Issue(s): Hulk #406
Marlo continues to be comatose, and Rick refuses to take a break from trying to wake her up. This results in a scene where Rick and Betty end up kissing.
Betty then calls Bruce/Hulk, telling him that Rick needs him. Hulk is still trying to mediate the Pantheon disputes after the end of last issue, and he says that he's done enough damage there and might as well go home.
Meanwhile, we see that Marlo's brothers and their lawyer Elaine Schoenfeld have gone to the police, but the police captain doesn't want to cause a dispute with Rick Jones, so he's called in Captain America.
Doc Samson is also converging on the scene. He's in the process of ruminating about the revelation that Rick assassinated the ruler of Trans-Sabal.
Captain America is a great choice for this story. On one level, he's a friend of Rick Jones. But on another level he represents doing what's legal over what's "right".
Of course, what's right is a matter of perspective. If this was issue #406 of the Chandler Brothers, we wouldn't be questioning their right to take custody of their sister.
Anyway, this is also just a great opportunity for a fun fight between Cap and Hulk, nicely drawn by Gary Frank.
While the fighting is happening, Marlo does come out of her coma, so we don't really see a resolution to the philosophical fight, and i guess Captain America doesn't press the issue of Hulk obstructing justice.
As the police captain noted, Rick's home has become a tourist attraction, and during the fight we see a pair of Japanese tourists.
These tourists will appear again, and they cause some controversy. Here's what Peter David wrote about it in a Nov 93 But I Digress column (reprinting a big chunk because PAD's website seems kind of messed up):
Peter the Japan basher: I was concerned that the Specialist, a Samurai assassin also created for Spider-Man 2099, would draw fire from Japanese readers, as might the notion that a Japanese conglomerate had bought out Stark Enterprises.
I understand David's point but i don't really agree with him, and i'm resisting the urge to tear it down line-by-line. I think the crux is that these characters don't really have any purpose. They might be funny to Peter David, because he ran into these guys several times at a convention. But it's the ultimate in-joke; why is that funny to anyone else? Unless the idea is that Japanese tourists with cameras are inherently funny for some reason, which is what the protestors were upset about. I don't think Peter David meant any harm, but i think he should have been more open to hearing the criticism instead of jumping on the 'political correctness sux!' bandwagon. (And to be fair, i also have the benefit of another 20 or so years of discussion of these topics.)
Anyway, ignoring that (and this being their first appearance, it's not particularly egregious yet), this was a very fun issue.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue begins with Marlo still in the same clothes and her brothers still there, but Cap is gone. So it probably begins soon after this but not necessarily directly. But the MCP drop a number of other Hulk appearances, including all of Infinity Crusade, after the opening pages of #407, so i will cover the entirety of #407-408 later.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAchilles, Ajax, Atalanta, Betty Ross, Captain America, Doc Samson, Elaine Schoenfeld, Hiro (Tourist), Hulk, Keith Chandler, Larry (Tourist), Marlo Chandler, Ray Chandler, Rick Jones
I guess PAD doesn't like it when he's in the wrong and refuses to admit it?
Posted by: D09 | November 8, 2016 12:06 PM
"he represents doing what's legal over what's "right"." Really? Doesn't "Civil War" disprove that notion?
Posted by: clyde | November 8, 2016 12:37 PM
"Born Again" is another example. But Cap isn't infallible, and he shouldn't be.
As for the camera guys, it seems like the joke is that they're treating a superhero battle as a sightseeing attraction.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 8, 2016 4:56 PM
I honestly saw two Japanese guys taking photos and nothing else. I only wondered if they were speaking proper Japanese or the letterer lettered some random characters. I see lots of Asian people in London take photos just like any other tourist no big deal. Forgive me if I'm being insensitive, I just don't see the problem.
Posted by: JSfan | November 8, 2016 5:52 PM
Just from the panel, I would agree, but Peter David's defense actually makes it seem sketchier to me. It almost seems like he's saying, "c'mon, you know that's a thing Japanese people do."
Not that I would demonize him over it. Like I said, even Cap isn't infallible.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 8, 2016 6:11 PM
I think the tourist thing is pretty funny. especially their meta-commentary.
I guess the whole prob is that they are Japanese. Were they white, we wouldnt even be talking about them. Again, I understand why writers are so shy to have any non-white characters. Unless minorities are shown impeccably, its dog-pile on the cultural ignorance.
Japanese and cameras isnt even an offensive stereotype.
Posted by: kveto | November 8, 2016 6:22 PM
On another note: I really don't like this Gary Frank art...
Posted by: Piotr W | November 8, 2016 7:21 PM
Just be glad that PAD didn't throw in Romani crippling their children so they can be better beggars.
Posted by: Michael | November 8, 2016 7:53 PM
I guess, I mean crippling kids or taking photos...both equally offensive I guess?
Posted by: kveto | November 9, 2016 2:05 PM
@Kveto- I was making a reference to PAD's remarks about Romani last month:
Posted by: Michael | November 9, 2016 10:29 PM
Posted by: kveto | November 10, 2016 1:55 PM
Wasn't aware of the Romani controversy & it's disappointing if PAD based his whole view of them on a short visit to Romania (if I understood right, it sounds like PAD was getting mixed up between Romani (i.e. Roma) and Romani (i.e. Romanians' own term for themselves)?).
Personally I don't see the Japanese tourists as offensive, though I'm open to the idea that they could be. PAD he set up that Rick Jones was a tourist attraction as a reason why the police would get Captain America involved for a legal dispute, so it makes sense that he would then have some tourists outside Rick Jones' house, and he happened to make those tourists Japanese. Then he decided to make it a running joke that they would appear where the Hulk did.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 12, 2016 8:36 AM
Frank's art is otherwise great, but why the bizarre decision to give the Hulk such a teeny tiny head?
Posted by: Bob | November 15, 2016 10:57 PM
Bob: I think it was a bit of a 90s trend to make heads smaller in order to make muscular bodies seem larger.
Posted by: mikrolik | January 2, 2017 5:56 PM
My Japanese is very rusty and I had trouble with some of the kanji, but this is what I think the Japanese tourists are saying.
"Look, it's a new cartoonist drawing the Hulk!"
"It's too early to take photos."
I don't have any problem with the tourists. Yeah, they don't add anything to the story and are a lazy in-joke, but many writers do this. How many ridiculous intrusions has Roy Thomas done over the years with his varied interests? Or references Chris Claremont made to airplanes or musicians he liked? Their portrayal was neither mean nor offensive. Yes, it is a stereotype, but a lot of Japanese tourists do look and act like that. This is not Al Jolson eating a watermelon.
I think the main reason he included them is that he liked the idea of making fourth wall breaking commentary, but hiding it in a format most readers would not get. He thinks this is humorous.
But I do agree the letterer is horrible with his kanji, hiragana, and katakana. He obviously does not know his stroke order.
Posted by: Chris | September 19, 2017 7:32 PM
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