Sunday, 24 April 2011

World War Hulk: Gamma Corps

Around the time of the World War Hulk crossover, Marvel released a number of spin-off mini-series to capitalise on the Hulk's return to Earth. Gamma Corps was one such book, and though I enjoyed the main storyline I had little interest in the spin-offs... until I saw this one on offer for a true On The Ration price.

Gamma Corps is a 4 part storyline written by Frank Tieri and drawn by Carlos Ferreira and Sandu Florea. Although it does take place during the World War Hulk crossover, it tells a self-contained tale that can be appreciated on its own. Like the old Hulkbusters, Gamma Corps is a group of army-recruited, gamma-empowered people who each hold a green-skinned grudge. One woman lost her son in a tragic road accident caused by a massive scrap between the Hulk and the Abomination. Another is a child who was born when his mother was scared into early labour by encountering the Hulk in a shopping mall. There's a soldier who tried to cure his cancer-ridden wife by injecting her with Hulk blood, former Circus of Crime baddy the Clown, who risks gamma-infusion for revenge, and the estranged father of the Hulk's 60s sidekick Jim Wilson. They're led by the younger brother of Major Glenn Talbot, another character long time Hulk readers will remember, a soldier with a gigantic chip on his shoulder.

Tieri takes time to flesh out each of his cast before pitting them against their nemesis and throws in a couple of plot twists along the way. The character work is solid, if a little obvious at times, and although the script avoids cliche it doesn't have a great deal of flair. The artwork is at times quite exciting but other times less so - Carlos Ferreira is not a name I recognise, but he's obviously starting out and still in thrall to his influences - among which he'd obviously include former Hulk artists like Todd McFarlane and Gary Frank. His work is actually much better than a lot of these tie-in books usually give us, but there's still a sense that he hasn't fully developed his own style. (I wonder what happened to him - this book was drawn four years ago and I've not seen his name anywhere since.)

Hulk: WWH - Gamma Corpsis an enjoyable if unspectacular read. I might have been less generous towards it had it not cost me 1p (plus £2.80 p&p) from a seller on the Amazon Marketplace. Now that's what I call Comics On The Ration!

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