Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Of course, immediately after ending my Marvel Unlimited sub, there's still a ton of books I'd love to read. Mostly because as I randomly pick up books, it's often difficult to get the next issue right away. In some cases, it would be easy enough to get some of them, but the cost could be prohibitive, or I might need to get an Essential reprint.

To begin, I haven't read much of the Crossroads storyline that ran from about the Incredible Hulk #300 to #313, with an Alpha Flight crossover for good measure. After Nightmare re-awakens the "Monster Hulk" persona, the Bruce Banner side is believed dead, and Dr. Strange casts the rampaging Hulk into the other-dimensional Crossroads, a nexus to different worlds. Strange's spells intended that the Hulk find a home somewhere, a place where he could be happy and safe and not hurt anyone; and there was an escape clause: should the Hulk be unhappy somewhere, he would be brought back to the Crossroads to try again. Almost mindless, the Hulk's mind created Goblin, Guardian, and Glow; manifestations of id, ego, super-ego that guided him. Until this issue, The Incredible Hulk #310, "Banner Redux" Story by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Bret Blevins, inks by Al Williamson. After attempting to stop a cult from sacrificing a girl, the Hulk is brought down and reverts to Bruce Banner for the first time in over a year! Just in time for him to wake up on the sacrificial altar, about to be gutted by the girl he tried to save! (Hey, that seems familiar...)

(Shoot, #311 had Mike Mignola art! As does #312, with a Sienkiewicz cover and Nightcrawler cameo! Putting those on the list...)

This next issue is from a stretch where I seem to have read maybe every third issue, maybe enough to get the gist if not every little detail: from 1976, Fantastic Four #169, "Five Characters in Search of a Madman!" I kind of hate that title. Written and edited by Roy Thomas, art by Rich Buckler, inks by Joe Sinnott. Ben Grimm is human again, and as usual completely mopey about it. Crabbily drinking in a dive bar, Ben gets into a barroom brawl that starts badly when Ben thinks he has to restrain his super-strength, but then gets his groove back. Power Man has taken Ben's place on the team, but then turns on them, controlled by an outside force. Finally, Ben discovers Reed always intended Power Man just be a temp, and his mysterious plan for Ben's replacement...

I'm pretty sure someone quitting the FF was already a trope by this point, but I think the powerless Ben plotline would only go about another half a year. Ben always wants the opposite of what he has.

3 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

So you didn't renew huh? I need to get some of those crossroads issues as well. I used to have #300, and that in and off itself, was an awesome smackdown.

googum said...

The next time Marvel has an action figure prize attached with it, I'll be tempted. Right now, though, it's a gold Ultron, so meh. That and I'm short on time for it this second.

Hulk #300, though...I've been wondering if I read that or have it or just imagined I did? Maybe a post somewhere? This is why I have to blog stuff, so I can remember!

Dale Bagwell said...

Good question. I could've sworn you did too. To the vaults!