Characters Appearing: Doc Samson, Psychobabble, Reverend Nice, Vengeance
Marvel Comics Presents #170-171 (Vengeance)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #170, Marvel Comics Presents #171 (Vengeance story only)
The conversation starts with Rebecca Taylor and whether or not she knows Badilino's secret identity, but it moves on to Badilino's fears about the monster within.
Doc Samson begins to tell Badilino about another patient with a "split personality". And it's not the Hulk. He's talking about Psychobabble. Coincidentally, Psychobabble is watching a television broadcast of Reverend Nice when the TV shuts down and he starts hearing voices.
Doc Samson is contacted, and he brings Badilino along. Psychobabble traps Samson in his cell (which is designed to hold super-humans), so Badilino has to transform into Vengeance to stop him.
And it turns out that Psychobabble is generating multiple forms.
Vengeance has to fight all of the weirdo personas that Psychobabble generates, but he doesn't want to hurt them. He eventually finds the core persona that we saw in Psychobabble's previous appearance (which doesn't correspond to Psychobabble's physical form). He tries to get her to stop the others, but she's unable to.
Doc Samson therefore tells Vengeance to kill Psychobabble! But instead he shows Psychobabble that he has human and violent sides too.
This works, and Samson confirms that it means that Vengeance is on his way to handling his split persona, too.
It's all pretty convenient. I'd be suspicious that Doc set me up.
Chris Cooper is perfect for Marvel Comics Presents. Characterization isn't exactly his strong suit, but Marvel Comics Presents doesn't really allow room for that anyway. What it is good for is highlighting obscure characters, and that's Cooper's specialty. When i saw that Psychobabble was appearing here, i didn't remember who wrote the character's first appearance and cynically assumed it was Cooper. But it wasn't (it was Jerry Novick). And Cooper has been doing that throughout his Vengeance run, not just using a lot of Marvel characters, but referencing fairly obscure stories by other writers (like using the War Machines in the last arc). To be sure, Psychobabble is a silly character and his previous story was garbage, but he increases in importance just thanks to being used again (although this is his last appearance). As i often say, the Marvel Universe is greater than the sum of its parts, and that's the value Chris Cooper is bringing. It's too bad that he didn't start writing a regular series in the book earlier.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's not clear if Reverend Nice's television appearance was live or not, but the MCP count it as an appearance and i will too.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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