When Venom and Hulk Became Tag Team Wrestlers to Save the Day

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Okay, a couple of videos to provide a little context to the story in today's comic book. In the late 1980s/early 1990s on Saturday Night Live, there were a number of recurring gags, sketches that would be done repeatedly. Some of them, namely Wayne's World, Stuart and It's Pat, even were turned into motion pictures!

Some...were not.

One of them was Rob Schneider's 'Making Copies' bit, where he would play an annoying office worker whose desk was right by the company's copy machine, so he would annoy anyone who came by to make copies by coming up with nicknames for them based on their names...

In another sketch, Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon would play two bodybuilders named Hans and Franz in a TV parody where they had their own show called "Pumping Up With Hans and Franz." The two would brag about how strong they were and make fun of everyone else as being "girly men" compared to them. It is basically an extended Arnold Schwarzenegger parody bit...

Anyhow, I mention these bits because they are both directly referenced in Incredible Hulk vs. Venom, a unique comic book released by Marvel in 1994.

It wasn't unique because of the foil cover, no sir, as that would be about pretty much every comic book released in 1994. If your comic book did not have a foil cover on it at any point in 1994 (or any other similar cover gimmick) then that would be a total show of disrespect to your comic book. That seriously was a conversation that people used to have circa 1994. "The company doesn't believe in us. They won't even give us a foil cover." "Book X got a foil cover, but we didn't." That was really how people thought back in the day. And it wasn't even uneasonable! I'd be right there with them if I were them.

No, what made this book unique is that you couldn't purchase it in stores. No, it was only available as a send-away item if you donated a certain amount of money to UNICEF. Pretty cool idea, right? And the one-shot was actually written by Peter David, then the regular writer on Hulk's comic book, so this wasn't just so tossed together thing. Jim Craig wasn't a star artist or anything like that, but he was a good artist.

The concept behind the book is that a villain named Doctor Bad Vibes sends a warning to a TV news station in San Francisco threatening them with an earthquake...

We are then quickly introduced to two couples, while Eddie Brock watches some TV sets in a shop window...

The news anchor goes on to the news to mock the threat when, sure enough, an earthquake hits San Francisco right when Doctor Bad Vibes says it would!

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