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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 275

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 comics posted so far!

Today we look at a sad issue of Incredible Hulk, where the Hulk deals with his friend Jim Wilson, who is dying of AIDS. Peter David, Gary Frank and Cam Smith did the issue…

Enjoy!

Okay, so in the #380s, Hulk learned that his old partner, Jim Wilson, was HIV positive. Now it is Hulk #420 and Jim Wilson (who was part of a counter protest of a gay protest – at least I presume that’s what it was) is attacked at a protest.

Meanwhile, Betty Banner is working at a suicide hotline and gets a call from a man who is HIV positive.

That’s the basic plot of the issue. Hulk dealing with Jim (here, Hulk is reacting to a Pantheon doctor telling him that they cannot use an experimental drug on Jim, as they are not ready to use it yet)…

And Betty dealing with her guy…

David does a really nice job with the drama of the issue (although, honestly, I don’t know if “I don’t want to risk you becoming a Hulk-like creature” was really a super-convincing reason to not give Jim a transfusion, especially since She-Hulk worked out pretty well, really) and the mix between Bruce/Jim and Betty/her guy was handled really well.

Here’s a particularly nice scene from where Jim thinks Hulk still is going to actually give him his blood…

That actually gives away the fact that the Hulk doesn’t actually give him his blood, but there’s still plenty of twists left in the issue. It’s a really sad issue, but well handled. Frank and Smith do such a strong job with the character expressions that they make you feel the pain and sadness throughout the issue.

This was a difficult task to pull off, and it’s quite impressive that David, Frank and Smith were able to do so with such an excellent issue.

6 Comments

Yeah, that is a good issue. I’d forgotten it was Gary Frank on the art at that point. Heartbreaking, even if you don’t know the history of Jim Wilson.

Was he Crackerjack Wilson’s son, was that it?

Damn, I’ve always wanted this issue. And this is right on the heels of the big comedy bachelor party/wedding two-parter! David could switch tones on a dime, which is great.

I haven’t read this, but it does look great. I think Peter David might be my favourite writer.
I got really sick of the He-Hulk years ago, though, so I didn’t even bother checking the series out even when Peter David was writing it (aside from a couple of issues, which weren’t good enough to make me want to read it more). I really think I should maybe buy this one if I can find it, though.

Hammer of Hammer & Anvil was Crackerjack’s son. Jim Wilson is the Falcon’s nephew. His father became Mister Gideon of the Gamma Corps during World War Hulk, out of misguided revenge on Banner for his son’s death.

I remember this one, it was part of the Great Peter David Run, but even still I thought it as a little heavy handed . . . a little “after school specially” mixed w/ well meaning but eye-rolling social commentary.

i also remember the issue of Savage Dragon where Dragon does give his blood to another cop [can’t remember the exact reason] and it turns the black cop into a hybrid of the Dragon & the cop. His coloring & facial features are different from the Dragon, but he gets a fin on his head and turns a shade of green! It ends up pretty messy tho’.
DFTBA

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