Hulk annual #11
Issue(s): Hulk annual #11
...only to find out that Rikky is a dupe of the Leader...
...who wanted to study the Hulk in order to devise a Gamma sickness (or "Green Flu") that he spreads across the country through the water supply.
Something about that doesn't make sense - the Leader's blood is also gamma-irradiated, so there was no need to get the Hulk involved in order to create the disease.
Banner semi-hypnotizes himself so that when he transforms into the Hulk, the Hulk will remember that there's something he needs to do about the water supply.
The Hulk then escapes the Leader's flying craft and goes on a rampage through New York. He first encounters Spider-Man and it's worth noting that Spider-Man doesn't immediately attack him, but at the same time Peter has decided that if he can get a sample of the Hulk's blood he might be able to derive a cure from it, and he's not exactly subtle about trying to convince the Hulk to give it up.
Spidey gets sick from the Gamma disease before the Hulk can crush him.
A lot of other heroes are shown trying to research a cure, including the FF...
...Dr. Strange & Donald Blake...
...and the Avengers.
When the Avengers hear that the Hulk is in the area, they come out swinging, unlike Spider-Man who at least tried to talk, even if he was stifled by Mantlo's poor scripting.
While the Hulk and the Avengers fight each other and some humanoids...
...the Leader turns Rikky's skin green and elongates her head. He's gone quite nutty, talking about how he'll make the entire world Green! Green! GREEN! Not exactly your cool super-genius villain type. This is more of a Joker plot. Although we soon see the plan is a little more complex than just turning everyone green. The Leader expects that most of the world's population will die out, but those that survive will either become dumb and strong like the Hulk, or slightly smarter but still strong like the Abomination, who he intends to use as footsoldiers, or super-intelligent beings like him.
This still doesn't sound like a well thought out plan to me. Do you really want a population of Hulks running around if you're trying to rule the world? Do you really want to create a legion of super-smart potential competitors? And this is what actually happens. It turns out that since Rikky, as a scientist, was smart to begin with, now that she's become a gamma genius...
...she's got vast mental powers beyond the Leader, and she's able to stop him. The story ends with the Hulk and the Leader getting washed away in a powerful flood at the treatment plant where the Leader was tainting the water and the Avengers dumbly realizing that it was the Hulk that led them to the plant so they could see how people were getting sick.
There's a back-up story with Doc Samson facing off against Unus the Untouchable.
Samson defeats Unus by bouncing him up in the air repeatedly until he surrenders.
It's an inventory story that happens to be Frank Miller's first work at Marvel.
You sure get your money's worth in terms of guest appearances and high concepts (the Leader's apocalyptic plan, if nonsensical, is still pretty cool), but the scripting is just terrible.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: A note on the first page says "This adventure takes place before the Hulk acquired Bruce Banner's intellect as seen in the current issues of the Incredible Hulk". There's really no comfortable place to put this, but we've already allowed for a gap between Hulk #265-266 to fit some Defenders appearances, so we can put it there. (I'll note that the MCP places this annual in a prior gap even earlier back, but it really doesn't matter.). We have a better clue about placement from the composition of the Avengers, which includes the pre-Avengers #211 lineup and Yellowjacket. So I've got this before Avengers #211 and before the Hulk rejoins the Defenders in Defenders #98.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBeast, Captain America, Doc Samson, Dr. Strange, Franklin Richards, Henry Pym, Hulk, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Jocasta, Leader, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Thing, Thor, Unus, Vision, Wasp, Wonder Man
How much is this comic worth;1982 issue 11?
Posted by: valerie cavill | December 19, 2011 4:53 PM
mycomicshop.com will give you a cool 60 cents for it.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 20, 2011 5:11 PM
The originally announced art team for the Hulk story was Broderick/Gustovich.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 1, 2012 9:22 PM
FNORD, you say this takes place before Avengers 211. That makes sense. But you have this on the 1981 page after Defenders 101 which is listed after Avengers 212.
Posted by: clyde | June 21, 2014 9:54 PM
Thanks, Clyde. It looks like i pushed back the Avengers issues during a back issue add when i added Thor #311, which has to take place after Avengers #212.
This does require a shift in the Hulk's Defenders appearances though, because Thor #311 happens concurrently with Defenders #95. So instead of this story talking place after Defenders #101 it's going to have to take place before Defenders #98 (the Hulk is absent from the Defenders between Defenders #93-98 and then is with the team from #98-101). I'm pushing Hulk #264-265 back before Avengers #211 also.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 21, 2014 11:12 PM
There's a problem with placing Defenders 95 after Avengers 211- Beast and Wonder Man are clearly Avengers in Defenders 98, and they leave the team in Avengers 211. One solution might be to assume that the first story in Thor 311 takes place after Avengers 212 and the second story takes place concurrently with Defenders 95. (The other alternative would be to try to explain away why the clinic was letting Don operate.)
Posted by: Michael | June 21, 2014 11:23 PM
It's also possible that the valkyries are contacting Valkyrie in Defenders #95 well before Thor #311. It could happen any time after the situation with Balder and Nanna in Thor #306, with valkyries anticipating a war with Hel even before Balder goes to Odin in #311. So i think i'm going to push back Defenders #95-101 prior to Avengers #212 while keeping Thor #311 after Avengers #212.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 22, 2014 11:39 AM
Yeah, but we see Odin send the Valkyries after Val in Thor 311 and none of them says "But we just asked her". In fact, Odin seems surprised by her refusal, which is odd if she refused just a few weeks ago.
Posted by: Michael | June 22, 2014 11:54 AM
Well, maybe the valkyries didn't want to get their former boss in trouble, so they kept quiet and asked again, this time with the weight of Odin behind him. ;-)
I guess i'm going to have to assume that the back-up in Thor #311 takes place earlier than the main story, as you suggested (i don't want to have Blake at the clinic after he was suspended). From a practical, placement, perspective this amounts to the same thing and i'll push the Defenders issues back.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 22, 2014 12:51 PM
I thought Frank Miller's first work for Marvel was a John Carter issue from 1978. Did he do this inventory story first and it sat in a drawer for something like 4 years until he got big thanks to Daredevil?
Posted by: Red Comet | September 27, 2015 9:25 PM
He's already on the site for doing Spectacular Spider-Man #27-28 back in '79, so clearly this story was sitting around a while.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 28, 2015 1:09 AM
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