Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sadly, the Abomination has had double-digit losses since this one:

Even though Peter David did some compelling issues with the tragic side of the Abomination, I rather prefer the dickish aspect of the character: a mean-spirited bully, stronger and smarter and more heartless than his rival the Hulk. Well, that version's not showing up today, either. This was a recurring theme across the Marvel Universe in the mid-eighties or so: villains who had been taking biannual clubbings for twenty-plus years of continuity, suddenly becoming afraid of the heroes and of taking yet another ass-whupping. (It happened to Doctor Octopus, and I want to say there were others, since two doesn't seem like a "recurring theme.")

(I also think Abomination is currently dead in the Marvel Universe, for what that's worth, and while I'm not a big Jeph Loeb fan, it may be easier to kill him off and bring on "A-Bomb" rather than sort him out. Is he a cold war spy? A man mourning his wife? A heartless sociopath? A beaten shell of a monster? What?)

In Incredible Hulk #288, General Ross commits treason by making a deal with MODOK (a somewhat taller look for him than usual) to give him the frozen Abomination. Ross doesn't believe the then-Banner-controlled Hulk won't become a menace again, and can't stand that his daughter Betty still loves Bruce. MODOK wants the Abomination to use against Advanced Idea Mechanics, which had overthrown MODOK's leadership. Unfortunately for both, the Abomination is having a bit of a hissy-fit, and is terrified of facing the Hulk again. (Giving this issue it's questionable title, "Anyone out there know how to cure a case of...Yellow Fever?!")

Meanwhile, the Hulk goes to the dentist.

Ah, but the dentist, and Dr. Banner's new assistant Dr. Kate Waynesboro, are both agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. keeping tabs on him; a fact not unnoticed by Bruce's new Recordasphere. The Recordasphere is already developing feelings for Bruce and an intense jealousy of Kate, so it sabotages their brakes, and Kate is injured in the crash...

OK, two things about the Recordasphere: I wonder if Peter David was thinking of that thing, when something similar shows up in Hulk: The End. And two, it's comic book science that Dr. Banner, who specializes in the field of blowing crap up with radiation, would be able to build a sophisticated artificial intelligence capable of flight, recording multiple streams of information, sabotage, etc. I guess Bruce figured if Dr. Pym can do both biochemistry and evil robots, so could he.

After being rescued, Kate kisses the Hulk; but the rest of the issue is devoted to MODOK torturing the Abomination, to get him back into fighting shape. Abomination even cries a bit, and I think I've seen him melted into goo more often than I've seen him cry. The next issue banner proclaims, "Next Month: Phase One!" so I don't know if MODOK had to break Abommy down and rebuild him a couple more times...

Panels from the Incredible Hulk #288, written by Bill Mantlo, layouts by Sal Buscema, finishes by Jim Mooney.

1 comment:

CalvinPitt said...

Would Titania being afraid of Spider-Man count? Her being scared of him held for awhile (at least until Acts of Vengeance, when Doom slapped a gizmo on her that turned her fear to anger and she got over it, then got smacked down by Cosmic Spidey), but it only took him whupping her once to get her that way.