Thursday, June 18, 2015

What If... This Looks Familiar To You?

While the incredible Hulk had his share of stories in the late '70s-early '80s What If series, he may have the distinction of being the one character featured in that title whose "what if" scenarios actually played out in his regular mag. Some of them even more than once; as well as some taking place before What If got around to doing its own variation. Perhaps not all that surprising, since you'd expect to find a few Hulk stories that took a break from the Hulk battling super-beings or the military and dealt with the Hulk's condition whether relating to Bruce Banner or impacting his closest friends.

For instance, there were several stories that featured the Hulk with Banner's mind in control, well before What If made a splashy cover story about it:

The Hulk's "barbarian" phase was easy enough to match up, and with just two words: "Planet Hulk."

Rick Jones also had his turn as the Hulk, in a "what goes around comes around" moment:

As for the Hulk going "berserk," that would take some narrowing down, since berserk is often his natural state when he's been provoked. Issue #300 certainly qualifies for "berserk," as well as previous and subsequent issues where he was raging against everything from cities to the death of Jarella to Doc Samson and the Avengers:

The What If story, written by Peter Gillis and drawn by Ron Wilson, actually justifies the story's title and offers a nice twist on the Hulk's origin tale, which includes some dramatic and questionable decisions by General Ross and leads to tragedy that practically snowballs until the very end. There aren't many What If stories that end happily, and Gillis's story by no means breaks that streak. Look for it to be featured here at the PPC in a future post.


Colin Jones said...

In the most recent version of the Hulk (the series is simply called "Hulk") he has become super-intelligent (apparently far more than Banner ever was) and insists on being known as "Doctor Green" - if you call him "Hulk" he'll get angry and you wouldn't like him when he's angry. Hulk/Doc Green also intends to stay this way forever and to never become Banner again. Of course, it won't last....

Dale Bagwell said...

Cool article. I'm actually very interested in you reviewing that last particular What If? story. I mean I know what happens, but I'd like to see how you review it anyways.

Have you heard there's a new Hulk? Possiby Reed, possibly Amadues Cho?

Comicsfan said...

Colin--"Doctor Green"?? Seriously? I'm about as much in awe of that as I was of "Doctor Pym." :)

Dale, there's a lot of ground to cover in that particular issue, but I hope to get to it soon. It was a fun read, more than I expected.

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