Issue(s): Hulk #392
Dahn's CIA contact, Mr. Galvin, objects to Dahn's treatment of Val, so he's killed.
Dahn's plan for Havok is to use him as a weapon. That's partly why Dahn feels that he can kill Galvin; if he can weaponize Havok he won't need CIA support anymore.
But the Hulk resurfaces (he wasn't at the site of the explosion when Dahn's men retrieved Havok), and goes to rescue Havok.
Above is the joke that i've mentioned in the Considerations of a few entries. It's clearly meant to be Peter David poking fun at the Avengers crossover, on a meta level ("logistical nightmare"), in comparison to the little mini-crossover going on here. But the Hulk isn't his cousin, and this book doesn't normally do fourth-wall breaking jokes. And we know that Rick Jones was with the Avengers for a bit during the early parts of Operation: Galactic Storm and then returned to the Pantheon. So it's entirely reasonable to assume that Rick told the Hulk what was going on, or even that the Avengers asked the Hulk if he was interested in helping them out and he declined when he heard what it would entail. So while i recognize that it's a joke, i'm still honoring it for placement purposes.
Havok and the Hulk have a philosophical debate about whether or not it's ethical for the Hulk to get involved in political disputes in other countries. As the government sanctioned super-hero, it makes sense that Havok would take the side that free agents shouldn't take such matters into their own hands. But earlier in this story, when X-Factor were brought in to stop the Hulk, Havok made a comment comparing the Hulk to the X-Men, and that's a fair comparison. Havok was with the X-Men when they fought against the Genoshans, so it's hard for him to have the high moral ground here (not that it comes up that way this time). At the same time, Havok does raise some good objections to what i'll call Authority style super-heroing.
Meanwhile, X-Factor and the Pantheon are fighting again.
Strong Guy gets hit by a bomb blast and absorbs an excessive amount of energy.
Powered up like that, he takes on Prometheus, and we see his face fully for the first time when he falls out of his car.
Despite X-Factor dealing setbacks to the Pantheon, the war is not going Farnoq Dahn's way, so he initiates his contingency plan. This involves activating two dozen or so missiles, each with a Trans-Sabalian civilian tied to it. Havok is also tied to one. The idea is that the hostages, and more held at a secret location, will be killed if the rebels don't surrender. To prove that he's serious, Dahn launches two of the missiles, but the Hulk rescues one and X-Factor rescues the other. Hulk then goes after Dahn, and the rebellion wins. At this point, Val Cooper doesn't feel inclined to help Dahn any further, obviously. But Dahn uses the fact that he's a religious figure to his people to make them bow to him. At that point it seems like there's nothing to be done (Hulk stops Ulysses from killing Dahn) but then Dahn is shot.
Earlier we saw a soldier in Mandroid armor observing Dahn's treatment of Cooper, and it's that Mandroid that killed Dahn. And it turns out that Rick Jones was in the armor. He's shaken up by what he's done. Wolfsbane, having just gone through a similar thing herself, comforts him.
Powerful stuff. I can't help compare the moral dilemmas that Peter David brings up in these issues to the ones raised in Galactic Storm. The nuances of the debates, the conflicts between the characters... everything here just feels much more sophisticated, and more natural. Maybe it's just a matter of preference, but i do think that David is a natural writer while Bob Harras and Mark Gruenwald grew up as editors first (i know Gruenwald wrote Two-In-One and other things early on at Marvel but he quickly fell into an editorial role). Not that one couldn't go from editing to writing (e.g. Roger Stern) but it just seems to me that some people have a talent for writing and especially scripting that other people don't. In addition to the fact that he looks at issues from all angles and doesn't necessarily always come down on a side, David is able to liven things up with humor and good characterization, while the writing in Galactic Storm was always pretty flat and driven by the plot. Of course Peter David is also blessed with great, dynamic artists like Dale Keown, and that makes the super-fights more interesting but also has an important if not always recognized effect on how we perceive the dialogue.
Quality Rating: A
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from X-Factor #76. Note the comment from the Hulk regarding Galactic Storm. Since i'm accepting that as a real reference and not just a fourth-wall breaking joke, that means that this has to take place after Rick Jones gets back from the Avengers, so that he can tell the Hulk the name of their Operation. I'm assuming this takes place concurrently with the later half of Galactic Storm so that Quicksilver can finish up here in time to appear in Avengers West Coast #83. See that entry's Considerations for more.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): showAjax, Farnoq Dahn, Havok, Hector, Hulk, Madrox the Multiple Man, Polaris, Prometheus (Pantheon), Quicksilver, Rick Jones, Strong Guy, Ulysses, Valerie Cooper, Wolfsbane
That panel of Rahne and Rick almost makes me cry. It's so good. You can feel the despair and disgust in Rick's voice. Just a great piece of writing.
One disagreement with your take on Havok and the X-Men/Genosha. In the initial Genosha foray, Genoshans essentially attacked the X-Men first by kidnapping Maddie, a non-citizen (along with Jenny Ransome - a citizen who would be a mutate). The X-Men investigate and engage the Magistrates in Australia. The X-Men only assault and attack Genosha after Wolverine, Rogue, and Maddie are taken to Genosha by force. There is provocation and there is a reason to enter Genosha illegally. The X-Men in the end decide to leave Genosha in the hands of its people and leave them to decide how best to change their society. Yes, they use force, but you could argue pretty much all that force is used in direct reaction to the Genoshan's imposing their ways on non-citizens. Obviously it's all a little more nuanced than this, but the X-Men's actions differ quite a bit from the Pantheon's and the Hulk's.
I think pretty much everything else you nail bang-on. I loved this storyline.
Posted by: Mark Black | February 3, 2016 12:48 PM
Damn this looks like a way way better crossover about killing than Galatic Storm. I didn't realize Val Cooper had a super model body either.
Posted by: david banes | February 3, 2016 4:41 PM
@david banes, it was the '90s - every woman in comics was required to have a supermodel body. Certainly every woman at Marvel or Image.
Posted by: Robert | February 3, 2016 5:22 PM
Mark- don't cry, bruh. It's a good story but it's just a comic, lol. Get a grip! I actually thought that was pretty forced to set up P.David's overall "message" with this story. Only cuz we've seen Rick do other things throughout his history and I'm sure he's killed aliens before or something. Otherwise I agree with fnord because this is handled much better than Galactic Storm.
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity, Actor, Celeb Spokesman, Author, Food Critic, Comics CEO | February 3, 2016 5:46 PM
@Brimstone: "Art has to move you (and design does not, unless it's a good design for a bus)". I just was moved by two characters going through extremely tough ordeals finding consolation with each other. It's well done and rarely seen in comics.
Posted by: Mark Black | February 3, 2016 5:53 PM
To back up what Mark said above, the second time Havok encountered Genosha, he was forced through a magical gem by Psylocke and wound up in Genosha, and was brainwashed to kidnap the New Mutants. In both cases, Genosha attacked Havok and his friends, not the other way around.
Posted by: Michael | February 3, 2016 9:47 PM
Brimstone, I have to say your attitude here is kinda boorish. Someone says they were moved by a touching scene, and you come to say, "don't cry man, it's only a comic!". Well guess what, some people find comic books deep and moving enough to make them cry. I've cried while reading stories like I Kill Giants, and many others.
I don't mind you opining on what this site is about, Marvel comics, but I wish you wouldn't propagate your particular type of masculinity here. Not all men are like that.
Posted by: Tuomas | February 5, 2016 4:26 AM
@Tuomas- Bruh, I didn't mean it in a bully way I am a spokesman AGAINST bullying. I meant it in a joshing manner, ain't we all pals here? Yes it's true I am a pro wrestler and an actor and a celebrity spokesman but I don't have a particular type of masculinity at all I too can get the feels with a good story lol. I just thought that scene was really forced and not worthy of shedding no tears over and other readers agreed with me that it is a bit outta character for rick jones. my attitude is just to enjoy fnord's work and enjoy chatting up Marvels... I ain't out to offend nobody and if anybody is, your main man from the wasteland extends his apologies.....
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity | February 5, 2016 5:20 AM
On the other hand, if someone here said that they got sexually aroused by a comic, would that also be criticism-free?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 5, 2016 5:11 PM
So if I have this straight... a guy tells me my comment made in jest was offensive.. and then, unlike 99% of the other commenters on the internet, I react with a sincere apology... which I stick by... and you still want to come at me Mark Drummond with these snide comments? Why? I said I was sorry dude. I didn't criticize anybody. I was playfully joking. I also said I've also got the feels from comics and stories before. Let it go bruh
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity | February 5, 2016 5:40 PM
Posted by: Brian Carey | February 5, 2016 9:49 PM
I appreciate the thought, Brian. Anyone that googles "Brimstone wrestler" can find a few similar posts, and i saw them when Brimstone first started commenting. But most of his comments have been on topic, and i find his self-promotion more humorous than anything now that i've truncated the user name field. So i don't want to turn this comments section into a flame on him.
That said, Brimstone, you may want to recognize that you've rubbed several people the wrong way at this point and i'd ask that you dial back what Tuomas calls your "particular type of masculinity". One thing long time readers of the site know is that if you find yourself in an argument with Mark Drummond you are doing something drastically wrong. I don't know Mark in real life, but i'd ban myself if i got into a fight with him, because his comments are that valuable to the site. So if he's upset with you, it's probably a sign that i've let things go on too far (for which i apologize to everyone else). When you focus on the comics themselves, your comments are fine. I enjoy your lonely (but valid) perspective on the Image artists, etc.. So please just keep it to the comics, and maybe take it easy when throwing the word "fruity" and the like around. And please don't respond to this comment so that we can avoid making this all about you (same request to everyone else).
Posted by: fnord12 | February 5, 2016 10:21 PM
I wasn't directing any criticism at Brimstone; I was questioning how broadly any restraints on criticism on "deep and moving" reactions are. To some people, "deep and moving" does mean they get turned on by a comic. All those boobs, butts, thong shots, cheesecake, and impractical costumes have gotta be in there for SOME ulterior reason...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 6, 2016 3:55 PM
When was "Future Imperfect" published? The Hulk/Havok discussion makes me suspect it was seriously underway at this point, because Alex is basically foreshadowing (if not in every particular) how the Hulk would turn into the Maestro.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 24, 2016 10:34 PM
According to dcindexes, it came out on 12/22/92. This issue was published 2/18/92.
Posted by: Michael | February 24, 2016 10:40 PM
There you go. We'll never know how far along "Future Imperfect" was at this point, but only ten months separate the respective publications. In the collection, PAD says the idea had been lying dormant for years, and Perez actively sought him out as a collaborator, but writing the plot, sending it though editorial channels, negotiating with Marvel about the format and promotion, Marvel negotiating with Perez about drawing the nearly-100 page story, the production process, etc. That would have taken more than ten months.
I think we can take it as a given that "Future Imperfect" as underway - possibly *well* underway - at this point, and the Hulk/Havok discussion was laying down groundwork for the Maestro.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 24, 2016 11:12 PM
Is Future Impurrfect even something that will be covered on this site or is it considered taking place in the future and not subject to the chrono project?
The Rick Jones flashback does show where it takes place in Hulk's chronology so I can see the case either way.
Posted by: JC | February 25, 2016 3:15 PM
Yes, it's the present day Hulk traveling to an alternate future, so i will cover it from his perspective.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 25, 2016 3:29 PM
Comments are now closed.
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