The Valdosta Daily Times recommended, fascinatingly enough, Peter David’s Hulk: The End, published in 2002, at a time when Marvel was about to seriously cascade downhill, which made it, IMO, one of the last books of its sort you could appreciate based on how it was handled, along with the prior Future Imperfect from the early 1990s:
Maestro is the only super-powered being left on earth and he rules the world with a green, iron fist – no velvet glove, just political savvy and complete power.
The Maestro storyline rocked the comics world at the time. If introduced now, Maestro would probably be a mega-comics series lasting for months and crossing over into and interrupting every Marvel title. Instead, it was a two-part story arc.
In “The End,” Hulk lives in a ruined world. He’s almost alone with exception of Hulk’s greatest nemesis.
[…] “Hulk The End” is a splendid standalone volume but “The End” can also serve as a strong introduction to the incredible world Peter David’s Hulks.
On the allusion to politics, it’s worth noting David wasn’t overly political at the time he wrote those stories, even as he was an early example of a bleeding heart liberal obsessed with LGBT issues, or, it’s not like he put heavy handed political views into his early work. It probably wasn’t until the early 2010s he wrote a few stories that were more politically blatant than what he’d done before, though as of recent, he’s mostly out of the comics business proper, and has written far less work for them than he did in his younger years.
Anyway, they’re right that if Future Imperfect and/or Hulk: The End were pitched as a story premise today, chances are much higher a crossover event would be mandated as part of the project. Which would absolutely ruin what they could accomplish in self-contained format. IIRC, another plus in Hulk’s “end” is that it used upper case lettering as opposed to the lower case letters taking up over a year of Marvel’s output soon after. So that impact wasn’t spoiled as it would’ve been were it to come out now, at a time when Marvel is still making use of lower case lettering in some of their books, if not all.
But wasn’t this the same paper that glossed over other crossovers, like Empyre? And if they don’t see any problem with them, what’s the point of telling the more likely scenario nearly 20 years later, if they’re not willing to be seriously critical of how things are handled since? On a related note, almost ever since Brian Bendis came aboard Marvel, they mandated that every story has to be at least 6-plus issues long for the sake of trade publishing, which led to a lot of padded-out storylines proving detrimental to the writer’s ability to produce a compelling story. Yet even then, most writers since the early 2000s are ideologues who couldn’t care less, so long as it provides a huge paycheck.
Those in the MSM who see the era leading up to the early 2000s as superior to what came after have to remember that their silence and failure to deliver an objective viewpoint in print is what led to the downfall of mainstream comicdom, all for the sake of the most politically correct directions possible. Something even the Hulk was not immune to.
Originally published here.