Break out the hankies, it’s time for a wedding! – The Incredible Hulk #418
The merits of “We Are Gathered Here” don’t lie in the nuptials between Rick Jones and his blushing bride, Marlo. Though, to be fair, Marlo and her scarlet tresses look buxomly resplendent in her trampy wedding dress:
Throughout this special day an assortment of friends and enemies come to share in the merry-making, and Mephisto himself tries to foul things up. All that hazarai can be overlooked. The fun in this comes from the walk-on appearances by an assortment of characters, including the portly Peter David as the presiding minister.
For starters, I had totally forgotten who the hell the Pantheon were, and that Hector was an openly gay member of that team. But this little bit with Northstar compelled me to look them up and refresh my memory:
Gay flirting isn’t something that you see all that often in comics. Just an observation, not a judgment.
The real treat for me was this guy showing up for his old buddy Rick:
Hey everybody — it’s Rom! And his blue hair! It’s good to see that he and Brandy could take time out from repopulating Galador to come to Earth. And is it just me, or does the middle panel in the bottom row of that scan kind of look reminiscent of Ditko’s stuff? It seems that artist Gary Frank (or inker Cam Smith) might have been paying a little tribute to Ditko’s long run on the final issues or Rom, but I might be reading something into one little panel that just isn’t there.
The kookier cameo comes after the “I dos” have been said. Marlo bumps into someone that we recognize, but she doesn’t:
Just in case we still doubt that this is Neil Gaiman’s Death, we see that she’s wearing a familiar necklace (with the ankh strategically concealed) and that she also departs with her usual farewell phrase:
What’s in the box? You want to know? Okay:
I invite you to ponder what the brush is for. I thought it might have some story significance. It doesn’t. I don’t know if I’m stupid for not getting it at first or if Peter David is stupid for putting it in. That’s all I’ll say.
Death as a wedding crasher. Gotta love it.
Be seeing you.