And now for something completely different…
Every once in a while a bunch of us here in comic book related blogland team up in true super-hero style and all play off of a theme. Awhile back someone suggested the concept of Read This Too! where we bloggers would pick out a comic we wouldn’t normally discuss for one reason or another and give it some love. The original concept centered around picking out a current title we were reading and write about that. The problem is that I am not reading any current titles beyond the ones I review for on the Superman Homepage and/or discuss on the Spider-Man Crawlspace podcast. After mulling it over for a bit I decided that instead of bowing out that I would discuss one of my favorite comic book runs ever that didn’t involve Superman.
What run would that be?
Peter David’s 12 year stint with a character that shares the number two spot in my Top Five Favorite Super-Heroes Of All Time list.
I’m talking about Peter David’s run on…the Incredible Hulk!
In looking at the previously mentioned Top Five List I realized that I first encountered five of the six on the list when I was a wee lad and in all five cases I first saw them on television, not in the comics. The Incredible Hulk is one of these heroes. The live action television series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno was one of my favorites and continues to be one of my favorites. I love that show about as much as I love the 1966 and 1982 animated series featuring the Jade Giant. I watched all of those series just about every time they would come on in syndication or on Saturday mornings. I wouldn’t actually read an issue of the Hulk until the early eighties when my Mom bought me a copy of Incredible Hulk #293, which was an odd time to come into the series because this was during the time period where Bruce had full control over the transformations. Later I would get issues 315 (written and drawn by John Byrne and I had no idea at the time that Mr. Byrne would be directly responsible for me getting into a certain Man of Steel) and 324 (the return of the gray Hulk) and I loved both issues, but I wasn’t really collecting comics in a serious way at the time. It wouldn’t be until Peter David was writing the character that I would get into the comic book Hulk and even then it wouldn’t be a comic that sucked me in.
In the fall of 1995 I was in a pretty dark place. I won’t get into all of the specifics here because it would eat up too much time but it was bad. I was depressed on several levels and dealing with feelings of grief and abandonment and loneliness that the 19 year old me wasn’t prepared for at all. One day I was at Waldenbooks (Anyone remember how cool Waldenbooks used to be?) and the cover of an Incredible Hulk novel titled What Savage Beast, written by Peter David caught my eye. I took it home to my attic apartment, sat back and started reading it.
That was the moment that I became a fan of not only Peter David’s Hulk but Peter David’s writing in general.