Incredible Hulk #356 (1989)

First of all, great cover.

Bikers are wimps!


Second, this story begins with Mr. Fixit breaking up a dogfight to stop a gold-colored dog from killing a grey one.  The reference to grey is to himself obviously and “not by something gold” is about Glorian, who had a run-in with Hulk last issue.

Hulk kills the gold dog, though, and that’s where he loses me.  I dig him hating bikers and stopping a cruel animal fight, but that last bit was unnecessary.  It does help build his character, though, as a hood with reckless disregard for anyone other than himself.  I like the way Peter David has changed the tone of this book from “Banner is haunted and feels guilty” to “Hulk is a jerk and feels ornery.”  Or, in this case, borderline homicidal.
Other than Hulk beating people up, this issue shows us that Glorian is has not given up on enabling Hulk to live a life without anger.

Shaper of Worlds calls Glorian a “fool,” and indicates that Hulk is incapable of a life without rage.  This is kind of a deep moment: On the one hand, that used to be true because anger was what transformed Banner to Hulk so, without anger, there was literally no Hulk.  But now, the moon causes the transformation so Shaper is likely being metaphorical, i.e., anger is Hulk’s reason to live.  For years in the Hulk book, Hulk tried to find happiness—like the Jarella storyline comes to mind, and also his “Hulk just wants to be left alone” refrain.  But maybe Hulk couldn’t find it because, as Shaper says, it is impossible for him to exist in a happy state?

Meanwhile, Marlo, Mr. Fixit’s girlfriend, is starting to figure out that he’s kind of a dick.

And this story weaves into the next one, which will be about Satannish.

Anyway, this run continues be pure genius.

Creators: Peter David, Jeff Purves
Grade: B

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