Incredible Hulk TP Volume 4 Abominable Bruce Jones Mike Deodato Jr


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INCREDIBLE HULK V. 4: ABOMINABLE TPB – (Bruce Jones/Mike Deodato Jr.) Collects Incredible Hulk #50-54. The secret organization bent on capturing the Incredible Hulk has hired the services of one of his deadliest and oldest foes, The Abomination. Two of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful adversaries go head-to-head and toe-to-toe in a gamma-powered slugfest! 136 pgs. One of the most intense runs of any comic title ever – the Bruce Jones-written extended Hulk saga concerning the aftermath of the ‘Ricky Myers incident’ and the search for the Hulk’s blood by a secret cabal with seemingly limitless resources – continues in the “Abominable” Trade Paperback, reprinting numbers 50 – 54 of the ongoing Incredible Hulk series. Obviously, from the title, one can tell that a deadly new angle in the form of one of the Hulk’s oldest adversaries is going to enter the arc here. To recap a brief bit of what’s got us – the readers and the characters – to this point, the “Abominable” story continues the same mega-arc that began back in Incredible Hulk # 34 (reprinted in the “Return Of The Monster” Trade Paperback, along with Hulk #s 35-39) that finds Bruce Banner on the run after the alleged death of a little boy named Ricky Myers in a Hulk rampage. More alone than he’s been in years, aided only by a mysterious ‘Mr. Blue’ Banner communicates with through a special laptop computer, he has to try and prove the innocence of his other half while avoiding the authorities and, more dangerously, one of the most powerful (and convincingly depicted) of the many secretive power-hungry organizations in the Marvel Universe. This cabal isn’t looking for any truth or justice regarding the Myers incident, just the blood of the Hulk. The cabal has worked genetic wonders (some would say nightmares) with normal DNA; the prospect of what they could achieve with Hulk DNA has them determined to go to any lengths. In “Abominable”, Bruce Banner – who’s found himself evolving some rather unexpected attributes outside of his Hulk state – comes to the defence of a young, beautiful diner owner (a highway diner in a pretty desolate stretch of desert) named Nadia, who’s being accosted by a group of thugs, while more or less simultaneously the cabal (I don’t think they’re refered to as that in the story, but that’s how I think of them) are upping the firepower in their Hulk-hunting efforts by seeking out and recruiting the Abomination. With Nadia, Bruce finds someone who he hits a spark with in more ways than one, and in the isolated desert home owned by Nadia (who it instantly appears is, like Banner and the Hulk, something of a lost and wounded soul) it appears that both characters are going to, at least temporarily, find a measure of the peace and happiness that’s eluding them. Except, of course, that the Abomination is being set on their trail. One point about this whole run of Hulk that I neglected to mention in writeups for some previous chapters is the major sexual electricity that runs through a lot of the issues, hot enough to make the New Mexico deserts where many of the stories take place seem cool and frosty. When thinking of comic book titles that would have the potential for this kind of appeal, Incredible Hulk may be one of the last books one would think of, but it works in this run. The erotic angles are often charming and romantic (a counter-balance to most of the rest of the goings-on in the books) or, at times, of a tense and suspenseful nature that hints of something more sinister lying either behind them or off in the shadows waiting to pounce. The electricity really hits a high mark in “Abominable” (“Split Decisions”, another great chapter of the arc that I’ll try and do a writeup on soon, succeeds immensely here too). There’s another, strongly contrasting, angle that’s been running from “Return Of The Monster” onward that also gets amped up here – the ‘real-life horrors’ kind of thing that you read about in the newspapers is a big part of this Hulk era, and it plays a major role in this volume, right alongside the more fantastical horrors of the Abomination. Speaking of Abomination, though a part of me will always sorely miss the much-more-sympathetic version of the character that developed during Peter David’s great run on Hulk through the 80s and 90s, that ship has long since sailed. The Abomination started moving in a much different direction long prior to “Return Of The Monster”, and here he’s at his most horrendous, one of Marvel’s most evil villains as shown not just in his current state but in the new revelations about his back history that are coming to light. Writer Bruce Jones is, in addition to his Hulk work, best known for his horror and ‘weird’ stories in legions of titles over the years including Twisted Tales, House Of Mystery, Alien Worlds and Flinch, and he’s created one of comicdom’s great horror tales in his extended Hulk arc. It’s my hope that all these volumes will act as sort of a ‘gateway’ – getting fans of the Marvel Universe (and similar fare like the DC Universe titles, like the old Malibu Ultraverse stuff, and so on) to take a look at the broader horror field both in comic books and outside; and will also bring horror fans over to check out Marvel’s comics and other publishers’s superhero/adventure/fantasy-based books that they may have otherwise overlooked. Whatever background of reading you’re coming from, these Hulk volumes that sprang out of IH # 34 represent some of the best the entire world of story-telling has to offer, and are definate Marvel must-haves.

Collects Incredible Hulk v2 50-54. Near mint, 1st print.