Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Trail Of The Hulk

So, as of October 1964, the Hulk was back headlining a book, albeit as a jobshare with Giant Man. But where has he been, in the 19 months since his own title was cancelled?

Pretty much everwhere, that's where. Don't believe me? Well, let's see. Having defeated the Metal Master (in Incredible Hulk #6), the Hulk had some good news:

The great green ungrateful sod promptly vanished for a while, before Loki decided to use him in his latest scheme to destroy Thor (a story we've covered already), a scheme which results in the Hulk teaming up with the heroes he was supposed to be fighting.

He doesn't hang round long, though, as the Space Phantom sets the Avengers against each other.

Having stomped off, the Hulk, or at least his alter-ego, shows up long enough to make a non-appearance in Tales of Suspense #49:

Hunted by his ex-pals, the Hulk continues to hang around New Mexico, where, as already detailed, he fights the Avengers, teams up with the Sub-Mariner, and invades Gibraltar.

Hopping back to New Mexico, and his trusty underground cave, he Hulk takes a snit because the Avengers have replaced him with Captain America, and promptly (in FF #25) starts trashing New York. This brings him to the attention of the Fantastic Four, particularly the Thing:

And then the Avengers show up to take down the Hulk. Cue one of the less successful super-team team-ups:

After an epic battle (which takes two issues to resolve, compared to the seven issue mini-series and seven or eight tie-ins it would take these days), the Hulk escapes from his foes, and heads back to New Mexico, back to the welcoming arms of his significant others:

Banner and the Rosses put in a guest appearance in Avengers #5, in which the Hulk fights his old pals once again, and inadvertantly helps them defeat the invasion of the Lava Men.

The Hulk next shows up in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #14, as an surprise guest star - well, it's a surprise to Spidey anyway, even if the appearance is showcased on the cover.

Spidey soon shows him who's boss.

Or not. Somehow the Hulk manages to avoid killing Spider-Man and vanishes again. But his fight makes the papers, which draws the attention of his old team-mate, Giant Man, who decides to track him down, in Tales to Astonish #59:

Taking advantage of the battle, General Ross decides to polish off the Hulk once and for all - with an atomic missile. No, really.

No surprises, he survives, and as a reward, he gets his own comic, courtesy (for the moment, anyway) of Lee and Ditko. And we were poised for purple-trousered action..!

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