Comics : Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #33
Part 1 / Part 2
This eight page backup story is by a different creative team, but it concludes the Hulk story that opened the issue, i.e. Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #33.
The Hulk (with the mind of Bruce Banner) has agreed to be teleported to the "blue area" of the moon (an ancient abandoned Kree City that still possesses a breathable atmosphere) to fight against Death's Head (an interplanetary bounty hunter employed by the D'Bari alien race) in a battle where both are proxy champions for the fate of their respective races in a battle over the future ownership of the planet Earth.
The whole affair is entirely pointless, as both sides (the D'Bari and S.H.I.E.L.D.) intend to betray their champions at the end of the fight. The D'Bari intend to kill their champion after he wins, while the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. intend also to betray and capture the Hulk when he is weakened after the fight (assuming he isn't dead of course).
This is the basis of the plot, and it is utterly stupid for two reasons. One, if both sides are intending to betray their own champion even if they win, what on earth makes anybody think that they intend to honour the deal if they lose! Secondly, with the fate of their entire species at stake, both sides are more worried about some petty betrayal? Frankly, they're both pathetic and I hope they both lose.
Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #33 (Story 2)
Review (No SM)
Arc: Part 2 of "Hulk vs. Death's Head"
It's all for naught, but we have a pointless slugfest to work our way through before we finish anyhow.
Hulk and Death's Head fight each other in the ruins of the city, while their respective "allies" make plans to betray them. S.H.I.E.L.D. teleports up a giant Hulkbuster to fight the Hulk. So... if the Hulkbuster can defeat the Hulk, why didn't they just send that up to fight Deathshead?
Meanwhile, the D'Bari use a long-abandoned (but still functional) Kree cannon that they find lying around in the wreckage, and plan to turn it against their hired killer, Death's Head. At this stage, both the Hulk and Death's Head realise they have been betrayed, and they make a truce.
While struggling to fight off the inevitable return to his brutish mentality, The Hulk grabs control of the Kree cannon and blasts the orbiting giant D'Bari space-ship into smithereens, presumably killing millions of innocent D'Bari in the process. That does tend to be the normal result when you destroy space ships. It doesn't tend to end well for those inside.
There is some effort made to tie up the loose ends of this tale. Supposedly, while demonstrating their power by attacking the moon, the D'Bari used all of their remaining power, and had nothing left to power the shields that defended their spaceship city. Hence the reason that one single blast could destroy it.
That's fair enough. But what I can't believe is that S.H.I.E.L.D. had no backup plan. Surely while sending the Hulk off to fight, they would also have Tony Stark and Reed Richards analysing the ship's defences, and surely they would realise that it was utterly vulnerable and the whole D'Bari attack was a bluff.
Basically, when you decide to write a story where the whole world is at stake and everybody knows it, then you have some sort of responsibility to at least consider the bigger picture.
Is it too much to ask that when writing a modern comic story using established characters that you spend half an hour attempting to critically review the plot for major holes? Clearly the answer is "yes it is too much to ask".
The footnote on the final page of this story says "Dedicated, with much respect and admiration, to all those who worked at Marvel U.K."
That leads me to believe that this is the last original story in this title. However, issues #34 and #35 which follow both feature stories that I personally have never seen in print before. So... I'll review them as well, just to be sure!