Brian C. Saunders:
Characters Appearing: Hulk, Thing, Uatu the Watcher
The Incredible Hulk and the Thing: The Big Change (Marvel Graphic Novel #29)
Issue(s): The Incredible Hulk and the Thing: The Big Change (Marvel Graphic Novel #29)
...and then the Watcher gives us this disclaimer.
So it's no epic Hulk/Thing battle.
Instead, the two monster heroes are teleported to a planet Maltriculon, home of the universe's best terra-formers, alchemists, and shape-changers, and asked to perform a simple rescue operation. In return, they'll get a total of two wishes. To demonstrate their power, their summoner - a bureaucrat alien named Stamben Malelet - proves his ability to change the Thing and Hulk back into Ben Grimm and Bruce Banner. Hulk is entirely uninterested in this, but the Thing sees the possibilities, and thinks that if the Hulk doesn't want to use his wish, he could use it to ask for world peace or something similarly altruistic. And he's able to convince the Hulk to go along with him.
The Hulk has been infused with a bombardment of positive cerebral ions, which keep him in an agreeable mood for the next 24 hours.
Their target is a nutritional scientist that has been kidnapped by a Nasty McBurne whose name begins a series of McDonalds-themed quips.
Despite being on a planet full of strange looking creatures, the Hulk and the Thing attract attention. So the Thing grabs himself a cloak, and the Hulk finds an even better disguise.
Hulk's octopus-hat will wake up a few times during the course of this adventure.
Some funny jokes about the Hulk "reasoning" with McBurne's goons...
...and other jokes...
...and eventually they meet McBurne's boss, Banger McCrusher, a big fan of the duo.
He's also really powerful, and the positive ions that the Hulk's been hit with prevent him from getting angry enough to get strong enough to fight back, so the Thing has to rile him up.
The two manage to defeat McCrusher and return the nutritional scientist, who it turns out has just invented a new flavor additive that makes food taste better. And while the Thing is still pondering what wishes to ask for, the Hulk blurts something out.
The Hulk's wish for burgers might seemingly conflict with my dead-ender theory that the Hulk is vegetarian, but it's worth noting that even the worms on planet Maltriculon were vegan.
Just a fun comedy issue with nice aliens from Berni Wrightson.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Despite being published in 1987, this must take place much earlier, during a period where the Hulk is green and "dumb". The only possible thing affecting placement, which i've chosen to ignore, is a montage scene showing the Fantastic Four's origin and ending with an image of them in their black/dark blue costumes (which they got circa Fantastic Four #256, Jul 83). The reason i'm ignoring that for placement purposes is that by the time they have those costumes, the Hulk has Bruce Banner's brain (since Hulk #272, Jun 82). There are a few places after Hulk #272 where i've squeezed in generic dumb Hulk appearances, but they are all tenuous gaps that i prefer to keep to a minimum. None of the rest of the Fantastic Four actually appear in this issue so i'm ruling that the panel is conceptual. After that, this issue can fit in any context-free gap in the Hulk and the Thing's chronologies, and i'm following the MCP and placing this between Hulk #253-254 and Fantastic Four #221-222.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Hey, they could be veggie burgers... ;)
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 24, 2014 5:20 PM
I think that the worms were Vegan as in from a world called Vega.
Posted by: Jonathan Hamilton | September 7, 2014 11:01 PM
Jonathan, just a running joke. :-)
Posted by: fnord12 | September 8, 2014 7:41 AM
I need to check this book out. I loved Starlin's Thing vs Hulk two-parter in Marvel Fanfare and Wrightson's artwork matches the story here seamlessly.
Posted by: Clutch | September 17, 2016 12:02 PM
This was one of the rare instances where Bernie Wrightson worked for Marvel. So sad that he passed away, leaving a legacy of work behind him.
Posted by: Matthew | March 19, 2017 9:50 AM
fnord, so *this* was where you got your image o the Watcher that you use on your main page!
I'm trying to remember if I've ever read this graphic novel. I must have years ago, because I very clearly remember the ending.
In any case, I love the artwork. The late, great Bernie Wrightson was understandably renowned for his work in the horror genre, but this story demonstrated that he also was great as comedy.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 19, 2017 11:29 AM
I love this issue. I remember it fondly from my youth and it's one of the few german reprints I kept when I switched to the american originals.
Posted by: Multiple Manu | January 1, 2018 9:05 AM
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