A Rampaging Hulk Derailed My Train of Thought

The human brain searches desperately for connections and hopes for patterns to emerge wherever possible. If allowed, your thoughts will glob onto the thoughts floating next to it until you have a big booger of ideas rolling around your brain. This happened for me today when I picked up a “The Longest Night” X-Factor trade at my local comic store.

Peter David’s original run on X-Factor is among my favorites in comic history so it’s reprehensible that I haven’t given his second go at these characters a chance until now. But I haven’t. As I sit here thinking about Peter David’s career, my mind ran to his time working on The Hulk which I considered often clever but a little scattered (I’m not angry- anyone gets scattered writing the same character for a decade). Then I started thinking about the artists he worked with during his Hulk years. Among them, George PĂ©rez.

PĂ©rez is not my favorite Hulk artist, but he’s a brilliant creator who I have a deep respect for. This commission up for auction sums up my feelings on PĂ©rez well. It’s not the sexiest piece I’ve ever seen, but like all of PĂ©rez’s work, it’s solid.

Here’s an oddball auction I’m using to celebrate the career of another Peter David Hulk collaborator, Dale Keown. Keown in some ways was emblematic of the climate of comics during his most visible years. He did a great job on a big two title, created a strong name for himself he believed could be flipped to success in the creator-owned world and then quickly realized writers are important. His book Pitt never had the buzz of the other Image books at the time, mostly because it was an idea people felt they’d seen before. Familiar ideas are nothing new to comics, but familiar ideas from an artist without a strong writing background to add spice often fall flat. I’m not here to insult the man and say Pitt was a total suck-fest, but let’s all agree it never blossomed. Anyway, this poorly printed tanktop would be awesome to play pickup basketball in.

That was my train of thought on Peter David today. As you can see, it veered off path at some point. I’ll see if I can’t realign my thinking and get back on the highlights of David’s career tomorrow.

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