Thursday 10 June 2021

Exiled! (Updated)

In the early 1980s, writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema had a lengthy and memorable run on the Incredible Hulk. During that run, Doctor Robert Bruce Banner finally managed to gain control of his Gamma-powered alter-ego, finally believing that his Savage side was gone forever. With this, he used the Hulk's power for good while continuing his Scientific research to aid humanity and becoming a genuine, bona-fide hero... gaining acceptance from his fellow heroes, and even a Presidential Pardon. Bruce Banner had finally found peace... and even new love, in the form of SHIELD agent Dr. Katherine Waynesboro (originally sent to spy on Banner by SHIELD to make sure that his Savage persona was truly gone). Ultimately though, Banner's newly-found peaceful existence was not to last... with the Savage Hulk re-emerging in full force, leaving a path of destruction like never before. The culprit behind the regression was revealed to be the dream-Demon Nightmare, who had planned to use the Savage Green Goliath to destroy his hated enemy, Dr. Strange. This epic storyline, featuring some of Sal's best art on the book (inked by the amazing Gerry Talaoc), culminated in the epic Incredible Hulk #300, where a now totally Mindless Hulk (due to Banner's persona choosing to die rather than share his existence again with a Savage Hulk) faced off against a solo Human Torch, Power Man and Iron Fist and the Mighty Avengers (during which the Hulk and Thor have a battle for the ages!). It was at the end of this Giant-Size issue that the Hulk's former fellow Defender Dr. Strange, banished the Mindless Hulk to a dimension called the Crossroads... which is a Nexus to multiple different Alien worlds and Dimensions in the hope that the Hulk could find a home where he could neither harm, or be harmed. Again, this issue featured some of Artist Sal Buscema's best work on this book (and genuinely some of the best artwork that book had ever seen). However, due to what I suspect was a deadline issue, the final three pages were drawn by the art team of Alan Kupperberg and Danny Bulanadi... who proved more than capable of ending this issue in an epic fashion,leaving the mindless Hulk Howling with rage in the Crossroads of Realities...

I have always loved this particular issue (the whole Regression storyline is possibly my all-time favourite Hulk story), so just for fun I had a crack at re-drawing the final three pages, in an attempt to fit in more with the style of the rest of the book. While the original Kupperberg/Bulanadi work is amazing (and far better than anything I could produce!), I was always intreagued as to how Sal and Gerry would have drawn it. This is my interpretation... while definitely nowhere near as good as how Sal would have drawn it, and almost certainly completely different, I'm still pleased with how it turned out. Check out my versions, along with the Kupperberg and Bulanadi originals below.