Monday, March 24, 2008

Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: The Incredible Hulk #473

[The penultimate (I love that word) issue of Joe Casey's relatively unknown run on The Incredible Hulk. The final post in this series will go up on Wednesday, followed by another "Lesser Known Joe Casey Comic" on Friday. Following that, who knows. Something else by Casey, but what? WHAT I ASK YOU!]

Not a whole lot happens this issue. Bruce and Qnax try their best to get to the Watcher and obtain the Ultimate Machine. General Ross fights the Abomination with a gun. What matters is the journey in each.

In an effort to keep Bruce and Qnax away, the Watcher uses various telepathic attacks, but Bruce thinks through them. Casey does a great juxtaposition by having the Hulk show up in the telepathic hallucinations, while Bruce is in the real world and figures out the problem. Bruce does what the Hulk cannot, replacing him as the hero of the book.

The Watcher is a little nuts, having had to watch his wife die. This gives Bruce a point of reference, which turns the Watcher to their side when he views Bruce's thoughts. Just as they are about to succeed, the aliens from last issue attack.

Meanwhile, the Ross/Abomination story is weird because it's two crazy-as-fuck guys trying simultaneously to kill one another and themselves. It's a weird dynamic as both are stubborn and righteous, while obviously guilt-ridden. Neither one does much and their confrontation ends, for this issue, with the Abomination revealing that he killed Betty, NOT Bruce. Ross couldn't look more surprised if Betty rose from the dead right there and then.

I'll examine Ross a little more next issue and provide the answer to the usual "Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics" question: should this run remain forgotten or is it worth tracking down and buying?

Tomorrow: the first issue of the Joe Casey/Sean Phillips Wildcats run and, holy shit, is it a great issue with lots of look at. I'll tell you right now that it is a strong contender for the best comic Joe Casey has ever written, that first issue of his and Phillips's run. Until then.