by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer
Son of Hulk
Written by Greg Pak, Art by Ron Garney
Published: August 2008
Even on the planet of Sakaar, the unspoken rules of the Marvel Universe hold true: if you have two superheroes meet for the first time, they’ve got to fight, even if they don’t have much cause to. So it goes with Skaar and Princess Omaka, who were introduced last issue. Now in Skaar: Son of Hulk #3, they settle their differences.
Skaar is actually the more rational one here, getting talked down by the elderly shadow-priest that has been following him around for a while (and who, thankfully, convinced Skaar to wear a loincloth early on). Omaka, on the other hand, backstabs Skaar right off, seeing him as an animal and trying to end his life quickly out of some sort of mercy.
Throughout the battle, we get some narration from Skaar’s dead mother, Caiera, lamenting that she was not there to teach him more than fighting and survival. The battle is punctuated by Axeman Bone’s catapults and ended by the approach of a group of wildebots, which forces Omaka and Skaar to team up. It is here that we find out that Skaar can in fact talk, speaking in the angry tones of his father. And once the fight is ended, Omaka and Skaar are allies, again following an unwritten Marvel rule. They’re off to Prophet’s Rock, where Skaar will learn to access the full force of his Old Power…we think.
In our backup story, we learn a bit more about Axeman Bone, who was a general with the Red King’s army and who claims to be the only monster on Sakaar who knows when to stop. This sways a young shadow slave, who turns a poisoned dagger on the assassins out to take down the Axeman in his weakened state. Whether Axeman Bone actually means what he says or whether he just said those things to save his own skin is left up to the reader’s interpretation.
Due to the backup story, this comic is a very quick read. In an age when decompressed storytelling has become the norm for comics, it was a bad idea of Marvel’s to cut the page count on their already fast-paced stories in order to cram some background information in. Fortunately, what we do have here is very entertaining. The art gets a little rough partway through the book, but then recovers its overall quality by the end. As per usual, this is not a typical superhero story but instead borrows heavily from the tropes introduced by Conan the Barbarian and other sword and sorcery comics. With Skaar now able to talk, maybe we’ll even learn a little bit about our main character next issue