Issue(s): Hulk #385
Feeding off of it, and possibly instigating it, is an entity (possibly a mutant) named Gestalt.
Luckily the Hulk is returned to Earth.
Incidentally, two members of the Pantheon, Atalanta and Ajax are also in New York trying to help, albeit in a more lethal way than one might expect if the crowds are indeed under someone else's control.
The Hulk fights Gestalt...
...and eventually kills him. Gestalt seems to enjoy that as much as inciting violence in others.
And then dawn breaks, coinciding with the return of the humans that Thanos caused to disappear.
Note that going by this comic, we're not seeing a total reset of continuity. The Hulk has just finished his fight when Rick returns, and it's not like when Rick returns there's no evidence of it having ever happened.
Also after the reset, we see the mother of the woman Ajax crushed crying. So it doesn't appear that everything has been reset to how it was 24 hours ago. The nature of how things would get fixed after (or during) Infinity Gauntlet seems like a pretty simple thing to communicate to the editors and writers of the tie-in books, so it's hard to understand why it was done so differently here.
In the end, Rick asks Hulk "Did we win?", and the Hulk first starts to respond by talking about the current state of things with Thanos, but he instead switches to talk about the theme of the book, the question of how humanity acts when society breaks down. It's left open whether Gestalt was just a mutant causing the crowd violence or a symbol of it.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Hulk was last seen held in a construct by Nebula at the beginning of Infinity Gauntlet #6. Somehow, he is returned to Earth for the starts of this story. This occurs before Nebula resets continuity in Infinity Gauntlet #6, since that incident can be tied to Rick Jones' return towards the end of this issue. The Hulk later is brought back to participate in the end of Infinity Gauntlet #6 after the end of this issue.
Crossover: Infinity Gauntlet
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAjax, Atalanta, Hulk, Marlo Chandler, Rick Jones
Wait... so the merged Hulk made a conscious decision to kill someone?
I feel like that should be a bigger deal.
Posted by: JC | October 12, 2015 2:33 PM
It's not explicitly conscious in the story. The Hulk was fighting him (albeit with a pointed stick), and he dies, possibly because the Hulk uses too much force, or possibly because of the coming of dawn as opposed to the blows that the Hulk strikes. Alternatively, Gestalt may have been influencing the Hulk.
On the other hand, Adam Warlock did include the merged Hulk with Wolverine as characters that would be willing to kill if necessary.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 12, 2015 2:39 PM
Earth is supposed to be in an ice age, right? No evidence of that here.
Posted by: Bill | October 12, 2015 6:36 PM
Just a guess, but Earth was supposed to be thrown out of orbit because Maelstrom messed up with its momentum in very recent issues of Quasar, in the Cosmos in Collision event, and _also_ because of something that Thanos did during Infinity Gauntlet. Maybe they realized that at the right time to decide to deemphasize the astronomical event and lessen the discrepancies?
Thanos and Maelstrom even met (in Quasar only). The two events logically must have happened at the same time (or perhaps to some degree in the 24 hour window that was remade by Nebula), yet they can't really be reconciled. For one thing, Quasar is very openly wearing different costumes in each.
Also, I don't know if that is a common interpretation of Infinity Gauntlet, but in Quasar there was a tendency to present it as something that Quasar witnessed and took part on, then forgot all about because of the time loop.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 14, 2015 9:02 AM
It really seems like Rick remembering being dead should be a much bigger deal. Did anyone else remember being dead?
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 13, 2016 11:36 AM
Gestalt seems similar to some other one-off antagonists from the very early issues of David's run, like Fragment from#328 and the unconscious projection/slasher from #335.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 9, 2017 5:19 PM
Comments are now closed.
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