Guest commentary by former Marvel Comics’ president Bill Jemas.
REAL guest commentary by Charlie being an asshole and making fun of former Marvel Comics’ president Bill Jemas.
This fight features two of the greatest characters of all time. In one corner, we have Hannibal Lecter, the most terrifying fictional character of all time, be it in the trilogy of Thomas Harris novels, Thomas Mann’s film Manhunter, or his absolutely amazing depictions by Anthony Hopkins. Not even Ridley Scott (a director I despise more than George Lucas…well, maybe not that much) could stop Hannibal from being an incredibly interesting, downright frightening, and yet somehow very charming individual. Going against him will be my favorite comic book character of all time and the one character who seems to find a place in almost everything that I write…the Incredible Hulk. Victim to a massive bombardment of gamma radiation, Doctor Robert Bruce Banner (changed to David Banner in the old 80s TV series because the creators were homophobes) now finds himself transformed in times of stress into the dark personifcation of his repressed rage and…of screw it, if you don’t know that spiel by now, you obviously need to go back and read one of my previous Hulk fights. Or the stories that I write that reference the Hulk. Or my Hulk music videos. Hulk is the artsiest one there is.
The fight begins with Hannibal Lecter locked securely away in his cell where he is no harm to anyone, save for the occasional person that irritates the good doctor and ends up biting off his own tongue. One such person, Mr. Jim Cooper, the fellow who criticized one of my music videos and has thus earned swift and petty vengeance from me, happens to be a new security guard, subbing for Barney during the guy’s vacation.
“Hello James,” says Hannibal as Jim walks by his cell, “Care for a chat?”
Flash forward thirty minutes. After only speaking to Dr. Lecter for a but a few moments, Jim has been completely and totally psychologically cowed and opens up the Doc’s cage. Lecter bites out Jim’s tongue, swallows it, takes the guard’s clothes, and flees the complex into freedom.
Meanwhile, miles away from where anything remotely interesting is going on, Bruce Banner is hitchhiking across the country, on the run from some sort of super secret shadow organization that is so secret that they aren’t allowed to do anything but spout off boring clichés. (Yeah, this is a parody of Bruce Jones’ boring run on the character, and no, I didn’t like three years of nothing happening in the comic.) As a shadow lifts from his face, we make the thrilling discovery that Banner has shaved his head to throw off his pursuers. Round One is a draw, though I’m tempted to give it to Hannibal for doing something.
Bill Jemas: Hm…not a bad opening…I like how you took so long to reveal that Banner was bald, because that’s obviously essential to the plot. But there needs to be more sex. I mean, I’m from Marvel f*cking Comics. Maybe you should have the Hulk yell out “Hulk is horny!” a few times.
As Doctor Banner traverses the country with a bald head, Hannibal has continued putting as much distance between himself and his cell as possible. Not having wheels of his own, Lecter hesitantly resorts to hitchhiking, and just happens by a strange coincidence to get picked up by the same trucker that gives Banner a ride as well. (Boy, this guy really knows how to get the nutjobs.) Surprisingly, the two Doctors in the cab get along incredibly well, since they are both of comparable intellects. Unfortunately, a few miles up the road, the police have set up a blockade, looking for the escaped convict Hannibal Lecter. To make matters worse, a black sedan that does everything but screams “Secret government agent!” driven by one of the members of the super-secret organization that is pursuing Banner, is pulling up behind the truck.
Noticing signs of trouble, Hannibal moves into action, telling the driver to take a detour for a little bit. The driver refuses, scratching himself and calling Lecter “Mac” a lot. Mildly irritated but still in control of the situation, Lecter snaps the man’s neck, shoving him away and taking control of the vehicle.
“Perhaps your gonads will serve as ingredients for some rum balls this Christmas.”
Banner, upset that someone has just been killed, yells out an obligatory “God damn it!” But, so as not to let his temper get out of control and unleash the beast within, he instead focuses on the image of a beautiful woman and goes into a meditative state, calming down. The dead driver conveniently disappears, forgotten by the artist in the next panel so that Banner does not have to experience any sort of moral dilemma.
The truck takes a route avoiding the barricade. The agent following it loses the vehicle for a little bit because he is too busy practicing his clichés.
“Let’s see…when someone asks me for my ID, I shoot them. And when someone says, ‘Go to Hell,’ I say, ‘Been there. Bad weather, bodacious babes.’ Got it.”
Round Two is another draw. Don’t worry, in only sixty or seventy more pages of text, something might happen!
Bill Jemas: This one was even better than the last one. Just keep making sure that there’s nothing too interesting for a while longer. The more crap we market, the better the mediocre moments seem, right? Oh, nice touch with the beautiful woman. But naked women sell better. You should have her naked, with something in front of her R-rated areas, like on the cover of Marville.
The two fugitives elude the law for a little bit longer and hide out in the woods.
“Well, Doctor Banner,” says Hannibal, preparing to complete his escape and go chase after Clarisse Starling, “I must say that it has been enjoyable.” Lecter starts moving toward the woods when Banner yells after him.
“Wait, you son of a bitch! You can’t just walk away after what you’ve done!” Calls Banner with the least amount of emotion that he can muster.
“Oh?” Hannibal turns back to Banner, fixing him with an icy stare. “And how do you plan on stopping me, Brucie? You, who couldn’t even stop your father from killing your sweet, loving mother?”
That hits a nerve, and Bruce’s eyes start to glow green. “Don’t make me angry, Doctor Lecter. You wouldn’t like me when I’m…uhn.” Before Banner can finish his line, he is dropped from behind by a dart loaded with sedatives. The super secret agent from the super secret government organization that caught him picks up Banner’s limp body, nods to Lecter, and wanders off. Round Three and the fight go to Hannibal for doing, um, nothing, while the plot got deus ex machinad into oblivion. And where was the Hulk during this fight? Well, I spent several years failing to find him appearing in his own comic book, so he’s probably off wherever he went during that long atrocity.
Bill Jemas: What kind of ending was that? You actually resolved something, forced though it was. And why weren’t there any naked women? And what the f*ck is that reference to Banner’s past? Are you trying to actually show depth of character? Well, at least things got resolved by the non-action of the characters and at least we never actually saw the Hulk so people will tune in for a sequel if you write one. But what are you doing with that chainsaw?
Oh God! My legs!!! Why did you cut off my legs? Why with the hurt?!
Well, I realize that I owe a few people apologies with this fight, so here goes.
First, Mr. Jim Cooper. I had you killed, but your criticism of my music videos actually helped me grow as a person and make better quality videos. Thank you very much.
Secondly, I must apologize to Bruce Jones, the former writer of the Hulk who I trashed in this fight. From all accounts, Mr. Jones is a nice guy and a mediocre writer, and he enetertained me with The Hitchhiker, an old TV series on HBO. So it’s not him that I’m bashing, but rather his writing on the Hulk.
Thirdly, the non-comic reading audience that reads this page. You missed out on a lot of inside jokes here, and this fight probably made no sense to you. I’ll try to do better next time.
Bill Jemas: What about me?
Get back in your cage, worm.