This is the second last “World War Hulk” review, with the last coming next month when that miniseries ends. Tomorrow, we’ll get the review of “New Avengers #38-39” for the Secret Invasion crossover.
Title: World War Hulk: Aftersmash – Damage Control
Author: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Salva Espin
Cover Dates: Range from March to May 2008
Cover Price: Each issue $2.99 US or $3.05 Canadian
Past comic reviews can be found here.
In the wake of the Hulk’s rampage, there’s a lot of damage to New York that needs to be cleaned up, and Damage Control is hired to do the job.
The third and final issue, which is a negotiation with the Chrysler Building, which wants to get up and go for a walk.
The first two issues are so weak and seemingly pointless that they feel like they exist for the sole purpose of setting up the third.
There’s some originality in the Damage Control concept, and definitely originality in the final issue. The rest is a bit weak. I give it 4 out of 6.
The artwork is very well done. It’s got the clean, consistent and on model line work I so enjoy, with a colour palette from Guru eFX that is well suited to the comedic tone of the series. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story feels like it exists just to string together the jokes McDuffie wanted to tell, most of which revolve around a sentient Chrysler Building. The logic and consistency is there, but there seems to be some lack of direction. I give it 4 out of 6.
The characterization is weak. There are several moments when the heroes would be stepping up and intervening but don’t, instead letting powerless civilians take the lead. When they do act, they are trounced by a building in seconds flat. It takes a lot more than a size advantage for the Chrysler Building to take out the Sentry alone, never mind Ms. Marvel, Ares, Monstro, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Rage, Spider-Man, Valkyrie, Komodo, Triathalon, Daredevil, Yellowjacket and so forth. (Well, I’ll give them Yellowjacket.) I also find it unlikely that Iron Man wasn’t one of the volunteers. I give it 3 out of 6.
The emotional response is pretty strong in the final issue, but very weak up until that point. I give it 4 out of 6.
The flow is smooth enough. It’s a short series under a compressed deadline, so apart from an awkward flashback involving Penance, it all works nicely. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a weak build to a strong end. Frankly, I’d advise you to skip the first two issues and just look for the third, which shipped this week and should be readily available. I give the complete series 3 out of 6.
In total, World War Hulk: Aftersmash – Damage Control receives 27 out of 42.
World War Hulk Rundown
Each piece of the main event was reviewed, and the links to those reviews are below. I’m also adding comments about which crossovers I feel are worth looking into, and which ones are best left alone.
- World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker – This is a fun little intro that bridges the gap between Planet Hulk and this event. If you haven’t read Planet Hulk, this is the best way to get up to speed (though you may find yourself asking what happened to Arch-E if you don’t also pick up World War Hulk: Frontline.)
- World War Hulk 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – These are the individual reviews of the issues reviewed above.
- Incredible Hulk #106-110, 111 – These are the crossovers I’d most strongly recommend, primarily as they fill in the few gaps left in the main story while telling a highly entertaining story of their own. It’s also the only one that has a visible effect on the main title.
- World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3 – Want to see the Hulk smashing the X-Men? Pick this up. Don’t care about that? Don’t bother.
- World War Hulk: Frontline #1-6 – If you want to know what happened to Arch-E, pick this up and try not to be disappointed. Otherwise, easy to miss.
- Iron Man #19-20 – Worth looking into, if you’re already interested in Iron Man.
- Avengers: The Initiative #4-5 – I recommend that everyone get every issue of this title. In my opinion, it’s the best Avengers title Marvel’s putting out right now. Highly recommended.
- The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 – I’ve heard great things about this title, but didn’t see them delivered here. Sometimes the crossovers designed to raise visibility are weaker than the rest of the series, though, and if this was the weakest of the series, I can see why its fans are so devoted.
- Heroes For Hire #11-15 – Missing this is not only fine, it’s recommended.
- World War Hulk: Gamma Corps #1-4 – I’m not a big fan of this series. Pick it up in TPB form if you run into these characters elsewhere and want to learn more about them.
- Ghost Rider #12-13 – Dyed in the wool Ghost Rider fans should skip the first 17 issues of this relaunched title. Don’t pick this up for the crossover.
- Punisher War Journal #12 – A decent story, worth checking out if you’re a Punisher fan.
- World War Hulk: Aftersmash – Sets up the two other Aftersmash minis.
- WWH: Aftersmash – Warbound #1-5
- WWH: Aftersmash – Damage Control #1-3