Monday, September 24, 2007

Hulk SMASH lesser comics!

The reading material for the next episode of Comic Club is the incomprehensibly cool Planet Hulk.

I really couldn't be happier.

I was fortunate enough to have already subscribed to The Incredible Hulk via the local comic shoppe before Planet Hulk began. (Peter David's House of M tie-in story had me pretty well hooked.) So today, I've read through Peace in Our Time, the story leading into Planet Hulk, and I've started into the first act of the main event.

I'm trying to think of just why I enjoyed Planet Hulk as much as I did. I think that part of it comes from watching the Hulk fall into a Conan story. The massive, physically powerful character follows the progression that the Cimmerian long since carved into stone, transforming from slave, to gladiator, to rebel, to finally King. But through it all, we're not in the head of a savage barbarian from this fantastic world... we're in the head of a monster from our world. We see things more as he would see them. But like Conan, the Hulk isn't out to be a hero to the planet Sakaar. He hasn't set out to save it's people. His is a mission of vengeance, first against the Red King for hurting him, and afterwards on the heroes of Earth for the destruction of the peace he had found in Sakaar.

I think the second reason I find Planet Hulk so satisfying is that culturally I think we see the Hulk as less of a character, and more of an obstacle or a force of nature. He has a worse reputation than the X-Men and Spider-Man put together, but he deserves it. Where the Hulk goes, destruction inevitably follows. It's nice to see him as the driver of events. And even though World War Hulk returns him to being the obstacle, or the disaster, he's still moving events forward.

Thanks for giving me something worth reading, big guy!

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