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Previously in Planet Hulk

Considering how decompressed modern comics tend to be, it's pretty impressive how much Greg Pak managed to fit into each issue of Planet Hulk. There's so much going on in this issue that I can't show it all here. I'm going to focus mostly on the relationship between the Hulk and Caiera because...well, because Caiera is awesome.

(7 pages from The Incredible Hulk #98)



First, the story opens up with the newly evolved Miek trying to keep the Hulk from leaving the fight against the Red King and going into the steppes. The Hulk does not take it well:





The Hulk accidentally smashing Korg snaps him out of his rage. It encapsulates the very reason why the Hulk wants to go into the steppes: he's afraid of what his anger can do to his friends. No longer a loner, the Hulk has people depending on him now to lead and protect them. He's savvy enough about his own life to know that this will end badly.

Regardless, the confrontation with Miek and Korg's intervention gets the Hulk to reconsider his stance, and he heads into battle against Caiera the Oldstrong. Rather than endanger all her troops, Caiera challenges the Hulk to single combat.

As I said, there's a lot in this issue that is getting skipped over. Miek's plot is continuing to develop, but he had his moment to shine previously so I'm putting his stuff on the backburner. The Red King is continuing going berserk in the capital, but he's a bit of a one-note bad guy and not the main appeal of the story. Instead, the big draw here is a chance to finally learn about Caiera. She explains that when she was young, her village was destroyed by the monstrous Spikes. In order to destroy the Spikes, the Red King firebombed Caiera's entire village, killing everybody but her, since she was able to use her Old Power to take a stone shape:



Pay close attention to the imagery of that scene, as it will be repeated at least twice before the end of this saga.



Note that Caiera had a slave disk put on her, but she no longer has it. We won't find out the reason for this until Skaar: Son of Hulk, but it's because she only had it embedded until she swore an oath to defend the Red King according to the Shadow Pact that keeps a peace between the imperials and the shadow people. Basically, it's only Caiera's honor and her loyalty to her people that is keeping her in servitude to the Red King. She's walking a thin line between carrying out the will of a madman and trying to keep said madman from killing millions. She hopes that killing the Hulk will save innocents from the Red King's wrath.

In an attempt to kill the Hulk quickly, Caiera unleashes her full power. Troops in the area think it's a major earthquake:



But it doesn't kill the Hulk:



The fight is then interrupted by the arrival of the Spikes - via a bomb that spreads them. This had been foreshadowed before when the Red King mentioned using the Spikes offensively. And then we get to see what Caiera is so afraid of:



The Spikes start out like a zombie apocalypse, but wind up being quite a bit more interesting than that. Unfortunately, we won't see that for a few issues. The good news is that next issue involves the Hulk and Caiera fighting these mindless, parasitic monsters with flamethrowers. Never let it be said that Planet Hulk ever got dull.

Date: 2012-12-19 05:49 pm (UTC)
thehood: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thehood
Ceiera is such a badass!

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