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Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #14: Review

Apr 1979
Doug Moench, Ron Wilson

Story Name:

A Cure for Chaos

Review & Comments

3 stars

Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #14 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Borrows heavily from the movie versions of Frankenstein.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #14 Synopsis by Dan Marco
Bruce Banner exits the Zurich Airport in Switzerland & asks a cabbie to take him to the office of Dr. Feldstadt. On the way there, he thinks about Hulk's rampages, and also remembers last week when he read about Hans Feldstadt winning the Nobel Prize for his work in Gamma Radiation. Banner is dropped off at Dr. Feldstadt's office, only to discover that the doctor is on sabbatical in the village of Jungfrau. Banner then travels to Jungfrau, asking people on the street if they know where Dr. Feldstadt is. Not having any luck, Banner steps into an inn to get out of the snow. A waitress named Katrina commiserates with him, and hints at a dark secret of her own. Banner feels a little better, but he is warned away from her by a local, who says she is already spoken for by Dr. Klein, a stranger who lives in a large castle at the top of the mountain. Banner is disappointed by the fact that the doctor is named Klein and not Feldstadt, he nonetheless goes to he doctor's castle as a last desperate act. Banner knocks at the giant castle door, and Dr. Feldstadt answers. Banner recognizes him and talks to him about gamma radiation (calling himself "David Bixby"). Feldstadt thinks that Banner is trying to attach himself to Feldstadt and ride on his coattails. Banner tries to explain, but Feldstadt throws him out. Banner freaks out and starts banging on Feldstadt's door. Feldstadt calls the police and they arrive to drag Banner away. Banner feels the change coming on and escapes the police. Banner transforms into Hulk. Hulk tries to remember what he wanted to do - then remembers something about the town - the girl. He starts towards town, but the villagers see him and run screaming "Monster!" The villagers gather and decide that since the Monster (Hulk) came down the hill, he must have been a creation of Dr. Klein (who is really Dr. Feldstadt). They start to go up the mountain to confront Feldstadt, carrying torches and pitchforks. The run into Hulk, throw their torches at him, and he responds by destroying the stone bridge they are standing on. Hulk leaps to the town and destroys all the edifices looking for Katrina, but nobody is there. Feldstadt sees the disturbance in town, and thinks, "What could possibly cause such a disturbance? couldn't be!" Hulk gets tired of looking for "Cat-Girl" (as he thinks of Katrina) and leaps off to find a place to sleep until morning. The next morning, Feldstadt is reading the newspaper (written in English!) when there is a knock at the door. He opens it, and it is Banner. Banner sees that Feldstadt has been reading the paper, and Feldstadt acknowledges he now knows that Banner is the Hulk. His attitude towards Banner is markedly changed, and he escorts Banner to his laboratory, saying, "I hope this is the beginning of a mutually beneficial collaboration!" Banner and Feldstadt discuss Feldstadt's research; Feldstadt has been researching the potential benefits of Gamma Rays, but acknowledges that the effects on Banner weren't beneficial. Feldstadt has been researching the effects with little research into reversing them. Banner has an imperative need to reverse the effects, but he says "You have no interest in finding a cure -- I can see that now! All you're interested in is spectacular effects!" Feldstadt wants them to work together, but Banner doesn't want to be used and stalks off. Banner returns to the inn, and requests a room from Katrina. He asks her about Dr. Klein, but she is evasive. He beds down, and decides to go back to Feldstadt in the morning to apologize and see if they still can work together. Banner can't sleep so he goes back down to the inn for some refreshment. He asks the barkeep about Katrina, but the barkeep says that where Katrina goes at night is her own business. He overhears a conversation between two locals about radiation poisoning and the locals decide to go confront Dr. Klein. Banner decides to warn Feldstadt and goes to his castle. He knocks but there is no answer, so he breaks the giant padlock on the doors with a rock and enters. He runs to the lab, but before entering he looks at Feldstadt's notes and thinks, "Good Lord, no -- he can't be doing this! He wouldn't dare -- unless he's utterly mad!" Banner enters the lab and finds Feldstadt using his Gamma machine on Katrina. She says that she has a blood disease and agreed to let Feldstadt help her; Banner says that Gamma radiation has no effect on blood diseases. Banner and Feldstadt argue - meanwhile the villagers are approaching with more torches and break in. They throw a rock through Feldstadt's window, telling him to leave. Feldstadt gets a gun. He and Banner struggle, but he shoots out the window. Someone throws a torch through the window and hits the chemicals in his lab. The lab explodes, and Banner grabs Katrina and pulls her out, then goes back into the burning lab for Feldstadt. As Banner reaches the lab door there is another explosion. Banner sees that Feldstadt has been transformed by the radiation into a monster. Feldstadt attacks Banner and plans to kill him for what he did to all his work. He thinks he succeeded, but where he threw Banner, Hulk rises up. Hulk and Feldstadt fight, while gamma radiation continues to emit from Feldstadt's machine, causing the lab animals to attack Hulk. Hulk throws off the animals, and continues to fight Feldstadt, beating him. Hulk rips Feldstadt's gamma machine out of its connections and it explodes (again!) releasing even more radiation. Hulk crushes the machine into a ball so it can't release anything more, and breaks out of the room, carrying Feldstadt with him. Hulk delivers Feldstadt to the crowd, saying "Here. You wanted him, take him. Hulk doesn't need him any more." Katrina somehow recognizes Hulk as Banner, and Hulk recognizes Katrina as the "Cat-Girl" he wanted, but he doesn't remember why he wanted her any more, so he leaps away. The next morning, Banner looks down at the town from a nearby mountain and ponders the situation. He goes back to the inn looking for Katrina. He gives her a letter of introduction to a treatment center; she says she can't afford it, but he says they owe him a favor, and he's using it to help her. She thanks him and hopes that one day both of their problems will be cured. The next day, Banner reads in the paper of Feldstadt dying in the accident, as he stands in a cemetery (presumably at Feldstadt's grave, but we don't see that clearly). "Two epitaphs come to Bruce Banner's mind: 'One must know everything about the enemy before it can be conquered'...and 'There are some things in Heaven and Earth Man was not meant to know.' But...did he know everything about Dr. Hans Feldstadt? Was he the enemy? And will he ever know the Hulk? Will he ever truly know... himself?"

Ron Wilson
Rudy Nebres
Steve Oliff
Bob Larkin (Cover Penciler)

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