Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War Alpha #1: Review

May 2022
Donny Cates, Martin Coccolo

Story Name:

Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War Part One of Five

Review & Comments

5 stars

Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War Alpha #1 Review by (May 11, 2022)

Review: When we first heard about this upcoming event, it sounded utterly cool, the latest battle between the two mighty heroes, now each in another form (All-Father/Starship) and I couldn’t wait. Here it is and it’s everything I had hoped for: action, comedy, a gory callback to THE IMMORTAL HULK, and more. Donny Cates is the main writer for both series and so everything goes smoother than usual.  

Comments: One-shot introduction to a multi-issue crossover between THOR (2020) and HULK (2021) in observance of both characters’ sixtieth anniversary. Story follows THOR #24 and HULK #6; story continues in THOR #25. The Black Hand of God was first seen in THOR #19, there called the Gauntlet. First appearance of the planet Sakk-Reen whose inhabitants are a combination of early Disney (they are even in black and white) and the more modern ADVENTURE TIME; the planet’s name is presumably pronounced “saccharin,” a term for something sickeningly sweet or sentimental like old time cartoons. And the opening of the battle on the Black Hand resembles the beginning of a fight in various video games, notably "MARVEL VS CAPCOM.” The final line is a callback to Thor’s famous quote in AVENGERS (1997 series) #22.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War Alpha #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Watcher introduces us to “the greatest battle that the world has ever known” between the Mighty Thor and the Incredible Hulk. He brings us up to date on the current volumes of the antagonists’ titles (Thor as All-Father, Hulk as Starship) and drops us into the story as the two are already fighting in a cartoonish world called Sakk-Reen. Odin, whose spirit now inhabits Mjolnir, gives Thor unwanted advice. The voice in Hulk’s head takes the form of Betty Ross, warning him that this battle will be different from all the previous ones. Both heroes try to silence the voices and both wonder whom the other one is talking to. As they wreck the town, Thor calls to Sif to send them some place where they can do battle safely. And so they are transported to the Black Hand of God, a space station built from the hand of a Celestial as an arena for holding gladiator games; Uatu sits in the stands, eating popcorn and enjoying the show. As they duel, Thor tells Hulk he is seeking justice for the seventeen people Hulk killed in a bar in El Paso; Hulk denies doing it. Hulk is knocked down and Thor places Mjolnir on his back to keep him from rising. Inside Starship Hulk, Bruce Banner prepares for battle, reading all of the data on his previous contests with Thor. So he musters his strength and stands up, Mjolnir tearing a hole through his middle. Thor picks up his hammer (through the hole in Hulk) and the struggle continues. When Thor is pinned down, Odin takes Mjolnir out into space and comes down, breaking the sound barrier, and clobbers Hulk, driving him into the lower floors of the Black Hand. But Odin has detected something strange. Thor hurls the hammer at Hulk’s chest. It connects and then Banner, inside, sees Odin standing over him, “I would have words with thee….”

Story continues in THOR #25.

Martin Coccolo
Martin Coccolo
Matthew Wilson
Gary Frank (Cover Penciler)
Gary Frank (Cover Inker)
Brad Anderson (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Sabino.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Bruce Banner)



> Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War Alpha: Book info and issue index

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