The Incredible Hulk in Museum Piece

The Literary Hulk part 3

Marvel Super Heroes Novel No. 9

By Mark Ricard

MarvelSuperheroes9This review is a bit different from the last two. First,the Hulk only appears in a single novella. This is a story collection and a full length novel. Second,this is a adaption of a two part story written by a one time regular Hulk writer Len Wein. The story “Museum Piece” is based on Incredible Hulk issues 197-198. This is was during the early part of Sal Bucesma’s long run as artist on title. As a Hulk it is interesting because it involved a team up with The Man Thing. This was one of if not the very first time these heroes had ever met it also involved the villain known as the Collector. In it the Hulk and Man-Thing are taken to the Collector’s ship as prisoner’s for his collection. To tell more would spoil the story. There are small changes. Any reference to continuity are taken out. The connections to the Gerber Man-Thing story are understandably removed and the Glob becomes the Golem of European folklore. At it’s basic level it is the same story. There are even appearances of other races including a Skrull and a Badoon.

Why Len Wein chose this story is hard to understand. While it is certainly not overly action oriented it is not one of his more introspective works. It is a decent story but if it was going to be translated into prose you would expect Wein to take the opportunity to go farther into depth with the characters or the situation. But he never does this. We get the same dialogue and characters as before. This is disappointing. He could have taken the opportunity to develop the characters of the human prisoners to a greater degree than the comic. The story’s early pages involving a fight between the Hulk and could have eliminated to spend more time for us to learn about the Collector his motivations.

There are other stories may have made a better fit to prose. Unlike few other writers on the title Len Wein understand the child like nature of the “Savage” Hulk. If he could have translated that some of those stories that showed that side of the character we could have had a great instead of okay story. Still I recommend this to Hulk fans. It is entertaining and is still the first non novel length prose for the character. Perhaps it is just a matter of the reviewer’s expectations.

The other Stories

Here is a brief review of the other stories.

Children of the Atom By Mary Jo Duffy.

This is another story written by a then current Marvel Comic book writer. Mary Jo Duffy does a good job of showing the personalities of each of the X-men. Though this was written in the Claremont/Byrne era some of the regular cast is missing. Wolverine getting into a bar fight is the most entertaining part of the story.

The Evil Undying By Jim Shooter

This is an Avengers verses Ultron story. I found this the weakest of the stories. Jim Shooter tried to push the envelope in making things more “adult” with some parts. It does not really come off. Iron Man seems just slightly off in this story. Mostly in the parts that are try to be more mature. Still it was thought of highly be David Michellene to become translated into a Avengers comic book two part story in Avengers 201 and 202. The reverse situation of the books Hulk story.

Blind Justice By Kyle Christropher

This is arguably the best story in the book. Kyle Christopher is pseudonym of Comic book writer Martin Pasko. Unlike the other writers in this collection Pasko was working mostly for DC Comics at the time this was written. What Pasko did that the other writers did not was to use prose effectively. He describes how Daredevil experiences his powers and what it feels like to be inside his head. Some of the background about the origin is slightly different. But this is not a big deal. We get a Pre-Miller Daredevil story that involves Organized Crime and one of his then current comic book villains. Pasko story is one of the main influences on Mark Waid’s current Daredevil run. Waid himself lists it in this article. The Five Most Underrated DAREDEVIL Stories You Must Read, by MARK WAID | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture

Though it is not perfect I can easily recommend this collection to any Marvel Comics fan.


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