|"World War Hulk"|
|Publication date||May – November 2007|
|Penciller(s)||John Romita Jr.|
|World War Hulk||ISBN 978-0785125969|
"World War Hulk" is a comic book crossover storyline that ran through a self-titled limited series and various titles published by Marvel Comics in 2007, featuring the Hulk.
The series consists of five main issues titled World War Hulk, with Greg Pak as writer and John Romita Jr. as penciller, and three other limited series: World War Hulk: Front Line, World War Hulk: Gamma Corps, and World War Hulk: X-Men. It also ran through several other Marvel comics series.
The plot is the culmination of a series of events that began with the Hulk being tricked into space by the Illuminati and a Life Model Decoy of Nick Fury. Planet Hulk shows the Hulk's subsequent exile and his imminent return to Earth to seek revenge on the Illuminati.
The story, a crossover throughout various series, began in the one-shot World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker (May 2007), written by Peter David and penciled by Sean Phillips, Al Rio, and Lee Weeks. Marvel followed this with Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #106–111 and World War Hulk: Frontline #1–6 as parallel stories following the impact of the Hulk's return on various characters. The crossover extended into regular issues of Avengers: The Initiative, Ghost Rider, Heroes for Hire, Irredeemable Ant-Man, The Punisher War Journal, and Iron Man, as well as a miniseries starring the Hulk and the X-Men and a newly created group, the Gamma Corps. The stories ran from summer through fall, beginning in issues cover-dated July 2007. Initially scheduled to end in October, Marvel announced through the October 10 Diamond Dateline retail newsletter that the final titles in the crossover would be delayed until mid to late November.
After the Illuminati (Black Bolt, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, and Reed Richards) banished Hulk from Earth, the spacecraft they used explodes, killing Hulk's pregnant wife. Blaming the Illuminati for her death, and more powerful than ever because of his time spent absorbing the radiation levels on Planet Sakaar, Hulk returns to Earth for revenge with his allies, the Warbound: Hiroim, Korg, Elloe Kaifi, Miek, No-Name of the Brood, Arch-E-5912, and Mung.
Stopping at the moon, the Hulk defeats Inhuman king Black Bolt. The Hulk proceeds to Manhattan, New York where he demands the presence of The Illuminati.
He travels to the home of the X-Men, where Professor X, absent from the decision to send the Hulk off-planet, admits he would have agreed with the decision, but also tells him he would not have agreed to permanent exile. The Hulk defeats several teams of X-Men  and battles the Juggernaut but leaves after learning of the M-Day incident, believing that Xavier has suffered enough.
The Hulk returns to Manhattan and battles the superhuman-operative team Gamma Corps and Ghost Rider. Hulk defeats Iron Man, destroying Stark Tower in the process. The Hulk and his Warbound next defeat the New Avengers, the Mighty Avengers, Doc Samson and the Fantastic Four (including Black Panther and Storm). The Hulk attaches "obedience disks" to the defeated, imprisoned superheroes, preventing them from using their powers.
After a brief battle involving Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Namora, and Angel, the Hulk defeats General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross and a U.S. Army force. The Hulk then encounters Doctor Strange, who mystically merges with a powerful old enemy, Zom. Hulk defeats the Zom-possessed Doctor Strange, causing the demonic entity to flee.
An imprisoned Tony Stark (Iron Man) communicates with S.H.I.E.L.D., revealing an emergency plan to engulf Manhattan in the Negative Zone, thereby annihilating the Hulk and all other positive matter on the island, should the heroes fail.
The Hulk and the Warbound transform Madison Square Garden into a gladiatorial arena. Meanwhile, he repels an assassination attempt from Scorpion, and a confrontation with the Initiative.
Following speeches from the Hulk's human supporters, the Hulk arranges for Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Black Bolt, and Mister Fantastic to fight a tentacled alien and later battle each other to the death, as a cheering audience watches. The Hulk declares his intention was for "justice and not murder", and nobody had to or would die. He plans to destroy New York City and leave the Avengers to their shame.
The Sentry arrives and attacks the Hulk. Sentry and the Hulk battle, leveling the city, until they revert into Robert Reynolds and Bruce Banner with Reynolds passing out. Angered that the Hulk disappeared, Warbound member Miek attacks Banner. Rick Jones pushes Banner aside and is injured, causing Banner to return to Hulk form. As the Hulk attacks the Warbound, Miek reveals the explosion that started this war was not caused by the Illuminati, but by Red King loyalists. Miek chose not to prevent it, hoping the incident would encourage the Hulk to keep destroying. Overwhelming rage causes the Hulk to unwillingly radiate energy that threatens Earth. Stark activates a series of weaponized satellites that open fire on the Hulk, leaving him unconscious in his Bruce Banner form.
S.H.I.E.L.D. later imprisons Banner in a facility three miles underground, with the other Warbound members having been taken into U.S. military custody.
Namor was spared from the Hulk's wrath, as Hulk discovered early on that Namor was the sole Illuminati member who voiced his opposition to banishing the Hulk from the outset and predicting Hulk's eventual return and quest for vengeance.
With the conclusion of the "World War Hulk" storyline, the series The Incredible Hulk was replaced with The Incredible Hercules, which officially replaced the title of the previous series with issue #113, even though the story arc started one issue earlier in The Incredible Hulk #112. The series continued the story of Hercules and Amadeus Cho.
A continuation of both "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk" began in May 2009. A special stand-alone prologue and Skaar: Son of Hulk #11 saw the beginning of "Planet Skaar", an arc intended to bring Skaar directly into the middle of the Marvel Universe. Following the return of the Silver Savage (the Silver Surfer), events begin to spiral, forcing Skaar to not only abandon Sakaar but also head toward Earth. As was revealed by series writer Greg Pak, Mister Fantastic, Reed Richards, is not amused with the arrival of another Hulk-like being, and the meeting between father and son will not be very pleasant for the Hulk.
In the 2010 "World War Hulks" storyline, it is revealed that the satellites used to revert Hulk to Banner at the end of "World War Hulk" siphoned off the gamma radiation from his body, in order to collect it for the cathexis ray later used to create the Red Hulk.
A sequel arc titled World War Hulk II is shown in the issues of The Incredible Hulk. After returning from a restored Sakaar, Amadeus Cho's Hulk faces off against Phalkan. His Hulk form's persona changed to where it easily defeated Phalkan and used his "computer brain" to leave Phalkan with a broken arm, a broken foot, a punctured lung, and some broken ribs.
For the 2009 What If series, there was a What If? World War Hulk one-shot which examines two alternatives to the storyline:
In the last issue, the Earth-Z version of Hulk became infected while on the moon, the rest of the Warbound being devoured by the zombie Inhumans (with the Hulk eating Elloe Kaifi when the infection takes control of him). Instead of seeking revenge on the Avengers and Earth, he returned to Earth to satisfy his hunger, and in turn, infects the version of the Sentry that was responsible for the outbreak in the first place. This Hulk goes on to join Spider-Man's team of New Avengers when the Sentry turns against him.
In Chris Giarrusso's Mini Marvels comics, a World War Hulk three-story series had been written.
Zen Studios developed a virtual pinball adaptation of the limited comic series, releasing it on the comic's fifth anniversary in 2012 as part of the four Avengers Chronicles tables as downloadable content for Marvel Pinball, Zen Pinball 2, Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3. This table is set in the ruins of New York City and features voice acting and battles between the Hulk and the superheroes he sought to confront as revenge for his exile.
|World War Hulk||World War Hulk (2007) #1-5||224||May 2008||ISBN 978-1302920777|
|World War Hulk: Front Line||World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker, World War Hulk: Frontline #1-5||196||June 2008||ISBN 978-0785126669|
|World War Hulk: Gamma Corps||World War Hulk: Gamma Corps #1-4||104||May 2008||ISBN 978-0785128045|
|World War Hulk: X-Men||World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3, Avengers: Initiative #4-5, Irredeemable Ant-Man #10, Iron Man vol. 4 #19-20 and Ghost Rider vol. 4 #12-13||240||May 2008||ISBN 978-0785128885|
|World War Hulk: Incredible Hercules||Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #106-111||142||June 2008||ISBN 978-0785129912|
|World War Hulk: Damage Control||World War Hulk: Aftersmash and World War Hulk: Aftersmash - Damage Control #1-3||112||June 2008||ISBN 978-0785123880|
|World War Hulk: Warbound||World War Hulk: Aftersmash - Warbound #1-5||120||July 2008||ISBN 978-0785116882|
|World War Hulk Omnibus||World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker, World War Hulk #1-5, Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #106-111, Iron Man vol. 4 #19-20, Avengers: Initiative #4-5, Irredeemable Ant-Man #10, World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3, Ghost Rider vol. 4 #12-13, Heroes for Hire (2006) #11-15, Punisher War Journal vol. 2 #12, World War Hulk: Gamma Corps #1-4, World War Hulk: Frontline #1-5, World War Hulk: Aftersmash, World War Hulk: Aftersmash - Damage Control #1-3, World War Hulk: Aftersmash - Warbound #1-5 and Planet Hulk Saga||1304||October 2017||ISBN 978-1302908126|
World War Hulk No. 1 was at the top of the Diamond Comic Distributors' sales chart for June 2007, selling an estimated 178,302 copies. When the first issue sold out, Marvel announced a second printing would have a variant cover by John Romita Jr.