The Hulk is Master of Manhattan. His newly built battle arena contains his super-human slaves, including Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, Amadeus Cho and his Renegade friends of Hulk (Hercules, Angel and Namora) are trying to persuade Hulk that he's essentially a good guy - as evinced by the fact that, incredibly, he hasn't actually killed anybody yet. Cho is super-smart, and has perused a ton of archives on his friend The Hulk, so he should know.
But the Hulk claims that he is a killer by instinct, and that those who ally themselves with him are likely to die.
The Hulk is pretty mad to find Cho has sneaked into the dungeon where all the super-heroes are held. Hulk throws a sword at Cho... but it just misses him. Cho argues again that this proves the Hulk is no killer. Cho defeats a Deaths Head alien robot, and gets the chance to explain his plan to the Hulk.
Cho has purchased (using stolen money) a large section of the New Mexico desert. Using a force shield of his own devising, he claims he can create "GAMMA WORLD", a safe home on earth where the Hulk can live in peace.
Cho and Hulk argue ethics. Cho again reiterates (and we're getting the point by now) that the Hulk is no killer. The Hulk points out that he killed an alien named Fialan, and he killed the Red King of Sakaar.
"But that was war," claims Cho.
"So is this," replies the Hulk.
Now things get a little crazy. Having lost the debate, Cho calls in his allies, including the new female Scorpion. She zaps the hulk with some nano-tech virus poison blast specially designed to destroy him. It nearly does that, the Hulk is melting! But now Cho throws in another twist. He whispers to the dying Hulk that it's all Hulk's fault. His girlfriend Jarella, his wife Betty, his queen Caiera. All Hulk's fault.
HULK GETS MAD! HULK SMASH!
But while Cho is covered in rubble, he isn't killed. He's proved his point once more.
This leads into the climactic events of World War Hulk #5.
Spider-Man appears unconscious at the feet of The Hulk in a flashback cameo. Wonder Man, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Doc Samson are also KO'd in the same scene.
World War Hulk isn't as huge and convoluted as Civil War, and I'm thankful for that. I still resent the sheer number of comics I need to buy to get a single story. With variant covers, you're looking at more than US $150 or so if you want the complete tale. That's a pretty brutal asking price by my standards.
The "Hulk is no killer" angle is kind of well-worn by this point. But I guess it's the critical aspect of the story. Cho is interesting, and provides a definite counterpoint. Still, I wonder if Cho isn't TOO powerful... he seems to be almost invincible. I'd like to see a few weaknesses exposed in his abilities and personality, just to make him more rounded as a character.
This is a pretty decent tale coming in for a sold conclusion. Three and a half webs.