Issue(s): Hulk #325, Hulk #326, Hulk #327
So Big, So Fast alert:
The other big news is that, after someone shows up from Northwestern University to personally fire Doc Samson...
...both Samson and John LaRoquette, who still blames Samson for the death of his girlfriend, accept offers to join SHIELD.
In Samson's case, it's a good thing, because SHIELD's methods for testing Bruce Banner's mental state were a little... unsophisticated.
And the even bigger news is that SHIELD has a project in the works to transfer power from Zzzax, who was recently captured by "that new group of Avengers"...
...to General Ross, despite everyone agreeing that he's mentally unfit.
It turns out that the green, long-haired Hulk is really Rick Jones, who we saw get knocked into the transformation vat by General Ross in issue #324. And he's unthinkingly grabbed Bruce and carried him into the desert. But SHIELD assumes that Bruce and the Hulk have become separated again. So they proceed with the Zzzax transfer, but Zzzax is more clever than they realize and manages to absorb Ross's brain waves and get free.
Meanwhile, Rick and Bruce attempt to travel across the desert to Bruce's old secret lab, and in the process of their heat dreams we see a merging of their troubled pasts, plus some scenes of the green Hulk fighting a grey one.
It's worth keeping in mind that to a reader that wasn't aware that Marvel was turning Banner-Hulk semi-permanently grey, the above scene could have been written off as a strange dream caused by the desert sun. But then Bruce becomes the grey Hulk for real.
Their fight is cut short by the arrival of the truly Thunderbolt Ross, whose powers somehow cause Banner to revert to human form.
The arrival of Zzzax meanz we get to uze a lot of Zs.
While the fight is going on, Betty is on the verge of a breakdown like those she's had in the past.
And we see some cave dwellers observing the battle.
And unrelated to any of that, a nurse arrives at a mansion to attend to a deformed boy, but things don't go as she expected.
Back at the battle, Zzzax begins to reassert control over General Ross, and it also manages to possess the Rick Jones Hulk. As Zzzax notes, the ability to absorb minds has always been part of its power, but we've never seen him use it like this before.
But controlling the weak-minded Hulk actually seems to weaken him, and he abandons the body.
While Rick-Hulk was fighting Zzzax, Bruce was unable to turn back into the grey Hulk, but he'd been following Zzzax around trying to reach Ross' consciousness.
When Zzzax terrorizes Pulp Pin-up Mom...
...Ross realizes that he is being a monster, and he flees the scene.
One of the worst things about Al Milgrom's run on Hulk was his art, and these issues are somewhat improved (despite Pulp Pin-Up Mom) by the competent if not spectacular pencils of Steve Geiger. And there are definitely some interesting developments here, like the confirmation that Bruce Banner is turning into a grey, cunning version of the Hulk plus the weird General Ross/Zzzax merger. These aren't great issues, but they are a fun set of battles and certainly were intriguing in realtime.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: In issue #327, Betty says it's been 2 days since Bruce first went missing at the end of #325, so this arc spans a period of time. This arc ends with Rick and Bruce in the desert, which is where we'll pick up in issue #328. This has to take place after Zzzax was defeated in West Coast Avengers #12.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showArmand Martel, Bateman, Betty Ross, Clay Quartermain, Doc Samson, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Hideko Takata, Hulk, Nevermind, Redeemer, Rick Jones, Rock, Zzzax
There's a reference to Project:Pegasus being damaged and unable to hold Zzzax. Is that a reference to the Iron Man Annual?
Posted by: Michael | January 24, 2014 10:31 PM
I agree, Michael. Thanks, i've added it to the References.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 25, 2014 12:02 PM
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