Marvel Masterworks PDF
by Stan Lee
The original six-issue run of The Incredible Hulk from 1962, prior to its cancellation.Scientist Bruce Banner rescues teenager Rick Jones from the testing grounds of his gamma bomb, only to have it go off and transform him nightly into a gray (and then greenish beginning in issue 2) combination of Frankenstein's monster and Mr. Hyde.The Hulk goes up against several typically goofy science fiction and Communist enemies, but his primary antagonist is General Thunderbolt Ross, who hunts him obsessively.
While nostalgically enjoyable, I'm not that surprised this line was cancelled after six issues; the Hulk barely smashes anything and is constantly trapped by forces that seem dated today like magnetism and hypnotism.Eventually Rick Jones starts controlling his mind to force Hulk to only do good deeds, which seemed odd and a bit of a cheat.And then there's the Teen Brigade...Lee and Kirby clearly created a great character, but he wasn't yet being used properly.
Most interesting to me was watching Lee struggle with shoehorning Banner's transformations back and forth into the stories.Banner began by transforming into the Hulk only at night, which clearly had limitations and only lasted three issues; the final three issues, Banner is able to use gamma rays to change back and forth at will, which also has problems.To make Hulk change back into Banner voluntarily, he was given some of Banner's intelligence which made him too much like Banner; later changes must have reversed this once the transformation was based on Banner's level of anger.The only notable story here aside from the origin is in issue three, where Hulk is lured to a rocket and shot into space, which was to be used again at least once more as the setup for Planet Hulk.
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