Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #56

Issue Date: 
August 1990
Story Title: 
On the Road – Part 3: “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory” (First Story)

First Story: Michael Higgins (writer), Dave Ross (penciller), Dan Day (inker), Brad Vancata (colorist), Todd Klein (letterer), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), Steve Lightle (cover art)

Brief Description: 

First Story:
Logan’s mysterious duplicate is suffering from uncontrollable rages and breaks into a pharmacy to dull the pain with drugs. Bruce Banner catches a ride with some drunk kids which draws the attention of the police and leads to his arrest. Logan finds himself in jail but breaks out before the sadistic cops can torment him. The police launch a manhunt for Logan and the police who picked up Banner join in. Logan is found and surrounded by police and SWAT teams who open fire on him. Banner transforms into the Hulk too late to save Wolverine who is mowed down by gunfire. Hulk escapes the scene in Logan’s truck.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

A man who looks exactly like Wolverine is curled up on a cot. His thoughts are disoriented. As the light shines through the blinds it casts a pattern of shadows like the bars of a jail cell. His mind swirls with thoughts of pain and prison. He thinks how people are born, raised and schooled in prisons. Even Xavier’s School is like a prison. He laughs bitterly at the notion that they were “gifted”. He thinks that pain and prison are all he’ll ever know and that he’ll die in his personal prison of pain. He rises from the cot and staggers about the room clutching his head. He says to himself “I don’t want to die. I’ll – I’ll escape! I’m not going to die! I’m going to live! I’m going to be free!!” He pops his claws and rears back widely. Strewn across the floor before him is a bottle of pills.

A short distance north, a shirtless Bruce Banner is trying to hitch a ride. After being passed by several times he slams his arm against a signpost in frustration. He sees how people view him, as little more than an animal. He grabs a rock and hurls it at a small gopher. A car pulls up and one of the occupants tells him to calm down and not to take it out on a defenseless creature. One of the women in the car asks “Rough night, handsome?” and the driver invites him to hop in. The group has been drinking and this makes Banner nervous but he gets in despite his reservations.

Wolverine is staring through the bars of a jail cell wondering what he’s gotten himself into this time. He considers busting out but the world thinks the X-Men are dead and he decides not to leave any clues that might contradict that. One of the officers on duty asks the other why they took their prisoner in alive. The other cop replies that they couldn’t just kill him. His partner says that they can at least have some fun with him while he’s here.
Hearing this, Logan decides that he’s had enough and claws his way through the wall to freedom. The officers are shocked to see him gone. Logan thinks about sticking around and teaching them a lesson but decides that wouldn’t be prudent at the moment. He gets into his truck and drives away. When the officers report that their prisoner has escaped, their sergeant orders them to find him immediately or they’re history!

Elsewhere, Logan’s mysterious twin breaks into pharmacy or medical lab of some sort. As he takes out the security guard, he thinks to himself that he doesn’t want to do this. He can’t stop himself though. He thinks to himself that it’s only gotten worse since he left Canada. He wishes he could control it himself but he can’t. He finds some pills and devours them greedily. He doesn’t want to kill or to die but the pain never goes away….even when he consumes drugs like this. As they take effect, he slumps to the floor.

Bruce Banner finds himself in an equally unsettling position. He is in the back of the care that picked him up squished in next to a very attractive and affectionate young girl. Her friend urges him to let loose and have some fun and she asks “Don’t you like us?” He replies that he doesn’t like any of this and asks them to pull over and let him out. At that instant, a police car pulls up behind them and turns on its sirens. Banner quickly gets out of the car and tries to run away. An officer aims his gun at him and asks where he thinks he’s going, thinking that Banner must be the ringleader. He gives the kids a ticket and arrests Banner. He tells this “city-slicker” that they are going to teach him a lesson he’ll never forget.

After putting Banner in the back of the squad car, they receive an all-units alert reporting that they’ve found the escaped murderer. The dispatcher gives them directions and the order to take down the suspect by any means necessary. The sadistic officers say “This could turn out to be a fun night!” as they race towards the place where authorities have cornered the alleged murderer.
Logan is in a clearing surrounded by police cars and SWAT team vehicles. A search helicopter arrives as well. The police open fire and Logan is taken down. Moments later, Banner transforms into the Hulk as the sun sets. He regrets that was unable to help Wolverine. He bursts free from the squad car and gets into Logan’s truck and drive away, wondering if there’s anyone out there he should notify of Wolverine’s death.

Characters Involved: 

First story:


Hulk / Bruce Banner

Mimic / Calvin Rankin

Janie and three other unnamed joyriders

Police officers Wilford and Smokey

Unnamed police officers and SWAT team members

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd Story: Werewolf by Night in “Children of the Beast “ Part 3

3rd Story: Stingray in “Family Matters” Part 4

4th Story: Speedball in “Any Number Can Play”

First story:

This story takes place between INCREDIBLE HULK #369 (in which Freedom Force appeared) and INCREDIBLE HULK #370 for the Hulk and just prior to the X-TINCTION AGENDA crossover in the X-Books.

The X-Men were believed to have sacrificed themselves to save the world from the Adversary as seen in UNCANNY X-MEN #227. Following their televised death, they were resurrected by Roma and took up residence in Australia where they operated clandestinely for quite some time.

At this period in the Hulk’s evolution, his transformation from Bruce Banner into the gray-skinned Hulk only occurred at night. He also went by the name “Mr. Fixit.”

Issue Information: 

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