They really should have titled this “Hulkpool’s Wacky Adventures in Time Travel” instead of “Hulked Out Heroes,” because the only hero that’s hulked out here is Deadpool. There’s nothing wrong with that idea, but that’s not what people buying a book called “Hulked Out Heroes” will be expecting. It feels like a letdown as a result. You get all geared up for your favorite heroes getting hit with gamma energy and becoming bulging monsters like the No-Thing, Wolverage, and Namor the Hulkmariner as we get to see in the sketchbook at the end of the issue. That’s what people want from this book and it fails to deliver.
Thankfully, the time-travelling adventures of Hulkpool are entertaining as Jeff Parker sends the character back in time to a few of Marvel’s big moments in history like the Thing becoming Blackbeard or Hawkeye hanging out with the Two-Gun Kid after Hulkpool decides he wants to go back in time and kill Deadpool. It’s a clever play on the Hulk’s hatred for Bruce Banner, but takes it to that stupid absurd level that comes with Deadpool. Hulkpool is a basically Deadpool, but dumber and more violent with Bob, Agent of HYDRA acting like this Rick Jones.
Bob being unable to figure out the stolen Dr. Doom time machine keeps Hulkpool jumping through time. He causes Ben Grimm to remain Blackbeard longer, joining the pirate crew. Hulkpool and Grimm as pirates is an entertaining idea, especially since they’re too successful. Soon they’re whisked back to the time of Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy and, then, forward in time to the late 19th century with the Two-Gun Kid and Hawkeye before Hulkpool gets involved with one of the most important events in Marvel’s history. It’s a wacky, fun plot filled with the odd punchline and gag. Parker keeps it light, playing up Bob’s incompetence and Hulkpool’s acceptance of whatever happens. It quickly devolves into chaos as various characters from different time periods are all interacting, needing to be put back.
Despite this wacky fun, the comic never really hits any big heights. Gags are more inclined to elicit a thought like ‘that’s kind of funny’ than actual laughs. Humberto Ramos’ art shows the chaos well, but sometimes gets too burdened by the large number of characters. He’s not always adept at executing the visual gags with his exaggerated art style that levels every scene out, not allowing for rises and falls in the level of craziness visually. At some point in the comic, it becomes an exercise at throwing stuff at the characters and the readers with little explanation, barely having anything to do with Deadpool as a Hulked out version of himself.
There isn’t a lot that makes this comic require Deadpool to be Hulked out and the fact that he is the only one is used in a few, small places. The issue could easily have been rewritten as an issue of “Deadpool Team-Up.”
I’m not sure what the logic behind this comic is, but it’s definitely one meant for fans of Deadpool, not anyone looking for a bunch of their favorite heroes Hulked out and smashing things. It’s still entertaining in a chaotic, stupid way, but has little to do with “World War Hulks” and doesn’t deliver on its promise.