Unspeakable – Comic Review: Planet Hulk

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When the Incredible Hulk is tricked by his former teammates and winds up on a strange planet with nothing but his brawn and wits keeping him from certain death, he must team up with a band of misfits to fight a tyrant king and restore the peace…

Planet Hulk

  • Publisher: Marvel Comics        
  • Writers: John Byrne, Mike Mignola
  • Artist: Carlo Pagulayan
  • Genre: Superhero/Sword & Planet
  • Year: 2007

What’s it all about?

Having determined that the Hulk is too dangerous to keep on earth, the most brilliant minds of Marvel U trick Bruce Banner by asking him to repair an orbiting satellite as a rues to send him off to a distant planet where he can do no more harm. Bruce Hulks out, and the spaceship is knocked off course and into a wormhole – when it re-emerges it lands on a strange hostile planet called Sakaar. The Hulk is enslaved by the guards of the tyrant Red King and forced to fight for his life in an arena.

What happens next?
The Hulk and his Warbound allies – a misfit group of warriors from distant planets, each one a throwback to classic Marvel tales – fight to the top of the arena circuit. The Red King feels threatened by the Hulk as the people start to view him as a new messiah, and he pulls every nefarious and horrific method he can to punish the Hulk and those who support him. Eventually, the Red King is deposed, the people are freed and the Hulk rises to power and becomes the wise and wise and benign ruler Sakaar has long dreamed of.  He finds love and balance, bringing peace and prosperity, only to have the ultimate tragedy strike when his guard is down.

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Is it any good?
Planet Hulk is epic, now the internet has diluted the meaning of epic to mean anything from a beer commercial to a really big burger, but Planet Hulk actually deserves this definition. The journey of an unwilling hero – exiled, enslaved, fighting, triumphant and ultimately tragic.

Planet Hulk fits neatly into the enormous Marvel continuity, but unlike so many others it has a strong stand-alone appeal, making it a great addition to any library.

Is there a movie? 
Marvel released an animated Planet Hulk in early 2010 which, while faithful to the original material lacked the truly epic scope of the book. The animation was not quite top notch and the voice acting left a little to be desired. It was, overall a good movie and is well worth watching, as long as you read the book first… Alternatively watch Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and pretend it stars The Hulk.

 

Rating:

5/5 – Must Read

 

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About the Blogger:
Michele Pace Bonello is a board game, horror movie and comic book fan, form Malta – Europe. If you want your comic or game reviewed – send him an e-mail on mpacebonello@gmail.com.

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