The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Boomerang, Hulk, Kate Waynesboro, Max Hammer
Issue(s): Hulk #294
Banner has just finished his first test with the treatment, on a dog. For now, it only turns the dog green, but we all know how this will turn out.
It's disappointing seeing Wanyesboro in the damsel-in-distress role. Sure, Boomerang is a super-villain (nominally), but Kate is a SHIELD agent and it's been shown that she's got some combat training. I'm not saying that Boomerang shouldn't be able to take a SHIELD agent, but it's better to avoid putting a character like her in the victim role.
Also, it doesn't seem like Mantlo (or his editor Ann Nocenti) properly read the Secret Wars memo. On his way to rescue Kate, Hulk is drawn into the Secret Wars construct.
Secret Wars is meant to last about a week, which is a long time for Boomerang to have to keep a hostage. And as we'll see in #295, no one really acts like the Hulk has been away so long.
Banner continues to be tormented by dreams of losing control of the Hulk. They even hit him while he's daydreaming in the shower.
This issue attempts to deal with an interesting ethical subject, but it's handled poorly. Banner is supposed to be a scientist, and i don't know of any scientist except the evil, mad kind who would perform the first test of a dangerous new method (using the radiation that turned him into the Hulk!) on a suburban family's dog.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Hulk leaves for Secret Wars this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Well, since it's a time-honored tradition in comics for scientists to experiment on themselves (usually because their funding was cut or they were otherwise out of time), experimenting on a dog could be seen as a step up.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | October 2, 2013 11:43 PM
As I recall, the dog had incurable cancer. Experimenting on an animal in pain whose only alternative was to be put to death doesn't seem evil to me, although I'm sure in the real world there's probably bioethics rules against it by now. In the Marvel Universe, in the 80's, it seemed ok to me, at least until the next issue. Obviously, Banner's gamma treatment had flaws, since the dog's green fur was unexpected. As well as the cumulative effects, naturally, to be revealed next issue. But had the experiment been successful, the dog would have hopefully lived out a nominal dog's span of years free of cancer. That seems a beneficial cause to undertake.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | June 27, 2016 3:52 AM
Gamma mutated dog...all that makes me think of is the poodle from the Ang Lee movie.
Having read some of Secret Wars now, I don't think it really was as much of a problem as it seemed to "interrupt" it, especially since this was taken into consideration within the event; Bruce kept saying he was losing himself and that he knew that it was all falling apart even while he and the others were on Battleworld. In fact, I think Secret Wars did a good job in keeping some of the major story points that were active at Marvel at the time going even in the midst of a major event, where the event fit around the stories going on...instead of the other way around like these days.
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 27, 2016 9:13 AM
Except that with the year lag time, it wasn't as smooth as later crossovers. I prefer the integrated crossovers since the action goes on each month and moves the plot forward.
Posted by: clyde | June 27, 2016 10:25 AM
It may have been lagged but at least with the developments over the year, they knew ultimately of the direction it would go in so it would work to be broad about it without saying what the final intentions of the author would be. I think it worked with the Hulk at least...by comparison, obviously no one knew with the Black Costume that we were going to get it's removal only to lead to Venom.
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 27, 2016 10:37 AM
I'm gonna go for a No-Prize here and suggest a in-story reason for the "Stryker" and "Hammer" names changing- it's because *neither* is his real name, but names he used throughout the 40s' and 50s' and now that he's old and sick, he keeps jumping back between them without realizing. As Boomerang just wants to get paid, he simply calls him whatever Stryker/Hammer is referring to himself as that day! fnord, please ship immediately
Posted by: Wis | October 17, 2017 8:56 PM
@Wis That works! I think he probably used Max Hammer in the 60s too, and that in the MU Maxwell's Silver Hammer by the Beatles was a controversial song about a notorious but unproven underworld figure.
Now, if I can only figure out how the Beatles knew about Rocket Racoon or how the heck that other song relates I'd be laughing.
Posted by: Benway | November 3, 2017 9:00 PM
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