Issue(s): Hulk #318
...after which the Hulkbusters inexplicably attack Samson instead, with lethal force.
During the battle, one of the Hulkbusters, Carolyn Parmenter, is killed. Another Hulkbuster, "Rocky" Laroquette, blames Samson for the death.
It is largely Craig Saunders who pushes the attack against Samson...
...but the others go along with it.
The ragtag group that Banner recruited for his Hulkbusters were shown to be separate wild cards in their first apperance, but i still feel like something is missing here. The deadly attack on Samson just doesn't feel right. Samson's lack of concern over the death of Parmenter makes a little more sense in the context of them having just attacked him plus his current obsession with the Hulk, but it also doesn't really sit right with me.
Meanwhile, Bruce Banner shows himself to be equally obsessed with killing the Hulk, based on theories that will turn out to be dead wrong.
Also note the acknowledgement of the Hulk's original grey color there, something that has basically been ignored as a printing issue until now.
At the end of this issue, Betty agrees to marry Bruce.
This is still an enjoyable issue, but things are beginning to feel a little rushed or not fully explained. This issue's Next Issue blurb possibly references the story that will actually be held and later printed in an issue of Marvel Fanfare due to what seems to have been a misunderstanding between Jim Shooter and Denny O'Neil (but see the comments). And then next issue will actually be Byrne's last on the title.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 172,033. Single issue closest to filing date = 232,928.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Super-Heroes Megazine #5
Inbound References (7): showArmand Martel, Betty Ross, Carolyn Parmenter, Doc Samson, Hideko Takata, Hulk, Redeemer, Rock
Agreed that the decision to attack Samson made no sense. "You attacked out training robot, so we are going to attack you," makes little sense. Maybe if the dialogue showed that the team THOUGHT Samson's appearance was part of the test, something not entirely impossible, then a mistaken situation could have lead to everything that happened in issue.
Posted by: Chris | November 10, 2013 4:40 PM
worth noting that the grey Hulk makes a similar appearance during the Crossroads era when the Hulk falls through some kind of vortex which has shards of his past incarnations. If I remember semi-correctly...
Posted by: George Gordon | March 2, 2014 1:24 AM
George, thanks for this and all your recent comments. Welcome.
If anyone knows which issue George is referring to here, let me know. I'd like to put up a scan of that grey Hulk from the Mantlo era, and i don't recall seeing it.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 2, 2014 2:54 PM
Page 3 of issue 302.
Posted by: clyde | March 2, 2014 5:17 PM
Posted by: clyde | March 2, 2014 5:19 PM
Awesome, thanks Clyde. I've posted that image on the Hulk #302 entry.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 2, 2014 5:26 PM
Not to be cheesy or anything, but considering all the hard work you've put into this project, it's the least I can do.
Posted by: clyde | March 2, 2014 5:45 PM
One sexy year later and I am seeing this entry!!! Great stuff! Love the grey Hulk and this era! Wahhh-Hooo!
Posted by: Gary Shawtown Taylor | March 1, 2015 10:32 PM
Maybe the idea is that they blame Samson for setting the Hulk loose?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 14, 2015 3:54 PM
Fnord, In my copy of this issue, I don't see any reference to the story that saw print as Marvel Fanfare #29. Can you elaborate on what you saw? Did you use a reprint copy as reference?
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 17, 2016 10:57 PM
Well, the memo in the lettercol says:
"So much happens in our next issue... that I can't begin to praise it all, crammed down here at the bottom of the page. I guess I'd better just pick one thing...
The format? Yeah, the format. John was in experimental mode when he was putting the ish together, and the result is not exactly standard comic book procedure. But I've just looked it over -- again -- and I think most of you will agree that John's not-quite-conventional storytelling works!"
The blurb does also does mention elements that refer to the upcoming wedding. So maybe i'm wrong. But i don't see anything in issue #319 that merits the "experimental" description quoted above. The issue does split each page between the Hulk/Samson fight and the wedding, but that's hardly an innovation. It's not even to the degree of what Byrne did in FF #277. So it seemed to me that the issue got re-worked after the all splash Hammer & Anvil fight got pulled. But maybe i'm just missing what's experimental about #319 as published.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 18, 2016 7:40 AM
When I was reading those issues in real time, at the humble age of 14-15, I had thought #319 was a "innovation," at least for Marvel, so it has never occurred to me to assume that the Fanfare issue would have been the next one or that Denny O'Neil would have had to rewrite his memo. In terms of the pacing of the story, it seemed likely (to me) that Byrne would have had a solo Hulk story to allow space between the wedding and the resolution of the "mindless Hulk" on a rampage. So his last issue would have been the splash page issue and he quit when it was rejected. Of course, those was my real time perceptions and the real story lies in what hasn't been said, of which only some has come out in the last several years. I just wanted to know if I had missed something. Thanks!
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 18, 2016 7:23 PM
I'm pretty sure the top half of the page tells the Hulkbusters story / bottom half of the page tells the wedding, then the next page tells the wedding in the top half / bottom half tells the Hulkbusters story, then the next page tells the Hulkbusters story in the top half / bottom half tells the wedding, etc. is the experimenting with the form that's alluded to. When you're actually reading it, the playing with the form doesn't really stand out, but it is there.
Posted by: Bryan | March 31, 2018 7:34 PM
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