INCREDIBLE HULK #106, WAR WAR HULK: PROLOGUE: These are of a set, so let's look at them like such. I'll cop to the fact that, in my little secret fanboy heart, this is the crossover this year that I'm most looking forward to. Why? Because it seems pretty "pure" to me: They made Hulk mad, now Hulk SMASH! Pretty hard to screw that up, and its a nice clean line.
The PROLOGUE is more or less "here's what got us here", but does a pretty good job of not feeling like a clip show. Nothing is recycled, just recapped. Its a pretty effective presentation of the basic information, and I wasn't bored while reading it (especially since I read all of the issues its discussing already). It also reprints the obscuro first appearance of Amadeus Cho from that issue of (second series) AMAZING FANTASY so no one has to sweat collector’s prices (if, indeed, they were). But the real winner of the issue is the "mini-Marvels" bit, which is a complete piss-take on the whole story. That alone is *almost* worth the entry price by itself.
In HULK #106 the last of the pre-arrival bits fall into play -- Jen is depowered (though, gah, way to trash SHE-HULK before it ships [and, huh, still not shipping by 5/9 either, it looks like, based on the East Coast shipping lists]), Amadeus Cho puts himself into play, Ol' Doc Sampson shows himself to be as big of a dick as Reed, et al. Its all reasonably well written, and I loved the art as well, so hooray.
One thing that bothered me is the Continued Dickafication of the Heroes-in-Authority -- Reed's rationale is weak, at best, and you'd think the World's Smartest Guy (who is off-planet in FF, isn't he? Maybe it's a clone-robot!) could come up with something better, Len Sampson also comes off very very badly -- you'd think a licensed mental health professional might have a greater sense of ethics, wouldn't you?
I suppose one can argue "Civil War" either way -- I don't much *buy* the pro-side arguments, but its clear that something similar initially happened in the US post 9/11 -- but in WWH, I really can't see this as anything but "the illuminati is ABSOLUTELY wrong". They kidnapped him, they exiled him, and they left him a giant-planet destroying bomb of a ship as their bonus prize. They killed his wife and unborn child. They MADE the monster what he is.
So, yeah, I'm rooting for ol' Jade Jaws.
The problem is they're pretty unlikely to let him kill Tony or Reed -- though I suspect Black Bolt or Dr. Strange might be possible -- nor can he really "win" in a "war", so it is a little hard to see how this can have a satisfying resolution, in the weeks before it really starts.
I'll probably surprise everyone by having a shockingly low standard here, and I'll give these both a GOOD.
What did YOU think?