Sunday, October 12, 2008

World War Hulk

Hey comics people! If any of you still read this! I have a question for you.

As I may have mentioned here once or twice, I've all but given up on a weekly comics fix. But I still buy the random graphic novel here and there because, even if I can't support a weekly habit, I will always have a love for the dang things. (No matter how many times I get hurt by the many, many awful comics out there.)

One of the last comics collections I picked up before nearly completely swearing off comics for over a year was Planet Hulk, the massive hardback collection of the Hulk-in-space storyline by Greg Pak.

I found Planet Hulk to be tremendously entertaining and well-written, easily the best Hulk storyline since Peter David was in charge. So naturally I was greatly interested in the immediate follow-up to the story, World War Hulk. However, as I believe I've already mentioned, I'm not into the whole weekly comics-buying thing anymore. So I decided to wait until the story was over, and the trades came out.

Well, the trades are out now, and I need advice from you comics readers. What should I read? Because there are a lot of tie-ins. A lot. Obviously, I need to get the main book, World War Hulk. But how essential are any of the tangential collections?

I might be best off if I limit myself to the tie-ins authored by Pak. Like, say, Incredible Hercules (which I'm not entirely sure is a tie-in, or rather more of a sequel). But what about:

World War Hulk: Frontline
World War Hulk: Gamma Corps
World War Hulk: X-Men
World War Hulk: Aftersmash

I can probably answer the question, "Are any of these necessary to my enjoyment of the main story?" on my own: no. Absolutely not. Tie-ins are never essential. But are any of them worthwhile? Are any of them actually good? I love the Hulk. And I would love to read good writers creating good stories involving the Hulk. Greg Pak writes a darn fine Hulk. What about those other series?

And what about the tie-ins to other series not specifically created for this event:

Avengers: The Initiative
Ghost Rider
Heroes For Hire
Iron Man
Irredeemable Ant-Man
The Punisher War Journal

Anything worth picking up there? Or any other titles I might be overlooking? For example, I left out the She-Hulk tie-in (which, now that I think about it, may actually have been a tie-in to Planet Hulk rather than WWH) because I'm already a fan of Dan Slott's work on that book, and I'll be picking it up eventually regardless of its crossover relevance. Want to recommend anything else on (or off) that list?

Also, check me if I'm wrong here, but as I understand it, Greg Pak has quit writing the Hulk now, and instead it's Jeph Loeb who is writing about a red Hulk. I don't need any advice on that one: skip it! Jeph Loeb stinks.

Help me out here, folks! Give me a little advice. Who knows, maybe this will help me get back into comics full-time, the way Peter David and Todd McFarlane's run on The Incredible Hulk did for me way back in college (which was, holy cow, 20 full years ago!).

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