Issue(s): Hulk #209, Hulk #210, Hulk #211
I don't like the overly cartoony way that Buscema has been drawing the Absorbing Man.
No further revelations on the mystery strangers that gave the Absorbing Man his new costume and sent him after the Hulk.
After the fight, Banner falls asleep in an alley where someone creeps up on him. It's Dr. Druid.
He's got a problem with the Thor/X-Men villain Maha Yogi (aka Merlin), and he wants the Hulk's help. Banner is refusing to turn into the Hulk, but he agrees to go along with Dr. Druid in any event, which is bizarre.
Of course, Banner winds up turning into the Hulk a couple times along the way, and he beats up Maha Yogi's henchmen Mongu, who had previously been defeated by the Man-Thing.
The Hulk then crushes the Yogi's bloodstone gem, which causes him (Yogi) to age.
MahaYogi 's origin is tied to Ulysses Bloodstone's. Apparently they each got a chunk of the same rock. This is kind of disappointing; in Yogi's first appearance, he defined himself as a mutant, and this was prior to Uncanny X-Men #1.
Interesting to see Dr. Druid show up.
Jim Wilson continues to travel across the US to meet up with the Hulk, and the mysterious stranger that Doc Samson found in the desert wakes up but has no memories. Glenn and Betty essentially break up, with Glenn leaving the base to go "find himself". Betty also leaves the base to find her own identity. It's nice to see the change in Betty although i'm not sure where they'll go with it.
There's a weird sequence when Dr. Druid and Banner pull up at a gas station outside of Maha Yogi's castle to get information. There's a female attendant, and without any prompting (i.e., no one called her "miss") she says "And it's miz, not miss."
Lastly, a gripe: Bruce Banner is depicted as way too buff. In the story where he's applying for his job as a construction worker, the foreman notes that he's "not too much in the muscle department", but look how he is drawn:
He's even referring to himself as a 'skinny scientist' in that picture, but he looks like he could bench-press Captain America. This goes beyond an art vs. words discrepancy - in the lead up to the encounter with the Yogi, while he is still trying to restrain himself from turning into the Hulk, he does a fine job taking care of the Yogi's heavily armed goons. I can see an argument for a little of the Hulk's strength shining through even in Banner's form, but if that's the case stop referring to him as a wimpy nerd.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Marvel Chronology Project has a number of other stories occurring during Hulk #209. I don't really see that being feasible as it is a specific point in this issue that Banner has been controlling himself and not turning into the Hulk until the Absorbing Man attacks him at the construction site. Dr. Druid's appearance at the end of #209 forces the Absorbing Man and Yogi Maha stories into one entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAbsorbing Man, April Sommers, Betty Ross, Clay Quartermain, Doc Samson, Dr. Druid, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Glenn Talbot, Hulk, Jim Wilson, Lann, Leader, Maha Yogi, Mongu, Prince Rey, Tyrannus
Maha-Yogi's origins get way more complicated thanks to Roy Thomas, who in Dr. Strange vol. 3 reveals that Yogi was super-evolved (hence his mutant designation) by the Caretakers of Arcturus from the Morbius stories, who in turn are related to the Fortisquian aliens from Comet Man.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 14, 2013 1:57 PM
According to FOOM#21, the Arcturians/whatever also appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 14, 2013 2:22 PM
FNORD - in regards to the comment you wrote - "she says "And it's miz, not miss.", I would guess that there was a word balloon that was dropped after it went to the printers. Probably something like "Thank you, Miss."
Posted by: clyde | February 14, 2015 10:38 PM
Ernie Chan's inking did a lot for Sal Buscema's pencils, but I think there wasn't enough full pencils for Chan to get the idea than Banner wasn't a smaller Hulk. To be fair, if I were the editor and got pages like that back, I wouldn't insist on art corrections for Banner's physique. However, this is a case in point to support Jim Shooter's later insistence that "workhorses" like Sal Buscema not do layouts for umpteen books but full pencils at a higher rate for less pages. Sal's mid 80's style was a big improvement for his art.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | April 15, 2016 11:36 PM
The first several pages of What If?#2(4/77) featuring the Hulk are separate from the main What If? story and are actually in current continuity.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 13, 2016 4:31 PM
Really hate the depiction of my favorite character the Absorbing Man. Love Brian's point about how loose the pencils in the 70s were. Inkers really had them work cut out for them.
Posted by: Mizark | July 21, 2016 4:53 AM
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