Characters Appearing: Betty Ross, Doc Samson, Henry Peter Gyrich, Hotshot, Jailbait, Leader, Marlo Chandler, Molecule Man, Mordecai P. Boggs, Omnibus, Rick Jones, She-Hulk, Volcana, William Matthew Talbot
Issue(s): Hulk #441, Hulk #442
She-Hulk shows up to get the paparazzi off Betty's lawn.
(Angel Medina's art often gets kind of... grotesque, but we can see here that it doesn't have to be.)
Betty didn't really believe that Hulk is dead, though. She's capitalizing on the interest by writing a memoir, something she says she wouldn't do if he were really dead. But now she's starting to worry. She does laugh when She-Hulk says that the entire conflict that led to the Hulk death seemed "orchestrated" (i.e. "by a Maestro"). Much of #441 is Betty trying out writing the memoir in various styles, hence the "pulp fiction" theme (one is literally more Pulp Fiction homage).
Meanwhile, people cleaning out the wreckage in Arlington Cemetery (one of the various places bombed by The Alliance) find that Nick Fury's grave is empty.
Also, Omnibus is tried by the people of Sanctuary and sentenced to execution. The Leader reasserts control over Omnibus' body as they are about to dump him into the arctic, but that doesn't save him. As he's apparently being eaten by a polar bear, we're also watching Major Talbot being put on trial for shooting Betty on television. He was prepared to do a "Few Good Men" bit, but with the Leader's apparent death, he has a major change in demeanor, suddenly wracked with guilt.
And then, as a lead in to the main story in #442, She-Hulk checks in with Doc Samson, who has been keeping an eye on the site of the original gamma bomb explosion, since that's where the Hulk usually turns up after disappearing. But while they're talking, Samson is attacked by shadows.
Samson initially assumes it's the Hulk, somehow (the Hulk wears purple pants, not a purple shirt).
Some good jokes as She-Hulk arrives to help.
The villain is in fact the Molecule Man.
She-Hulk should know the Molecule Man from Secret Wars but doesn't initially believe it's him.
I get that Angel Medina is drawing him a bit more schlumpy looking than usual, but i didn't think he was meant to be that different. It's not like She-Hulk should be more familiar with the lesser-seen bald look.
On the other hand, Molecule Man keeps thinking She-Hulk looks like Volcana.
This would make more sense to me if his ex was Titania, but i guess when you miss your ex, everyone reminds you of them.
Samson tries to give Molecule Man some advise, and the Molecule Man interprets it as using his powers to fix all the damage done by The Alliance, with at least one twist.
Slightly reminicent of the end of Secret Wars II, when Molecule Man repaired all the damage left behind by Beyonder in Avenger #266. He should really join Damage Control.
Not sure about Volcana's t-shirt. There was a band called Helmet, and maybe they had like an ironic t-shirt with their name crossed out? Or maybe Volcana really hated that band?
Meanwhile Rick and Marlo (and longtime manager Mordecai P. Boggs!) prep for their new show. Today, in these troubled times, Rick's proposed guest list might be seen as inciting violence.
It may seem like i'm being critical of this issue, but that's just my normal nitpicky nerd stuff. I'm really happy to see Molecule Man and Volcana's relationship being followed up on in a way that fits with their last appearance in Fantastic Four annual #27 (although in the lettercol for issue #446 people are confused because they weren't keeping up with their appearances in these obscure stories). And these issues are just a lot of fun.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's been "weeks" since the Hulk's death last issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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