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Planet Hulk has been a rip-roaring adventure ride, and our Scotty Cook is here to review the climax to this action-packed Marvel series.
Straight Outta Greenland!
Planet Hulk #5 hit the shelves this week and it rocked harder than the other four put together. Even though I am in anguish that the story has come to an end, it could not have been a better finale.
It took great willpower to stay off of social media before its release but I conquered my urges and was greatly rewarded. To all of you out there that posted spoilers of the ending, the jerk store called and they ran out of you! It is my hope Devil Dinosaur shows up on your doorstep and bites you.
It is my pleasure to review the last of this great chronicle and I hope all comic readers pick it up as soon as possible.
The opening page is pure carnage. Mud Kingdom Tribal Hulks litter the panel, while Devil Dinosaur rains death upon them. With the fight carrying over from the end of Planet Hulk #4 he looks like a cross between a T-Rex and a porcupine with the spear shafts jetting out of his body. Meanwhile in the keep of the Red King, Steve Rogers has shrunk to the floor holding the severed bionic arm of his best friend, Bucky. The Red King wastes no time telling Steve that he killed Bucky and that it was Doom who ordered Bucky’s death. The Red King offers Steve the chance to stand with him and his vibranium infused Hulk army. Offering Steve a drink from the top half of a skull, the Red King thinks he has conquered the axe-wielding gladiator.
Can Steve Rogers be won so easily? I saw nay…Steve Rogers is no man’s dog!
With a flip of his wrist Steve knocks the skull from the Red King’s hand and thus we get four of the most amazingly drawn panels in recent comic history. There may be kids reading so I will just say, Steve uses his shield to turn the Red King’s face into mashed potatoes.
This is where things get a bit weird. I have been beating my head against the wall for days trying to wrap up the following pages into words. I watched Inception twice and went back and dusted off my copy of The Matrix and still the words avoid me. I will keep it short but detailed. Doc Green shows up and tells Steve he embraced his inner Hulk. Steve yells, “There is no Hulk in me...” Doc Green reverse Hulks out and reveals that he is also Steve Rogers from another Kingdom. Confused yet, so was our gladiator Steve. Alternate Steve calls Gladiator Steve weak and tells him to leave Greenland forever. Gladiator Steve does as he’s told and leaves immediately, with his axe buried in alternate Steve’s torso.
Emerging from the keep, Steve brings the battle between the Savage Hulks and Devil Dinosaur to a halt by throwing the head of the Red King in the center of the melee.
All is lost. The Savage Hulks are leaderless. Steve Rogers and Devil Dinosaur no longer have their Warbrother. Nothing but scars and tears are left for the survivors.
“…and thus endeth the Chronicle…”
This five part story arc has been the best thing I have read in comics in a very long time. It had all the elements of a good story. Action, loyalty, savagery, family, betrayal, everything short of a happy meal. The real triumph of the story for me was the way it ended. Steve Rogers and Devil Dinosaur locked in an embrace as Steve mutters, “I am afraid brother…” Devil Dinosaur can only offer a small coo as they comfort each other’s pain.
Writer Sam Humphries takes us out of the story perfectly, with Steve and his warbound, Devil Dinosaur, walking into the unforgiving landscape of Greenland. Like Clint Eastwood in the classic movie Pale Rider, the two never look back.
Scotty Cook is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @WriterSNY
The end of the Planet Hulk saga!