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: Damage Control
World War Hulk has come to an end and the rage filled monster, The Hulk, has failed in his attempt to demolish the city, and his Warbound have been captured and are on their way to confinement. New York City has been almost completely devastated and now it's time to suck it up and move forward. The construction organization, Damage Control, have been called in to clean up the mess and rebuild the city. -summary
World War Hulk was no doubt a very fun ride with some cool action and character interactions. It followed up Planet Hulk very well despite not being as engaging. Where Plant Hulk was far more on the thought provoking side and shifted away from the typical Hulk-like stories, World War Hulk in a lot of ways was an old fashioned Hulk story. Damage Control is the aftermath, and it really did begin with a spark, but it could have been so much more. In the end, I really didn't find it to be that great of a conclusion to the epic World War Hulk storyline. This book which is written by Greg Pak and Dwayne McDuffie contains World War Hulk - Aftersmash One Shot and World War Hulk - Aftersmash: Damage Control 1-3.
I always found the idea of Damage Control to be an interesting one. Their primary purpose is to clean up the damage created in superhero vs. super-villain battles, which use to leave me wondering at one point; who takes care of all this damage? The first story was pretty entertaining with some action here and there. It pretty much reveals the fates of certain characters plus ties up loose ends. Greg Pak finishes things off rather well and sets up future storylines. He did keep the storyline entertaining with some good ideas. The plot is very fast paced, and it follows Iron Man as he tries to coordinate the salvage teams and begin NYC for repair, some brief battles breakout for the action fan. In short, this part is pretty satisfying and the artwork by Rafa Sandoval is pretty impressive. The characters are very well drawn with some nice detail, and the colors help bring out the best.
The second story which happens to be the three parter drags this book almost completely to the ground. The late Dwayne McDuffie has wowed me in the past with his writing, unfortunately, this is not one of those moments at all. The story features mainly character interactions and I found almost all of them to be boring as hell. The topics weren't very interesting, and they would just drag and drag and drag, with almost no possibility of a resolve in their future, and when one of these very lame moments finally did reach a conclusion, it was one of those roll your eye moments because it was so stupid. McDuffie tried a lot of forced comedy, but it only hit the mark when it didn't come off forced, with one part concerning the big hats talking about NYC's superhero vs. super-villain battle insurance. I thought this part was hilarious and it was well done. Everything else was just terrible and I found myself wanting to skip pages because I was so damn bored. The artwork isn't as good as the first chapter, and there's also a comedic twist thrown in on the character designs.
World War Hulk was indeed an epic tale and fun romp. The only issue in comparison to earlier story arcs such as Civil War and House of M, it really doesn't do anything for the status quo. In closing, I highly recommend the WWH story arc, however, I only recommend this book to the completest and those who closely followed the story. It doesn't add much to the overall story, and to top it off, it wasn't much of a fun read either.
-First story, and some artwork
-Second story is very close to awful
Planet Hulk Prelude
World War Hulk
World War Hulk: X-Men
World War Hulk - The Incredible Hercules
World War Hulk - Gamma Corps.
World War Hulk - Frontline