Skaar, Son of Hulk   2 comments

I think I am a case of arrested development. I never get enough Swords and Sorcery My incessant quest for strong heroes battling and triumphing over magical foes has brought me to:

Hulk smash! Wait, that's the son of the Hulk. Skaar, Son of Hulk, smash!

I almost bought this comic when I first saw it appear in the comics shop.  Browsing through it on the spot, I decided there just wasn’t enough real story in it to justify spending the money. Marvel has finally collected the first 6 issues into graphic novel format, and that gave me a chance to read them all at one time.  That’s a bit better. A story begins to emerge.

Skaar is the son of Hulk and Caiera the Oldstrong. Born in tragedy, the gigantic explosion that destroys the city where Hulk and Caiera ruled as king and queen, incubated in fire, and raised by ugly toothy bugs, Skaar seems to be a hero of the old school–all brawn and no brain.  The comic is one savage feat after another.

For the full story of Skaar, I refer the reader to the article in wikipedia which can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skaar,  What attracted me to the story in the first place was that it looks like a great example of Sword and Planet fiction, but all illustrated.  Sword and Planet, in case you’re not familiar with the term, is Swords and Sorcery set upon an alien world, usually with a bit of super science thrown in. The best-known example of Sword and Planet are the John Carter of Mars novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 

Large green monsters are apparently a standard feature of Sword and Planet.

Sword and Planet is somewhat harder to find than Sword and Sorcery.  I happen to love this stuff, and I’m tempted to buy it whenever I see it.

 Authors who have written notable Sword and Planet tales include but are not limited to:

Edgar Rice Burroughs

 Otis Adbert Kline

 Ralph Milne Farley

 Jack Vance

 Gardner Fox

L. Sprague de Camp

Lin Carter

 Andre Norton

Leigh Brackett

John Norman

and even Robert E. Howard in his novel: Almuric.

 

But, let’s get back to Skaar. A standard part of such hero stories is man’s conquest of unbelieveable monsters. The planet Sakaar, from wich Skaar drives his name, has more than its share of such beasts–gigantic things that must have been great fun to draw, but one wonders how the ecology of a desert planet can support such creatures.

Wouldn't you like a big red dragon as a pet. Skaar just kills them.

The graphic novel includes the first 6 issues of Skaar (and a little something extra). The artists, Butch Guice and Paul Mounts, went crazy with their depiction of Planet Sakaar.  The comic isn’t all just a bunch of rectangular panels. It can explode into a 2-page panorama at any time. Not since the days of Jim Steranko has their been so much fun with panel design and layout.  Frankly, it’s gorgeous artwork.  The artists must have had a great time drawing this stuff. The swords and sorcery imagery is outstanding–there are pictures that look just like Conan, and others that look just like the Hulk. I had a great time looking at it.

I don’t have many kind words for the story, however. It cruises from one pointless brutality to another. Sakaar is a war planet to make Barsoom seem as tame as your own back yard.  One wonders how life, especially any kind of human life, can survive in a place that is just one massacre after another.

Still, I was happy enough with this tale of monsters, mortals, and scheming wizards until the Silver Surfer appeared at the end of issue 6.  Skaar has to be integrated into the Marvel universe. He’s destined to wind up on Earth–just what we need, another Hulk clone–NOT!

For gorgeous fantastic imagery, I give Skaar an A+. For storytelling, I give it a C-. If you like fantasy, you’d probably like Skaar. Just don’t think about the story much–that’s where I always go wrong.

End

Advertisements

Posted June 18, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Skaar, Son of Hulk

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Excellent!

    I must admit to being a sword and planet fan myself.

    I mean who doesn’t love John Carter of Mars and being a Howard fan myself I am proud to actually have one of the depicted copies of Almuric.

    It was a hard hunt, but a fun read when I found it.

    Toad-Killer Dog
  2. Pingback: 2010 in review « Atroll's Entertainment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: