Characters Appearing: Blonde Phantom, Nosferata, She-Hulk
Marvel Comics Presents #123-126 (She-Hulk)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #123, Marvel Comics Presents #124, Marvel Comics Presents #125, Marvel Comics Presents #125, Marvel Comics Presents #126 (She-Hulk story only)
She-Hulk is framed for the murder of a Dr. Stopplemoor. She goes on the run (no faith in the legal system when its your ass on the line, eh?). She-Hulk's good friend Nosferata hears about She-Hulk's troubles and goes to investigate.
"Nosferauto" almost made this whole story worth it. But it loses all its points for "Nosferatarang".
They investigate Dr. Stopplemoor's lab and are attacked by an "Adrenazon".
I think Adrenazon is miscolored in her first appearance. She-Hulk flees when the police arrive, but gets into a rematch with Adrenazon and this time she is green. Which would make sense if She-Hulk is being blamed for her actions.
It turns out that Adrenazon - Adrian Lynn - is a woman whose husband got into an accident. The accident killed two bystanders and crippled Adrian. She-Hulk prosecuted the man for drunk driving and put him away. Adrian was later approached by Dr. Stopplemoor, who offered her a cure for her paralysis involving adrenaline treatment. And so she became Adrenazon. She can transfer back and forth, and in her Adrian persona she's been the one pointing the police to She-Hulk. Stopplemoor found out that Adrian was going to frame She-Hulk and that's why she killed him. Adrenazon explains all of this to She-Hulk ,and then uses gas to knock her out just as the police arrive.
Meanwhile, Weezie and Nosferata have teamed up to clear She-Hulk's name. But when Weezie goes to She-Hulk's apartment, she's ambushed by Adrenazon. Adrenazon's treatments are degrading, though, giving her fits and making her crazy. She thinks she is She-Hulk. So she starts baking cookies in She-Hulk's house.
Nosferata breaks She-Hulk out of jail, and they go to the apartment to confront Adrenazon.
After fighting for a bit, She-Hulk decides to go along with the idea that Adrenazon is She-Hulk and vice-versa.
The cognitive dissonance confuses Adrenazon. So she runs out of the apartment. She-Hulk follows, and Adrenazon tries to run her down in a bulldozer. But while she's driving she has a flashback to her husband's accident, and swerves to miss the people that he hit. Then the police come, and Adrenazon takes a bullet (or the energy weapon equivalent) for She-Hulk.
Adriana Lynn actually survives, but we won't see her again. Which is fine with me. She-Hulk could use some quality villains, but Adrenazon doesn't qualify. She's too much of a direct clone of She-Hulk, which was necessary for this plot but doesn't make for a lot of future potential. And to the degree that she could be salvaged, she's too much like Titania in terms of power set. Plus she's just not all that interesting. It's also the case that, the cookie scene aside, this story is mostly played straight. And that makes Nosferata stick out like a sore thumb. It was odd to use her here. I guess this is the problem with She-Hulk at this time. She was so associated with humor thanks to her solo series that writers felt they had to do something goofy with her, even when their stories were otherwise traditional. It's kind of ironic that She-Hulk was originally considered a joke by fans, and then she was subsequently redeemed only to get turned back into a deliberate joke character. You'd think that if we must have She-Hulk appearances in this book, they could be used to restore her as a serious character, not to bring back one-off Steve Gerber Batman parodies.
As Dermie notes in the comments, Nosferata will have one more minor appearance.
The strategy behind Marvel Comics Presents continues to boggle me. She-Hulk had an ongoing book at this point. It was not doing well. Putting a four-issue She-Hulk story in this book wouldn't have boosted sales here, and doubling up on the amount of mediocre She-Hulk stories that were being published couldn't have helped her book, either. My one thought is that maybe Kelly Corvese created this plot as a pitch to take over the She-Hulk book after Byrne left, and Marvel didn't want it to go to "waste".
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Can fit in any break in She-Hulk's solo series.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"Nosferauto" is pretty good. I can't think of anything better than "nosferatarang". The closest I came was "Bram-arang".
Posted by: Andrew | April 4, 2017 4:44 PM
This actually isn't the last appearance of Nosferata, although it is probably her last time having a significant role in a story. But she turns up again for a brief appearance in Dan Slott's SHE-HULK series.
I've always thought she might make a good replacement member for the Great Lakes Avengers after Squirrel Girl left their team.
Posted by: Dermie | April 4, 2017 5:54 PM
Thus fnord officially begins his "MCP in 1993 Marathon of Mediocrity" coverage.
I actually have a certain fondness for this story, since it was penciled by the late Dave Hoover. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, he was one of those comic book artists who did good, solid work in the 1990s, but who usually fell under the radar because he didn't have a "hot" or "flashy" style. Hoover drew female characters really well, making them sexy without drawing them like anorexic porn stars, so I enjoyed seeing his depiction of She-Hulk.
Posted by: Ben Herman | April 5, 2017 1:17 PM
I am a huge fan of Dave Hoover but, actually, I've seen the exact opposite - him being criticized and unfairly lumped in with the "hot" and "flashy" artists of the era because of how he draws sexy females. I also think he was a godsend on Captain America (after 30+ issues of mediocre-to-poor art) and he definitely ups the quality of those last 20 Gruenwald issues. I wish he had taken over drawing Quasar when Capullo left, his single fill-in issue is probably the best art Quasar series' ever gets.
Posted by: AF | April 5, 2017 1:39 PM
Comments have been disabled for the summer while i'm not around to moderate.
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