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Appearing in "A Baloney Place of Dying!"Edit
- Howard the Duck
- Beverly Switzler
- The Critic (First appearance)
- Prof. Brent Wilcox (First appearance)
Synopsis for "A Baloney Place of Dying!"Edit
There was a race that was old when the stars were still forming. They were the “shining city on a hill”. They felt it was their obligation to impart their knowledge to other less advanced races. They tried, but instead of giving them haikus or something like that they gave them fission technology. The result was predictable, and the race’s first experiment with altruism was their last. Embarrassed the race retreated into passive observance of the universe. They were called the Watchers. From the Watchers there is a splinter group that feels they have to comment on what they see. They are called the Critics. Ten years ago, one of the Critics was watching the debris of a shattered solar system as it approached the event horizon of one of his favorite black holes. The event was interrupted by a cosmic aberration. A giant plunger landed on the black hole and reversed the suction turning it into the only known trans-dimensional blowhole. The cause is still a mystery.
She-Hulk holds a black shape up. Weezi calls out that the car engine just died. She-Hulk says that she isn’t surprised, and that the force emanating from the thing is incredibly powerful. She says that she is getting woozy just touching it. Weezi asks if that thing is the magnetic anomaly. She-Hulk says that she will tell her after she gets her bearings. She says that the thing is playing havoc with her inner ear, and that it is hard to stand up. Suddenly an energy stream coils out of the black shape and circles around She-Hulk trapping her. She-Hulk is spun around like a top out onto the surface of a frozen lake. The friction from the spinning melts the ice and She-Hulk falls through. Weezi calls out to She-Hulk as She-Hulk surfaces. Weezi asks if she is all right. She-Hulk says that everything but her pride is fine. Weezi notes that something happened to the anomaly. She says that it is now an empty frame and that the black surface is gone. She-Hulk says that the weird emanations have stopped too. She-Hulk is thinking maybe the dunking neutralized it, but when she puts her hand through the frame her hand disappears out of the other side. She-Hulk wants to know where her hand went.
In Cleveland, Howard the Duck stands horrified as a green hand in a Gucci glove is reaching out for his throat from out of the back of his refrigerator. He slams the door shut. When he opens the door again the hand is gone. He decides that he has been drinking too much diet soda, and that he is just having “phenylalanine hallucinations”. He says that will make interesting conversation when Bev comes home.
Weezi asks if all five of the fingers came back. She-Hulk says that they are all back and covered with milk. Weezi asks if She-Hulk is bringing the thing back with them. She says that she would just bury it. She-Hulk says that she can’t, and that they still don’t know enough about it. She says that she needs someone like Reed Richards, or a guy she knows from college that teaches theoretical physics at ESU, to look at it. Weezi notices that She-Hulk’s teeth are chattering. She-Hulk says that she has been cold since her dip in the freezing pond. Weezi says that she thought ordinary variations in temperature weren’t supposed to bother She-Hulk. She-Hulk says that it isn’t supposed to because of her gamma radiation. She-Hulk says, “Uh-oh.”
At Wormwall, New York State correctional facility, in the cell of Floyd Mangles, the warden is holding a box with items found in Floyd’s cell. He says that there is a coffee mug, an old shoe, a candy bar wrapper, and a plunger. Floyd says that he has had that stuff for a long time, and that no one objected. The guard tells the warden that is untrue. He says that they inspect the cell twice a day and that if that box was there they would have found it. Floyd asks the warden what he thinks the guard would say. The warden asks why he has the items since none would be useful in an escape or in a fight. Floyd says that he uses them for meditation. The warden says to let him keep the objects, and that he will schedule counseling for Mr. Mangles. Outside the cell, the warden asks what Floyd’s story is. The guard says that he doesn’t know, and that he was there years before him. The warden says that he outdates him as well. He decides that he should look at his file. Inside the cell, Floyd says that he is getting careless and that he forgot to hide the box under his drop cloth of invisibility. He decides that it doesn’t matter since the Big Squish is coming, and that nothing can stop it.
Bev comes home in her ninja outfit. Howard asks how work was. Bev says that it was slow, and that she thinks that she might have become a ninja a little too late. Howard says that he told her that before. Bev tells him not to rub it in. Bev says that it sounded good on the commercial. Howard says that he also said that if enough ninjas were out of work that they would resort to teaching. Bev says that she was told the rent-a-ninja agency would have something better for her tomorrow. She says that it has to be better than guarding a shopping mall art sale. Bev asks if there is any more diet soda. Howard says that it is in the fridge, but warns her not to let the big green arm grab her.
In New York City, Weezi asks She-Hulk is she is sure that she doesn’t want her to stay the night. She-Hulk says that it is nothing, and that she just feels a little tired. She adds that she is unable to walk or even stand as she falls over. Weezi helps She-Hulk and asks what has come over her. She-Hulk says that she doesn’t know, and that her knees just turned to Jell-O. She says that she hasn’t felt so sick since she got the transfusion that turned her into the She-Hulk. Weezi tells She-Hulk to rest and says that maybe the anomaly taxed her more than she thought. She-Hulk says that could be it.
The Critic is pacing back and forth and says that he knew ten years ago when the blowhole was created that he would find himself in the worst scenario for one of his species… he has to make a decision. He says that one of the compaction receptacles has already landed on Earth. He says that its seal has been breached twice. From within by the creature that possessed Wildmoon, and from without by She-Hulk. He says that Earthlings can’t keep their fingers out of anything. He figures that when the other receptacles land on Earth that there will be an orgy of poking until all the seals are broken and the cosmos will be plunged into chaos. He thinks about dumping this on the Watcher in Earth’s sector, but decides that is too cowardly. He searches for some other indigenous life form. He finds one and starts flying to it.
The next day at Empire State University, She-Hulk goes to see Professor Brent Wilcox with the anomaly. He says that she couldn’t raise Reed Richards and so she came to him. She-Hulk says that he is the only other theoretical physicist she knows. He says that he is the only unmarried one as well. He asks if they can try to figure it out over dinner. She-Hulk says that she isn’t feeling very well, and that with the way it ended last time between them that she doesn’t think it is a good idea. Brent’s hand recoils out of the frame. He says that it felt like sticking his hand in liquid nitrogen. She-Hulk says that her hand just felt refrigerated. Brent suggests that it may be there relative positions. He says that she was in Vermont, but that he is in New York City. She-Hulk asks if the stuff inside the box varies because of where it is. Brent says that what changes is what is on the other side. She-Hulk blows on Brent’s fingers to warm them up. She asks what he means by other side. Brent says that it is like sticking a knitting needle through a rubber ball. Brent regains movement in his fingers. She-Hulk says that she doesn’t get it. Brent drops a pen into the frame and watches as it keeps falling. She-Hulk asks what is in the frame. Brent says that he is guessing that it is another universe. He says that he thinks that the universe is being compressed. He says that it is like a trash compactor.
The Critic nears Cleveland and says that the one he needs is there.
Inside, Howard the Duck asks if he has can help. The customer asks if he is the salesman, but says that he is a duck. Howard says that he knows DOS and can type with all eight fingers. The woman with the man says that is unusual. Howard says that he is overcompensating for obvious reasons. The Critic appears and says, “Howard!” The man and the duck both turn. The Critic says that he is looking for the duck. Howard guesses that he didn’t come for the word processing demonstration. The Critic says that he has come from beyond the stars to discuss the salvation of Howard’s universe. Howard says that this isn’t his universe, and that he is with a customer. Howard starts to stomp off, but Critic places him in a bubble. He says that his creed prevents him from revealing the precise location of the danger, but that it does require his non-terran instincts. They blast through the roof of the store with Howard trapped in the bubble. He asks if his creed says anything about who is going to pay for the roof.
Brent has the frame on a flat surface with a telescope aimed into it. He figures that maybe with the “back door” closed they might be able to look inside. He looks inside. She-Hulk asks what he sees. Brent says that She-Hulk won’t believe it unless she looks for herself. Jen looks in the telescope and sees cold cuts and other assorted things for making sandwiches. She says that she can’t wait for an explanation on this one. Brent says that he doesn’t know that he has one, but that it does jibe with his alternate universe theory. He says that if there are multiple universes that there must be some way to control the principles governing how many survive. A sort of natural selection for universes. He figures that universes not viable on their own and those that encroach on other universes would be eliminated. She-Hulk asks if he really thinks about this stuff all day long. Brent says that he does. He says to suppose that the encroaching universes could only be contained and not eradicated. He says that the frame could be a way of quarantining them.
The Critic zooms by the window and releases Howard.
Howard comes crashing through the window. She-Hulk dodges, but Brent’s head gets stuck in the frame. Howard smashes against the wall and the bubble dissolves. She-Hulk offers Howard a hand, but he recognizes her hand as the one coming out of the refrigerator and starts running for it. She-Hulk says that she was just offering him a hand. Howard says that he would worry about the guy sinking into the desk. She-Hulk looks over to see Brent falling all the way into the frame. She-Hulk reaches in after Brent, but only brings out a bratwurst. She-Hulk says that she got Brent into this, and that he has no other choice than to go in after him. Howard asks when the “hairless apes” will learn. He says that there is always a choice. He starts to walk out, but She-Hulk grabs him. She says that he isn’t going anywhere until she figures out how he got into all this. She says that until she is sure that he isn’t dangerous that she is staying with her. Howard says that she has five feet on him. Howard says that She-Hulk’s shoulders will never fit through the frame.
Inside the Baloney-verse, Jen says that they have to find Brent and get out of there. Howard looks over and says that he doesn’t mean to get personal, but that it looks like she has lost a few pounds since they passed through the frame. She-Hulk has reverted into her Jennifer Walters form.
- Cover art: Bolland provided the initial art. For some reason it wasn't used, with the final cover by Texeira and Candelario being very similar to the Bolland one.
- Part 1 of 4 of "The Cosmic Squish Principle".
- The title "A Baloney Place of Dying!" is a play on DC Comics' "Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying".
- No trivia.
Links and ReferencesEdit
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