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Incredible Hulk #82: Review

Jun 2005
Peter David, Jae Lee

Story Name:

Dear Tricia...

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Incredible Hulk #82 Review by (February 15, 2010)
This was a very well written story in my personal opinion. Admittedly, I have not read a great deal of Hulk comics, but I did enjoy this particular piece. The art was unique and fit the story quite well. The story itself was interesting and had a few great (and hilarious) moments. Overall, everything seemed to work together very well and the end result was a well orchestrated story.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #82 Synopsis by Brian Kan
This story is just a one shot. No real story arcs left over from the previous story and it doesen't really connect to the story after it. For no real reason, other than being in hiding, Bruce is London; England. The story starts off with a letter Bruce wrote. It's addressed to a woman named Tricia and it talks about how they met in London and about the events that happened soon after. On the streets of London, a car almost runs Bruce over when Tricia saves his life. Here, the woman introduces herself as Patricia or "Tricia" for short. She's an attractive young woman (mid to late 20's) with shoulder length raven hair. They talk for a bit as they cross the road and Bruce offers to buy her a drink. She declines saying "I'm a play-it-safe girl...and you strike me as the sort of fellow who has a dangerous side. Am I right?" Bruce replies that she's "not wrong". They shake hands and part ways. Tricia gets into a cab and the letter continues on, saying that for once in his life, Bruce interacted with someone and he's glad it didn't end in disaster. Tricia's cab drives off only to stop a few feet away. This peaks Bruce's curiosity and as he approaches the cab, the driver runs out. Bruce takes one last look at the cab when it suddenly explodes. Bruce is thrown into a nearby fish market. The owner of the market approaches Bruce (who landed in a cart of fish and has a couple of shards of glass stuck in him) and asks if he's ok and if he should call an ambulance. Bruce replies that he's been better and to call an ambulance "so they can come and scrape up what's left of the guy I'm about to kill." Bruce mentions in the letter that his "other, dangerous side" could have leapt into the air and caught up with the cab driver but that it wasn't enough. The Hulk "wanted to vent my rage over my inability to save you..." We see the cab driver running for his life with the Hulk clearly in tow, knocking cars straight into the air as if they were paper cups. As a last ditch attempt to save his life the cab driver draws out...a revolver. Yes, you heard me...the man drew a gun...on the Hulk...The Hulk's reaction? "Oh, yeah. That'll work." replies the Hulk as he just stands there casually, taking all the shots at point blank range. The cab driver then falls over and dies of a heart attack. The Hulk can't belive what just happend and he stomps his foot on the ground in a rage. A voice behind the Hulk tells him that the driver is obviously dead. The Hulk turns around to see Tricia's astral form. We find out here that Tricia is a sorceress. Not a powerful one, but a sorceress all the same. She's not entirely surprised that the Hulk can see her and makes a crack or two about how she's heard of the Hulk in theatrical plays and on TV. They decide to continue talking somewhere else so the Hulk won't attract any unnecessary attention. This "somewhere else" turns out to be behind a Spider-Man statue at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Tricia tells the Hulk that she believes one of several rivals decided to kill her in a not-so-mystical way. It turns out the cab driver was just a hired goon who put up a mystical ward or field around the cab and activated the bomb. That was just enough time for Tricia to just send out her astral form. Without her body, she has less than 24 hours to find the real culprit and exact justice so she can "rest in peace, instead of just pieces." The Hulk agrees and Tricia tells him he only has to confront the suspects about her death and she can read their auras to detect whether they're guilty. The first victim to Hulk's assault is a judge who has been practicing evil deeds and magic in his spare time. This is one of my favorite scenes. We see the Hulk bursting through the ceiling towards a judge wearing a wig yelling "You! Wig man! C'mere!" The judge summons a gust of wind to stop the charging Hulk, obviously to no avail. The Hulk lunges towards the judge and grabs his head demanding him to "blink once for 'no' and twice for 'yes.' Lie, you're dead. Did you kill Tricia?" The terrified judge gives one (obvious) blink and waits in sheer horror for the Hulk's response. The Hulk waits for a bit then replies "okay...wait...one blink was which now?" Tricia confirms that this man was not the culprit. The story moves on about how the Hulk savagely and brutally interrogated all of Tricia's suspects. After going through numerous suspects, Tricia tells the Hulk that it's over. She's exhausted the list of everyone she can think of and moreover, she can feel herself fading away. She then asks the Hulk for one last favor: To personally deliver the news of her death to her fianc (since the bomb would leave virtually no remains of her to be identified by). It turns out that Tricia was engaged all along. Tricia goes on about how they (Bruce and Tricia) were meant to be, but that they didn't get the right chance to meet. "Everyone has their own perfect person, Bruce... Each lifetime, they're out there. Sometimes they don't connect, but 'make do.' Sometimes they connect, but the timing isn't spot-on. And sometimes everything's perfect and they live happily ever after. The middle one's us. We screwed the timing this go-around, I'm afraid." She mentions how in a previous life, they loved each other but it ended in tragedy. Bruce replies that it always does. In the next scene, we see Bruce at the door of Tricia's fianc: Edward Perkins. Tricia, who's almost faded away but is still around, can be seen in the background. Bruce tries to explain to Edward about Tricia's death. Then, from behind a curtain, Edward's son, Tom Perkins, steps out and asks what's wrong. Tom (who's in his early to mid teens) goes on, saying how he loved Tricia like his own true mother and that he hopes everything is alright. This was the sign. By asking about Tricia, Tom, generated an aura for Tricia to detect. Tricia points Tom out with what little energy she has left. Bruce then turns on Tom and confronts him about it, right on the spot. He tells Edward Perkins about how Tom murdered Tricia for whatever reason he may have had. "I don't know what 'sort of insane' thing was going through your son's head, sir. Maybe jealousy. Maybe he found out about her (Tricia's) sorcery and was afraid of her..." Edward's, who is totally confused by the accusations that his own son killed his fiance, angrily asks Bruce to leave. Bruce then transforms into the Hulk. The Hulk states that Tom was guilty but that he couldn't prove it and that he couldn't smash him neither because he was too puny. The Hulk says that instead, he's going to tell every sorcerer he terrorized that it was Tom's fault. That they suffered because of him, and to be imaginative in "showing their appreciation." Hulk goes on to tell Tom to "Better start running...run fast. Run far." and that it won't be enough. "You deaf?" asks the Hulk. "Hulk said... RUN!!!" The next scene shows Tom running in through the streets in terror as the Hulk's laughter echoes all around him. The final scene shows Bruce looking over Tricia's grave with the final parts to the letter being shown. Bruce asks if Tricia saw her killer "scampering away into the night like a terrified rat" and if she found peace in the afterlife. He asks what their past lives were like and if they'll ever find peace with each other and that he looks forward to a better encounter in their next life.

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Jae Lee
Jae Lee
Jae Lee (Cover Penciler)