Characters Appearing: Ariel O'Hare, Eddie Brock (Venom), Hulk, Venom Symbiote
Hulk vs. Venom #1
Issue(s): Hulk vs. Venom #1
I had thought that the proceeds for the book went to earthquake relief (maybe because of the book's subject) but it seems to have actually been for the National Committee To Prevent Child Abuses (NCPCA). You could order the book for a $5 (minimum) donation.
The story is that a villain calling himself Doctor Bad Vibes is causing earthquakes in San Francisco, and threatens to produce even more if his ransom demands aren't met. San Francisco is Venom's stomping ground, so he's involved in the rescue efforts, although he's not very good at the human interaction part of it.
The Hulk comes in to help, too, but Venom gets the wrong idea (he thinks that the Hulk's stomping is causing the quakes) and we get a Misunderstanding Fight.
But they eventually come to an understanding.
I like that the Hulk is willing to trust Venom. They've never met before (not counting when Spidey wore the symbiote suit) and the Hulk has also been treated like a monster. So the Hulk might be more willing to buy the idea that Venom has "changed" than most heroes. Which isn't to say that the Hulk isn't aware of Venom's past (since he knows about the vulnerability to sonics). But he might believe that Venom's murders in the past were frame-ups or otherwise explainable.
They next team up and go on television to call out Mr. Bad Vibes.
This leads to Vibes calling in, allowing the Hulk to trace the call with Pantheon tech.
It was speculated at one point that Bad Vibes was really just some lunatic that was taking advantage of natural earthquakes to make his ransom demands, and that does turn out to be the case.
There is a vague sort of message in that earthquakes aren't a problem that super-heroes can just punch. But mostly it's just a fun fight between the Hulk and Venom with plenty of Peter David humor.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place this before Hulk #413 (the start of The Troyjan War). It's really context free and can fit in any break for both characters.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Finally, someone Vibro can look down on.
Posted by: Mortificator | March 30, 2017 5:28 PM
Yeah, I think of the four iterations of the Marvel Handbooks (Original circa 1983, Deluxe circa 1985-7, Master circa 1992 and Modern circa 2004 onward), the Deluxe is my favorite. The Deluxe version gave a general sense of who each character was, and only listed major events the character was involved in. Everyone got at least one page, and the amount of text given to each character seems appropriate to each character, not too little (that's where the Master fell down IMHO, by restricting each character to one page), or too much (the Modern Handbooks which detail every last appearance and thing every character was involved in, regardless of how minor and insignificant it was in the grand scheme of things).
Posted by: mikrolik | March 31, 2017 12:05 PM
Nice to see Venom finally get a well-deserved beating. I mean obviously PAD wasn't ever going to show the Hulk getting defeated by someone else's arch enemy. But this seems well enough written that the Hulk being a match for Venom doesn't come across as PAD playing favorites.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 31, 2017 1:34 PM
What, no comment on them parodying Arnold Schwarzenegger's quotable moment from "Pumping Iron" to call out Dr. Bad Vibes? Plus... an STD pun in a charity comic? Wow, that's really terrible!
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 31, 2017 10:21 PM
The idea of "some lunatic that was taking advantage of natural earthquakes to make his ransom demands" would also be used later in Batman's 1998 major crossover 'Cataclysm', where the Ventriloquist assumed an all new identity as 'the Quakemaster'.
Posted by: OverMaster | June 19, 2017 11:48 AM
That's weird. It's also a key plot point in X-Men 534.1, by Kieron Gillen.
Posted by: Andrew | June 19, 2017 2:00 PM
@Jay: If I had to guess, being the early-to-mid nineties, I'd say the calling out Dr. Bad Vibes scene is likely a parody of Hanz and Franz from Saturday Night Live (at least that's what I thought of). Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Pumping Iron" is the direct inspiration for Hanz and Franz, so both could probably apply.
Posted by: 1976mrk | September 28, 2017 3:14 PM
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