THE INCREDIBLE HULK #312 (1985): Secret Wars II

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Bill Mantlo offers a history of Bruce Banner being abused as a child.

Interesting?  Maybe.  Necessary?  No.

Everyone gives Bill Mantlo crap about being a schlocky writer, but this issue is one of his best.  Hulk has been bouncing around dimensions for almost a year now, and here we learn Bruce Banner is still alive, trapped deep in his subconscious, wrestling with memories of pretty horrific child abuse.

Overall, it’s a pretty intense issue—especially for 1980s Marvel—and even Beyonder can’t ruin it.  He shows up and can see Banner’s existential struggle with his own identity and past trauma, and resolves to “help” him.

More on that in the upcoming Secret Wars II #4.

But next issue of Hulk is tremendous.  Nothing like it has ever been done in the history of Marvel or any publisher.

Seriously.

Stay tuned.

Creators: Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola
Grade: B+

 

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