Characters Appearing: Ben Urich, Blonde Phantom, Daredevil, Doc Samson, Hulk, Lifeform, Mercy, She-Hulk
Hulk annual #16
Issue(s): Hulk annual #16
The story is told through narration and flasback. A cute scene in the beginning has the Hulk in the desert, assuming that the army is coming after him, but that turns out to not be the case.
Meanwhile, in New York, the assisted suicide character Mercy pushes a homeless man in front of a truck, and then gets yelled at by a homeless woman, who tells her that not everyone means it when they say that they want to die.
This issue is also notable for featuring art by Angel Medina, who will become the regular Hulk artist circa 1996. Medina's later work will feature a kind of obsession with drawing big ropey veins all over the Hulk. That's not in evidence here with the Hulk (although it is, appropriately, with Lifeform), but there are more general signs of his loose style. The art can sometimes get a little weird and cartoony...
...but it works well when we get to the part where big ugly monsters start slugging it out.
Mercy's conversation with the homeless woman happens while the mop-up from Daredevil's part of the Lifeform story is still going on.
So when Mercy encounters Lifeform and he asks her to kill him...
...she's conflicted. So she decides to get advice from the Hulk.
Hulk has meanwhile found an abandoned theater and is weirdly putting on a show for himself.
Hulk is also a little conflicted when Lifeform shows up, due to his misunderstanding with the army.
The Hulk tells Mercy that she really wants to talk to Banner, so she turns into her ooze form and goes into his head.
When the Hulk wakes up, Banner is there, and they get into a discussion about intent.
And also about whether or not Lifeform should kill himself.
Eventually Lifeform's evil side gains control and attacks.
There was a little mystery about whether Mercy had actually separated Hulk from Banner or if she was just posing as one of them, but during the fight Banner is knocked into a light fixture and electrocuted, and it turns out he was really Mercy (who is fine). Lifeform is (seemingly) killed in the fire caused by the electrical surge.
But of course since he's narrating the story we know he's not really dead, and in the end he reverts to Lifeform form and kills Lamar Kwait, the infected Progamma scientist from the Daredevil story.
Peter David does a good job using the similarities between the Hulk and Lifeform (dual personalities, transforms into a monster) to tease out some ideas about the Hulk. Much better than Gregory Wright did with Typhoid Mary. On top of that, the unusual narration device and a sprinkling of humor make this a fun part of the crossover even as it deals with the suicide question.
1) She-Hulk and Weezie meeting a man trying to find a sunken treasure that turns out to be a pirate looking for his vial of water from the Fountain of Youth. She-Hulk doesn't mention that she's actually seen a Fountain of Youth (She-Hulk #7-8). It's also weird that the story ends with Weezie saying "Who'd want to live forever, anyway?" since her whole reason for joining She-Hulk's supporting cast was to extend her life with "Marvel time".
2) Bruce Banner perusing a photo album showing pictures from his "10 best brawls".
3) Doc Samson recounting a dream of him fighting the Hulk in a psychiatrist's office, and the visit to the psychiatrist also turns out to be a dream.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place the main story between Hulk #369-370. Continues from Daredevil annual #6 and concludes in Silver Surfer annual #3.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The She-Hulk backup was written by Bill Mumy of Lost in Space fame.
Posted by: Robert | June 15, 2015 2:46 PM
It feels like lifeform skipped a step. He starts out at the bottom of the power spectrum (Punisher and DD) then jumps right to the top (Hulk and Silver Surfer). It feels like he missed a few mid-range hero encounters with say, Spider-man and Iron man, etc.
Posted by: kveto | June 15, 2015 3:26 PM
Re: Weezie saying who wants to live forever- that was in a fourth-wall breaking story, this is in a serious story. I'm willing to ignore character bits that RELY upon the fourth-wall breaking in a serious story.
Posted by: Michael | June 15, 2015 11:05 PM
The Hulk is re-enacting a scene from "Young Frankenstein".
Peter David previously worked with Angel Medina on a long stretch of the post-Jim Starlin "Dreadstar".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 16, 2015 6:57 PM
Its not like she deliberately gave up immortality right up anyway. If I recall the fountain water was out of her hands by that point. Could have just been her making light of the missed opportunity.
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 17, 2015 2:36 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|