Characters Appearing: Achilles, Ajax, Atalanta, Betty Ross, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Black Widow, Delphi, Hector, Marlo Chandler, Nick Fury, Rick Jones, She-Hulk, Ulysses, USAgent
Issue(s): Hulk #410, Hulk #411
Fury is actually aware that the code that the Hulk is using really just means "stand by", but he pretends to cede to the Hulk's demands anyway.
So while it's fun to see the Hulk marching through a military prison...
...this doesn't really feel like a great case of the Hulk's outlaw organization going up against the government.
On top of that, there's an implication that the Secretary of Defense is secretly simpatico with Arabs that hate Israel.
I don't know what the hell i've walked into with this one and i don't think i want to know. For what it's worth, Iraq never did use chemical weapons during the Gulf War, but i guess that's neither here nor there. The possibility that they might have certainly was something to prepare for, and frankly it doesn't seem like it was necessary for a "secret" to be passed in order for that to happen.
Also, SHIELD is still a UN force, right?
It is nice to see little glimpses into Bruce's past and how they relate to the emotions he was suppressing at the time.
In other news, after expressing some doubts to Betty...
...Marlo accepts Rick's proposal.
But when Rick reaches out to the super-hero community to invite them to the wedding, he finds that he's getting the cold shoulder.
She-Hulk, on the other hand, is more friendly.
I'd like to have seen a real conflict between the Hulk and Nick Fury/SHIELD, with the Pantheon doing some real Authority style intervention somewhere. The story is still well executed, but it's kind of a head scratcher.
A scene at the beginning of this arc has the Pantheon running a memorial service for Perseus, who was killed in the last arc. Hulk asks about Perseus' daughter Cassiopea, but it's said that she's a "loon" who "took off for parts unknown years ago". During the ceremony, we get a hint that the Hulk doesn't feel like he really belongs with the Pantheon, who are all family.
Like the last two issues (and the next one), the main stories in these issues are short to make room for Pantheon origin back-ups.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: USAgent appears in flashback only, but the scene only took place "a few minutes ago" so i'm counting it as an appearance.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Don't squash Mr. Bean, Hulk!
Posted by: Robert | March 1, 2017 2:17 PM
Frank draws an awesome Nick Fury.
Posted by: Bob | March 1, 2017 10:56 PM
No "Characters Appearing" listing for Susan Jacobson? She was previously seen (in flashback) in the classic "Honey I Shrunk the Hulk" back in issue 377.
Posted by: Gary Himes | March 1, 2017 11:49 PM
This was really the only Marvel comic I was reading at the time and it has aged like fine wine. Peter David was really fortunate with his artistic partners and I think that they had as much if not more to do with the title's success than he did.
Posted by: Mizark | March 2, 2017 12:33 AM
The problems that Hulk is having with the superhero community would not be happening if he had rejoined the Avengers after Infinity Gauntlet. The West Coast Avengers could really use him with Iron Man and Wonder Man not with the team. Instead, he hangs out with the worthless Pantheon.
Posted by: Steven | March 2, 2017 1:16 AM
Robert, That's my thought exactly.
Posted by: JSfan | March 2, 2017 6:23 AM
Just a couple of comments. Some great work by Gary Frank. I've never heard of him but it's refreshing to see some clear storytelling and clear art instead of the muck I've been seeing in 99% of the other books reviewed here.
Peter David is fantastic. He's been the only writer who's work I've consistently read on here since Fnord began reviewing work from the 90s. Other than that I've either skimmed through them or not read any at all. The 90s is full of drek in regards to comics and I can't imagine it'll get any better once we head into the 00s.
Posted by: JSfan | March 2, 2017 6:41 AM
It's funny how Gary Frank got Rowan Atkinson to do a guest shot here. American audiences had likely only known the guy from Blackadder before later discovering him as Mr. Bean.
Posted by: Clutch | March 2, 2017 8:27 AM
Hulk might have secretly been the best Marvel title of the 1990s, with Avengers and FF in doldrums and Spider-Man and X-Men getting overly complicated. This is some fine storytelling.
Posted by: Jeff | March 2, 2017 12:27 PM
@Gary, i don't list characters from flashbacks, and since this is her only non-flashback appearance she doesn't merit a tag. But i've added a reference to #377.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 3, 2017 8:08 AM
Jeff - I agree with you. In the mid-90s, I slowly stopped reading Marvel comics, for the reasons you mention (and others). PAD's Hulk was the last one I dropped, because the story-telling was so good (even then, I admit I lost interest around the time of the "angry Banner" story).
PAD was brilliant in exploring Bruce Banner's personality in ways no writer had done before (or as well).
Posted by: James | March 3, 2017 10:22 AM
@ Steven -
Posted by: clyde | March 3, 2017 11:38 AM
@Steven, When the Pantheon approached the merged Hulk, it was pointed out that he was still a wanted criminal for the destruction he caused after he was pardoned and the likelihood of his getting *another* pardon was not good. How's the Hulk going to join the Avengers under those circumstances? What's keeping the Hulk from getting arrested is the fact that he been deemed cured and is acting stable and is the most powerful being on the face of the earth and literally can't be incarcerated, as he's just too formidable. As soon as that changes, he becomes a fugitive again. The Avengers would have treated him the same way as the Pantheon ends up doing. Only the Avengers wouldn't have ever made him leader, since PAD didn't write that book. This is about the Hulk trying to make it on his own stream, a story that couldn't be told in the Avengers.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 3, 2017 1:57 PM
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