|Publication date||April 2006 – June 2007|
|Title(s)||Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #92-105
Giant-Size Hulk vol. 2 #1
|Prelude to Planet Hulk||ISBN 0-7851-1953-1|
|Planet Hulk||ISBN 0-7851-2245-1|
"Planet Hulk" is a Marvel Comics storyline that ran primarily through issues of The Incredible Hulk started in 2006. It dealt primarily with the Marvel heroes' decision to send the Hulk away, his acclimation to and conquest of the planet where he landed, and his efforts to return to Earth to take his revenge.
There was also a special Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook publication by Anthony Flamini and the storyline's main writer Greg Pak, similar to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe detailing the characters, races and cultures within the storyline.
The storyline's main writer Greg Pak describes the origin of the ideas:
|“||The inspiration for sending Hulk to an alien planet where he'd battle monsters as a gladiator came from Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada. I loved the idea from the minute I heard it, so I was blown away when they told me I had the gig and even more blown away when they basically cut me loose to create the whole world.||”|
He also drew from real-world history:
|“||"I got inspiration for the story by reading about the real lives of gladiators in ancient Rome and from the stories of figures like Genghis Khan and more contemporary warlords, dictators, and political leaders. Sun Tzu's 'Art of War' and Joseph Campbell's 'Power of Myth' played a big role in helping me think through other aspects of the story.||”|
It led directly to the World War Hulk crossover, and inspired the Son of Hulk series.
The story was re-examined in What If?: Planet Hulk.
The Illuminati decide the Hulk is too dangerous to remain on Earth. They trick him into entering orbit to destroy a rogue satellite, and then use a shuttle to jettison him from the solar system. They intended him to land on a peaceful planet, but the shuttle passes through a wormhole on its way.
As Hulk listens to a recording from the Illuminati explaining their actions, his shuttle crashes on the planet Sakaar. Weakened from the crash, Hulk is fixed with an obedience disk and taken into slavery. He is forced to fight gladiator battles for the planet's emperor, the Red King. Hulk forms a warbound pact with his fellow gladiators Miek, no-name Brood, Elloe Kaifi, Lavin Skee, Hiroim and Korg.
Hulk becomes a popular hero for his actions in the arena, and a group of insurgents try to recruit the Hulk to their cause. The Hulk declines, but Elloe chooses to go with the rebels.
During their next gladiator fight, Lavin Skee is killed. As the others come closer to winning their freedom, the Red King's lieutenant, Caiera, arranges for them to fight the Silver Surfer, who is also controlled by an obedience disk. During the battle, the Hulk breaks the Silver Surfer's disk, freeing him. The Silver Surfer then destroys all the obedience disks of everyone in the arena. As he leaves Sakaar, he offers to return Hulk to Earth. Hulk chooses to stay behind.
The Hulk and his warbound, now on the run from the Red King, are hunted by Caiera. As they travel through villages, Hulk finds followers who believe he is the foretold savior, "Sakaarson." Hulk denies this title. Caiera finally confronts the Hulk, their battle is interrupted by an invasion of "spikes" that cause monstrous mutations and death to anyone they touch. Caiera calls the Red King for assistance and learns that he ordered the spikes to be deployed there. Horrified at what her king has done, Caiera joins the Hulk.
Hulk leads a raid on the Red King's capital, culminating in a one-on-one battle between the two of them. The Red King is defeated, and Hulk is named the new king. He takes Caiera for his wife, and the two are able to broker peace among the various conflicts which had festered under the Red King. Caiera becomes pregnant with Hulk's child.
Meanwhile, the shuttle that brought Hulk to Sakaar is being turned into a monument. As part of its self-destruct sequence, the antimatter warp core engine detonates in a massive explosion. The whole city is destroyed, and Caiera dies. Enraged and blaming the Illuminati who built the shuttle for the damage, Hulk and his warbound leave Sakaar and head for Earth.
The series has been collected into a number of individual volumes:
- Incredible Hulk: Prelude to Planet Hulk (collects Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #88-91 and Hulk Handbook 2004, softcover, Marvel Comics, March 2006, ISBN 0-7851-1953-1)
- Hulk: Planet Hulk (collects Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #92-105, Giant-Size Hulk vol. 2 #1, and "Mastermind Excello" from Amazing Fantasy #15, 416 pages, Marvel Comics, hardcover, June 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2245-1, softcover, April 2008, ISBN 0-7851-2012-2)
- Planet Hulk Omnibus (384 pages, Panini Comics, August 2007, ISBN 1-905239-66-1)
A special issue of What If? featured three alternate versions of Planet Hulk:
- In "What If Caiera survived the explosion instead of Hulk", Caiera leads the warbound to Earth to avenge her husband. She murders the Illuminati and enslaves Earth.
- In "What If Hulk landed where the Illuminati intended", the Hulk survives against creatures and eventually learns to live in peace on the planet. His actions cause the planet's evolution to take a turn and centuries later, intelligent beings live there, considering stories of the Hulk only legend. One young boy, however, sees the Hulk, now smaller and more "native" to the world and utterly happy.
- In "What If Bruce Banner Landed on Sakaar Instead of the Hulk", Hulk's shuttle lands on Sakaar and regresses to Bruce Banner thinking that this was a peaceful planet. Bruce Banner is quickly killed.
In other media
- The Lionsgate adaptation of Planet Hulk is based on this storyline, and was released in February 2010. The film has Beta Ray Bill instead of the Silver Surfer (due to licensing and the fact that Silver Surfer appeared in The Super Hero Squad Show) and No-Name the Brood doesn't appear due to time constraints. Hulk does not conquer the planet, nor display a desire for revenge on the heroes from Earth that sent him there, though in the film the planet is not destroyed as in the comics. In the adaptation, the Red King is killed by his Death Head guards after being infected by the Spikes. Miek does not go through a metamorphosis.
- Hulk's experience on Sakaar is mentioned in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
- Richards, Dave (September 15, 2006). "Green World: Pak talks "Incredible Hulk"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- New Avengers: Illuminati one-shot
- Incredible Hulk #88-91 (Dec 2005-Mar 2006)
- Incredible Hulk (vol. 3) #92
- Incredible Hulk (vol. 3) #93
- Incredible Hulk (vol. 3) #94
- Incredible Hulk (vol. 3) #95
- Incredible Hulk #104
- Incredible Hulk #105
- World War Hulk #1-5
- Son of Hulk #1-18
- Planet Hulk at Marvel.com
- Planet Hulk at the Comic Book DB
- Goldstein, Hilary (January 3, 2006). "Welcome to Planet Hulk". IGN. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- Lucas Siegel & Michael Doran (January 14, 2010). "An Evening of PLANET HULK: NYC (with Joe Quesada) - LIVE!". Newsarama. Retrieved January 25, 2010.