Marvel Fanfare 21: The Clash. Part Two.

Writer / Artist: Jim Starlin
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Annette Kawecki
Colorist: Christine Scheele
Editor: Al Milgrom

The Stars:
      the Thing and the Hulk

The Villain:

Guest Shots:
      Dr. Strange; Wong

The Set Up:
      We begin with Ben being knocked through a second story wall, and down to the ground below. We pause to recap last issue, and come back to the present where Dr. Strange is engaging in mystical combat with Xandu, a rival wizard. Xandu is controlling a member of the Defenders, and this is who is beating on Ben: the Hulk.
     A battle royal ensues on the streets of a comatose New York City as the Hulk and the Thing square off. Ben's doing a very good job of holding his own and is actually winnning the fight for one major reason- the angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets, and since he's under Xandu's control, he's not getting angry! The unfortunate thing is that Xandu soon realizes this himself. Xandu lets the Hulk go in mid-fight, enabling an undistracted Xandu to take out Dr. Strange. Meanwhile, the Hulk comes to his senses (if that's the right term to use) in the middle of a fight with the Thing, and quickly grows very angry...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Page 29, panel 3. Ben saves the day, smashing what needs smashed... "You'll do nothin', pal, 'cause... it's Clobberin' Time!"

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia, sorry.

Things of Interest:
      This is part two of a two-part story which began in Marvel Fanfare 20.
     What's fun about this issue is the lengths Ben goes to _not_ to fight the Hulk, realizing how pointless it is. This turns out not to be a fight of brawn vs. brawn, but rather to be a fight of Ben's brains vs. the Hulk's brawn, and as such, its a much more fun issue. Ben defeats Xandu eventually not because he fights the Hulk, but because he avoids fighting the Hulk...
     I particularly enjoy the last panel, which pretty much finds Ben in exactly the situation he was in at the end of Marvel Feature 11 & 12 (also drawn by Jim Starlin, and the similarity certainly had to be intentional). I also particularly like Ben's last line, which I won't explain here... "I hope the Hulk's enjoying my bath."