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Comic Legends: How the Hulk Saved the Life of a Spider-Man Character

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Comic Legends: How the Hulk Saved the Life of a Spider-Man Character

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and forty-first week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends.

COMIC LEGEND:

Peter David wrote an issue of the Hulk to explain away a Spider-Man issue where his editor cut the final page of the story that had revealed that an injured character had survived.

STATUS:

True

I timed the release of this week’s TV Legends Revealed (about a Hulk/Spider-Man crossover) to tie-in with this legend…about a Hulk/Spider-Man crossover (of a sort).

During his time on Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Peter David had a long-running subplot involving a young boy who was abused by his father.

Introduced in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #112 (art by Mark Beachum and Pat Redding), the boy’s teacher is looking into his injuries but the boy’s father is ready to play dirty to keep the teacher away…

In the next issue (art by Bob McLeod), we see that the father is a scientist and his young son accidentally makes contact with a disintegration ray that he was working on…

Sure enough, the boy develops the ability to disintegrate people. He ultimately uses it on his own father!

This leads to the final issue in the story, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #118 (art by Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod), where SHIELD hunts down the boy…

During a fight with SHIELD agents wearing their Mandroid armor, the young boy, Alex, thinks that he’s being attacked by robots and, well, it does not end well for one SHIELD agent…

Spider-Man tries to keep Alex safe, even as Alex tells him that he is not worth being saved…

Spider-Man seemingly fights off the Mandroid agents but then, suddenly, agents shoot the boy from long distance…

Pretty bleak ending, huh?

As it turned out, that was NOT how Peter David wanted the story to end. That issue (#118) had a prologue that was tied in with another storyline, so perhaps due to the space needed for the prologue (or perhaps because he just liked this ending better), the editor on the series, Jim Owsley, decided to CUT the final page of the story, which revealed that Alex survived his injuries!!

Obviously a BIT put out by this, David later became the regular writer on the Incredible Hulk, and sure enough, in Incredible Hulk #339 (art by Todd McFarlane and Jim Sanders III), Alex is shown alive with a new father (how weird is the “child abuse! child abuse!” line?)…

As it turned out, the new dad is a SHIELD agent. Hulk was on the run with Clay Quartermain and Rick Jones and Quartermain stopped by this agent’s house to use his dedicated SHIELD connection and they were shocked to learn that the agent’s “son” is, well, super-powered, which Hulk finds out the hard way!

Then we get some good old fashioned exposition explaining what the heck happened with Alex…

In the end, Hulk befriends the boy and Alex comes to a new understanding with his “father”…

Lesson of the story – writers will never forget their stories being cut. 🙂


Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed – Did we almost have a TV crossover between the Hulk and Spider-Man in 1984?!


Part 3 will be up later on Sunday! Feel free to write in with suggestions for future legends to either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com!

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