Issue(s): Questprobe #1
I was a big fan of the similar text-based Infocom games (especially Zork and the Enchanter series), so you would think these Questprobe games would have been appealing to me. I did like the Spider-Man one (although i never beat it), but all i remember about the Hulk game was that you had to bite your lip to get angry and turn into the Hulk, which i thought was dumb. Compared to the Infocom games, i remember the Questprobe games to be less responsive and more limited in terms of what you could interact with. Unlike the Infocom games, they did have the benefit of some nice, if static, CGA graphics.
The comic book tie-ins showed how the Marvel characters wind up in the game.
The credits for this series are a little unusual and so worth mentioning. The 'original concept' for the backstory of the series is by Scott Adams and John Byrne. This issue was scripted by Bill Mantlo, the Hulk's regular writer, but even though the Hulk was intelligent at the time of publication, he's in classic Hulk Smash mode here. Mark Gruenwald actually provided the breakdowns, which is extremely unusual. And the inking was done by veteran penciler John Romita Sr. The artwork isn't bad - typical 80s house style - which either means that Gruenwald is a better penciler than one would suspect or that Romita's inks are just that good.
The plot starts with the series' backstory. An alien planet that has forsworn war is facing annihilation by an invading Black Fleet.
One philosopher, named Durgan, argues in favor of battling the invaders but he's labeled a heretic.
He considers the possibility of enlisting or possibly possessing Earth's super-heroes to help fight off the invasion.
Soon a character called the Chief Examiner appears on Earth.
He's got a different look than Durgan, but i think we're supposed to assume it's the same guy wearing a Mysterio-style helmet.
Meanwhile, the Hulk is being pursued by the military.
He enters a cave, and finds a natter energy-egg and a bio-gem (these artifacts were in the games as well). When the Hulk approaches, the egg explodes, destroying the gem as well.
The Chief Examiner appears and summons a portal, trying to force the Hulk to enter so he can steal his strength. The Hulk flees, but eventually agrees to jump through when the Examiner puts a girl in danger.
The Hulk is only in the portal for a few seconds, Earth time, but there's a footnote indicating that this is where the Hulk Questprobe game takes place. After the Hulk exits the portal and rescues the girl, the Examiner takes his leave.
This isn't exactly an amazing story. The set-up is pretty bland, and the story itself is a typical generic Hulk story, with very little having to do with the Questprobe scenario.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Due to the fact that the Hulk was intelligent for a long period of time and then was absolutely mindless and banished to another dimension, this issue has to be pushed way back before its publication date. The MCP places this and a few other random Hulk appearances between Hulk #268-269. It's not great placement considering the Hulk is supposed to be with Betsy and Ross at Banner's old desert lab as they try to work out a cure for him, but it's not completely off-base to allow for the Hulk to have wandered off for a while.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Dr. Strange was originally announced as a co-feature for this issue.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 10, 2013 1:21 PM
Some critics at the time questioned why the Grand Canyon in Arizona was being defended in this book by the Colorado National Guard.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 28, 2013 1:48 PM
If anyone feels inclined to play questprobe games then you can play them here:
Posted by: JSfan | July 12, 2014 3:28 PM
Thanks JSfan. That brought back some fun memories of how simple games could be back then & still be entertaining.
Posted by: clyde | July 13, 2014 2:59 PM
I don't know if Durgan was intended to be the Chief Examiner at the time this was written, but years later in Quasar, it's revealed that the Examiner is a robot/construct/thing.
Posted by: Thanos6 | May 4, 2015 5:22 AM
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