Issue(s): Hulk #277, Hulk #278, Hulk #279
The U-Foes cut into prime time television in order to broadcast the death of Bruce Banner.
The Fantastic Four, Defenders, and Avengers, and just about every other super-hero are unable to track the signal.
I was wondering why Daredevil was talking about Bruce Banner like he was a "creature" but then i remembered he was blind.
Even Dr. Strange is somehow prevented from tracking things mystically, and Professor X similarly finding his mental powers blocked. It's apparently an ability of Vector's to deflect all forms of detection. Seems a bit iffy.
Especially since Bereet is able to track them down with her weirdo toys. Her toys attack the U-Foes and free Banner.
This time, Hulk smashes the U-Foes.
The Hulk then heads to New York to get the Fantastic Four's help in clearing his name now that he's got Banner's mind. Bereet flies the Hulk there in her spaceship, and Rick goes with, but Betty opts to stay behind, and Doc Samson soon shows up to console her. After a quick misunderstanding fight...
...the FF agree to help the Hulk. Soon, every super-hero in America shows up on the White House's lawn to petition for amnesty for the Hulk.
Conveniently, a fleet of UFOs show up to attack the crowd of heroes...
...and the Hulk leads the way in destroying them.
Bereet recognizes the UFOs as being an illusion from one of her movies, but no one listens to her. The illusions are in fact generated by the Leader, who acquired some of Bereet's discarded technology.
The Hulk's heroics and the support from the other heroes (although several of the heroes, including the X-Men and Spider-Man, could probably use amnesty of their own) force the president (Reagan) to grant the Hulk amnesty.
Next, a parade is thrown for the Hulk in New York...
...and he's given the key to the city...
...and presented a giant adamantium statue of him created by Alicia Masters. The idea of Masters creating a giant statue (apparently over a 'few days') out of the hardest material on the planet is ridiculous, of course.
Everyone (and i mean everyone) shows up to well-wish the Hulk.
Betty does not join in, however.
Certainly a momentous occasion, and it was probably pretty cool at the time to see so many heroes in one book, but there's no denying that the writing is just terrible.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place a short time after Hulk #276. The U-Foes have taken Bruce Banner to an undisclosed location to broadcast his death. The Thing is in his rocky form, placing this after Fantastic Four #245. The Avengers shown are Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and the Wasp, but that doesn't preclude this occurring at a time when there are additional members. The Defenders shown are Dr. Strange, Beast, Gargoyle, Hellcat, and Hellstorm. The MCP places this between Fantastic Four #248-249, Avengers #226-227, and Defenders #117-118. Must also take place after ROM #35. Takes place after the X-Men return from their trip in space, so after Uncanny X-Men #167 (in Hulk #277 Xavier makes a reference to the X-Men still being in space, but then all the X-Men show up for issues #278-279. That's difficult for me because i have the X-Men appearing in Contest of Champions after they return from space, and the Hulk is still "dumb" at that time. The MCP make it work by placing Contest of Champions during X-Men #161 instead of after #167, but i'm going to cop out at least for now and say that the X-Men are just briefly back up in space talking to the Starjammers during Hulk #277)(Xavier is still in a wheelchair, which also might suggest pre-#167 placement due to the fact that his mind is transferred into the body of a non-crippled clone in #167, but it's shown for several issues after #167 that he still has trouble walking in the new body, so it's safe for him to still make guest appearances in the chair). See the Considerations for Marvel Super Heroes #377-383 regarding Captain Britain's appearance.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (23): show
It was at this time that the Machine Man mini-series was first announced.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 27, 2012 7:55 PM
A Hulk Graphic Novel by Shooter/Blevins/Colletta was announced at about this time.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 20, 2013 5:24 PM
Pretty funny how between issues the Hulk just leaves Betty with the U-Foes. Vapor wasn't even defeated - hope you'll be fine, Betty!
Posted by: S | April 18, 2013 2:42 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I find it strange that even after 30 years no one has ever had the U-Foes fight the Fantastic Four. Would seem a natural development, but as faar as I know the two groups have never met.
Posted by: Gary Himes | July 7, 2013 9:30 PM
The adamantium statue is later vaporized in Hulk 245, when Gorsham and his wizards place it at ground zero of the Leader's gamma bomb detonation in place of the real Hulk. This is explained by Gorsham a few issues later.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 7, 2013 9:51 PM
Er, make that Hulk 345.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 7, 2013 11:14 PM
This story is awful. Just awful. Wow!
Posted by: JSfan | March 9, 2015 11:53 AM
I guess Byrne just overlooked this story when he revealed in AF #12 that Snowbird couldn't leave Canada without risking death. She seems pretty lively here cavorting around in Washington D.C.
Posted by: Dan H. | March 9, 2015 7:13 PM
Looking it over, the concept in itself isn't that bad, its just the execution. The idea of the Hulk trying to right his wrongs after gaining Banner's mind and thus lead to a pardon isn't such a bad one even if it is prior to the revelations regarding who the Hulk really is. Further, there are certain people out there who would sympathize with the Hulk/Bruce and want to help them with it: there are those like Spidey or Jen/Shulkie who would obviously be there for him, but there is also Sasquatch who likewise is a victim of Gamma exposure and the first to encounter the Hulk after this sudden change in status quo. And of course Reed Richards wouldn't want to turn down an experiment like this and would have a greater understanding of Bruce...maybe Tony but he tends to be a tough balance between altruism and wanting to have his wealthy lifestyle.
The problem is after the U-Foes scheme falls apart, it just becomes "every hero ever shows up to support a presidential pardon and the Leader pops up to make it all work out for a happily ever after...until Nightmare screws him over." I guess the whole storyline of "The Professor" in the Peter David run made it work better.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 9, 2015 7:43 PM
So why is Kingpin dressed as the Watcher?
Posted by: Robert | April 7, 2015 12:00 AM
Yeah, this story clearly needed some serious editorial oversight because it has so many problems interacting with other titles.
Fnord, I think you're right with your placement in regards to the X-Men. Xavier says they're on a mission in space, but from 162-166 they weren't on a mission, he thought they were dead. So clearly this has to happen after 167, though with Kitty in DC, that would perhaps argue for after 168.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 7, 2015 8:05 AM
#279 was one of the first comics I read. Obviously I didn't understand much of it, and looking at the storyline now doesn't help.
Just getting all these characters together is ridiculous (although it probably had some appeal to me before.) The X-Men are invited to celebrate the Hulk's acceptance, just as they were invited to Reed and Sue Richards' wedding. If they don't feel "accepted" then they're the ones making the problems.
And the international characters? Alpha Flight? The Soviet Super Soldiers? The Collective Man? Black Panther, Blitzkrieg, Sabra, the Arabian Knight and the rest? [Yay for "Contest of Champions" a few months earlier, so I recognized these characters.] None of them have more important things to do than go to America to clap and cheer for the Hulk?
And then the Inhumans, the Watcher, the Legions of Asgard and Atlantis? Finding a spare ton of adamantium that no one needs so Alicia can spend years [days] learning to sculpt it into the Hulk?
Part of me smiles to see this story again, but part of me thinks 'this just doesn't work.' Worse, now I know the context.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 22, 2016 12:14 AM
Credit correction note: Mark Gruenwald did the layouts for #279 that Greg LaRocque finished. Sal Buscema wasn't involved at all.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | February 12, 2017 3:38 AM
Updated the credits. Thanks Brian.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 13, 2017 9:56 AM
Telly Savales is...the Watcher!
Posted by: MindlessOne | April 24, 2017 8:06 PM
For those too young to remember:
Then NYC mayor and future US Congressman Ed Koch, appears, giving the Hulk the Key to the City, then later offers his trademark line, "How'm I doing?" to which Hawkeye responds, "Just fine, Ed." Mayor Koch was known for asking that when appearing on New York streets.
The Key scene could perhaps be any generic city mayor, but the exchange with Hawkeye establishes his identity and makes this count as a "temporal reference".
Posted by: Ubersicht | April 24, 2017 9:20 PM
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