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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 199

by  in Comic News Comment

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 an interesting issue of Incredible Hulk (#388) where Peter David and Dale Keown where the return of Hulk’s former sidekick, Jim Wilson, is overshadowed by some news that Wilson has…

Enjoy!

First off, this issue introduces a new villain known as Speedfreek (I believe he was one of the villains killed in the explosion in Civil War #1. Am I remembering that correctly? Or maybe his sister or something?), and David and Keown establish the character in a very cool opening…




Man, Keown did such a good job on this title. And what you see here is not even the best that he would get – in the #390s, his art and storytelling skills got even BETTER!

In any event, Rick Jones and the Hulk (who hasn’t shown up yet but will follow later) visit Los Angeles where Hulk’s former sidekick, Jim Wilson, is working at an AIDS hospice which has come under fire from some bad guys. So Rick and the Hulk are showing up for protection (while Rick will also do a charity show with his band). Jim drops a bombshell…


As Jim fills them in on why he needs protection, David does a nice little continuity nod, similar to the one I mentioned that John Byrne did in Fantastic Four #258 – David makes reference to another Marvel hero, the Falcon, in such a way that really makes the Marvel Universe seem like a cohesive universe withOUT going overboard and making it so that, like, you needed to know Falcon’s history, etc. It’s very well done by David (as is the stuff with Rick and Jim discussing Jim’s HIV status)…



Speedfreek shows up during Rick’s performance and David/Keown come up with a great little bit here (by the way, Speedfreek is, indeed, a drug addict, hence his odd – even for a supervillain – behaviour)…



Naturally, the Hulk shows up to save the day, and there’s a nice Hulk/Speedfreek fight (I REALLY loved a bit that David came up with that uses Hulk’s healing powers – Speedreek shoots barbs into the Hulk’s legs, and Hulk’s healing abilities heal his skin AROUND the barbs, so he has to dig the barbs out and RE-injure his leg – it’s a good scene).

Anyhow, during the fight, Jim gets stabbed – Rick’s reaction is well handled by David…


Of course, I can’t help but mention the bit at the end of the issue where we learn that, also due to his healing powers, the Hulk doesn’t have to worry about HIV. I didn’t really mind it, as a plot point, but I can see how it might take some people out of the scene a bit.

Still, this was a great mix of action, humor, great artwork and interesting drama while working in a topical storyline that, for a 1991 comic book, was handled with a great deal of intelligence and respect. Well done all around!