Characters Appearing: Betty Ross, Doc Samson, Dr. Doom, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Glenn Talbot, Hulk, Valeria (Dr. Doom's love)
Issue(s): Hulk #143, Hulk #144
The story starts rather brilliantly with Doctor Doom rescuing Banner from the police, using his facial scars to bond with him (having a scarred face and turning into a raging unstoppable monster aren't really the same thing, but to Doctor Doom they're probably equally tragic)...
...and then using a Hulk robot to fake the Hulk's death.
Doom then takes Banner back to Latveria and brainwashes him into creating a gamma bomb...
...which he intends to deploy, along with the Hulk, on one of Latveria's unruly neighboring countries.
Then Valeria shows up and suddenly it's like... i dunno, i don't want to insult soap operas.
Valeria could have been used as a moderating factor for Doom, helping him evolve into the morally ambiguous character that we've already seen hints of. Instead she has the opposite effect on him, and so we see him scheming mass murder while shouting that he's doing it all for her.
We do eventually get a Hulk/Doom fight...
...but it's interspersed with Valeria weeping.
Doom is pretty definitively defeated, though.
I'm going with "Doombot" on this one.
I'm also fairly certain i requested no nonsense. A revelation that Doc Samson's hair length actually affects his strength like his biblical namesake certainly qualifies.
As is usually the case, John Severin's art style pretty clearly comes through over Dick Ayers' pencils.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Banner has been on the run in New York since the end of the previous issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Honestly, Dick Ayers gets very little credit for his angles and pacing in action scenes. Regardless of whether or not people like his art style, he is a very clever storyteller.
Posted by: George Gordon | June 13, 2014 6:48 AM
His Doc Doom blows, but the storytelling here is fantastic. The rotating camera when the Hulk is squeezing Vic is daring and effective.
Posted by: Adam Dale | April 8, 2017 9:30 AM
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