Issue(s): Hulk #360
Betty has had her miscarriage before the issue begins...
...so this issue is really about D'Spayre and Nightmare tormenting her in their roles as substitutes for actual character scenes.
D'Spayre wants to be subtle about it while Nightmare wants to use demons and monsters and stuff.
Nightmare comes across looking like a doofus here. Not a great depiction of the character, which is disappointing after his previous awesome encounter with the Hulk. But to be clear, these guys are not tormenting Betty because of her association with the Hulk, or at least not with any larger goal in mind; they apparently have a thing where they pick a random person to torment for the hell of it. Betty was chosen because of her relationship with the Hulk, but it's just because they needed someone to torment so it might as well be her.
Eventually Nightmare gets bored and brings the Hulk into the story.
So D'Spayre starts to work on him too.
But of course, all the personified entities of fear and despair accomplish is helping Betty and Bruce get over those emotions, which is all those guys usually accomplish.
Maybe in the cosmic scheme of things, that's their actual purpose. It's either that or to allow writers a very cheap way of dealing with emotional problems.
One thing D'Spayre is definitely right about is that Betty's hold on sanity has ever been tentative. Poor woman.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The only question is placement of this vs. Betty and Rick's appearance in Solo Avengers #25. Betty isn't showing in that issue, but the characters also don't seem too upset about the miscarriage (and there's no mention of the pregnancy either way). My view is that it doesn't really matter. Betty just may not have been showing yet, and there's also the vagaries of Marvel time to consider. On the other hand, this issue ends with Betty in a relatively positive state of mind. So it could go either way. The MCP places this before the Avengers Spotlight issue and i'll follow it for convenience. It's also worth noting that the Hulk is still sleeping at Berengetti's Coliseum, which seems odd since he was fired last issue. But Berengetti is a softy so maybe he let him continue to crash there for a while.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The editors demanded that Betty lose the baby because having a child made Bruce and Betty look too old. That never made sense to me- Bruce was the scientist in charge of a major weapons development program when we met him- that's not a job for a very young man.
Posted by: Michael | October 13, 2014 8:06 PM
Let's remember Michael that that's ALWAYS the de facto excuse whenever this type issue comes up.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 21, 2015 2:10 PM
and, of course, now we have a Son of Hulk, though done in a hackneyed way that David never would have imagined.
It's always the good writers who get editorial interference, while the Millar, Pak and Bendis types get free reign to run characters into the gutter.
Posted by: Bob | July 21, 2015 2:27 PM
So, let's get this straight. Bruce Banner, an established brilliant scientist, presumably at least in his late 20's when we first meet him in Hulk #1 will be too old if he has a kid. But Scott Summers, who was a teenager and still essentially in high school when we met him over a year later in X-Men #1 is old enough to have a kid.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 10, 2015 7:13 AM
Considering what happened to Scott's kid (under Bob Harras no less) that's not exactly a good comparison.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 6, 2016 8:25 PM
Comments are now closed.
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