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Monday, April 13, 2020

Rampagers Ravings: Weak Hulk?

The letters column from the U.K. magazine Rampage #30 included the following correspondence about perceived differences in the treatment of Hulk in Defenders #23 (reprinted in Rampage) and Hulk's solo adventures reprinted in The Mighty World of Marvel (MWOM).


Dear Marvel,

You print of lot of letters which moan about minor mistakes. Here's a simple question about the main plot. I defy you absolutely to find a reasonable answer. Here goes: How did the Sons of the Serpent stop the Hulk when Iron Man can't?

With a few ray-blasters designed to knock out normal human beings (which is physically vulnerability-wise what Dr. Strange and Nighthawk are in the day time)? They 'weakened' Hulk more than Iron Man's repulsors and the US Army's artillery shell ever did. ('Big Bullets sting Hulk').

Or was it those electric snakes which packed more power than Iron Man's armour? Have the Sons of the Serpent better scientists working for them than Tony Stark?

It just won't wash! The Hulk has proved a match for Iron Man and other more powerful foes like the Nightcrawler in his illustrious career. He's been knocked out by powerful explosions occasionally — but never weakened gradually. The Hulk who appears in the Defenders just isn't the same 'Ol Greenskin who appears in MWOM. You'd never take such liberties with him!

D.P. Victor,

Wait just a minute there, Mr. D.P. Victor! — You say that never before has Hulk been gradually weakened, but as we always say at the Bullpen, there's a first time for everything! And it happened in Rampage, people, right before your very eyes! Actually, is it surprising that Hulk succumbed to those blasts after his 'shocking' experience with the snakes? After all, there were six of them ganging up against poor ole Greenskin, and that's not fair odds to begin with, is it? Anyway, as it was said, the ray-blasts and the electricity probably dissipated some of his body's energy. To put it another way, and to quote one of the Sons of the Serpent, 'Guess he just ran out of Gamma rays'. Happens to the best of us, s'pose!

Rampage #30 reprinted Defenders #30, introducing one-shot villain Tapping Tommy. As a child, his parents had operated a Los Angeles distillery during Prohibition and he maintained ties to organized crime as an adult. Tapping Tommy's fixation with Hollywood films, particularly musicals, inspired his deadly Theatre of Fear!
A back-up story in Rampage #30 reprinted Invincible Iron Man #39, featuring the villain Mandarin.

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