Comics : Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #100

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

In the main story of Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #100, an intergalactic Hulk is on the run with his Warbound alien allies. Elloe is back, Caiera the Oldstrong is now Warbound with Hulk, Miek is now a giant Native King, and they're all under attack from The Spikes. It's a tale on a gigantic scope, and I would be doing it a dis-service by attempting to retell it in a few paragraphs.

Fortunately there's no obligation for me to attempt to do so, since Spider-Man isn't actually in that story. Instead, he's in the backup story "Planet Cho". Technically, it's "one of the backup stories", since this issue also reprints the three-page abbreviated "Origin of The Hulk" from Incredible Hulk #3, plus the two issue "Trial of The Hulk" tale from Incredible Hulk #152 and Incredible Hulk #153.

"Cho" first appeared in Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) #15, in the title story. Spider-Man didn't appear in that story, but we gave it a review anyhow, since the wall-crawler appeared on the cover, and also in a couple of the backup stories from that issue. Read the review, but basically, Cho is on the run from a bunch of mysterious bad guys. For allies he can count Hulk, and possibly SHIELD.

In Detail...

"Planet Cho"
Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #100 (Story 2)
SM Cameo
Summary: Spider-Man Flashback Cameo
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Greg Pak
Pencils:  Gary Frank
Inker:  Jon Sibal
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Review

The men of SHIELD are sitting in their helicopter, reviewing the images of the attack by an unidentified helicopter on Amadeus Cho. As described in the lead story of Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) #15, this took place in Jackalope, New Mexico. Cho was rescued by the timely intervention of The Hulk.

Genius-kid Cho has been on the run since his massive victory on an internet "brain competition", shortly followed by the destruction of his home and family by those same unidentified men in helicopters. Of course, with brain power like Cho possesses, he's in violation of the Super Hero Registration Act, meaning that they plan to bring him in. They're just preparing their attack plan.

The phone rings. It's Cho. He warns the agents to grab their parachutes, and then he crashes the SHIELD carrier they're sitting in. Cho is still carrying his coyote pup tucked inside his jacket.

Back in New Mexico, Cho returns to the scene of the attack. Then he uses his computation powers, and tracks the Hulks distance and angle from examining his footprints, allowing him to backtrack the Hulk to his underground base. Using the emergency line directly connecting Bruce Banner's hideout to the headquarters of the Fantastic Four, Cho makes a call to Reed Richards.

Reed quickly identifies that Cho isn't Bruce. But he's not quick enough to stop Cho hacking Reed's computer system. Cho uncovers the video that the Illuminati (Reed, Dr. Strange, Tony Stark, Black Bolt) made for Banner before they exiled him into outer space. More disturbingly, Cho determines that Bruce did not make it to his destination... the peaceful uninhabited planet that the Illuminati intended would be the Hulks home for the rest of his natural life.

Cho and Banner argues the rights and wrongs of attempting to exile the Hulk. Banner argues the dangers, but Cho counterattacks saying that the Hulk is only ever dangerous in self defense. Cho also describes the many times that the Hulk has saved the planet. He references the scene from Secret Wars #4 where the Hulk holds up a mountain to save the heroes on the Beyonder's Battle Planet. Spider-Man is depicted among the heroes, which is his flashback cameo.

Reed contacts Tony Stark, but Cho is gone by the time Stark's forces can arrive at the Hulk's hideout. Reed and Stark have a problem. They now know that the Hulk isn't safely tucked away on an idyllic isolated planet. He's somewhere in the galaxy, and he has friends like Cho that are looking to help bring him home. And when that happens...

In General...

Writer Greg Pak is writing the Incredible Hulk, and was also the writer of the original Cho story from AF (Vol. 2) #15. So it's natural that he would want to bring the two together, and I'm really pleased that he got the opportunity.

The original Cho story was a nice little introductory tale, and this follow-up brings Amadeus Cho fully into the Hulk continuity. Right from the start, Rick Jones made it clear that the Hulk works best when he has a non-Hulkish sidekick to contrast with. While Cho isn't really anybody's sidekick, I'm sure Greg can get some good mileage out of the contrast between the two.

This is an important tale in the World War Hulk continuity. It's the moment when the all-powerful Illuminati discover that:

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

And Cho's involvement here clearly makes the claim that Pak intends him to have a significant role in events to come. And that's fine by me!

Overall Rating...

Cho's second outing is every bit as entertaining as his first. Two webs.