December 15, 2009

Marvel Reviews: What If? World War Hulk one-shot

WHATIFWWHCoverPublisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Mike Raicht, Michael Gallagher
Artist: Lucio Parillo, Patrick Spaziante
Cover: John Romita Jr.

Rarely would you ever find me review a What If? comic or a Hulk comic, let alone a What If? comic starring The Hulk. Well, Mike Raicht (The Stuff of Legend) and Lucio Parillo (City of Dust) have achieved the previously unachievable and have turned out quite the gem in this past Wednesday’s What If? World War Hulk one-shot! With many What If? stories, it’s too easy for the plot to come off as convoluted, bizarre, lame, or downright unenjoyable when compared to the original, but What If? WWH avoids all of these pit falls and presents an intriguing take on how things could have gone had the heroes lost the final battle against World War Hulk.

World War Hulk was defeated when the Sentry was called in to take him down and the two behemoths pounded the hell out of each other, resulting in a stale-mate with both men reverting back to their regular human forms, exhausted. Then, as a questionable and risky last-ditch effort Reed Richards commanded his satellites in space to blast World War Hulk, defeating him. Well, in the What If? version, Hulk pounds the bejeezus out of Sentry without much effort, leaving Earth’s heroes stymied and forced to make the same decision as before: to fire the satellite rays at the Hulk or to not fire the satellite rays at the Hulk? Well, just like in the 616 version, Reed Richards commands Tony Stark to blast the Hulk with the energy beams as they’re out of time and the angry green giant is about to win the day. Tony argues against using the satellites at first, claiming that the combined effects of the rays haven’t been tested before and the results could be catastrophic. Richards barks that they don’t have time to argue, so Tony goes ahead with the venture; which is too bad for the heroes and New York City. Once the beams connect and come down upon World War Hulk full force, a wash of white energy engulfs the area, obliterating everyone and everything in the city…except World War Hulk.


Parillo's amazing two page spread.

Enter the Skrulls. The alien invaders have been watching over Earth, waiting for the right time to mount their Secret Invasion and with a large majority of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes now put in the ground, there’s no time like the present to make Earth their new home. So Hulk is faced with a decision: join the remaining forces of his former enemies to combat the Skrull threat or become the Green God the Skrulls have deemed him to be. The decision Hulk makes may surprise you, and it should excite you to know that Silver Surfer and Galactus show their face before the story is over.

Mike Raicht’s writing is brilliant in this issue. Like I mentioned before, it’s no easy task to make a What If? story intriguing let alone readable, yet Raicht does so with a clear understanding of the characters involved and their situation. It’s obvious who his favorite X-Men are, as only a pair of them have survived the initial Skrull invasion; the X-Mansion was the first target on the Skrull’s list as mutants were deemed the most prominent threat to their reign. Raicht’s words are greatly complimented by Lucio Parillo’s art which is absolutely gorgeous! He doesn’t pencil or digitally color, he paints! That’s right, every panel done by Parillo is a beautifully painted piece that’s full of color and detail. It’s stunning work and it makes one wonder why he isn’t on a more mainstream title yet. Seeing Parillo’s work alone is enough of a hook to check out this issue.


"What you got Goldilocks?"

There were two other stories in this one-shot as well by writer Michael Gallagher and artist Patrick Spaziante. The first was about what if Thor had intervened with the battle against World War Hulk and the other was a silly collection of Mini-Marvel’s-esque comic strips. The silly strips were humorous, but the Thor story tried to be funny but fell flat; especially when following the Raicht/Parillo tale.

When you visit your LCS (local comic shop) this Wednesday I highly recommend checking out a copy of What If? World War Hulk if you see it still on the shelf. While you’re at it, check out the Batman 80 Page Giant too as Mike Raicht has a story in that issue as well!

Andy Liegl



  1. InfiniteSpeech

    great review Andy! Parillo’s work is always great to look at but I think his work takes a certain amount of time that might not fit into the schedule of a consistant monthly book. Thats why the guys that paint charge a higher rate lol But it is so worth it, I’m glad this story didn’t fall flat but with Parillo on board I knew it would at least look great!

  2. That would make sense as to why Parillo isn’t on an ongoing…I can’t imagine he can just crank out these pages overnight. Still, I’d like to see his work more often!

  3. Billy

    I saw a preview for this and thought it sounded good. I also think What If? Stories usually bite Andy. Maybe someday I’ll get to read The Stuff of Legend…:(

  4. […] happens in New York too, and that just opens this universe up to so much more. So allow me to say, Mike I want to see Deadworld: Hollywood Hills next. Get […]

  5. […] him here on the site a few months ago, and I’m a big supporter of his work. I also thought he did a great job on What If? World War Hulk back in December, so I have high expectations for this one-shot. So far this […]

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