Fantastic Four #320
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #320
Fresh off the crossover with Spider-Man, the Hulk goes into a crossover with the Fantastic Four and a battle with the Thing. The Hulk's mob enforcer phase certainly got promotion.
Dr. Doom has a proposition for the newly intelligent Hulk, but he first has to subdue him.
I like that Doom does have the power to subdue the Hulk. At least this lower powered grey version.
What i don't like so much is the obvious reverse-phychology that works so easily on the Hulk. I'm happy to believe that at least at a surface level the Hulk is a dumb thug, but i expected him to be craftier than, say, the Rhino. But that's how he's being written here.
The lettercol says that "this issue was co-plotted with Positively Peter David, who has a vested interest in the Hulk's looking something other than shabby". I doubt they got into the details of the scripting, though.
It's worth observing also that Doom's real goal here is for the Hulk to fight the Thing. His desire for a real ally to take back Latveria is secondary.
As for the Thing, he's let Sharon, Alicia, and Johnny go off on a picnic, but, feeling the weight of leadership, he's decided to remain behind and mind the fort. So he's alone when the Hulk arrives on a jetpack.
The Hulk thinks that if he keeps his mouth shut the Thing won't recognize him. Which is interesting; i never thought of the grey Hulk as having the same voice as the dumb green version. You'd think speaking would probably be the least recognizable thing he could do.
And as it is, the Thing recognizes him as Hulk-like right away.
The rest of the issue is just a fun Keith Pollard/Joe Sinnott slugfest.
The Thing has also changed since the Hulk last fought him, and it turns out that he's stronger than the weaker grey Hulk. So he's able to win the fight. But then the "real" green Hulk shows up.
And that's where we leave it for this issue.
I'll chalk up Doom's easy manipulation of the Hulk to clunky dialogue and assume that he did trick the Hulk, but in a more clever way. Beyond that, fun fight issue.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is basically a direct continuation from Hulk #349 for the Hulk, but i've placed Web of Spider-Man #45 between that issue and this one, since that is a direct continuation for Spider-Man. This continues directly in Hulk #350.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showDr. Doom, Hulk, Hulk (Cosmos Automation), Human Torch, Lyja the Lazerfist, Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura), Thing
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