Issue(s): Hulk #351, Hulk #352
"Having survived the climax of the Evolutionary War", the Hulk wakes up in the desert, where the daylight is hurting him and allowing Bruce Banner to try to claw his way back to control.
The Hulk drags himself back to his apartment in Mr. Berengetti's casino, falls asleep, and dreams about what happened to him after he was seemingly killed by the Gamma bomb. As he falls asleep he thinks to himself that he hopes Rick and Betty are ok, but "I couldn't give a fig about Quartermain".
We are about half a year past Hulk #345 when the Hulk seemingly died, but it was actually in Hulk #347 that the Hulk returned, so Peter David hasn't been holding out on us for too long.
Honestly, the short of it is that instead of dying, he was teleported to Jarella's world. The slightly longer version is that the Hulk was teleported away from the bomb blast at the last second by a wizard from Jarella's world named Gorsham.
And i actually won't go into much more detail than that, despite this being a two issue story. Gorsham wants the Hulk to help unite the people to rise up against a Grand Inquisitor named Risuli that has warped the people's "religion" about Jarella and the Hulk so that he can remain in charge. In return (in addition to saving his life), Gorsham casts a spell that suppresses Hulk's Banner side even in the daytime. In the end, Gorsham sends the Hulk back to Earth, reasonably not wanting the not-so-nice Hulk around any more. It's a little ambiguous whether or not Gorsham himself is going to be a benign leader once the Grand Inquisitor is toppled, but he does promise to make a better world that the Hulk will be proud of.
Beyond all that, it's not worth getting into the ins and outs of the Hulk's brief time as a living god rallying the peasants on Jarella's world.
There are some details worth mentioning, though. The first is that the way Gorsham's spell works, they needed to transfer an equal amount of mass in the opposite direction (this prevents the problems with the sun that occurred when Jarella came to Earth in the past). So for the trip to Jarella's world, they transferred a statue that explains why it seemed like the remains of the Hulk's disintegrated body were found in the wreckage of Middletown. For the trip back to Earth, the adamantium statue that Alicia Masters once created of the Hulk is teleported back to Jarella's world (i assume it's that statue, although it isn't explicitly said or footnoted).
The statue was in Washington DC, and that's where the Hulk was supposed to materialize, but something went wrong and that's why he wound up back in the desert to be found by Berengetti.
The other point is that Gorsham had been monitoring the Leader all along in order to locate the Hulk, and it's also said that one of Gorsham's minions, Booly (the other one is named Whully), wore the armor of Psyklop for a time. That explains the scene in Hulk #344 (which, per the Comments on that entry, was originally intended to be part of a Psyklop/Bi-Beast story that got dropped).
Those are basically all the key points, although i'm sure you'll also want to see the Hulk fighting a Warthos.
Also in these issues, Marlo's friends Mona and Suzie trash talk Mr. Fixit for not coming to visit her after her injuries. Marlo defends Fixit but continues trying to contact him, to no avail.
And at the end of issue #352, after the dream is over, we find that the Hulk has transformed back into Banner.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This begins presumably not too long after the Hulk is teleported away in Avengers annual #17. Hulk #353 begins with Bruce Banner waking up. Obviously the majority of these issues are a dream replaying events that took place soon after Hulk #345, but i place the issues based on the present day sequences.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showHulk, Marlo Chandler, Mona (Marlo's friend), Suzie Berengetti
"Whully" and "Booly" are references to the 1965 song by Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 12, 2014 8:39 PM
In the recent Death of Wolverine mini professor Cornelius is gathering up all the adamantium on the planet, and a statue of the Hulk is mentioned. So presumably there were two such statues made!
Posted by: Berend | November 26, 2014 12:52 AM
There's an interesting moment here where the Hulk, confronting the Grand Inquisitor, rages at him for running Jarella's world, which the Hulk says was supposed to be a better place than the world he came from.
It's a nice, subtle way of showing that this Hulk is both still the same being, at some level, as the childlike version...and that he and Banner are the same being as well. Also, the Grand Inquisitor seems to be a true, fanatical believer who genuinely thinks he represents the will of the deified Hulk.
There's a more direct reference to issues #247-8, as one of the wizards tells the Hulk that he was deified after his final visit because his actions restored fertility to the planet.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 23, 2017 5:49 PM
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