Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Incredible Hulk - Battle Of The Century!


The saga of the Hulk continues to weave through the Marvel Universe in the pages of the Fantastic Four #25. Fresh from his antagonistic departure from "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" the Hulk makes his way into "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine" with gusto. The story is pretty straightforward and full of Marvel Age soap operatic blather.


While Mister Fantastic is down with some malady contracted while he worked with weird bacteria, the rest of the team must confront the Hulk who has come to NYC to pick on his former Avengers comrades for replacing him with Captain America.


The Torch confronts him and is quickly dispatched so it's up the Thing to use his strength to stop the Hulk and it's a whale of a battle with the Thing put down for the moment. But the battle will continue.


It continues into the next issue of the FF in fact when Reed gets better and joins the team to confront the Hulk. Also on hand on are the Avengers and after some typical Marvel disputation join forces to bring the  Hulk to heel.


Again the battles rage with Kirby really getting into the sheer gusto of this all out war. But in the end the Hulk escapes and the heroes go about their business.


In a terrific nod to continuity, the story picks right up in the fifth issue of the Avengers as the team battle the Lava Men who are using a living rock to push their way onto the surface world. The Hulk battles in parallel with the Assemblers and this proves to be his swan song as they push back the underground menace.



After the battle he changes to Bruce Banner and he and Betty Ross walk off into the sunset, but he will find his way into other Marvel Comics to come pretty soon.

The Hulk really proved to be the glue that brought the Marvel Universe together, as he's the first menace deemed grand enough for his story to slither across titles. A two-parter in the Fantastic Four gets a sequel in The Avengers. The Avengers guest-star in the FF and the Hulk is there to supply the motivation for everyone. The Marvel Universe as a singular entity and not just a shared universe seems to have been birthed almost in this very story line.


To be Hulkinued one more time tomorrow! 

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6 comments:

  1. Y'know, I was never too impressed with the inking of George Roussos (Bell) over Kirby, but for some odd reason it works on those two issues, and it's a belter of a story. Probably the best fight between The Thing and The Hulk ever published in the '60s.

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    1. I agree that the Kirby and Roussos team is hit and miss, sometimes it works sometimes not. Almost form page to page in fact.

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  2. It hadn't occurred to me that this is where the Marvel Universe becomes manifest, but you're absolutely right on. One of Marvel's attractions seemed to be creating big tentpole events that depended on the appeal and histories of their separate characters. This seems to be the first and one of the best; Stan must have felt he'd found the Rosetta Stone.

    I also remember being knocked out by the terrifying Hulk that fought Thor in JIM #112 (actually a sidebar to Avengers #3). Big brutal panels by Kirby and powerful inks by Chic Stone!

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    1. That splendid battle twixt Thor and Hulk gets featured today. I love it too and you're right the Hulk comes across as a real scary force in it.

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  3. FF 25 and 26 were two of my favorites when I was a kid. I clearly remember reading those and the rest of FF Marvel Masterworks vol. 3 over and over again.

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    1. I missed these early ones for years but kept reading how awesome they were. Eventually I got to see it for myself and I have to agree.

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