COMIC BOOKS: Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War

Oct. 29—Hulk vs. Thor.

The fight card is almost as old as Marvel Comics creation in the early 1960s.

The thunder god and the gamma-irradiated behemoth have matched hammer and fists countless times in the comics. They had memorable cinematic encounters in movies such as "The Avengers" and "Thor: Ragnarok."

But Donny Cates may have created the ultimate battle between the Mighty Thor and the Incredible Hulk.

The most recent match-up shouldn't surprise regular readers of the Hulk and Thor monthly titles. Cates is the regular writer for both characters in their respective monthly books.

He's brought some interesting ideas to both characters.

With Thor, Cates has had the thunderer become a herald to Galactus and pitted him against Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's cast-off alter ego. and Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, is possessed by the ghost of Odin.

With Hulk, he's turned the psyche of Bruce Banner into the pilot, the Hulk psyche into the rage-fueled engine and the Hulk's body into a cosmos-traveling "space ship."

So, in bringing both characters together in their latest punch-fest, readers shouldn't be surprised that he does something different. But that difference is surprising.

Major Spoiler Alert: He has Thor become irradiated with gamma rays, turning Thor into a green Norse Hulk, and the Hulk wield Mjolnir transforming him into a Thor Hulk.

It is an absolutely sensational collision of both characters inside and outside. One of the most intriguing and all-out bombastic Thor-Hulk match-ups ever — all with great art by Martin Coccolo and Nic Klein.

"Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War" collects the "Alpha" special edition of the same title as well as Thor issues 25-26 and Hulk issues 7-8.