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World War Hulk (Review/Retrospective)

This is the sixth in a series of comic book reviews that will look at the direction of Marvel’s continuity (and particularly their “Avengers” franchise) over the past five or so years, as they’ve been attempting to position the property at the heart of their fictional universe. With The Avengers planned for a cinematic release in 2012, I thought I’d bring myself up to speed by taking a look at Marvel’s tangled web of continuity. Get an overview of what I’m trying to take a look at here.

Forget sides. They’re all screwed when the Hulk gets back.

– a popular internet meme which puts Civil War in perspective

I have to admit, World War Hulk reads like something of a guilty pleasure. The fantastic artwork from John Romita Jr. (whose fantastical character designs work much better here than in Kick-Ass or even Enemy of the State) certainly helps, as does the relative brevity of the miniseries. It’s a relatively self-contained five-issue storyline, as opposed to the large House of M or Civil War which directly preceded it and Secret Invasion which would follow – it also helps that the tie-in issues seem a lot less essential (and certainly less omni-present) than they did for any of those series. World War Hulk is pretty far from perfect, but it’s an enjoyable little arc from a writer who is clearly familiar with the Incredible Hulk.

Hulk makes quite an impact...

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Wolverine: Enemy of the State (Review)

Wolverine is a bit of an odd character. He’s a bit of an odd character to have endured the sheer amount of publicity that he has and to remain a big gun at Marvel. He was introduced as an opponent in The Incredible Hulk, before ending up drafted on to Chris Claremont’s revised Uncanny X-Men roster. After that, he was lucky enough to earn his own miniseries (written by Claremont and drawn by Frank Miller), which became his on-going series which led to him featuring as a leading character in multiple team books and a title character in several solo series, all at the same time. Only Spider-Man can compete with that level of exposure, and Spider-Man arguable has a better claim to it as a richly layoured, complex and pseudo-realistic character (in the sense of being “Peter Parker: Schmuck”, rather than “Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man”… you get the idea). On the other hand, Wolverine’s defining trait is that he is very, very good at killing things.

Even an unstoppable killing machine can stop to pet the dog...

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