Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Sensational She-Hulk 21: The Abominatrix Arrives!

21 is pretty fun.  Writer Steve Gerber comes up with a female version of the classic Hulk villain The Abomination:  The Abominatrix.  She likes to watch soap operas and smash things.  The rest of the issue is devoted to She-Hulk romping through Gerber's adopted hometown of Las Vegas.

Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*Gerber co-wrote this issue with one of his animation industry buddies Buzz Dixon.  It's likely that Dixon scripted it from Gerber's plot.  Gerber had a track record of getting behind on deadlines, and Dixon helped him out on Destroyer Duck before as well.

*The plot springs into motion based on a case from The Blonde Phantom's past, a case marked "Rosebud", a reference to Citizen Kane, of course.

*The satire this issue is aimed at the savings and loan scandal and its posterchild Charles Keating, complete with Keating's somewhat ironic obsession with fighting smut, at least in its pornographic form (ripping off people for their money apparently didn't bother him so much--say what you will about pornographers but at least they give people a good time in return for their money), and crazy, large scale real estate ventures.

*One of the issues I missed, 18, sounds fun.  Apparently it starred Dr. Doom.  That's Dr. Bob Doom, a dentist, and not The Fantastic Four's archfoe.  The next time New Dimension Comics in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania USA opens up their dollar comic vault (imagine a huge basement filled with back issues of comics, all in alphabetical order and all for a dollar each), I might have to pick that one up.  It's a bit sad that I can pay less for a copy of She-Hulk today than someone would have in 1990, and that's including twentysome years of inflation.  In a related note, presidential candidate Ron Paul likes to claim that inflation went wild once Nixon took the USA off the gold standard in the early 1970s.  Based on the price of comic books, Paul's claim might have some merit.  Comics started out as a dime in the 1930s.  They shrunk in size, but were still only 15 or 20 cents in the early 1970s.  Today, the average price is $2.99.  True, today they're printed on better paper and sold in a different distribution system, but in their first few decades the comics went up a nickel or a dime, but since the 1970s the price has jumped more than tenfold.  I don't know if that means we should go back on the gold standard, but it does give new meaning to the phrase "the Golden Age of comics."  And, in regard to the Golden Age, next issue apparently features She-Hulk traveling back in time to the 1940s to team with Captain America and the rest of The All Winners Squad.  I might have to pick up that issue sometime as well.  Our next stop though is 23, my last Gerber She-Hulk.

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