Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hulk vs. Thor, round 419.


Fans of the Hulk and Thor usually enjoy their periodic throw-downs, even though there is almost never a definitive victor. Not only would a clear winner potentially alienate fans of the losing character; but it could ruin a long-standing event. (Conversely, while Hulk/Thing fights are just as welcome, the Thing gets beat a lot.) Usually, Thor loses his hammer and turns into Blake, or the two have to team up to fight the real foe, or Thor has to leave the fight to protect bystanders. In fact, two of those happen this issue; the Incredible Hulk #255, "Thunder Under the East River!" Written by Bill Mantlo, pictures by Sal Buscema.

The Hulk tries to forget his trouble and lose himself in New York City, which even ol' Greenskin admits probably isn't a good idea, but he kind of figures there'll be trouble wherever he goes. The cops try to stop him, but Hulk wanders away from a tear-gas barrage, to spend a night at the Little Red Lighthouse. Waking up as Banner, he tries to get out of the city before Hulking out again, but changes back when he nearly gets hit by a train.

Cue Thor, who, as Dr. Donald Blake, had been treating nearby homeless patients. The Hulk seems fairly content simply scaring people off, but when Thor shows up, there's someone to punch. And throw cops at:

Retirony!

The fight eventually makes its way to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, where the Hulk throws a car at Thor and damages the roof. As Thor holds up the roof, Hulk tries to pick up Mjolnir...something he's failed at multiple times before, but the Hulk wasn't a genius back then, all right?

Thor turns back into Dr. Blake, and Mjolnir into his walking stick. Blake tries to convince Hulk of the danger, to get his stick back, and explains that Thor is inside him just as Banner is inside the Hulk. Which the Hulk finds laughable: while he hates Banner, at the time Hulk didn't accept that he and Banner were one in the same. In fact, Hulk leaves Blake alone, because he reasons that Thor must hate Blake the same way he hates Banner; and leaving Thor trapped inside Blake would really fix his wagon. Regaining his hammer, Thor holds the tunnel up so the bystanders can escape, but the Hulk has already left, hopping a boat to "the Promised Land!" His next issue was set in Israel, and I think was the start of a Hulk world tour.


3 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

This seems like a good issue, but not the better one to showcase the out and out brawls these two have had over the years.

First time I heard of Retirony, but not the concept. Funny.

As for the Hulk in Israel, that's not a bad concept; both are used to being hunted down and persecuted for who they are, so it seems that place would be a natural spot for the Hulk. A yiddish Hulk people, how has that not been tried yet?

Oh, and I plan on talking about the upcoming Schism event between Cyclops and Wolverine next summer. You could easily create a skit where the two are fighting over Jean, Wolvie's hair clogging up the sink and other stuff. What do you think?

googum said...

Man, I couldn't do an X-Men strip anymore: I was a Nightcrawler fan, and really don't like any of the rest of them. (That's not quite true: Havok gets a pass for his X-Factor days; ditto Rachel and Kitty for Excalibur.)

And I really don't like Cyclops, ever since his marriage to clone-Jean, like a million issues ago. Wolvie's the obvious choice to follow in Schism. Hey, if he's gonna stab somebody, least he's up front about it.

Dale Bagwell said...

True, but then hasn't he always been that way?

I admit I haven't been regularly following the X-men since the Draco days, yes I too have those issues, so don't feel bad. I got them mostly for the art, but it all sucked equally.

I don't know, I think I preferred Morrison's take on them alot more than what Austen and Milligan did. Milligan's X-Force/X-Static was a 100 times better than his X-Men run.