Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Original concept by Scott Adams and John Byrne
Script: Bill Mantlo
Breakdowns: Mark Gruenwald
Inks: John Romita
Lettering: Joe Rosen

The very first issue of a quarterly series of 12 comics, closely tying-into a quarterly series of 12 computer games, both of which would sadly conclude with #3, when said games-company went bust.

Given the originality of Questprobe's concept, I think that's a real shame.

I can't comment on the contents of any of the games, having never played them, but the comics function pretty well even in isolation.

This opening chapter brings us the plight of Durgan, an alien whose pacifist planet is facing annihilation at the hands of the approaching Black Fleet. Durgan finds himself grimly trying to decide which is the greater wrong - to fight the invaders, or to let his people be killed by them?

Durgan: "There MUST be some way to resist such destruction without renouncing the very pacifism that is the soul of our race! But, no... if we fight, we lose our souls, yet if we don't fight, we lose our lives!"

The dichotomy is almost too much for him, but at least he has one. Everyone else on his world appears resigned to just doing nothing, though fortunately not to the point of fighting him over it.

Ultimately he sets out to, it seems, duplicate the powers of various super-beings on Earth in order to literally give his people a fighting chance.

And so we come to gamma-irradiated giant of the cover.

Hold on, does the rampaging Hulk really count as a 'hero'? Well, in this one he does. Anyone really familiar with the character will know that while ol' green-skin does tend to get rather annoyed with people a lot, he usually has some sort of reason.

At the other end of his temper, towards the close of this story, he spots four rafters drowning, and immediately dives-in to save them, even despite it requiring his defeat at the Chief Examiner's hands.

Yep, hero.

There's another nice moment after the Hulk has entered a high-up cave and transformed back into Dr. Robert Bruce Banner again. Knowing nothing of his location, Dr. Banner innocently sprints out of the cave only to find himself suddenly dropping into a dizzying freefall.

I guess that sort of thing must happen to him a lot...

Anyway, although there looks to be a different Marvel hero appearing every issue, this is no perpetually repeating format being set-up here. There's clearly a big mystery all set to be unravelled over the course of the next three years, although part of me is glad that I don't have 11 more issues ahead after all.

Nothing personal, I just didn't have a need to know this puzzle's solution before I picked-up Questprobe #1, and it would be a bit consumerist of me to obediently develop that.

I guess I'm not the sort of reader who would have rushed-out to buy each computer game either:

Still, a nice comic, and very nicely written.

Available here.
Review of Questprobe #2 Featuring Spider-Man here.
Review of Questprobe #3 Featuring The Human Torch And The Thing here.
Review of Marvel Fanfare #33 here.


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