Hulk #388 (1991): 1st Speedfreek; Jim Wilson has AIDS

Look!  Jim Wilson is back!  And he’s got AIDS!  And Rick Jones’ band is playing a benefit for an AIDS nonprofit in Los Angeles!  

And the clinic is being terrorized, and the culprit is a guy named Speedfreek.

.He is the homophobic of Jim’s partner, who also is HIV positive.

Jim wants Hulk to show up and solve the problem because his uncle Falcon wasn’t able to do so.

Honestly, this seems like a job for Falcon and not Hulk.  And believe it or not, the villain will return for another appearance in the future.

At the big climax, Jim Wilson gets shot and Rick Jones panics when he gets the HIV-infected blood on him.

But Hulk is apparently immune to the virus.

Bonus points for the social awareness involved in this story, because in 1991 there weren’t many gay comic book characters and there certainly weren’t any who had AIDS.  Peter David’s Hulk run is almost nonstop genius, and this is really just about average for his run—but it’s better than most other books that came out around the same time.

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