Issue(s): Hulk #436
In any event, we haven't had a regular artist since #432, so a good artist that will stay in the book for almost a year is welcome.
This issue also introduces a new character, sort of. It's the return of (a) Major Talbot. This time it's Matt Talbot, the (twin) nephew of the Betty's late ex-husband.
This Talbot was simultaneously introduced in Peter David's Hulk novel that came out around this time, but that's not in continuity (as far as i know/am concerned).
Talbot is a Hulk hunter, like his uncle, and he's decided that going after Betty will get him the Hulk. Hulk is working with Max - who we learn is a former professor of his - when he hears the news. Max convinces Hulk to not just charge in to rescue Betty.
Chief Largo, the police chief with the removable head, tries to intervene on Betty's behalf.
Cops love being told that paying taxes makes you their boss, so i guess Largo is having fun using that on Talbot.
So, with the Hulk not taking the bait, the situation is a stand off. I like this little bit of characterization from Peter David for Betty, showing her experience as the daughter of a general.
Sometimes it seems like modern writers struggle to do with female supporting characters created in the 60s, and this aspect of Betty's might have been an interesting one to develop further. It's a better thing to do with her than have her flash her boobs to distract soldiers, which unfortunately also happens in this issue.
Talbot ends the impasse by shooting Betty in the leg on television (with what later turn out to be stun pellets). This makes Hulk angry. Angry enough to charge into battle without a plan...
...and angry enough to turn back into Banner.
And so the Hulk is captured.
Throughout all of this, we see Omnibus mind-controlling his way through the ranks of the US government.
Omnibus is actually implementing the plan of the Leader.
The Leader is currently thought to be dead, in case you're wondering why that's a surprise. Also not it's the return of the Leader's original elongated-head look, not the bulbous-headed one that's he's been sporting for much of David's run.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Any "normal" appearances of the intelligent Hulk need to appear prior to this (e.g. the Hulk's appearance in the Doc Samson miniseries). Cutting Edge #1 takes place "several days" after this and is part of the Ghosts of the Future storyline, and then the rest of the Hulk Ghosts of the Future (#437-440) takes place. Those issues are bound by Avengers continuity and so will be placed in the 1996 category (which also happens to be the year they were published).
Matt Talbot's full name is apparently William Matthew Talbot, according to the MCP. Usually the sort of thing you see when a writer forgets a character's first name, but Peter David is pretty much the only one who wrote this character, so that's probably not the case.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBetty Ross, Chief Largo, Hulk, Leader, Max (mechanic), Omnibus, Reb Ralston, William Matthew Talbot
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