Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Regarding yesterday's post:
OK, I have to admit that technically Avengers Annual #16 does not take place in an alternate universe at all -- it happens in the regular Marvel Universe and everybody really does die, but they get made better by Death, The Person. If everybody had goatees and wore daggers and sashes, then it would be an alternate universe. I was thinking of renaming Alternate Reality Where Everybody Dies Week and just calling it Everybody Dies Week. Or maybe Everybody Hurts Week. But no, there's no point changing horses midstream in the war against the bats.*
Anyway, in Avengers Annual #16 everybody dies and that's what counts.
Today's comic is The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, and I suppose it technically takes place in the regular "616" universe as well. In this two-part series by writer Peter David and artist George Perez, the Hulk of the year 1993 is visited by rebels from Dystopia, a hellish possible future in which The Hulk has exterminated all the superheroes and set up shop as planetary ruler. The mid-90's Hulk was no mindless caveman; he was smart and mean and fond of puns and he had a ridiculous hair cut. This Hulk goes up against The Maestro, a bearded and warty and super-evil future version of himself, and shit gets destroyed big time. It's a pretty good read. This book is chock full of lovingly rendered rubble and debris, courtesy of George Perez, who delivers yet another insanely detailed comic book.
The rebels of Dystopia are led by an cadaverously ancient Rick Jones, The Hulk's former teen sidekick back in the day. The decrepit Jones has a secret underground base that is full of morbid superhero tchotchkes that Jones has collected over time. Check out this great two-page spread of Rick's museum of slain heroes:

I love that spread, it's just chock-a-block with Marvel zombie goodness. They threw in eveything from Nova's helmet to the Eye of Agomotto. The blue pelt of the X-Men's Beast hangs on a back wall. The Red Skull's red skull adorns a bookshelf. I think those are Quasar's quantum bands being used as planters. Notice how Captain America's shield is perfectly intact and mounted with care, while USAgent's shield is all busted up on the floor. Rick Jones himself gets around in Professor X's old hoverchair.
But wait a minute. How did Rick Jones get Thor's hammer mjolnir into that display case? Only Thor and a select worthy few beings in the universe can pick it up. I call bullshit on that.
Okay, that's it. Just wanted to drop some George Perez kung fu on you during Alternate Reality Where Everybody Dies Week.
*Painfully obscure pop cultural reference. There was a Saturday Night Live a few years back that Ben Stiller hosted. They had this wacky bit where Stiller and Tim Meadows were small-town politicians in a series of dueling campaign ads. They're running for mayor of a town that is under siege by giant bats. The commercials become progressively more extreme, with the candidates advocating solutions to the bat problem such as soldier monkeys, erupting a volcano under the bat cave, and getting larger and more agressive bats to eat the giant bats. One of the candidates' slogans is "Don't change horses midstream in the war against the bats." So that's the reference.


Juggernaut said...

You focused in like a laser on my big complaint: how the hell did Thor's hammer get to be all nicely enshrined in a glass case?

Simply unacceptable.

Jeff R. said...

Old Man Rick Jones is one of the few worthy. (Revealed fairly late in the Captain Marvel series.) So he can take it out, polish it, and put it back in the case whenever he likes.

Anonymous said...

I think Perez or David once published a list of all the stuff that's in those panels.  A few nifty things I see:

- Looks like the armored hand holding Doctor Doom's mask if from Doom 2099.

- The brick to the right of USAgent's shield is kryptonite.

- The shelf behind Old Jones contains the Bottle City of Kandor.

- The FF's non-bathtub Fantasticar is hanging in the far background.

- The plants on the shelf above Cap's shield are growing in Captain Marvel's nega-bands.

- Doctor Strange's cloak is levitating all by itself.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

The robot hand holding up Doom's mask looks like Deathlok's. And though I'm pretty sure it's just the entrance to the room, that big green curve on the left looks like the Green Lantern Main Battery.

The Mjolnir thing is tricky. According to the Eddas, in the far future, Thor's hammer will no longer require that one be "worthy" to hold it--only that one be "moderately neato." The Maestro's future must be right around Ragnarok.

Anonymous said...

I remember studying that two page spread intently when I first read this story, and it still fascinates me today.

My favorite part of the room has to be the Thing's rocky exterior being held in a Sentinel's head.

I don't get the DC references, though. Why throw those in there?

Juggernaut said...

jeff r.: Well I'll be damned. Learn something new everyday.

Anonymous said...

Shattershot portrait and sword (far left) and Stilt Man (far right)... These must have come as some sort of package deal with other, better, gear.

Gene Ha said...

Hey Dave,

Another great post. You were missed in San Diego!

Gordon D said...

Favorite part - the broken, cracked Silver Surfboard.

Well, that and the mulitple Iron Man armors. What happened - did a bunch of people break into Tony Stark's warehouse? Did he sell off extra suits to Big Lots?

Anonymous said...

Actually, and I can't quite remember, whether it is actually stated in the comic, or whether Peter David once mentioned it - probably jokingly - on his website, but I think they actually built the entire museum AROUND Thor's Hammer.

Another option may be, that - and again I'm happy to be corrected - AFAIK the Hammer can be moved by mindless machines (I think I read that in the "Essential Thor" Stan and Jack run), so they simply used a crane.

Anyway - this is certainly one of my favourite Hulk stories, with so many F*&% YEAH! moments ("Gentlemen, you'll be pleased to know - the doctor is in.") - and it only warrants a few paragraphs of the Dave Campbell goodness!? I was so looking forward to a proper presentation as only Dave can give us!

Anonymous said...

Easy answer on Thor's hammer -- replica.

James Moar

Anonymous said...

jeff r.:

Oops. Missed your post. There you are, I stand corrected. Forgot the Captain Marvel cameo.

You answered the question before I could get all my references straight.

I just flunked nerd 101!!!


Kevin Church said...

Anyway - this is certainly one of my favourite Hulk stories, with so many F*&% YEAH! moments ("Gentlemen, you'll be pleased to know - the doctor is in.") - and it only warrants a few paragraphs of the Dave Campbell goodness!? I was so looking forward to a proper presentation as only Dave can give us!

What a dick move. Why don't you go blog it yourself? Seriously. This sense of entitlement some blog readers have of late drives me crazy.

(Sorry, Dave. I'll buy you some Breyfogle original art as penance.)

Anonymous said...

Is that skeleton Wolverine's? It looks like you can just make out his claws by the corner of the shelf in the foreground.

Anonymous said...


Uh... Because you and Dave do it so much better?

Sorry to upset you, man! Far be it from me to put any pressure on the Lord of the Long Box - just was trying to pay an honestly meant compliment and state my enjoyment of what Dave is creating here.

To address your point, personally I think there is an abundance of blogorrhoea out there, with only a small percentage of really good writers like eg. yourself and Dave here, and I feel any attempt at contributing on my part would just result in more of the former.

Anonymous said...

Now that's a museum I'd like to visit! In your face, MOMA!

Fun activity for the kids: have your picture taken on the Beast rug!

Anonymous said...

I think it's hilarious that the Phoenix poster has a "Dead Again" caption. Even 15 years ago this constant resurrection thing was a joke.

Chris Sims said...

"I don't get the DC references, though. Why throw those in there?"

From what I've seen, that's something of a recurring gag in a lot of Marvel Universe books. I think it's in Avengers Forever where a one-armed Rick Jones (who keeps one of the Quantum Bands around his neck so he can bang them together to transform) is wearing a sort of toga made out of Superman's cape, with it pinned on his arm with the Eye of Agamotto.

Anonymous said...

"I don't get the DC references, though. Why throw those in there?"

For fun?

Bill Reed said...

My favorite thing there is the Bottle City of Kandor.

But man... I've got to hunt this down and read the shit out of it.

LaRue said...

I love the hell out of ARWED Week already. Thanks for making such a great blog!

So, it's safe to assume that the Hulk can shatter the Silver Surfer's board, I guess. And, I don't know, you think that's one of the Red Skull's old masks, or his actual skull?

Anonymous said...

Are those Post-it-notes on the exhibits? If you're going to go through the trouble of collecting all that stuff, spring for some plaques.

Anonymous said...

What's that white head in the back next to the mushroom cloud poster?

Anonymous said...

Look! non-organic webshooters.

joncormier said...

Are those Stilt-man's stilts next to Doc Oc's metal arm tentacles?

I was kind of thrown by the skeleton as well because these days Wolvie would just grow back together.

joncormier said...

Oh and is Nick Fury's eye patch in there somewhere?

Anonymous said...

The white head is most likely the head of the Vision. I think he was sporting his bleached-out look at this point in time.

I gotta call foul on something, and that is the fact that this museum devotes space to that tool Shatterstar. There's a portrait and everything! What happened, did Jones have some extra space so he filled it up with whatever was lying around? Why did Mr. Perez include that? Was it a mandate from editorial to include SOMETHING from a member of X-Force? So we have Shatterstar junk but none of the following:

Any of the Wasp's many costumes.

Havok's energy-absorbing headress.

The Hulk's purple pants.

Paladin's stun-laser pistol.

The Black Widow's sting-wrist-bands.

The Absorbing Man's ball and chain.

Thunderball's ball and chain.

The Wrecker's crowbar.

Bulldozer's helmet.

One of Boomerang's boomerangs.

The Beetle's helmet.

Mockingbird's battle staves.

Hellcat's cable-claws.

Nomad's stun-discs.

The Falcon's wings.

A Black Panther costume.

The Ringmaster's hypnotic hat.

Sidewinder's teleportation cape.

Captain Britain's helmet.

The Silver Samurai's sword or helmet.

Moon Knight's hood and cape or Egyptian weapons.

Rocket Racer's skateboard.

The Prowler's gauntlets.

Seriously, all that neat stuff excluded for SHATTERSTAR? Heck, the Flying Tiger's outfit deserves to be enshrined there more than Shatterstar's blank-looking mug inside a frame or one of his goofy swords!

I can't handle the trauma...I think I need to go lie down...

Jeff said...

All of the dogtalking on Shatterstar and we are letting Night Thrasher's helmet get a pass?

Za's Vid!

Jeff said...

I forgot to add that the lack of any part of NFL Superpro's armor makes me a sad panda.

Anonymous said...

I note that I read the Hulk-babies book without having read this. It was... interesting. Good stuff.

(Also, I don't think he'd've wanted to have Hulk memorabilia in there. Just a guess.)

Anonymous said...

anonymous: isn't that Absorbing Man's ball & chain in the bottom right of the image (near Doc Ock's tentacles)?

Edward Liu said...

The bit that you noticed about Cap's shield? I'm pretty sure that detail is in the script, since I vaguely recall reading something way back in the ancient days of the Internet where someone (perhaps PAD himself) posted the instructions that he gave to Perez for the spread. I think the bit about the Beast's pelt being turned into a rug was in there, too.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

ALL the stuff you mentioned IS THERE.

It's on the wall BEHIND the viewer, so you can't see it unless you turn around.

Go ahead. Turn the comic panel around. We'll wait.

It's all there.

Well...EXCEPT for HAVOK's energy absorbing headdress.

Y' absorbs far MORE than ENERGY.

It actually absorbs ANY "eminations" from the body.

So Old-Man Rick is wearing it like a Thong and it absorbs his...uh..."elderly leakage".

It's much nore stylish than a DEPENDS Adult Diaper, and is less noticable as well.


The Mutt said...

Thor's hammer is easily No-Prized. The hammer stayed where it fell. The case and the lair were built around it.

Anonymous said...

Alternate theory to Thor's hammer : move the ground that the hammer is sitting on top of. :) sure it would work.

Also, seriously, what kind of sick fanboy is Rick Jones? obsess much? stop living in the past. everyone's dead, and if any of the Xmen where alive, they'd be horrified at the beast pelt. did RJ do that himself after Maestro was finished with him? just, oh my god, he's killed beast! this is awful! but say, he'd look nice in front of the fireplace. hey um, maestro, do you think you could do green lantern next? i need a new lamp. what other grisly remains has he collected off his dead friends? I notice that he's not displaying any super heroine costumes out in public. he's probably got She Hulk's thong in his underwear drawer for when he's feeling vulnerable.

future rick is sick. we know who the real villian is.

Jeff said...

Is that Warlock's head by Vision's in the background?

Philip said...

If I remember correctly, a lot (all?) of the items that were not from the Marvel universe were removed from the art on these pages when the issues were collected. I was very disappointed when Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot didn't show up in the trade.

Anonymous said...

What? Aw crap. Crap crap crap. I have the trade (Signed by both Perez and David- score!)

There was a funny bit in the "Fall of the Pantheon" epilogue where a guy who's supposed to be Hal Jordan post- Zero Hour is in Doc Samson's psych ward, muttering about his "power ring".

Anonymous said...

I totally remember that SNL skit! It was on in like the last 20 minutes of the show, which is the best part to watch because it's where they put all the skits they came up with while they were totally high, and it's one of the finest examples of those skits. Because it's completely inane, so the suits would never let them put it on near the beginning, when people are actually watching. But it's totally hilarious.

Oh yeah, and the museum of smashed up super shit is pretty badass too.

Anonymous said...

OK... I will answer DEFINITIVELY the question of HOW Rick got THOR's hammer to it's case.


To steal a line from Chris' Super-Blog...
Your MIND will be BLOWN!

Isn't Rick Jones' POWER the ability to "create" heroes from his mind?
(remember Kree/Skrull war & Avengers Forever?)

He ended the Kree/Skrull war by tossing 1940's heroes from out his noggin.

Well...he did the same thing.

MAYBE he pulled THOR out of his @$$, but I'm thinkin' he conjured up "an evening with Steve Rogers" and had CAP (who has been proven worthy to weild Mjolner) to move it after they relived some "good old days".


I know.


Color me No-Prized.


Anonymous said...

I guess I always assumed that the green brick was the Impossible Man, stuck in his final transformation.

Where did Peter David say it was a Kryptonite brick?

Anonymous said...

If Thor is dead, why didn't his hammer turn back into a stick?

None of your business said...

You call yourself a fan? Everyone knows that machines can pick up Thors hammer, so its obvious Rick used a robot or one of those stupid carts they use to raise mechendise on Costco on it.

In your face!

Chris Sims said...

So here's my question: Rick Jones is paralyzed there, right? Hence the chair and everything?

But at the very least, he's got at last one member of a crew rolling around there, and while people worthy to pick up the hammer of Thor might be in short supply, the sheer amount of crap in his little museum begs the question as to why that motherfucker doesn't just grab Cap's shield, strap on some Webshooters, sharpen up one of Wolverine's claws, put on the Quantum bands, tie on Dr. Strange's (slightly worn) Cloak of Levitation, hop on Ghost Rider's motorcycle and go bust some frickin' heads?

I mean seriously. Grow a pair, Jones.

PS: I really like that Black Knight's sword has been broken.

Enargy said...

In the actual comic, there are multiple pages of panels showing different views inside the 'museum.' These show off a few more macabre-bilia. All I can remember off the top of my head is Doctor Doom's time machine, though I'm sure there are others.

Oh, and while the nega-band planters are those of Captain Marvel, Quasar's cape makes an appearance hanging from the ceiling.

And, Chris Sims? *That* is a comic I want to read.

Anonymous said...

Dave says:
Today's comic is The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, and I suppose it technically takes place in the regular "616" universe as well.

Actually, I don't think that's correct. I think it's officially Marvel's policy that ANY time-travel or alternate future story takes place on an alternate earth (Marvel's way of dealing with paradox or explaining away how these futures are often rendered impossible long before they come to be). According to (which draws its info from the Marvel Universe Alternate Realities book so I think its accurate), the Future Imperfect story takes place on Earth-9200, which was just recently visited by the Alternate Reality jumping Exiles.
Just to help you maintain your perfect score in accuracy there Dave :)
Love the blog man!
Troy D.

Chris said...

Why do you assume that's actually Mjoilnir? Maybe Rick just has replicas to remind him of the fallen heroes. Because if they're real, he's being very irresponsible by not using Doc Ock's arms, Cap's shield, Quasar's bands, and so on.

FashionWhore said...

OMG!!! I've found the blog of my dreams!!! Why didn't I think of this?! Have you read any Tokyopop comics? I love those!!!

running42k said...

All that stuff must have cost a fortune on Ebay.

Anonymous said...

Oh it's Mjolner all right. Thor apparently gave up the real name of his hammer to Jones (Mjolner just being a clever dodge) while on his deathbed after a brutal whuppin' by the future hulk. When said, if you've got the qualifications, it'll bring the hammer to you as well as gearing up the other lighty/explody/lightning blasty powers. Where'd I pick this up, you might ask? Later issues of Captain Marvel, actually, when he and Rick Jones were bandbonded.

acespot said...

Yeah, according to Exiles, Future Imperfect takes place in Earth-9200.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm from Romania and new to blogging. I was thinking if you can provide comics like this to Romania. I am sure they will sell.

Anonymous said...

Ah, well, he's not the one that makes the comics. You want:

And specifically:

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