Issue(s): Hulk #161
The Hulk has been bouncing around looking for Betty, and he's wound up in Canada (although not directly from Niagara Falls last issue; see the Considerations section there for more). He has an encounter with the Mounties, but i'm more interested in his tree smashing as he stomps away. It's something you'll see him doing a lot in Hostess Ads. And now we see why: to make some room.
Meanwhile, Hank McCoy and Vera Cantor are waiting to cross the border, but the crossing station is closed when word gets out that the Hulk has invaded Canada.
We're still maintaining the charade that Hank is wearing an impossibly life-like rubber mask and that Vera doesn't know his secret identity, so in order to cross the border, Hank knocks her out with a one finger nerve pinch...
...and then stomps across the border shouting self-aware one-liners.
Despite wearing nothing but a pair of ripped shorts, he's somehow brought his entire disguise along and he's able to put it back on in seconds while Vera wakes up.
The menace that Vera has recruited Henry for is Mimic.
His powers are back, and out of control. He's absorbing powers from a wider and wider radius and now when he absorbs the powers it also drains them from the people affected. As always, his powers work on regular people, not just those with super-powers, so when he affects people, they lose the energy to control their bodies, stopping their hearts and lungs from working. To avoid killing any more people, he's moved to this remote cabin in Canada.
Luckily his powers don't affect Beast and Vera because 1) it would reveal McCoy's secret identity to Vera, and 2) it would kill them. Vera didn't seem to have any plans to counteract that.
Mimic knows Hank's secret ID, but he's kept it from Vera. And he really wanted Hank for his scientific knowledge.
It's also said that Mimic and Vera have been dating, which reflects a change from his earlier appearances when she wanted nothing to do with him, but he did show a change in personality in his last appearance.
It's possible that the reason Beast and Vera are unaffected by the Mimic is because the Hulk is in the area; possibly such a powerful source is drawing all of Mimic's power's attention. The Hulk forces himself to move towards the source of whatever is causing him to be weaker, and that of course brings him into a conflict with the Beast, trying to delay the Hulk until the cure he's devised for the Mimic kicks in.
The Mimic, however, decides he doesn't want to take chances on whether or not the Beast's cure will work, and he decides to kill himself by absorbing all of the Hulk's gamma radiation.
You would think that absorbing the Hulk's radiation might have served as a temporary cure for the Hulk, or at least an even more temporary change back into Banner. But there's no effect on the Hulk at all; it's the one thing that makes this feel like a Beast story that the Hulk just happens to be in.
I'm glad about that. I'd much rather have the Hulk continue to be bouncing around fighting super-people than a story where Banner once again thinks he's cured of being the Hulk for an issue or two, but it just seemed like the right sort of set-up for that.
In fact, the Hulk is so confused by what's going on that he just leaves.
Vera is conveniently unconscious during the fight. I hear you get three or four concussions for "free" before you start losing brain cells.
Trimpe's art has its appeal. There's always the Kirby aspect (seen, for example, in the detail in Mimic's way-too-sophisticated equipment), and his fights are usually a lot of fun, especially when it's between two really bulky guys (which is what the Beast still was being treated as, at this point).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places the Hulk here after his appearance in Defenders #2-5. See the Considerations section on issue #160 for more. The Beast and Vera were in Vermont during their last appearance in Amazing Adventures #16 and are at the Canadian border at the beginning of this issue, so there shouldn't be too much time in between, but you have to allow time for pit stops, and for Vera to dye her hair.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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