Issue(s): Hulk #313
He spends about half the book (the first half is Banner trying to kill himself) trying to break free, sometimes with the help of creatures from various Crossroads dimensions...
...but he's unable to.
The spirit of Walter Langkowski then descends the line, and he and Bruce Banner have a conversation.
As i mentioned, Banner has been feeling suicidal, and he's happy to donate his body to Walter, who would not have any of the rage issues since (as we recently learned) they are due to Banner's psychological issues. Langkowski mistakes Banner's offer as altruism, and he declines the body, choosing to remain as a floating spirit while the Hulk is hauled away.
The dimension hopping is a great vehicle for Mignola's art. Mantlo's Walter/Bruce conversation is typically melodramatic but it's an interesting scenario.
Speaking of Mignola's art, we get a preview of his take on Alpha Flight.
More on that in Alpha Flight #29, since with that issue and Hulk #314 the creative teams of Alpha Flight and the Hulk will swap. Mantlo had his ups and downs on this title and was certainly willing to make some very dramatic changes, which were usually interesting if executed poorly. Getting the Hulk back on Earth and in "Hulk Smash" definitely feels like the right thing to do, but to Mantlo's credit that's only because Mantlo took the chance to give the Hulk Banner's brain for several years, and then no brain, and then remove him from Earth entirely. Otherwise we'd be talking about years of stagnation on the Hulk title.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place soon after Hulk #312, and between panels of Alpha Flight #28. The Hulk next appears in Alpha Flight #29.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
What brought about Bill Mantlo's departure?
Posted by: Steven | July 1, 2015 12:36 PM
Steven, i believe the short answer is just that John Byrne was done with Alpha Flight and decided he wanted to work on Hulk, so they arranged the rather unique swapping of the two books' entire creative teams. John Byrne was a superstar creator and the Hulk was a book that was notoriously hard to attract top talent. (A year of the Hulk floating around in other dimensions probably wasn't helping sales, either, but i don't know that for a fact.)
Posted by: fnord12 | July 1, 2015 1:31 PM
Of course, with Byrne, the slightly longer answer involves him taking a shot at Shooter. To hear him tell it, he came to Shooter with ideas to revitalize the Hulk title, it was Shooter's idea for him to actually take the book over, and he decided he'd had enough of Alpha Flight and arranged the swap. Then, Byrne claims, Shooter began vetoing his ideas left and right and that's why his tenure is so short.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | July 1, 2015 9:52 PM
Byrne was meant to have left due to Shooter rejecting an all splash page issue of Hulk (which was then published as Marvel Fanfare 29), though Shooter states he didn't see it and it was Denny O'Neil who rejected it. Fnord discusses that over on the Marvel Fanfare page.
Posted by: Jonathan | July 2, 2015 1:34 AM
The X-Men books later do a similar creative team swap years later when Claremont moves from X-Treme X-Men to Uncanny X-men, Chuck Austen moves from Uncanny X-Men to X-Men and Whedon's Astonishing replaces X-Treme.
Posted by: Jeff | April 17, 2017 1:55 PM
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