The Past Was Close Behind: The Illuminati's Trial Run for Planet Hulk?

This feature spotlights moments, exchanges, etc. from older comics that take on a brand new light when read in concert with later comic books. Here is the archive of previous installments.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Mark H., which he made years ago, before I even started doing this bit, we take a look at what might be considered a trial run by the Illuminati for Planet Hulk.

We first meet the Illuminati, the secret group of heroes who decided to sort of control the Marvel superhero-verse from behind the scenes (through information sharing and stuff like that), in New Avengers #7 by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven and Mark Morales...

Soon afterward, we see the Illuminati in action. The Hulk is enlisted by Nick Fury to stop a bad guy in outer space, but after succeeding in his mission, he finds himself traveling through space himself (written by Daniel Way and drawn by Juan Santacruz)...

The next issue, the first part of Planet Hulk, by Greg Pak, Carlo Pagulayan and Jeffrey Huet, we see that it is the Illuminati talking to the Hulk....

Their plan was to send him to an uninhabitated planet, but the spacecraft was diverted to a gladiator planet. That's the story of Planet Hulk (Hulk's return for revenge was World War Hulk).

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