THE HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT (1993)
Future Imperfect was a possible-future story by Peter David and George Perez, sold in two double-length glossy issues. I don’t cover most alternate reality series–this blog is focused on the 616 only–but this one is so great that I had to cover it. Plus, it is really about the 616 Hulk.
In publishing continuity, Future Imperfect takes place right before Rick Jones’ wedding (which we’ll salute next post), in issues #417 and 418 of The Incredible Hulk. In Marvel continuity, it takes place 100 years after that wedding, in a future world where a Hulk named Maestro rules all, and has killed all, proving he’s the strongest one there is.
After a brief introduction to this future world, 616 Hulk arrives.
He immediately is in conflict with various cops and robots.
Now, this is a George Perez joint. So of course there are extraordinary, hyper-detailed illustrations, like the one above (my favorite page from the two-issue series) of future Rick Jones’ souvenir-laden home.
If you click on it, it should get bigger. It’s worth looking closely at. It’s full of little Easter Eggs.
(How did Rick get Thor’s hammer in there?)
Like look at the place where Captain America’s shield and cowl are. There’s a picture of Captain Marvel, and under that is a pile of bricks.
Is that Kryptonite?
And then, further to the left, where you see Doctor Octopus’ arms and Absorbing Man’s ball and chain, Stilt Man’s legs are poking out. Really, Rick? You saved those? Even the original Stilt Man sold them, and his identity, out of embarrassment!
And of course there’s Vision’s head, Beast’s furry body looking like a bearskin rug, Silver Surfer’s broken board hanging from the ceiling…So much cool stuff.
The story also shows us Hulk wielding Cap’s shield, which is cool, and Maestro trying (and failing) to lift Thor’s hammer….
This book is the best for nerds.
Of course, Maestro and Hulk end up in conflict as Hulk is viewed as a possible savior from Maestro’s oppression.
The whole book is Peter David’s love letter to all things Marvel, and all things Hulk, and it ends with a bang….
For future reference for future writers, this is how to handle future stories. Future Imperfect is … Perfect.
* This article was originally published here