Issue(s): Hulk #197, Hulk #198
The Man-Thing observes, but the Hulk doesn't see him.
Later, the Hulk arrives at the ruins of Omegaville, and finds himself a bed.
When he wakes up, as Banner, he finds that he's not alone. But his new friend doesn't speak.
And before Bruce can investigate much further, they are attacked by pirates.
That may sound like we're in for some Steve Gerber madness, especially considering the setting, but the pirates are just minions of the Collector.
It turns out that Bruce's silent friend is actually the Glob, who had been a prisoner of the Collector but somehow managed to escape.
The Collector has also gained control of the Man-Thing...
...and soon we have both swamp creatures attacking the Hulk.
They are successful...
...and the Collector's pirates carry the Hulk (with difficulty) back to his spaceship.
The Collector has special shackles placed on the ankles of the Hulk, the Glob, and the Man-Thing, but it's really shoddy thinking. Surely the Collector knows enough about his acquisitions to realize that the Hulk will just turn back into Banner to slip out of his, and the other two will just ooze out of theirs. And that is indeed what happens.
Bruce is the first one out of the cage, and after exploring a bit, he runs into the Collector, who, like Captain Omen before him (both, of course, following the Captain Nemo playbook), tells Banner that he is lonely and would love to have a fellow scientist join him, and can even cure him of the Hulk. Banner thinks about the fact that Betty is married and his life is a shambles thanks to the Hulk, agrees, but then recalls that the Collector's ship is full of live prisoners. So he rescinds his agreement just as the swamp monsters escape.
Soon there's a big revolution going on..
...and the Collector is forced to retreat. The Hulk gets most of the creatures off the ship, but the Glob stays behind to (seemingly) kill the Collector.
Once all of the prisoners, which included people from classic Greek and Arabian eras, etc., are off the ship, however, they rapidly age and die.
It's said that the Collector's ship "is already being overgrown with weeds". Of course, the Collector doesn't really die and only refers to these events as a "setback" in his next appearance.
I loved this panel where the Collector starts feeling "collect them all" fever. God, i know that feeling!
Among the things things that Banner saw on the ship is the shield of Perseus, with the image of Medusa on it.
If that was the real deal, it must have been carried off the ship and eventually made its way back to Olympus, because much much later Hercules will use it as part of his arsenal when he's de-powered (i also imagine Banner didn't see it head-on since he didn't turn to stone).
Meanwhile, Betty is distraught (as usual) and now looking to Doc Samson for comfort.
And General Ross gets word that funding has been approved to turn the Hulkbuster base into a Gamma Base that will be devoted to research and even cures of gamma creatures. I'm sure in previous entries i've used Hulkbuster and Gamma Base interchangeably and i apologize for that; there's a clear demarcation here.
Fun stuff. It's always a little difficult to keep in mind that the concept that the Collector was an ultra-powerful Elder of the Universe didn't exist yet, so it's kind of goofy seeing him using pirates and genies and being afraid of the Glob, but that's not this story's fault.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Hulk isn't actually shown crashing into the swamp and he could have been out of it for a little while before the start of this issue, but he shouldn't appear elsewhere after #196. Per the MCP, the Hulk next appears in Hulk annual #5. I don't think there are any dependencies regarding this appearance of Omegaville and the one in Iron Man annual #3.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBetty Ross, Clay Quartermain, Collector, Doc Samson, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Glob, Hulk, Jude the Entropic Man (Yagzan), Man-Thing
It's not the first time The collector suffers the "collect them all" fever. He had it before in Avengers 28. He even ordered The Beetle to get them all. The Beetle answered "sure thing".
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | May 27, 2013 6:02 PM
The Persian woman the Collector has prisoner is apparently Scheherazade, the legendary storyteller from 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS who managed to keep from being executed by telling a king a different tale every night.
Posted by: Gary Himes | July 21, 2014 1:11 AM
That panel with the Collector thinking about collecting the original Avengers reminds me... was there ever a mention during the Korvac Saga of why the Collector didn't attempt to acquire the Hulk again when he was in the midst of picking up his entire set of Avengers? Did that somehow coincide with the Hulk being in another dimension or something?
Posted by: Dan H. | September 26, 2015 2:51 PM
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