Tuesday, January 27, 2009


#14.Wolverine vs. the Hulk

Todd McFarlane was a struggling artist trying to make it at Marvel Comics in the late 1980s, and it was not going so well. He was given a fill-in issue that, had it not turned out well, was probably going to be his last issue at Marvel. However, his work on the “Incredible Hulk” #330 was considered good enough that he was accepted as the book's regular artist. Writer Peter David soon joined the book, and the title began to gain some momentum. It featured the Hulk, who was now back to his original status – gray and turning into the Hulk at night. It also featured Rick Jones and SHIELD agent Clay Quartermain, who had gone rogue when he learns that SHIELD plans on killing Bruce Banner if he is captured. So the three men are on the run from SHIELD in a hi-tech RV, driving through the American Midwest.

While the title was beginning to get some critical acclaim, it still needed some sales help (the book's poor sales was why they were willing to give the book to two fairly untested creators in David and McFarlane), so the book featured guest stars, none more memorable than Wolverine's appearance in “Incredible Hulk” #340.

Wolverine was originally introduced in the pages of “Incredible Hulk,” in a storyline in Hulk #180 and 181. That was the classic green Hulk, though, who was much more powerful. The gray Hulk was craftier, but was weaker in the strength department. In “Incredible Hulk” #340, the Hulk takes a break from the RV for some fresh air and leaps through the sky, inadvertently clipping a passing airplane.

The X-Men also happened to be traveling to Dallas at the same time, and the X-Man Rogue rescues the plane. Wolverine figures Hulk is causing trouble, so he hunts Hulk down, and they have a brutal battle.

Wolverine delivers many blows, and the fight appears done as he guts the Hulk. However, the Hulk's healing factor brings him back into the fight, and he clearly is taking this battle quite personally. "You’ve…spent years laughing at me, taking advantage of me. I was the dumb green giant…but now I want to start giving it all back,”

Before the fight can be finished, though, Quartermain breaks the fight up, as they have to keep moving. Hulk and Wolverine go back to their respective camps, both ready to fight again another day.

This issue of “Hulk” drew so much attention that McFarlane was soon the regular artist on one of Marvel's biggest titles, the “Amazing Spider-Man,” where he went on to become one of the most popular artists in all of comics (Peter David did not do so bad staying on the “Hulk,” either, as he spent the next thirteen years writing the title).

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