Issue(s): Hulk #136, Hulk #137
Let me start by saying that i've never read Moby Dick. The Classics Illustrated version, sure. But never the actual book. So if i'm missing any literary allusions beyond the obvious here, let me know.
We start with one of the nicest and most rational Banner/Thunderbolt Ross interactions i've ever seen. Banner surrendered to the military after his time travel escapade last issue, and now Ross and Talbot have him voluntarily tranquilized on a plane back to New York.
Ross even tells Banner, "You're a brave man, Banner... far braver than I've given you credit for!". We've come a long way.
Unfortunately, something unusual about the Empire State Building causes Banner to revert to the Hulk before Talbot can get him a tranq booster.
That "something" is a giant energy creature called Klaatu.
And it's being pursued by a flying galley ship led by an alien called Xeron.
When the Hulk attacks Klaatu ("...when Hulk is confused -- he fights!")...
...it screws up Xeron's hunt and lets Klaatu escape (by fading away), so Xeron retaliates by capturing the Hulk using a pair of energy grapples.
Xeron takes the Hulk back to the mothership, where it turns out that the Abomination is First Mate.
There's no footnote for the Abomination's last appearance. It's said that he was picked up by Cybor's crew while fighting a giant mollusk on an asteroid.
So he must have escaped from the Stranger's planet after Thor #178. It's interesting that for such a long period of time, ever since his first appearance, the Abomination has been relegated to space. I guess a character stronger than the (baseline) Hulk that also retains his intelligence is one that needs to be kept off planet (although Thor did knock him out with one punch in that previous appearance).
The Hulk and the Abomination fight it out for a bit (with the Hulk failing to acknowledge that he's any weaker)...
...before Xeron puts a stop to it. The Hulk is enslaved and forced to join the crew hunting for Klaatu.
The Hulk finds that he actually enjoys the life on the ship, sharing work and food with other strange monsters. Despite the lack of rage that comes with this, he doesn't change back into Banner just yet.
Which is good because when the Abomination gets a chance, he throws him off the boat, into the asteroid belt (we are still within line of sight of Earth, so i am assuming it is the asteroid belt and not an asteroid belt). Xeron and the rest of the crew spare no effort to rescue the Hulk, and the incident calls the attention of the captain of the boat, the half-man, half-machine known as Cybor.
Cybor is a bit confused - he barely remembers calling in the Hulk and the Abomination - but he gives them a stern talking to. Mostly, he's obsessed with hunting Klaatu, who is responsible for half of his body having been burned away by a star he got too close to.
Hulk does turn back into Banner, leaving poor Bruce pretty confused and terrified about being on a spaceship full of monsters, but that's when Klaatu shows up again.
The attack on Klaatu is a total clusterfuck.
It ends with Klaatu and Cybor falling into the sun, while the Abomination attacks Banner, triggering a transformation back into the Hulk, and both of them fall from space to Earth.
The story is a bit on the goofy/kiddie side, with character names like Cybor and funny character designs for the aliens.
But at the same time it's huge high-concept crazy fun. Trimpe's art straddles the same line between goofy and pure awesome.
It probably helps legitimize the story (for me) that an established Hulk villain is part of it.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Cybor appears to be an outright rip-off of the Jim Shooter-created Legion of Super-Heroes villain Tharok.
"Moby Dick" serves humanity better as a doorstop.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 23, 2013 7:12 PM
Just because you never got beyond comic books in your reading, don't take it out on a masterpiece.
Posted by: Paul | February 25, 2013 4:49 PM
Paul, neither you nor i know anything about Mark's reading habits. I generally appreciate your comments, but it's really disappointing that you often seem to go right for a personal attack when you disagree with someone.
I laughed out loud when i read Mark's comment, in part because it was so out of character for him. But it's not an uncommon opinion of the book.
You are welcome to disagree with him. I personally hope to find time to read the book one day. But there's absolutely no reason for the "just because you never got beyond comic books" line.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 25, 2013 5:14 PM
It does serve humanity better as a doorstop. I've been using it that way for 20 years and it's never failed once. Now, "Omoo", on the other hand...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 3, 2013 4:53 PM
I first read this when it was reprinted in a Marvel Treasury Edition. The art looks awesome when blown up so big; all the monsters just come to life.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 1, 2014 12:34 PM
Comments are now closed.
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