Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hulk's high voltage rock'n'roll

West Coast Corporation boss Jackson’s pleased to hear the Hulk seems likely to dismantle Machine Man, and with a pair of “hyper-binoculars” he can watch, from the top of his 80 story skyscraper. As Roger Stern describes ala caption Trish Starr—“free thinker, former model, and hostage---“ musters courage to continue challenging Jackson’s bloodthirsty pleasure. He warps murder into “business efficiency---and advancement!” He recalls Machine Man’s resistance to analysis and replication, chronicled in #8,9 of his series, so his revenge is business. He counters Trish’s question---“do I get ‘recalled’ as well?” ---by complimenting her profiled skills, but now sees the Hulk at a distance, pondering his use in “other...endeavors!”

Aaron Stack, a.k.a. Machine Man “cancels the gravity equation!” He soars out of Hulk’s reach, hovering. One thousand pounds of raging fury springs towards him, but MM sends him earthward with a kick!

The crash shakes Central City; at “nearby Camp DeSprague” (pulp fiction fans catch that one?) Spaulding arrives along with a “3.5 quake.” Kragg gives the order: contact Hulkbuster Base! But will it be far too late?

Machine Man lands beside the impressively deep hole. He expects Hulk to be buried for hours beneath the ruptures of “weak pavement” but picks up a “high frequency radio transmission---from that truck!” He extends the long arm of the law into the dairy truck and tells the spy he’ll report him for him...since he’s got a spot “(a) few blocks away” for him. Gladys and Dick, a middle aged couple, argue about the pool being “filled early” but Dick smiles when Scheuring flies in for a ballistic dip.

MM recognizes the Corporation boss’ voice, and modulates his own to resemble Scheuring’s. “Still no sign of Machine Man! Awaiting instructions! He’s about to home in on the signal...but behind him, our irrepressible green goliath’s crawling out of the pit unnoticed. He sees the wires he’s dug up, and flashes back to a dim memory of F.F.#25 itself, where the Thing surprised him with a handful of such voltage. Not a bad strategy...too bad he misses the escaping hiss of gas!

Hulk’s burrowed directly beneath Machine Man with his cables; he now represents with one serious Aaron Shock! The attack overloads his circuits—“breaking down insulation!” MM grabs his throat, observes he’s grounded, too, as “two mighty figures soak up voltage.” At this point, we learn Machine Man does have olfactory sensors, for he notices the natural gas pipe leak---as the volts and gas blast them both with city-shattering force.

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