Why The Russos Are The Best Thing to Happen to the MCU Since Joss Whedon
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at a neat crossover between two of Peter David’s early 90s’ comics, Incredible Hulk and X-Factor, with the three/four-parter “War and Pieces.”
The storyline took place in Incredible Hulk #390-392 with X-Factor #76 taking place after Incredible Hulk #391 and not TOTALLY necessary for the story, but it is close enough to count here. The Hulk issues were drawn by Dale Keown and the X-Factor issue was drawn by Tom Raney and Kevin West (Keown was the regular Hulk artist at the time while Raney and West were both fill-in artists).
The basic gist of the plot is that Hulk and the secretive peace-keeping organization that he was a part of (the Pantheon) were involved in the resistance of a tyrannical ruler in the Middle Eastern country of Trans-Sibal. The problem was that the American government was at least partially backing the guy, so when Hulk and the Pantheon added their might to the side of the rebels, the Americans send in the American mutant superhero strike force, X-Factor. And then hijinx ensue.
The storyline opens up with a bang in Hulk #390 in a tremendous sequence of pages by Keown (it’s crazy how good he had gotten on Hulk by the #390s – and he was good to start with!)…
Really standout stuff there (love the bunny slippers bit).
Here’s another page that presents perhaps the most important subplot of the storyline…
Besides the hint that perhaps Banner is not as “in control” as he seemed to think he was at the time (something that would come up later in the series), the whole “I’m going to kill somebody” line is very important. It was a joke on the Hulk’s part, but that’s something that writer Peter David tries to highlight in this story – in this situation, you can joke all you want, but this is something different than what Hulk and Rick Jones are used to – this is war, and while they might not want to kill anyone, they likely will be forced into situations where it cannot be avoided.
There’s a couple of great scenes to this effect in #391.
First, the Hulk realizes how “knock-out gas” on the war zone, not such a great idea…
Next, Rick realizes how hard it is to keep from killing in the heat of battle…
Finally, here’s a cool bit with Hulk vs. X-Factor…
The X-Factor issue mostly shows what happens to Wolfsbane of X-Factor when she’s held captive by a brother and sister living in Trans-Sibal.
Then it all comes to a head in the final issue, #392.
I won’t ruin it – but everyone gets a few important moments, with perhaps Rick Jones having the biggest moment in the story.
Strong work by Peter David working in his two Marvel series together and the artwork (especially Keown’s) was quite good.
An impressive crossover. Go pick it up on back issues! Marvel also has it available in their digital library!
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