Warlock and the Infinity Watch #12-13
Issue(s): Warlock and the Infinity Watch #12, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #13
Moondragon is probing her father Drax, trying to figure out how much he remembers of his past life and "death", since she's the one that killed him. Her probing is meant to be of the non-powered variety, but somehow her mental powers get triggered and she and Drax share hallucinatory flashes of Drax's history. This upsets Drax, who flies off. Moondragon follows him to Reno, Nevada, which was where Drax and Moondragon lived before Thanos first attacked them. That also happens to be the home (or one of the homes) of the Hulk, and reports of a giant green man wandering the city attract his attention.
The Hulk finds Drax's current persona a little too familiar to be comfortable, so he doesn't really treat Drax with the patience that is necessary. Quite the opposite, in fact, and the Hulk winds up instigating a fight.
But the Hulk eventually realizes his mistake and smartly calms things down.
Things get a little messed up again when Drax mistakes a friendly pat on the back for an attack, but at this point Moondragon just mind-zaps the Hulk.
Before he was Drax, Arthur Douglas was a saxophone player. And before they leave Reno, Drax locates a sax and plays. Earlier, Moondragon had described him as a "so-so musician". It turns out that he was really a great musician.
Moondragon had hoped that none of her father survived in Drax's current incarnation, because the alternative was "too terrible to even contemplate" and "the stuff of nightmares. No fate could be so cruel". But Drax's memories and his sax playing ability suggest that some part of Arthur Douglas does indeed still exist in there. And while Drax is almost always played for laughs, that does indeed mean that there's a tragic side of things.
Really good character driven writing. I think Starlin does well with the ups and downs of the Hulk, and he's even better getting into the heads of Moondragon and Drax. And Tom Raney does pretty well with both the fights and the character moments.
Also in these issues, Gamora has another precognitive vision thanks to the Time Gem, and we get our first glimpse of Maxam.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Warlock's appearance in Cyberspace 3000 #6-8 takes place between this arc and the next one. And the next arc takes place while Rintrah is still alive, which pushes all of this before Doctor Strange #48.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
Ah, it's always nice to enjoy the smart Hulk without having to sit through PAD's writing.
Loved the mystery of Maxam.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 7, 2016 7:02 PM
@Thanos6: Not a big fan of PAD I take it?
Posted by: D09 | September 7, 2016 7:58 PM
@D09: He often has good ideas, but I find his writing tends to be too mean-spirited and acidic in tone for my taste.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 7, 2016 9:42 PM
@Thanos6: Any other writers/artists you don't care about?
Posted by: D09 | September 7, 2016 11:32 PM
@D09: Several, but I don't want to get off-topic.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 8, 2016 7:07 AM
A- for this! fnord, you continue to fascinate.
Posted by: Wis | January 28, 2017 12:29 AM
Yes, I'm surprised as well. I like this series and these issues are good and have nice art but I think A should be for exceptional comics.
Posted by: Multiple Manu | December 20, 2017 8:07 AM
Feel free to make a forum topic about grading generally. It's too off topic for any individual entry and in the past it's resulted in some real commenter rage. So better to have the discussion in the forum where it won't derail comments for an entry.
As for this issue, i don't want to get in the habit of "defending" my grades, but just this once: i thought the characterization with the Hulk seeing the parallels between his old self and Drax was really good, and that the ending was very moving.
I'm very willing to concede that i was subconsciously grading on a curve. It's very difficult to slog through all of Marvel's 90s output and not say "Wow this was AMAZING!" when you come across something halfway decent. ;-)
But in general i think Starlin is a strong writer and this was a highlight. I might have been too generous about Raney's artwork, though.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 20, 2017 11:36 AM
Really sad what Stalin did to Drax. He was pretty cool until he became just another dumb strong guy.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 20, 2017 6:23 PM
Fnord, you are definitely right that compared to most other stuff from the early 90's this series is above average (at least the first half of the run).
Posted by: Multiple Manu | December 29, 2017 8:19 AM
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