Tag Archives: Ground Zero

Ground Zero (1988) – The Review

Ground Zero TPB

Peter David gave us this absolute gem of a storyline. McFarlane helped with his amazing art in this one… and it would turn out to be his swan song for the Hulk. There’s an interesting behind the scenes story that made the rounds about McFarlane and David’s working relationship. The story goes:

TIH #340 - Wolvie vs the Hulk - one of the most famous covers!

When David began writing the Hulk, Marvel asked if he wanted to have McFarlane, a virtually unknown at the time, draw the book. David agreed. McFarlane didn’t take long to catch the public’s attention with his unusual style – and soon he was a superstar. In the middle of this storyline Marvel asked if Todd wanted the reigns on Amazing Spiderman – and he did – he called Peter to tell him about it. When David heard that Todd was leaving the Hulk he asked McFarlane to stay on until #350 – in fact, it is said that David asked McFarlane to stay on because he had a great storyline and there was to be tons of money to be made… and McFarlane got insulted and vowed never to work with Peter David again.

TIH #341 - Man Bull

Now – if you believe it is another story. McFarlane being insulted over someone saying he’ll make a ton of money? I just can’t see that… but let’s get on with this story back when Todd and Peter were making beautiful stories together! This is the first story I bought when I was introduced to the Hulk. See, it’s about this time when the Grey Hulk came back – and he was only transforming at night. Bruce learns about gamma bombs being mass produced and he is determined to see them destroyed.  The issue is… Clay Quatermain and Rick Jones are along for the ride – and while they make progress during the day – they don’t at night because of Bruce’s other self.  In fact, at first the Hulk could care less and tries to get away – but after a famous tussle with Wolverine (and coincidentally another one of the most reprinted Hulk issues ever) – Hulk becomes more agreeable.

TIH #342 - Half Life!

The next issue has the group stopping in a small town that has a little problem with a monstrosity called the Man-Bull – in an issue both eye opening and touching.  In the next issue we meet Half Life – who gives the Hulk a fight to be seen – sent by the Leader, who has a plan of his own for one of those bombs… and has wrench to throw into the works – namely two inventions named The Rock and Redeemer (not the same Redeemer Todd uses later in his Spawn issues) and a pretty lady named Betty.

TIH #343 - The First Hulk Issue I Owned

Betty has a surprise for the Hulk – one that she really doesn’t want to share with him… she is pregnant.  In one of the greatest issues of the Hulk ever – Betty squares off against the Hulk – trying to hold back the news – but when the Hulk won’t cooperate she breaks down and confesses her secret.  She expects the Hulk to lash out – but instead he wraps his arms around her and comforts her.

TIH #344 - One of my favorite covers ever!

The finale is the most surprising, excellent, crushing and ballsy ending in Hulk history.  For those of you who have read Planet Hulk – you think that ending was surprising and upsetting – think about it not knowing what happened to the title character of the book…  you know he isn’t dead – it wasn’t gimmicky or anything Loeb-ish like that – it was startling!  You had no idea what was going to happen with the Hulk – and even worse – the next issue didn’t feature the Hulk at all – but served as an epilogue to the storyline – but McFarlane left before this issue hit the stands – he did the layouts and Larsen did the art.

TIH #345 - Todd knocks this one out of the park!

All in all this is the story I suggest to any person wanting a classic Hulk storyline – a story so good you’ll look for more as soon as you finish.  In this 7 issue storyline we see the kind of stories we were in store for with PD at the helm – we see McFarlane, issue to issue, become a phenomenon.  His unique style takes shape page by page and he shows his worth as an artist.   We also get to see one of the best Hulk foes actually do something devastating and that makes us invest in seeing the Hulk take the Leader down!  But we won’t see that for many, many issues later.  Get the TPB if you can’t afford to get the individual issues – especially since #340 goes for like $40 now.  I got my issue for cover price though – and it’s still BEAUTIFUL!  Grade:  A++

TIH #346 - Todd leaves... Larsen steps in...

Hulk Trades (1996, 1998)

Hulk Trades w 

The Ground Zero trade I just got finished reading again.  What a great story, It has everything, even a surprise ending.  And that’s not easy in comics. 

The Beauty and the Behemoth trade covers some of the life and times of Betty Banner.  From when Bruce and Betty first met to when she was turned into the Harpy, when they got married, when she told the Hulk about the baby, when they were reunited and of course when she died.  Really complete. 

The Transformations covers alot of the ongoing changes the Hulk has made over the years, such as, in issue #3 after Bruce returns from space he learns that he can stay the Hulk in the daylight (unlike the first couple of issues where he only changed at night) and then when Bruce Banner was in control of the Hulk and had to use a ray gun to change himself back and forth.  My favorite scene is when Bruce tries to change into the Hulk but the ray only changes his body – not his head – so he has to wear a Hulk mask.  Another great transformation covered here is when Banner and Hulk were successfully separated and Doc Sampson tried to get rid of the Hulk.  Then they found out that the Hulk and Bruce can’t live without each other, so the next step was to put them back – and that’s when the Grey Hulk returns.  Some other great stories are included as well.

Lastly, Ghost of the Past, the return of Hulk’s greatest enemy – The Leader – this story is a great one that Pitts Hulk against The Leader who has now turned the Redeemer into Gen. Ross – Betty’s father.  Great stuff.

“Ground Zero” Comics (1989)

GZ Comics

This is one of the best Hulk stories ever told.  In-fact, the very first Hulk comic I ever owned was the Comic bottom center – #343 – and some of the best covers came out of this series as well.  #344, The Hulk soaring through the air with Betty hanging on and the moon in the back-round.  #345 is classic.  #341 against the man-beast is one of my favorite comics of all time.  And of course, #340 vs. Wolverine goes for about $40.  I have the trade collecting all of the comics.  If you have the chance, read this right away.  Then you will be a Hulk fan – I guarantee it.  Then you will start your own Hulk Website, then we will be enemies.  I can hardly wait.

Johnny Lightning Hulk Chevy Tahoe (2003)

Car 1

The Tahoe displays an image from McFarlane’s cover to # 345.  An absolute Awesome image that really deserves a cooler car.  I have a few cars in my collection – but generally try to pick up only very unique or very amazing looking pieces.  Luckily when you are obsessed with something you start to get items as gifts.  I think my friend Corry bought this for me.