Welcome back, loyal readers and new friends alike. When last we saw the Hulk he had just broke free of the Imperial Arena and said goodbye to the Silver Surfer. The cosmic powered skyrider had offered to bring the Hulk back to their universe but he declined, opting instead to stay amongst his new brethren.
The next arc of the Planet Hulk series is entitled Anarchy and as you may imagine there is some craziness going on. Pak, the writer of the entire series, seemingly spent a lot of time as a child enjoying trilogy themes, because he’s done a master stroke here.
A history lesson on that: in any trilogy (film, book, etc.) the second part is designed to put the protagonist (hero) in an unwinnable situation. Think: Empire Strikes Back and how it ends with Han being frozen and taken away by Fett, Luke learns Vader is his father and Threepio is still in pieces! Planet Hulk: Anarchy follows this same thread.
As it starts out Hulk and his gladiatorial compatriots are trying to stay one step ahead of the imperial army lead by the Red Kings Shadow (an “old strong” – something not totally defined, yet). But not long into this arc the story starts to depart from focusing on the Hulk and moves on to the world around him and the other characters; another shrewd move.
Miek, a local “bug” person, native to Sakaar, brings the group to the land where his people used to live, where he was born and where he watched his hive be destroyed. It is here that he discovers remnants of his people. Enraged he battles and eventually kills the local “headman” who initially led the fight against his hive.
Running in the background of this entire arc is the uprisings in the capital city against the Red King. Slaves and commoner alike are beginning to believe that the Hulk is the true Sakaarson (fabled savior and leader) and that the Red King, who has been purported as such because he saved the people from the “spikes” years ago, is merely an imposter. The Red King, enraged by the disobedience of his subjects meets their defiance with fire; killing hundreds with the weapons built into his fight-suit.
Along the way there is contention amongst the members of the Hulk’s group but in the end they splinter, not spitefully but with the mindset of saving as many innocents as possible. The Hulk, along with a transformed Miek, march towards the Capital and are met by the Shadow and her forces. It is then that the Spikes re-emerge!
The Shadow, attempting to save civilians caught in the path of the battle raging against the Spikes, is scolded by the Red King viewing the events via a remote camera. It is then that he reveals it is he who has controlled the Spikes always (piecing things together she knows it was he who destroyed her village as a child with the Spikes just to make her his slave). And as the Red King lets loose bombs, both in an attempt to weaken the Hulk but also to help contain the Spike outbreak, Shadow is beneath them, bearing a child in her arms. Emerging from the fire the child turns to ash and her allegiance blows away in the wind along the murdered child.
Hulk and his compatriots are on the move towards the Capital and all they have on their mind is bringing the Red King down, by whatever means necessary. I have to admit it’s a pretty solid way to end the second arc of the trilogy. Check back next week as the Planet Hulk story continues!
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Check out this week’s Playlist!
Till next Wednesday…
Panic at the Disco – Northern Downpour, Live – Insomnia and the Hole in the Universe, Gavin Degraw – Follow Through, Nada Surf – Blonde on Blonde, Cave In – Rubber and Glue, Radiohead – Knives Out, Fun. – I wanna be the One, Tool – 10,000 Days (Wings Pt. 2), Farewell Continental – Radio, Radio: Are you Getting This?, Coldplay – White Shadows, Face to Face – Overcome, Tonic – Drag Me Down, Beastie Boys – Paul Revere, Less Than Jake – Abandon Ship, Placebo – Pure Morning