Issue(s): Hulk #267
Before she arrives, Glorian shows up in town, and he grants all of the beaten-down townspeople a chance to live their dreams.
Betty gets enraptured as well...
...and eventually Rick notices the giant rainbow hanging over the town in the middle of the night and subconsciously agitates Banner so that he'll turn into the Hulk and go help Betty.
Once the Hulk shows up, Glorian's illusions get out of control, and the Shaper of Worlds has to show up to put things right.
The Shaper reveals that Glorian is in fact young Thomas Gideon, who he took with him after the death of Gregory Gideon many years ago. In Glorian's previous appearance, he was not meant to be Thomas, but this is a retcon that makes a lot of sense.
Rick freaks out over the way the Shaper and Gideon were manipulating the townspeople, and the Hulk shares his rage. This frightens the townspeople, and Rick actively encourages the Hulk to attack them. The narration says "You see terror in their faces, Rick Jones -- sheer unadulterated terror -- and you know it is of your making! It... excites you, doesn't it, to be able to command a being capable of instilling so much fear in others?". Weird! And there's no resolution.
Also of interest are some of the illusions we see while the Hulk is affected by Glorian's illusions. First, note that the Hulk's fantasies seem to really be Banner's, implying that they are one and the same, not separate personas.
Second, note that Hulk/Banner still thinks of Betty as a Harpy.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue ends very oddly, with Rick Jones egging on the Hulk to attack the townspeople. I was sure that the story would be continued in Hulk #268, but no; next issue the Hulk, Betty, and Rick are all back at Bruce Banner's desert lab with no mention of what happened after this issue ends.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBetty Ross, Glorian, Hulk, Rick Jones, Shaper of Worlds
I find it rather interesting that Mantlo is starting to hint at the start of '82 on the "Banner with Hulk's Body" concept leading up to this and ultimately a massive shift in status quo that will lead to changes for over the next decade and so. What makes it all the more interesting is that we get this at the same time as the end of the Savage She-Hulk, where we have Kraft have Jen go through this entire path that ultimately leads to the balance that makes her all the more usable and important in the universe and leads to her usage with Stern's Avengers, Byrne's F4 and so on. (thus allowing for Shulkie to have an actual place in the universe as a "stable, happy Hulk" compared to Bruce's decades of angst up to this point; prior of course to later revelations) The final pin-ups in Savage She-Hulk likewise seems to contemplate not only Jen but Bruce having stability while being Gamma beings.
I think Shulkie's success in said stability is key, at least here, in showing that a good gamma being can perhaps "make it" without being seen as a monster all along. Other beings up to her showed elements of stability that could likewise be seen but are generally evil, as if the only way to be a gamma being is to control the chaos of the mutation in some manner in being a complete monster. (Abomination, Leader) Sure there was also Doc Samson, but he sometimes seems less like a gamma being and more just a muscle man with green hair that happens to be a genius psychologist. Bruce was a good man but he was caught in being a "monster", one who did whatever it wanted once he Hulked out. Jen started out the same way, but she was able to get through it and realize she can be herself regardless of what she became; yeah it has to do with less psychological baggage and she had to overcome quite a bit, but she was able to succeed. I do wonder if that element of the Savage Shulkie run that Mantlo was able to see and experiment with; ultimately it wasn't going to work considering Bruce had a lot more he needed to get through, but it was still worth a try; with this appearance by Glorian allowing for Bruce to perhaps contemplate if he and the Hulk could truly be together. (well OK, they would eventually in different ways but that's something else altogether as I said)
I sort of wish we had some contact between Bruce and Jen in some period around here; sadly the two of them don't have any meaningful interaction with each other post-Savage She-Hulk #1 until the "Leader arc" after the Hulk gains Bruce's mind, not even during some of the major team-arcs or, as I mentioned prior, the three-parter with the Hulk's pardon. (it was so lacking that Stern had to write one interaction in his "Hulk Smash Avengers" story line; comparing the listings I only saw they were in the "Contest of Champions" [where she was supposed to be Ms. Marvel] and the pardon prior to that Leader arc) I know they don't have to talk all the time but I would like to see Jen and Bruce speaking about something like this and how Shulkie was able to reach this point Bruce was about to embark upon.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 5, 2015 7:34 AM
that might be the most unrealistic rainbow ive seen in a comic.
Posted by: kveto | October 7, 2016 1:55 AM
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