunately, after this arc, the action is never really the same, but I never found it to be unreadable though. The Ant-Man story features a funny encounter with the Hulk, which isn't a bad read. Although it receives quite a bit of negative feedback for the lack of action, I thought the Ghost Rider story was pretty good. Many people were looking for a full confrontation between this new, all powerful Hulk, and a fully powered Ghost Rider. This segment adds to the overall story, and proves that the Hulk is not wrong in what he's doing. The Ironman story could easily be overshadowed by the X-Men for the action alone, but I think it's the best though. It features the actual battle between the two with Ironman in Hulkbuster armor, plus it adds some more story development on the part of S.H.I.E.L.D. There's an interesting moment that takes place between the higher ups, where they can't decide should they attack the Hulk or not. They're put in an all or nothing situation; should they strike, then the Hulk has to die, one shot one kill. If the Hulk survives, they face serious retaliation for nothing, since he's not after them.
The artwork is by far the best for the X-Men story, with some very nice character designs, easy to follow action, and great looking backgrounds. I think the Ghost Rider story boasts some very nice artwork as well. the other stories aren't as great, but I can't say they look bad either.
Even though I enjoy the crossover, and I find it to be an essential read. The X-Men story is kind of what bites this in the rear. It features over the top action and I can imagine anyone being totally amped up, only to see the follow up stories don't provide the same thing. It causes a very distracting pacing issue for those who bought into the easy to buy into first story. Nonetheless, this is a crossover I do recommend. Pros:
-Action packed X-Men story, Ironman story
-Won't be easy to get through for some after the first story