Rating: 4.5/5 – Thor: Ragnarok’s Hulk v. Thor Battle Makes its Way (in Spirit) to the Comics.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell
Amadeus Cho had decided to make a trip to Planet Hulk, thinking it was the best option for himself because he is questioning if he truly can control his meaner greener side, The Hulk. His trip lands him on the Red Planet and straight into the shadow of Bruce Banner’s Hulk. One side of the people want to praise him like he is the Green Scar coming home, but the other side wants him dead. Regardless of what Bruce Banner did on his time on the planet, or even what Skaar had done, everything seems to come full circle. There is a new Red Warlord that decides whether you live or die, the people wanting an ordinary life, and a hero / monster to save them all.
Amadeus Cho has been fighting as the people’s champion of Sakaar for several rounds now, if he makes it through 5 rounds the people he defends can go free. The Warlord testing Amadeus is trying everything he can to stop the green giant from succeeding. Lickspit, one of the Warlord’s obedient servants is calling down beings from the whole in the sky to battle Amadeus. After numerous attempts, Lickspit has found a worthy opponent, The Unworthy Thor. It’s the matchup we saw in the movie Thor: Ragnarok, but of course, this is set in comic book continuity so is not really the same thing except in spirit.
Writer Greg Pak pulls readers in with an action packed drama, on one hand Amadeus is fighting the Hulk within, but on Sakaar there are monsters everywhere to be fought. Dramatically there are lives on the line, but every issue is packed with new foes in the gladiator arena. Pak brings readers back to Sakaar and is letting us know isn’t the place to get better. War is the life of Sakaar and Amadeus is put right into the type of place he probably didn’t want to be in. When the fight gets heavy, Amadeus must make a choice to either stay safe and sane, or let his Hulk side take the wheel. Though the battle should come out as a big bold battle for the ages, it feels short lived. Odinson is fighting against his will, he’s being controlled, and regardless of how hard he tries to stop swinging his axe, he does’t seem to have the strength and pull away. The battle is more of a mental test for Amadeus, he doesn’t want to fight his friend, but if he doesn’t then not only will the people he is defending die, but he will die as well. Artist Greg Land toughens up the pages with some fierce art. Each panel, each swing of a fist or blade, is strong, Land kept me moving from page to page like I was watching a boxing match for the ages.
The Return to Planet Hulk story arc is not a long one, but I wish it was longer. Some of the comics feel rushed, but this story could keep going just as long as the original Planet Hulk story. The Hulk side of Amadeus might go in the direction that Bruce had gone by becoming the new ruler, but Amadeus most likely wouldn’t let that happen. Amadeus seems to be in better control of his Hulk self than Bruce was, and I still can’t tell which direction everything will go in the end. A great mystery is always appreciated, but Marvel has already teased the possibilities of a World War Hulk II story. I’m loving Hulk right now, so I’m on board for whatever storyline follows this one.
Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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