However there was one more recent graphic novel I just had to pick up after seeing just the covers and learning about the concept of the original issues. That would be Planet Hulk.
The Hulk trapped on an alien planet becoming a slave and eventually ruler of the planet! Cool monsters, gladiator fights, The Hulk with armor and a sword, all sorts of goodness was promised by the covers of the original comic issues. All of that is collected into this graphic novel.
The basic story is the betrayal of the Hulk by a group of fellow heroes. They shoot him into deep space supposedly to a planet with no intelligent life where he can live in peace. Something goes wrong. The Hulk's ship falls through a wormhole and crashes on a world of violence, the world of Sakaar.
Our hero is weakened by his trip through the wormhole and is enslaved by the soldiers of the Emperor. He begins to quickly regain his strength thanks to the constant hostile stimulants he receives. He eventually befriends a number of fellow gladiators and they begin to work on gaining their freedom. The group eventually swears an oath making them Warbound.
Eventually the Warbound are given a task to finally gain their freedom that they are unwilling to perform. Luckily the obedience disks implanted on them are destroyed and they are able easily fight through the imperial army to freedom. They begin attracting more and more followers as the Emperor tries to have them destroyed.
After a long struggle against the insane Emperor the Warbound are victorious and the Hulk is proclaimed the Green King. His feats during the conflict were amazing and topped anything he has done in the past. At one point he even plunged into the cracking crust of the planet and managed to pull it back together, saving the world! Now he was victorious. He was now King of an entire world and had a queen and even an offspring on the way. The citizens celebrated their new ruler, they did not fear him. And while wanting to be left alone he now has the responsibility to rule a world; and it seems he will grow to fill that obligation.
However more happens in the last few pages that set they next stage of the Hulk's story in motion. I never continued on to find out what happened next. I knew what would happen next. The Hulk would get screwed and would never get proper vengeance. No need for me to read any of the comics that came after this.
I was never regularly read the Hulk comics, but I loved this story. A misunderstood being who just wants to live in peace and freedom who is betrayed by his friends and continues to try to live his life as best he can under constant unwanted events.
A short story related to the main one is also included. Amadeus Cho is a young man and the seventh smartest person on Earth. He is also a real friend of the Hulk. I love how Cho puts the evil Reed Richards in his place for Richards' part in the Hulk's exile. He even shows how the world's 'heroes' are more dangerous to the Earth than the Hulk ever was. "And you have to wonder if there wouldn't be fewer dead folks out there in your little civil war if you'd launched yourselves into space instead of him."
Rounding out the book are great write ups about the planet Sakaar and its solar system. A history of the world and its inhabitants including a map and other great information. All in all a great addition to the collection of comic book fans.
Sorry if this was light on details. Just trying to avoid any more spoilers than necessary.
PUBLISHER: Marvel Publishing, Inc.
GENRE: Graphic Novel; Science Fiction/Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 416
2012 CHALLENGES: 150+ Reading Challenge 2012, 2012 Graphic Novel Challenge