FANTASTIC FOUR #320-321 and HULK #350 (1988)

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Thing looks new.  Hulk is now Mr. Fixit, with a somewhat reduced strength level.  How reduced?  That’s to be determined.  And who better to help with that determination than Hulk’s long-time rival, The Thing.

Time for a battle!

Doom baits Hulk into doing his bidding and taking on Thing.   It’s a silly premise, and the rest of the book is basically just a bash-‘em-up.


But just as Thing is getting the upper hand…A second, green Hulk arrives on the scene!

That takes us right into the 350th issue of Hulk, and what better way to celebrate than this kind of slugfest.

The green Hulk is, obviously, a strong robot.

It’s annoying that a robot can beat Thing. It’s not annoying that Doom can beat Hulk, though.

Because he uses his brains to do it.

But putting that to one side, it enables an exploration of Mr. Fixit’s new power levels.  Doom explains to Hulk that he lacks confidence, and in a sort of “clap if you love fairies” moment, this is all Hulk needs to figure out how to access his inner, ferocious Hulk.

And he creams Thing.

At the end of Hulk #350, Beast shows up and asks Hulk’s help on an Avengers mission.  That continues on to Evolutionary War.

The purpose of all this seems to be establishing something of an understanding between Doom and the Mr. Fixit version of Hulk, so that there is precedent for them to work together in the future.

But this tale doesn’t end here!

she-thing vs. she-hulk

Steve Englehart reformed the FF with 50% new cast members.  He was the first person to do that.  Before, Medusa had replaced Invisible Girl for a while when Sue was preggers, as did Crystal of the Inhumans, but this was a much bigger shake-up.  Especially when you combine it with the new look for Thing.

So now he brings in She-Hulk, who was involved with John Byrne’s famous line-up change when she replaced Thing.

Sharon Ventura’s protective feelings toward Thing come out, as she blames She-Hulk for Hulk’s having pulverized Thing last issue of FF.

So, they fight.

Then a bald guy dressed like High Evolutionary but looking like a Watcher sends Dragon Man to fight both of them, because they’ve stopped fighting and he needs the fight to continue for some unclear reason.

More fighting, issue ends.

Creators/Grades:
FF#320: Peter David (coplotter only), Steve Englehart, Keith Pollard.  Grade: C+.  Silly story, but the need for this fight is epic.
Hulk #350: Peter David, Jeff Purves.  Grade: C+
FF#321: Steve Englehart, Ron Lim.  Grade: C

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.s

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