By Ryan Penagos Read enough Hulk comics and you're bound to witness the Jade Giant proclaim he's the strongest there is. With "World War Hulk," it looks like he's going to prove it once and for all. While "World War Hulk" is the summer blockbuster comic event of 2007, Hulk's saga of triumph and tragedy, love and loss stretches back nearly two years. "World War Hulk" finds its origins in INCREDIBLE HULK #88-#91, the "Peace in Our Time" storyline. Tying in directly with the NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI special, Hulk is led to believe he's recruited by Nick Fury to battle an off-world enemy that only he can handle. Unfortunately, it's all a ruse by the Illuminati--Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Professor X, Black Bolt and Mr. Fantastic--to lure Hulk off the planet. Hoping to protect innocent lives and bring peace to the raging beast that is the Hulk, the Illuminati shunt Hulk off in a spaceship aimed at a lush, quiet planet where Hulk can live peacefully. Unfortunately, things don't go quite as planned. Despite providing a message with their high-minded intentions, Hulk is enraged at being exiled. So, when Hulk's ship is mistakenly pushed off-course to a harsh, war-minded world, Hulk believes he's been lied to and left to die by those he once believed to be friends. But Hulk has little time to ponder the thought, as his new home on Sakaar welcomes him with violence and pain. Such is the beginning of "Planet Hulk." A 14-part saga, "Planet Hulk" tells the tale of how Hulk goes from a gladiatorial slave to rebel leader to peace-bringing king. Not only does Hulk bring peace to the people of Sakaar with his fellow gladiators and their followers, but he finds it himself with a kindred spirit--his queen Caiera. When Caiera reveals she is pregnant with his child, Hulk's world is complete. But there are no happy endings for Hulk. At the height of happiness, it's all taken from Hulk when the ship that brought him to Sakaar--designed, created and crafted by Earth's most brilliant minds in the Illuminati--goes nuclear, ravaging the planet and killing his wife and unborn child. In a cruel twist of fate, Hulk's time on Sakaar has made him stronger than he's ever been before, a fact that spares him from the death that befell Caiera. With Sakaar dying around him, Hulk welcomes death. On the brink of destruction, Sakaar's strongest warriors--Hulk's friends and compatriots--come to his aid, promising vengeance and retribution for the loss of Sakaar and everything they held dear. With renewed purpose, the means to get there and the power to take on the Illuminati and all who would stand with them, Hulk and his warbound set off to Earth. Revisit this page every week as new issues of WORLD WAR HULK and tie-ins are released and added to the gallery! With the first shots of "World War Hulk" fired in World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker, the epic storyline spans more than 30 issues and numerous titles. Who lives? Who dies? Can Earth's heroes survive the onslaught of the Hulk at the peak of his power and rage? Find out in WORLD WAR HULK! Need to feed your appetite for World War Hulk even more? Visit our World War Hulk hub for news and info, scope the full World War Hulk checklist and watch the World War Hulk trailer below!
Added on 8/8/07: Incredible Hulk #109 and World War Hulk Front Line #3
Other Visual Guides on Marvel.com: Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter | Annihilation | Civil War | Dark Tower | Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America | Infinity Gauntlet | The Initiative | Marvel Zombies | Spider-Man: Back in Black | World War Hulk | X-Men: Endangered Species