WORLD WAR HULK: FRONTLINE #1 and WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN #1: Yeah, and see, this is where the event starts to fall apart. You see, I can buy (and, for that matter, can enjoy) the whole “Hulk comes back to Earth and tears shit up” idea from what I’ve seen in the core book and the Iron Man and Incredible Hulk crossover issues, because it all ties together relatively well – the Hulk lands back on Earth with his alien buddies, and they’re all pretty pissed. They give the world 24 hours of warning, and then it’s on, including Iron Man getting beaten to crap. Fine. That makes sense.
But the idea that the Hulk has time for a side trip to Xavier’s School for Wacky Mutant Children and Adults, because he wants to ask Xavier whether he would’ve voted with the Illuminati members who sent him off the island… Yeah, that doesn’t really work for me. And it doesn’t work for multiple reasons – When did he decide to do this? How does he know that Xavier was part of the Illuminati in the first place (I thought he just knew that the four characters were responsible for sending him off-planet, not that they were four members of a secret society for which he knew the entire line-up)? Why does it matter whether Xavier would’ve voted with the other members or not (If Xavier says “No,” then is the Hulk going to say “Yeah, okay. Thanks,” and then leave?) – Doesn’t it seem a bit calculated to think of doing this in the first place, therefore cutting down on the “He’s mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!” pitch of the event? That’s really the main problem of the X-Men spin-off; that it feels like an add-on, as opposed to something that’s part of the main event, and an add-on that doesn’t really care about story logic or consistency as much as it cares about shoe-horning another X-Men series into the sales projections for the year. Awful
That said, the Frontline series is even worse. After a reasonably suspenseful opening – I like the paranoia of wondering where the pigeons have gone – the book that loses focus entirely. The aliens are giving people their guns in exchange for beer? Manhattan doesn’t get entirely evacuated after all (Wasn’t that a plot point in both World War Hulk #1 and the Iron Man tie-in, that it was completely evacuated)? Or, weirder still, the police department is working with the alien invaders after someone steals something from one of the invaders? What the Hell is that? And, maybe more to the point, if Paul Jenkins didn’t have anything resembling a coherent plot for this series, then why is he the one writing it? Very, very Crap, and more proof that it never pays to be optimistic about the possibilities of Marvel not managing to run an enjoyable crossover into the ground with unnecessary and badly done spin-off series.