Issue(s): Hulk #329
No idea if this was every really considered; i am just speculating wildly. But there's no doubt that the grey Hulk is non-existent in this issue (not even detected by SHIELD)...
...and this is a Rick-Hulk solo story that starts off with a one page recap of his entire history (except his time with ROM) even though he's been a cast member of the book for a year now.
For what it's worth, i'm still not clear if Banner even knows that he's turning into the Grey Hulk at this point.
As for the nature of Rick's solo story, it's a doozy. Rick heads to Bruce Banner's desert labs (or one of them) and finds it is overrun with gamma-irradiated creatures...
...that were all present when the gamma bomb went off in Hulk #1 (one of these guys looks like a living rock, but that panel talks about even plants becoming sentient, so i guess he's a mini cactus or moss or something?).
They initially don't like Rick, but their opinion changes at nightfall when he turns into the Hulk.
Now, i mentioned the possibility of Bruce Banner settling, but that's obviously not happening yet. He barely notices her, is completely unaware that she's having a nervous breakdown (note also he reveals the truth about Betty but doesn't mention his own Hulkiness).
You have to give her some credit for pulling herself back up like that, though. And when Bruce heads out to the desert to meet up with Rick, and it turns out that the army is suspicious of him and follows, Betty sneaks aboard as well, hanging off the back of a transport vehicle.
When Bruce arrives at his lab, he finds Rick hanging out with his new friends.
But he's unwittingly led SHIELD to the lab as well. They are repelled by Rick-Hulk and the Outcasts...
...but the creatures tell Hulk that they don't want him around any more because he leads bad men to them and they get hurt. It's sad!
These desert creatures are so similar to the ones introduced in West Coast Avengers (also drawn by Milgrom) this same month. It is a shame they never got together for a BBQ or something.
We saw SHIELD recruit John Laroquette a few issues back, but in this issue Clay Quartermain gets all the Hulkbusters, including Laroquette again, to agree to stick around.
Another subplot scene checks back in with the nurse at the creepy mansion from two issues back.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue begins not long after this one (unknown to Bruce and Rick, Betty is currently trapped under a vehicle that the Hulk turned over), but it's a separate story and i'm going to leave them in separate entries.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showArmand Martel, Bateman, Betty Ross, Clay Quartermain, Doc Samson, Hideko Takata, Hulk, Nevermind, Redeemer, Rick Jones, Rock
I actually like the idea of the "gamma creatures" of the desert. I actually remembered them appearing early in the 1996 Incredible Hulk animated series and it just makes sense that Bruce Banner would not be the only one mutated in the blast.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 7, 2014 1:01 PM
The second scan of SHIELD fighting the outcasts seems to be a repeat of an earlier image.
Posted by: Alex F | August 12, 2014 3:56 PM
Thanks, Alex. Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 12, 2014 4:00 PM
As I recall from an essay PAD did for Amazing Heroes, when Bob Harras offered David the title, he had the option of keeping Rick as the Hulk. The book apparently rated so low that no one cared who was the star. I think Al Milgrom was just waiting for his replacement to make the decision. Although Al Milgrom brought back the gray Hulk, he only used him once in #326. I think Milgrom preferred writing the savage Hulk and used Rick to do the stories he was interested in. That is, 327, 329 and 330.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | May 24, 2016 2:56 AM
Regarding fnord's mention of the Jim Shooter killing the Marvel Universe rumor, it got me thinking to something someone else once said in passing, which was that around the time all these cosmetic changes occurred in the Marvel U- from Captain America becoming "The Captain", Thor getting beard and an armor, etc.- this was around the time that Jack Kirby (apparently) was claiming his ownership and creation of the characters. Is it possible that these changes were a response to that as well as a proactive measure to show how different the Marvel characters looked in (at that time) 'current' time? Even the FF would soon change with a spiked Thing, etc. It really doesn't seem like gimmicks- it was a lot of visual changes in long-standing characters, all within the same 3-4 year period...
Posted by: Wis | December 24, 2016 5:36 AM
Given that Milgrom makes sure to keep on all the Hulkbusters, it certainly seems like he was setting up "fugitive Hulk" stories with Rick Jones as a possible direction. There's even some effort to create dynamics: Quartermain wants to stop a menace, Laroquette wants to kill him, a couple of the others just want to catch Rick, Martel wants to study him, and Bruce (and possible Betty) are there to secretly help him.
Toss in Rick Jones's more benign Hulk and the implication this issue that he'll need to adopt a nomadic lifestyle, and the setup seems inspired by the TV version of the Hulk as much as anything. The Grey Hulk wouldn't really fit that, and Milgrom kind of ignores him, as Brian C. Saunders points out.
On a side note: Should Nevermind's butler, Bateman, also have a tag?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 27, 2017 6:39 AM
I've added a tag for Bateman. Thanks Omar.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 27, 2017 1:06 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|