By: Frank Cho (Writer/Artist), Jason Keith (Colorist)

The Story: Hulk arrives, Wolverine tries to fight him and some kind of ancient evil is unleashed out of the Savage Lands.

The Review: I had told in the previous review I wrote about this series a theory in which I told that Wolverine was kind of inconsequential to the story. In a way, I was mildly joking and I thought myself very clever when I pointed out that besides giving us action, he did not do much to advance the plot, leaving Shanna and Amadeus Cho the luxury of actually explaining what was happening to us. While it was a bit on the nose, it did not exactly detract from the enjoyment of the story.

As it turns out, I was right, albeit not entirely: none of the characters here actually mattered. While it may sound harsh and exceptionally unfair for me to say, I dare anyone to read this issue and then to just try to see why exactly the story needed Wolverine, Shanna, Amadeus Cho or even Hulk in there to explain its concepts. Basically, there is a lot of fighting between Hulk and Wolverine, which leads to the ancient evil sealed in the Savage Lands to wake up and go out in space. The end.

I am not kidding at all, which makes it all the more unfortunate. The build up to the ancient evil was actually enjoyable, as did the growing sense of humor and the more visceral and bestial action that had been peppered up throughout this story. All that, however, has been thrown away to give us a rushed up conclusion that tease for things to come, yet cannot properly conclude the character arc or even the many reasons as to why these very persons where hand-picked to penetrate the Savage Lands.

Perhaps the reasons why some were picked are obscure, yet it is easy to see why Hulk and Wolverine were picked: popularity and action. The only reason why Hulk is even featured in this issue, which is the only thing he actually does in this issue, is fighting. While an action scene can be something entertaining to read and, let’s face it, action is what superheroes live for; it has to have some kind of meaning behind it. Here, it seems only to be padding out the issue until the conclusion arrives. Sure, the fighting is used as a reason as to how the big evil being is escaping in the first place, but it is not actually explained in details or even shown, as it is rather told to us with nothing more than a single line thrown in. I never thought I’d say that, but a comic featuring Wolverine and Hulk actually disappointed me to no end.

It’s a shame, though, as the art is as gorgeous as it ever was, with big panels and big expressive faces and action. The scale of each character is pretty good, as is the panel layout, which is still inventive, yet in an essentially minimalistic way. It’s still a gorgeous book, especially with Jason Keith giving us some very vivid colors to add to the more bombastic action and huge characters shown to us.

The Conclusion: Great art cannot save a book from having a rushed and anticlimactic conclusion. As much as the action is good-looking, it serves close to no purpose if it does not add anything to the plot, which Cho seems to have forgotten.

Grade: C-

Hugo Robberts Larivière



  • Nick

    How did Hulk not die after beig double stabbed in the head??

    Hulk wore purple pants In this and blue In the other.

    • I suppose he is incredibly resilient in many aspects, including his cranium. He is the Hulk after all.

      As for the other thing, I hadn’t even noticed. I’ll have to take another look.

  • I think Frank Cho’s real strength as a writer is in the short “cartoon strip” stuff like his work on Liberty Meadows, which I’m a huge fan of. No question is Cho one of the best artists out there, but it doesn’t seem like he can write long arcs. That’s okay, though, because how many people can write the short arcs or humor as well as he can? The field is wide open for that. This is a classic case of simply the wrong fit. Cho should be self aware enough to know his strengths, and honestly, so should Marvel. I’d like to see them give him wings to fly–not soar but a series of short, strong spurts. Maybe “Spiderman and Friends”?

    • I’d actually be really open to a more comedic book. Something starring the GLA, or small-time characters or even something akin to Mini Marvels.

      I don’t really know Frank Cho that much, though, as I haven’t read Liberty Meadows. I’m familiar with his art, yet not his major works. As a person completely unaware of just what Frank Cho can do best (except females), I think I’ll have to read his other works to see the kind of humor you’re talking about.

  • Kreniigh

    Wasn’t Shanna trapped for like, a year in the set-up for this story?

  • This was dumb as the proverbial box of rocks. Pretty though. And the bit with the giant whale was good.