Jonathan, son of Kevin:
Hulk annual #15
Issue(s): Hulk annual #15
He's also popping tranquilizers like candy.
Meanwhile, a meteor crashes to earth, and SHIELD go to investigate. They think they've found the Hulk...
...but it turns out to really be the Abomination.
Except... he's talkin' kinda edjucated, ain't he?
Well, we learn the story when he takes out SHIELD and then heads to Gamma base.
He is actually Tyrannus, in the body of the Abomination. You see, both had essentially been disintegrated, with their molecules floating in the Earth's upper atmosphere. But Tyrannus retained his consciousness, and he eventually moved his molecules over the to the Abomination's. And when they merged, the Abomination's body reformed and they fell to Earth.
Tyrannus isn't happy in his current body, though...
...and so, using telepathic powers imparted by the Cobalt Flame that also burnt up his body, he learned about Doc Samson's attempt at separating Banner from the Hulk, and has come to the Gamma base to use it on himself.
He's under the impression that Banner is "cured" of being the Hulk, though, and that's not actually the case.
However, the grey Hulk isn't as strong as the Abomination.
To ensure Banner's help, the Abomination takes Betty to a secret lab of his...
...and locks her up, setting a timer that will kill her if he doesn't come back to stop it later. While he's doing that, we learn that Emill Blonsky, the Abomination, is fighting for control of his body.
But Tyrannus is able to retain control, and he makes improvements on Samson's separation device.
While Tyrannation is getting the treatment, SHIELD returns, and knowing that Betty will die if Tyrannus doesn't receive the cure, Banner Hulks out and fights them off.
They don't comment on the fact that he's grey, and they aren't surprised to see a separate Hulk running around even though they don't think it's Banner.
During the fight, the separation equipment is damaged, and so Tyrannus comes out still in the Abomination's body, while the human Blonsky has now emerged as a separate entity.
Another fight, this time demonstrating that while the grey Hulk is weaker by default, his strength is still augmented by his rage, with seemingly unlimited potential.
When the fight is over, Blonsky volunteers information about the location of Tyrannus' secret lab (hoping that it will help him in court; i guess he doesn't expect to just get extradited to the Soviet Union)...
...and Banner and Rick rescue Betty. Banner reflects on the fact that he missed an opportunity to take advantage of Tyrannus' super-genius changes to the separation device to truly cure himself.
Nice mid-80s style Sal Buscema art and a fun/weird way to revive two deceased Hulk villains (the Abomination, at least, we knew couldn't be dead thanks to his Secret Wars II appearance). But this annual came at a weird time. It was published while the main series was really playing up the idea that, despite briefly appearing grey, Bruce Banner was cured of being the Hulk and that Rick Jones was the primary Hulk. The grey Hulk appears in Hulk #325-327 in a sequence that starts off as if it were just heat-induced delusions, and it's unclear to me for a while after that if even Banner is really aware that he's still turning into a Hulk. At a minimum, this annual "spoiled" the revelations about the grey Hulk and his new brutish attitude, judging by letters published around this time.
This story takes place during the day, explaining why Rick Jones doesn't Hulk out in this issue.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Due to the reasons listed above, this issue isn't simple to place. Bruce Banner transforms into the Grey Hulk in front of Rick and Betty in this issue and neither of them are surprised by it, whereas for a while after Hulk #324 everyone seems to be under the impression that Banner is really cured. I can write off Betty due to the mental problems she is struggling with, but it seems odder for Rick. More importantly, SHIELD say that the Hulk and Banner are separate at this time, and since this definitely takes place after they were re-merged in Hulk #323, this has to occur after the Rick Jones Hulk surfaces in Hulk #325-327. Banner also says in Hulk #325 that after emerging grey from the nutrient bath, he "hasn't changed since". The problem is that there are no good breaks in the regular Hulk series for this to fit. #327 ends with Rick and Bruce in the desert, and #328 shows Bruce on his way back to Gamma base. Fitting this between #328-329 would work relatively well for Bruce, but between #327 and #329 Rick is on a bus with other refugees from the fight with Zzzax. And issue #330 takes place in the aftermath of #329, and #331 in the aftermath of #330 and from there we're into a plot with the Leader and a point where Betty is no longer around. The MCP places this between Hulk #324-325, and i guess we're stuck with that placement. We'll have to assume SHIELD is just confused here and Bruce was maybe lying to Betty in #325 for the sake of her sanity.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAbomination, Betty Ross, Clay Quartermain, Doc Samson, Hulk, Rick Jones, Tyrannus
This was a fun annual. The Abomination never got treated with the respect he really deserved, and still won't after this revival, but at least he's back.
As for Tyrannus, I never really understood him as a character. He fills the same niche as the Mole Man, but with a different personality. The obsession with the fountain of youth never lead to interesting stories. I think it's inconsequential that he returned.
Posted by: Chris | March 31, 2014 2:51 AM
Anything Roman is kinda badass, but yeah Tyrannus was never used all that well.
Posted by: MindlessOne | May 11, 2017 6:37 PM
Loved this annual as a kid. Still do, but I wish the printer or coloring process was better for the Gray Hulk's coloring. 90% of him had him light or mud-brown. Hope this gets put into an Epic collection with some color reconstruction done to make him truly gray looking.
Posted by: James | April 17, 2018 8:46 PM
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