Book #14. Doom's Day, Book One: Rampage, by Danny Fingeroth & Eric Fein. Paperback.
This is the first part of trilogy of team-up books. This one features Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, facing off against Hydra and A.I.M. agents. And Doctor Doom, monarch of Latveria, is pulling many strings in the background.
Bruce Banner and his wife Betty are kidnapped by a renegade secret agent named
Hildebrandt, who is plotting to create an army of Hulk clones. When his first batch of proto-Hulk's are loosed upon New York City,Spider-Man swings to the city's. But his old friend Flash Thompson
is one of the poor fellas who has been turned into a rampaging Hulk. But the clones are just the beginning of the problem, as
Spidey and the Hulk are drawn into a maze of intrigue involving
Hildebrandt, double agents and Dr. Doom.
I personally would have preferred more Doctor Doom in the story -- but I always want more Doctor Doom. This first book in the series has more Hydra and A.I.M. and S.A.F.E. than I needed, but all these shadowy agencies added depth to the overall story. The inclusion of the Felicia Hardy,
(the Black Cat) was a great addition to the action. She is an interesting character who has
played major roles in both Peter Parker's and Spider-Man's lives, as well as that of his old buddy Flash Thompson. She served as the bridge for many of the otherwise disparate aspects of the story.
Comic book novels vary greatly in quality, although I've generally found the Marvel ones to be better than the DC ones - I reviewed a She-Hulk novel last year. Fingeroth is a veteran comic writer, and tells this story in a very solid manner, taking advantage of the additional narrative canvas that a novel offers. Fein's chapter-opening illustrations help set the scenes, and reminds us of the comic book origins of the characters.
Source: From my friend Kirk, from WTAP-TV, Parkersburg, WV