Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: What If General Ross Became The Hulk
Written by: Peter David
Art by: Pat Oliffe
Inked by: Sal Buscema
Lettered by: VC’s Randy Gentile
Editor: C.B. Cebulski
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A long time ago in the land of Marvel, there was a book called What If?! that foretold what would happen when the world was tweaked just a slight bit. What if Thor had chosen to eat that last dinner roll? What would happen if Wolverine’s adamantium was really made of balsa wood? What would happen if Spiderman was biten by a radioactive lemur?
So, in their theme of doing theme months, they’ve revitalized this concept to give us various looks into the world of alternate history. My review this week tells the tale of a little friendly bastard known as, ‘THE HULK!’
When Bruce Banner, mild mannered scientist, is hit by Gamma radiation, he turns into a green badass by the name of ‘THE HULK!’ Who, if you don’t really read comics or watch Ang Lee movies, is the Jekyll & Hyde of the Marvel Universe. Sometimes friendly, sometimes smart, always angry. Well what happens if General Ross, the father of Betty Ross (Banner’s wannabe girlfriend), sucked in all that Gamma?
Now comparatively to the other What If books that came out, this one at least held to the belief that only the one little tweak was made. Ross shows up. Done. Some of the other What If books (go read THEIR reviews now and on Thursday) decide to revision a lot more than just one moment. Peter David gives you one complete tale of love and loss, and for me, who knows very little of the Hulk mythos, it is a damn fun read and by the end you know what happened to Betty, Ross, and Bruce. I will tell you right now… not all of them survive.
What If stories are very rarely earth shattering. They are a fun diversion at best, and Peter David’s is easily my favorite of the batch. A complete story as well as some interesting points to ponder.
Oliffe draws a pretty good book. His lines are smooth and realistic, and his facial expressions are perfect. The man has been around the Marvel Bullpen for forever, and his art style is clear and crisp. I wouldn’t be surprised to know that his pen/ink work is one of the reasons Spider-Girl has lasted as long as it has. The Buscema coloring is moody and, again, ideal for this near-horror kind of story.
There’s not much else to say about this story. It is a solid read for your buck, and tells a fun story. As far as I’m concerned, that makes this a great comic.