Friday, November 26, 2010

Mean Green-Machine

INCREDIBLE HULK 235 Roger Stern, Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito

Unca Rog really delivers Machine Man straight from Jack Kirby’s book! Oh, there’s a power or two that doesn’t come up but things like the “instant hypnosis” that worked on the Autocron perhaps don’t work on rampaging emerald behemoths? After the first issue set up, there’s a bit of plot advancement but the second issue is a pure super being brawl.

The Corporation, from Machine Man #7 & 8, provides the villainy. Anyone recognize Trish Starr? The last name may be familiar to longtime Marvel fans---no, not Ringo, but Elias, the one who can’t keep a beat and invents death devices, Egghead. Trish is the hostage, trying to work the villains while captive. Said captivity’s been perpetuated by an ersatz Machine Man, leading the Hulk and his new friend to Peter Spalding’s door. Sure, I’d love to see her role expanded to reflect even more of that trademark intelligence---it’s referenced---but the real Hulk fan wants a no-holds barred slugfest, and this team delivers! Meanwhile, your Machine Man fan gets a faithful rendering, even an appearance by reporter Trish Tilby, as well as Colonel Kragg. Thanks for throwing them in, Unca Rahj!

Stern’s set things up dipping back into Defenders #41 and the commune where Doctor Strange and Nighthawk last left Trish. In #234, the Corporation took her hostage. Now Hulk and Fred bound towards Central City, and Roger and team actually take the time, from Fred’s precarious perspective, to make those leaps visceral, jarring---earth-shaking. The physical impact of the Hulk is something I remember Roger writing very well. With Hulk’s steady hand, Fred hangs on...and if you hang on, too, I’m working from memory of a comic I just discovered this afternoon, and I don’t want to leave out a thing!


  1. Ersatz? Is that one of Colonel Kragg's henchmen.

  2. No; one of the creatively-named Corporation's henchmen..."Ersatz, I want you to smash them---and let them know it was I who paid for you!"
    Wasn't Dr. Ersatz the one who created the Stupid Soldier Serum? Or am I getting it mixed up w/ the name of the mouse that hit Felix with a brick?;-D