Community Nooch's Comic Reviews

What a beautiful baby boy!

Skaar: Son of Hulk #6
Heroes and Monsters by Greg Pak, Ron Garney, and Butch Guice

I first came across the name, Greg Pak, at a panel that Marvel was having at the San Diego Comic-Con International a few years back. One of the guys on the panel,it may have been Joe Quesada, Marvel EIC, referred to Greg Pak as "the best writer you've never heard of." I wrote about this before in my review on Magneto: Testament, but I'll do a quick recap for those who may have missed that. He had written like three or four projects for Marvel that never got published for one reason or another. His first published comics work ended up being a Warlock 4-issue mini, that few people picked up. Those of us that did, though, were blown away. I wasn't even going to look at it, since I had never heard of Pak. But then my local shop was doing a $1 comics blowout sale, and I saw all four issues there. I figured four bucks for a complete mini is a steal. I've since bought every single comic that Pak has ever worked on.

As I mentioned in the Magneto review, Pak shot to stardom for his work on Planet Hulk and World War Hulk. Yes, some people knew about him before those projects, but he became a household name (or as close as you can get in the industry to that) for that work. Before Marvel handed him the reigns to Hulk, the book was suffering from sliding sales. Bruce Jones had been writing the book, who was more known for his horror/crime background. He was writing some really good tales, but they got old after about 4 years. Once Pak took over, he took Hulk to new heights, literally.

The first thing he did was to shoot Hulk into space. The major players in the Marvel Universe - Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, SHIELD, Dr. Strange - all tricked the Hulk into going on a space mission where he ended up getting sent to a planet where he was to spend the rest of his days. They intended to send him to planet with no sentient life, so that he could live out his days in peace and not cause the havoc he had on Earth.

They miscalculated.

The ship instead landed onto a world, Sakaar, that had more than its own share of problems. The Hulk was captured and forced into slavery, where he fought in gladiatorial battles for the amusement of the Red King, the tyrant who ruled over the planet with the obligatory iron fist.

As is the way of such tales, Hulk fought his way to the top, eventually leading a revolt against the Red King and reluctantly accepting the throne for himself. He was beginning to have some peace and working with the different race of the planet to rebuild into a peaceful society. He had even taken a queen, Caiera the Oldstrong, for his bride. She was pregnant with his boy. Then, due to what we would discover was treachery by an ally of the Hulk's, the ship that brought HUlk to Sakaar exploded, cracking the very surface of the planet.

With his new home destroyed, Hulk returned to Earth to seek vengeance against those he blamed for the tragedy. The result was damn near every hero in the Marvel Universe getting his or her respective ass kicked. Hulk tore through them like wet napkins that you blow your nose into but then they rip and now you have snot all over your hands.

That whole storyline was awesome-and-a-half. As it turns out, while Hulk was traveling back to Earth, his unborn child actually survived. Because Caiera had the Oldstrong power, she was connected to the planet. Skaar, the son of Hulk, survived because his stone egg sac could withstand the lava pits in which it landed. He burst from the sac, born into liquid fire, struggling for life from the first moments he can remember. That is the premise of this book. This new beast, son of both Savior and Worldbreaker, enters a world with people that don't know what to think of him. Will he redeem his father's mistakes, or carry out a tyranny even greater than that of the Red King? But what if, like his father, he just wants to be left alone?

Who should read this book:
People who love gladiator/barbarian fantasy.
People who liked some of the older Hulk stories where he fought outrageous aliens.
People who have green babies.



Nooch's Comic Reviews

More people should be reading comic books, dammit. As the resident comic book elitist, Nooch has made it his personal quest to get more noobs heading into their own dimly-lit comics dungeon every Wednesday to peruse the vastly under-rated world of sequential art.