Essential Incredible Hulk: Incredible Hulk #1-6, Tales to Astonish #60-91
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Top Customer Reviews
of Superman,and Batman.If you're into Marvel,especially the Hulk,you defentley should run out and buy this.
and thought the hulk in his early dayes are proboly no diffrent from the books I read so I bought it. Big mistake. The green hulk does talk and like a complete idiot too. Was that freak the Leader? I don't think so. Bruce Banners now dead wife Betty acted
like a idiot. One star becouse The Hulk and Abomination have a cool fight in this but it's not even that good. If you are looking for somethin were the hulk and Abomination fight get Abominal, In that Bruce meet's the Abomination's aboused wife. Better yet, get the Tv series.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But beyond that I think the idea of the Hulk is better than the stories. The combination of the Dr. Jekyll & Hyde transformation with the Frankenstein monster is inherently interesting. Those classic references also explain why the better stories seem to be those in which the army is going after the Hulk rather than the less than stellar super villains who pop up. Sure, the Leader would be rather ironic from the viewpoint of Dr. Banner, but the best conflicts with the Hulk involve not brains versus brawn but the one against the many. When "Thunderbolt" Ross has the U.S. Army go after the Hulk, then we are cooking with gas. Very few bad guys can go toe-to-toe with ol' green skin (notice they bring in Hercules) and the general rule is someone like Boomerang trying to stay one step ahead and avoid the inevitable for as long as possible. The validity of this viewpoint is certainly validated by this summer's blockbuster film (playing is a theater near you NOW!). That also explains why the soap opera elements, with the Hulk coming between Bruce Banner and Betty Ross are more appealing. That is actually what provides the continuity over the course of these stories. Then there are the supporting characters, with Major Talbot, the son-in-law General Ross really wants, and Rick Jones, the teenage side kick who has no powers (at this point in Marvel history), just a big green secret.
The end result is okay, but certainly not the best Marvel was putting out in the early Sixties. The origin story is arguably the best of the bunch. Stan Lee writes all of the stories and Jack Kirby does most of the art, but you will also find the pencil work of Steve Ditko, John Romita, John Buscema, Gil Kane and other diverse hands from the Marvel Bullpen. The Ditko drawn Hulk always strikes me as looking rather strange, but there is something to be said for Bill Everett inking Kirby's layouts. So there is no reason not to pick up this volume of "Essential" Marvel reprints, it is just not to be high on the list, except for the buzz generated by the film.
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was an atomic scientist working at a New Mexico missile base when he was caught in the test-explosion of his very own invention, the deadly G-Bomb. Irradiated by the gamma rays, Banner know possessed the ability to transform into the Hulk under conditions which vary throughout the series. As Banner, he is an intelligent yet weak human. As the Hulk, he is a large green monster-like person with bulging muscles and a limited vocabulary. Unlike other superheroes, Banner often cannot control the Hulk or his transformations(except when Banner's mind winds up in the Hulk's body at times). As the Hulk he is also hounded by the military and General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, father of the woman Banner loves. His only confidant early in the series is Rick Jones, whose life Banner saved before he was caught in the G-Bomb's explosion. At times Rick is the only person who can control the rampaging Hulk except for maybe the beautiful Betty Ross.
This anthology contains all six issues of The Incredible Hulk (Volume 1) as well as issues 60-92 of Tales to Astonish-but only the Hulk's stories are collected. For the other, non-Hulk stories you'll have to check Ant-Man Essential or Marvel Masterworks: Sub-Mariner.
The Incredible Hulk (Volume 1) is one of the only problems with these stories. After a sensational first issue the series starts to degenarate. Changes are made to the Hulk in nearly every issue which are changed later(for instance in Isuue 3, Hulk is exposed to more radiation which allows him to fly and gives him a mind link with Rick Jones. The mind link disappears by Issue 5, and the flying is later retconned into just wide leaps.) The villains are weak too. I enjoyed Gargoyle, but the Toad Men and all the Communists(these comics were made during the cold war in the 60's if I forgot to mention) bring down the first issues. The only ones who become ongoing villains from the first six issues are Tyrannus and the Ringmaster's Circus of Crime. Don't get me started on the Metal Master.
Tales to Astonish fulfills its name, as it's filled with cliffhangers, fresh villains and less commies (they get REAL annoying after a while). There's Hulk's greatest nemiseses, the Leader and the Abomination. There's guest stars like the Chameleon and Hercules. The first appearances of Boomerang and the Secret Empire, who move on to be pains in other people's asses. There's also the Leader's wide range of mechanical Humanoids. The story also evolves into one that may be more familiar to modern day readers: a man fighting the monster within him while on the run from the military. It also intriduces Major Glenn Talbot, a charming soldier who hates both Banner and the Hulk and falls in love with Betty Ross instantly. And it gets much better in the second volume.
Classic stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. But if you bought the Marvel Masterworks Incredible Hulk Volume 1, you'd get it in color and see that the Hulk was colored gray instead of green in the first issue, which makes way for a vital retcon much further down the road. You also would have paid more money, but you would have gotten it in a more durable format with clean, crisp pasges unlike the Essential's flimbsythird-grade pages. But then agian you only would've gottne the first six issues of the Hulk, and no Tales to Astonish to make up for it! And there isn't a volume 2 yet that I know of, so I reccomend the Essential in this case.
I discover now that the Hulk was discontinued after six issues, and then re-born in Tales to Astonish, before once more (and after this collection) meriting his own dedicated book. These early tales do fall a little short of the later standards this series achieved but they are genuinely essential for all the fabulous ingredients in the Hulk's basic family melodrama. To wit: the hurrumphing Thunderbolt Ross (a loud noise in trousers, a general of very little brain); the rather unrealised love interest, his daughter Betty; the kid who caused it all and would not go away Rick Jones; and the eventual introduction of Bruce Banner's love rival the tortured soul of Major Glen Talbot.
The scripts are fascinating. Stan Lee didn't bother to consult his previous editions and wrote from memory so he managed to mis-remember details such as what triggered the Hulk to change (this was intially night and day but evolves throughout so that ultimately he can more or less do it when he sneezes too hard) and the art work was handed around like a piping hot jacket potato so the variability in it is sometimes hilarious - the Hulk would have a hard time matching up to his passport photo if it were not for the fact he is big and green. Lee even spells Talbot's name differently at times.
But it's such good fun and its where it all began - the setting works well intially, on the isolated military testing base, but ultimately comes to suffocate the plot lines and restrict the development of the character who is hardly a menace to mankind if all he ever does is prowl the desert. The best way to deal with the Hulk militarily would have been to ignore him completely. Ah well, it's only fiction. Thin on super villains to give him a fight (with the exception at close of the Abomination) but not on kitchen sink drama, this volume is truly essential even if it's one of the less coherent starts in life for a giant Marvel character. Read it and enjoy!