Hulk annual #7
Issue(s): Hulk annual #7
Meanwhile, Warren Worthington and his girlfriend Candy Southern have Bobby Drake and his new girlfriend Terri Bottoms over at his mansion in the Rockies. Terri actually seems to have a crush on the Angel and was dating Bobby to meet him.
Poor Bobby; he has such bad luck with women. It's almost as if he wasn't made for dating girls...
Anyway, a guy in a buckskin coat and hat shows up and attacks them.
Bobby reveals that he is Iceman in front of the girls, hoping to impress Terry.
But the "grizzly adams" character recovers from the mutants' first attack and suddenly expands his size and reveals that he is the Master Mold.
The Master Mold captures Iceman (storing him inside his chest, just like my Sentinel toys!). The Angel flees, leading the giant robot away from the girls and towards Gamma Base, where he hopes the Hulk will have the ability to stop it.
Angel arrives, exhausted. Samson tries fighting the Sentinel but gets swatted away. The Hulk comes out, annoyed at all the noise, while Angel is captured. Both Hulk and Samson leap to grab onto the Sentinel as it flies away, but only the Hulk makes it. The robot heads out into space, and the Hulk passes out. They wake up trapped in tubes specially designed to hold individual mutants.
As Stern writes, the Hulk's tube was "designed to restrain the awesome power of the mutant called Blob. As far as the Hulk is concerned, it might as well be papier mache!".
He then proceeds to find the Sentinel and beat the living crap out of it. The Hulk is terrifying in his strength and his confidence in his strength. He's essentially got a villain's personality, but since it's his book he also gets to win. His power and methods freak out Angel and Iceman.
The trio head for an escape pod ("just like Star Wars", says Iceman), but then the robot appears on a view screen saying he's jammed the pods. The Hulk turns around to go smash the robot again, but Iceman and Angel get in the pod and taunt the Hulk into punching it free. This type of trickery is exactly what got Samson into trouble in Hulk #225, so it's surprising to see Stern use it again here without repercussions.
The Hulk, in any event, has no interest in leaving. His determination is both cute and scary at the same time.
However, the base explodes before the Hulk can get to the robot. He lands near Angel and Iceman, and they convince him to go back to Gamma Base where his friends are. The Hulk agrees that Jim is his friend, anyway, and heads back.
This was a great story with great writing and art.
Update: here's the quote from Byrne regarding Bob Layton's art that is mentioned in the comments:
It's kind of difficult to put into words why I don't like Bob Laytons's inking. This is going to sound really silly, but I actually feel physically ill when I look at Bob's stuff. I really do. It's like everything is greasy and slimy. You know those things you can buy that hang from your rear view mirror that are made out of rubber and you touch them and they feel greasy. That's how Bob's stuff looks to me. And all his men are queer. They have these bouffant hairdos and heavy eye make-up and an upper lip with a little shadow in the corner which to me says lipstick. Even the Hulk. I will never forgive him for what he did to the Hulk's face in the annual that we did together. A lot of the other stuff I liked, but the Hulk's face, the Angel's face, the Angel, God!I remember my father looking at the stats of the finished inks and there's a shot of the Angel standing there with his hands on his hips saying hello to somebody and my father said, "Well this guy's queer." No, he didn't look queer in the pencils Dad.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place while the Hulk is a permanent resident at Gamma Base, getting treatment from Doc Samson.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men: Danger Room Battle Archives TPB
Inbound References (5): showAngel, Candy Southern, Doc Samson, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Hulk, Iceman, Jim Wilson, Master Mold, Terri Sue Bottoms
Angel and Iceman did fight the Hulk before with the rest of the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #66.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 17, 2011 5:55 PM
Byrne later stated that he hated Layton's inks, claiming that he made everything look "greasy & slimy" and that his men looked gay.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 18, 2012 4:21 PM
So, Byrne's a homophobe, huh? Color me stunned. (That's my sarcastic voice, in case you don't know your BtVS references.)
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 2:00 PM
Byrne is far from a homophobe. I don't know why you're saying that as if it would be natural for him to be.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | February 28, 2013 4:33 AM
Not sure if Dan will reply, but i agree with Jay. Other than Mark's comment, which isn't even a direct quote, i don't know of any reason to say that about Byrne. Maybe there are some criticisms of his handling of Northstar?
Posted by: fnord12 | February 28, 2013 4:37 PM
He created Northstar as a gay character treated him with dignity. This was twenty-five to thirty years ago and he was the only mainstream comics creator who had the balls to do it (even if Marvel forced him to do it in code). Go to his website and see how fervently in favor of gay rights he is. A couple of days ago he even took someone to task for using the term "sucks" because of it's origins as a homosexual slur. Like he is with all of his opinions, Byrne isn't shy about his disdain for homophobia.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | March 1, 2013 3:23 AM
Everyone, just a note that i hate that i think i have to write:
Obviously this is a topic people will feel strongly about, but if you're going to respond, please do so in a way that is civil to others.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 1, 2013 7:24 AM
The Byrne comment is taken from an interview in a pre-1983 Comics Journal; don't have the issue number at hand. Byrne was criticized for supposed homophobia in the letters column around that time(but keep in mind that Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, and even Denny O'Neil got slammed with that charge to varying degrees around then as well).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 3, 2013 5:00 PM
You wrote: "Bobby reveals that he is Iceman in front of the girls, hoping to impress Terry." Actually, Candy hurries Terri Sue into the elevator before she can see Bobby ice up because later, when Candy points out that the Sentinel has captured Bobby and is chasing Angel, Terry says to Candy "I can see why he'd [the Sentinel] go after Warren, but why would anybody want Bobby?" (Ouch!)
Also later in Marvel Two-In-One #76, Iceman tells Terri to 'run and don't look back' so he can use his powers without her seeing.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | July 15, 2013 5:33 AM
Charges of homophobia against Byrne were considered in depth in a larger gay-issues-in-comics piece in AMAZING HEROES in the 1980s. Byrne had created a superhero satire called GAY GUY in the early 1970s, which mined stereotypes for humor. Then, as Mark Drummond points out, he had criticized Layton's inks on this issue, specifically citing a panel in which Angel looks as though he's wearing lipstick, and Byrne had to tell a friend that Angel was not gay. He also made a comment that his ALPHA FLIGHT successor Bill Mantlo was trying to "say the unsayable" about Northstar. Some interpreted that to mean that Byrne considered homosexuality so shameful that one should not speak openly of it. Others more charitably interpreted that he meant Mantlo was pushing the envelope of what would be allowed in a 1980s Marvel book on the topic.
During his late-1980s SUPERMAN run, Byrne created an excellent gay character, Captain Maggie Sawyer, who was Superman's main law-enforcement liaison/ally. He wrote her with great sensitivity. There was an issue in which she came out to Superman, sharing the story of her attempt to make marriage to a man work, her gradual acceptance that she was never going to stop wanting to be with women and could not live a lie, her husband getting sole custody of their little girl because Maggie was "unfit" -- all of this was done carefully and skillfully. There was nothing explicit in the words; the art carried the subtext. For example, Maggie's narration might say (paraphrasing) "Realizing things about myself that I didn't know what to do with," and the flashback panel was of a younger Maggie looking forlornly at a pretty woman. Byrne won deserved plaudits for this character, but even here, he was criticized for making "present-day" Maggie very butch, and for never using the word "gay" or "lesbian." Superman was flying around thinking about what she had shared, and the thought balloon was "But it never occurred to me that Maggie was a -- " (timely interruption by villain, or burning building, something).
Weighing all the evidence from both sides, I would say that Byrne is someone whose heart was in the right place, and who has managed to evolve with the times on gay issues. We all should be judged on the big picture. There are things he would have said, written or drawn in 1970 or 1980, and he would know better now. As for stereotypical portrayals, well, there *are* lesbians like Maggie who have short hair, chain-smoke, and project a tough demeanor, and there *are* male hairdressers like the one who gives Sue her makeover in FF #232. Effectively combating stereotypes in art and entertainment should not be about sweeping under the rug anyone who conforms to them; it should be about presenting those characters as part of a diverse range.
Posted by: Todd | July 18, 2013 6:51 PM
And now that I blathered for far, far too long on that tangent, I will say that I think the Byrne/Layton art above is beautiful.
Posted by: Todd | July 18, 2013 6:53 PM
@Jay Demetrick - having now read MTIO 76 i have to agree that Terri doesn't learn Bobby's secret ID here, but it's hard to understand how that's possible! I've added a scan of the two girls looking out a window while Bobby, as Iceman, shouts "Secret identities be hanged!". And then there's the "Maybe Terri gets off on ice" line.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 20, 2013 6:45 AM
Yes, but if you go further, you'll find the panels I mentioned (to quote myself):
When Candy points out that the Sentinel has captured Bobby and is chasing Angel, Terry says to Candy "I can see why he'd [the Sentinel] go after Warren, but why would anybody want Bobby?"
If you look carefully at the sequence of events, Candy & Terri go inside, Candy presses the button which is either an elevator or the button to bring down the storm/defensive shutter system over the windows. Iceman then ices up. He's focused on "stranger" and thinks he's just blown his identity even though the girls can't actually see him at this point because they're in the building.
When Iceman is captured by Master Mold and Angel decides he needs help from Gamma Base, Candy opens the giant shutter system and the dialogue I quoted takes place. Which heavily implies that Terri completely missed seeing Bobby do anything.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | July 21, 2013 5:37 AM
John Byrne didn't like Joe Sinnott's inking over his pencils in Fantastic Four, nor did he like Tom Palmer's inks over his pencils in the Silver Surfer one shot. I thought Bob Layton did a nice job on Byrne's pencils and I thought Joe Sinnott and Tom Palmer did fine too.
Posted by: Walter | July 13, 2014 2:48 PM
Another linking issue that I never got a chance to read. I was confused as hell when Master Mold suddenly showed up in X-Factor, wondering how he had ended up in Alaska.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 6, 2015 1:51 PM
"It's almost if if he wasn't made for dating girls..."
You realize that you may have been the first to write this, considering the newest revelations regarding Iceman coming out in BMB's X-Men.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | May 1, 2015 8:50 AM
I take no credit. It's been a longstanding theory amongst fandom. I was just making a nod to it. You can see a little discussion of it in the comments here. Marvel was well aware of it and they didn't pick Bobby at random (see here and here from Tom Brevoort).
Posted by: fnord12 | May 1, 2015 9:30 AM
Byrne liked Palmer so much that he wanted him to ink The X-Men Hidden Years and he did.
Ditto for Sinnott.
Posted by: a.lloyd | July 5, 2016 5:42 PM
Well, I see there's been more research on the Byrne/homophobia issue since I first posted. I'll just say that given that I was already side-eyeing Byrne's politics on a number of fronts (the racism I find implicit in his treatment of Galactus's crimes/the Skrulls in general; the bigotry that i feel his denial of the Vision's humanity shows; that awful Hulk Annual where Bruce Banner's old friend "deserved to die" because she performed abortions…), I was very unsurprised to find him yet again on shaky ground here.
To be fair, I haven't read enough of the Superman run to know how much credit to give him for Maggie Sawyer, but that Layton quote is just horrid. ALL Bob's men look "queer", John? Really? And that bit where he's trying to deflect his father's bigoted disdain onto the inker ("No, he didn't look queer in the pencils, Dad.") is just sad. Especially as Byrne Sr. seems ti be taking issue with the pose, not the facial inking. And thus presumably not Layton's "fault", after all.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 21, 2016 8:38 AM
Byrne seems to be someone whose views of homosexuality evolved quite a bit in a short amount of time, but also someone who is very comfortable with the attitudes that were popular when he was much younger, and prone to "boys will be boys" attitudes about stuff like cheesecake and the male gaze.
Maggie Sawyer, for the record, is definitely a Byrne creation; she debuted in the books when he wad the sole writer and artist, and was clearly portrayed as a gay woman virtually from the start. And she's invariably portrayed a tough, smart, and right in Byrne's work.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | August 21, 2016 10:14 AM
I love this issue. I think pretty much the only Hulk issues I've ever read were all x-related (even though I have always wanted and meant to check out PAD's run.) Except for the AIDS issue. Because I'm gay and that was a big deal to my 13 yo self. How times have changed. Gay storylines aren't just about AIDS anymore. (Go figure, gay people do all sorts of things besides AIDS!) And they haven't been for a long time. Sadly, some fail to notice progress when it happens slowly.
I favor giving Byrne the benefit of the doubt. He seems more than prickly but the current trend of scorching the earth (or a comic book creator) over a few throwaway comments is downright bizarre and cringe-inducing. I ask self-righteous commenters to sincerely consider how times change, and often how fast. You are actually the narrow-minded one if you think someone is a bad person because of something said thirty years ago that you heard second hand, out of context, and completely isolated from the zeitgeist from which it came. You are the one lacking empathy. Have you never said anything untoward? What commonplace opinion might you hold today that in twenty years time someone may interpret in the least charitable, most sensational way?
Strange times, these.
Incidentally, is Byrne's Maggie the same Maggie that dated/dates Batwoman?
(Also, very long time lurker here, first time caller, just want to thank you for this website. Such a great resource. Happy New Year!)
Posted by: Berry Teddy | January 5, 2017 9:57 PM
I forgot to add that Todd's comments are spot on. Often those seeking diversity of character ironically end up marginalizing the minority of the minority because they find it distasteful or stereotypical.
And for the record I could give two ships about gay Iceman because unfortunately it was retconned in an age where there is practically zero character development in Marvel books. As far as I'm concerned it was just check-boxing, virtue-signaling. In two years time every Marvel book will probably be rebooted or revamped every 6 issues. I can't remember the last time I saw Iceman out of uniform and not superheroing for a minute. Oh, and I hate that he wears capris. He's been closeted forever but the minute he's outed he buys a pair of capris? (Reminds me of the time my best friend was getting used to me being gay he kept asking me advice about skin care and fashion. He was really trying.) Sorry, I'm rambling but speaking of gay Iceman, does anyone know anything that might explain why the X-Factor guys were always nearly naked? Seiously. Was it a female gaze problem? I mean, (furless) Beast in #12 makes pancakes in just an apron as far as I can tell and Warren is always shirtless.
Incidentally Part 2, it is the same Maggie. Awesome. Marvel really dropped the ball. Batwoman and Midnighter are way better handled.
Posted by: Berry Teddy | January 5, 2017 10:18 PM
I think the inking looks fine for the era this book was produced. It doesn’t obscure the pencils from being obviously Byrne work.
Posted by: ANDREW FRANKLIN | March 26, 2018 7:47 AM
I always supposed he was talking about Layton's work in general - he was a teeny bit Image before Image, maybe. I always liked his inking, a lot, but I see Tony Stark's smirky face and Iron Man's shiny armor in my head on many a job over various pencillers, and can see how someone could find it over-rendered and too slick.
Posted by: BU | March 26, 2018 10:10 AM
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