by Mike Shea on 6 July 2008
I just finished reading the Planet Hulk graphic novel and I loved it. While mainstream America watches the Hulk once again throw tanks through the air while soldiers shoot at him, I read about the hulk serving as a gladiator king on an alien world to which he was banished. There is so much more creativity in comic books than there is in film. Even the best comic films just barely do justice to their original source material. And many other stories are simply lost.
The story of Planet Hulk had me the minute I read the description. Worried for themselves, the fantastic four send the Hulk to what they think will be an empty but habitable world. Instead he is pulled through a worm hole to an entirely different planet full of hostility. The world resembles Rome with a corrupt emperor enslaving intelligent insects, a strange race of shadow priest assassins, a plague of biological-eating horrors, and lots and lots of things for the Hulk to smash.
And smash he does. The Hulk's character never loses his primary focus. He wants to be left alone and he will not let himself trust anyone ever again. Every time he fights for "stupid pinkies" they end up calling him a monster and sending him away. No longer.
Planet Hulk is a great big graphic novel with a whole lot of story, richness, and powerful action. The story is a tragedy however, and I sort of wish it had ended about twenty pages earlier than it actually did. I suppose something has to get the Hulk back to Earth, but the ending felt a bit contrived. I suppose there's nothing stopping me from simply believing the story ended where I wanted it to end. Of course, that wouldn't lead me to red "World War Hulk".
My only complaint with my new found love for graphic novels is the cost. Just about every one of these graphic novels costs about $20 and lasts maybe, at best, a few weeks. Planet Hulk as a softcover graphic novel has a decent price to page ratio.
Planet Hulk is a great graphic novel with a story and artwork impossible to recreate in a movie. I loved it.
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