Issue(s): Hulk #394
It turns out that several of the Pantheon are here, including the Hulk. Hulk runs into Trauma next.
It turns out that Trauma blasted a laser right through the Hulk, but luckily he's a fast healer.
Trauma has a personal relationship with Atalanta. He originally wanted to kill her, but now he loves her.
Fill in art by Andrew Wildman is competent in some places, kind of a shame in others.
Here's Trauma without his helmet, and note that he's not from Earth.
Trauma's weapon is powerful, but the madder the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets.
Trauma gets buried in an avalanche, but we see at the end that he's survived. The fact that Atalanta manages to survive her encounter with Trauma, including the prolonged exposure to arctic temperatures, causes the Hulk to wonder what the Pantheon are. The responses from Ulysses is "Touched by godhood. And very hard to kill."
Meanwhile, Rick Jones is depressed over killing the president of Trans-Sabal.
Hearing about his "mother" seems to snap him out of it.
For what it's worth, it's said that elections will be held in Trans-Sabal next week, and that the funeral for Farnoq Dahn erupted in chaos, with people tearing clothes from the corpse (the latter portion a parallel to the funeral of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989).
In the abstract, i believe that one of Peter David's flaws is that he's not great at creating his own characters, either heroes (e.g. the Pantheon) or villains, like Trauma (and i still roll my eyes whenever i think of the phrase "Troyjan War"). But the funny thing is that it never actually bothers me while i'm reading the issues. This was a fun fight and Trauma presented a short term challenge to the Hulk in a way that made sense: tough enough to trade punches for a while, and with a laser beam that is very powerful, but ultimately not able to keep up with the Hulk's limitless strength. And while i'd generally say that i'm not too interested in the Pantheon, the way Peter David teases out hints about them, and doles out a bit of history about Trauma and Atalanta, is entertaining. So while i'd say that some writers are really great about introducing new characters and concepts but are less good about developing them, Peter David may not be the greatest with introducing new stuff but he's really good at working with them. In the short term, when you're reading a book, the latter is probably more important. But that may be why writers like Bill Mantlo have created characters that have continued to be used to the modern day even when they weren't necessarily introduced in great stories, while the likes of Trauma (Rock, Redeemer, Half-Life, etc..) are rarely (or, in most cases, never) seen outside of Peter David comics.
Quality Rating: B
Historical Significance Rating: 2 - first Trauma
Chronological Placement Considerations: Note that it seems like Betty and Marlo haven't seen Rick for days, and Rick is still mentally dealing with his actions in Trans-Sabal. It makes me think that the anniversary story for last issue might not necessarily have been written to take place sequentially after #392, but we can say that Rick and the Hulk kidnapped Igor and went directly to the old Gamma base after the Trans-Sabal incident (with the Hulk also first taking some time to chase Death's Head II around a bit) before returning to Reno. I do think this means that this should take place before the Return of the Defenders story which starts off with Rick and Marlo in a mall together.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAjax, Atalanta, Betty Ross, Hector, Hulk, Marlo Chandler, Paris, Rick Jones, Trauma, Ulysses
Interesting that PAD left open the possibility that Rick's crime DIDN'T make things worse in Trans-Sabal. I wonder if Nicieza felt the need to make clear that murder is never worth it in the long run.
Posted by: Michael | February 25, 2016 8:23 PM
Kind of weird seeing Andrew Wildman draw people. His career is most notable for the work he did on Transformers.
Posted by: Red Comet | February 25, 2016 9:01 PM
Transformers are people too.
Posted by: Stevie G | February 26, 2016 12:08 PM
These are people that he's drawing? Ugh.
Posted by: MindlessOne | July 3, 2017 10:50 AM
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