Issue(s): Hulk #338
...and (at least in this story), she's not a cosmic entity, she's an alien.
Bruce Banner attracts her attention when he shows up with Rick Jones and Clay Quartermain at the hospital where Betty was being kept after Bruce hurt her while transforming into the Hulk, and he finds that she left with Ramon.
D'Spayre would also never say "Bummer".
Mercy's attraction to Bruce Banner seems to suggest that Peter David's first Hulk story, in Hulk #328, in which Banner explicitly rejected his suicidal thoughts, wasn't as permanent a turning point as it seemed.
As it approaches night time, Bruce tells Rick and Clay to try to convince the Hulk to stick around, on the grounds that the Hulk needs help hunting down the new gamma bombs that the government has been creating. The previous night, Bruce had a "dream" where he convinced Hulk that the bombs were a problem.
That's a good sequence, but i could equally see this Hulk laughing at the idea that anyone could be like him, gamma radiation or not.
Anyway, Rick makes the pitch...
...but the Hulk doesn't buy it. However, Mercy attacks again before the Hulk can jump away.
Here's Mercy saying she's been to other planets.
Actually, i guess the fact that she's been to other planets doesn't mean she's an alien. One of my complaints about Marvel's cosmic beings is that they're rarely shown bothering people from other planets, but there's no reason why characters like D'Spayre or Nightmare shouldn't be affecting the Kree and Skrulls and whatnot as often as humans.
Anyway, we get an alternate explanation for Mercy once the Hulk manages to stab her with her own energy weapon: she's a giant mutated rogue member of the Puffball Collective.
The Hulk manages to get rid of Mercy (after she covers him with her puffball-y self, he goes to a gas station and sets himself on fire), and then, since Mercy was attracted by Banner's weakness, the Hulk agrees with Rick and Clay that he needs to stay with them, so someone can keep Banner safe during the day.
Peter David ends things with his usual great flair for dark humor.
Earlier, at a truck stop, Clay got into an altercation with a trucker. Instead of fighting the trucker, Clay sticks the tracking device from the SHIELD van in the trucker's vehicle.
Later, SHIELD attacks and destroys the truckers rig.
And so, at the end, we see the depressed trucker picking up a hitchhiker.
There's also a scene of the Leader ensnaring a politician.
It's unfortunate that Todd McFarlane's art is inconsistent. It's usually great and so far i'm finding his style to be a breath of fresh air, but sometimes his panels get a little sketchy. Definitely more of a positive than a negative. And Peter David's writing is just great; i enjoyed his Spider-Man but his style just seems made for the anti-social cunning grey Hulk.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This shouldn't take place too long after the end of the previous issue; it begins before Bruce transforms back into the Hulk again.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"i could equally see this Hulk laughing the idea that anyone could be like him, gamma radiation or not." I dunno, I think PAD may be showing us a subtle contrast with the Leader here. Loneliness has often been Sterns's motivation, and his MO is usually about enlisting or creating other gamma beings. The Hulk has never liked any of the other gammas. Maybe Shulkie, but we've yet to see much interaction with her. Grey Hulk not only is smart enough not to want to deal with a bunch of Abominations, but he values his uniqueness. There's something here of the Green Hulk's desire to be left alone, too, but in the Grey Hulk, it manifests as a self-conscious pride.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 5, 2014 8:39 PM
"but there's no reason why character like D'Spayre or Nightmare shouldn't be affecting the Kree and Skrulls and whatnot as often as humans."
Who says they never bothered the Kree or Skrulls? Do you really think they would talk about such an embarrassing event if it did happen to them?
Posted by: clyde | June 10, 2015 1:48 PM
I always thought the implication here was that the Gray Hulk realized that he, too, needed help; Rick Jones tries to pull the energy lance out of him, which is part of what buys enough time for Banner to fight back on the psychic level.
As we'll see when he winds up in Vegas, the Gray Hulk has a desire for companions and friends; he just hates that about himself because he sees it as a Banner thing.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 29, 2017 5:42 PM
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