Friday, January 6, 2017
The Hulk Strips!
Many decades ago the Hulk was huge. Now truth told the Hulk has always been pretty big but when the 70's TV show exploded onto the small screen with Lou Ferrigno as Jadejaws and Bill Bixby as David Banner, the Hulk's stock skyrocketed.
He became Spidey's rival for dominance at Mighty Marvel and would remain there until Wolverine sliced his way into the mainstream of comics fandom and beyond. But still today, you mention Marvel Comics and the layman is apt to bring up three heroes: Spider-Man, Captain America and The Hulk.
The Hulk's magnificence has dwindled somewhat today I think, partly because of the relatively cool reaction to his two big-feature outings (both of which I enjoyed thoroughly despite their very different approaches) and now he's but one of several heroes in high-profile Avengers flicks.
But during his heyday he not only jumped onto the small screen in living rooms across the world, but found a home in the daily papers among the venerable comic strips which still linger in the steadily disappearing print world then and now. His comic strip was produced by the Brothers Leiber (Stanley and Larry). His stay in the newspapers was a short one compared to Spidey, but he beat out Conan and Howard the Duck for longevity as proven by five handsome paperback volumes from Tempo Books.
These five tomes (some with very striking covers) gather up the strips in a handy easy-to-read format. I have exactly one of these, the first, but I'm smitten by the covers of the others. I see the nifty work of John Romita, Larry Leiber, and Marie Severin evident. Others talents I'm less certain of. If I were to find them somewhere for a decent price would be hard pressed to get back home without them.