THE INCREDIBLE HULK #1 (1962)

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I first did a feature on Hulk in 2014, and I knew going in that there would be many mediocre issues, and even more bad ones. Hulk pretty much sucks most of the time, for years and sometimes even a decade at a time.

But the character?  He’s fascinating.

Every time a new writer gets a hold of him, everything about him changes: Is he smart?  Rock stupid?  Or just average?  Is he full of rage, or can he come out at will?  Is he part of Banner or a separate being housed in the same body (or even a different one altogether)?

And now, I’m starting a project where, eventually, I’ll have every single Marvel comic on this blog.  Or I’ll die.  Whichever comes first.  So I’m gong back through and working these in.  And today, it’s time for the sixth Marvel book in 1962, and the eighth in the entire history of the Marvel Universe.  Yes, just 8 issues in and Stan and Jack bring on The Hulk.

Issue #1 is not Stan Lee’s best writing, but it’s not his worst.  It’s not Kirby’s best or worst, either.  But the sequence above pretty much illustrates the essence of the character: Large, frustrated with humanity, and crushing stuff.

The only thing missing here is the lack of personal pronouns.  Soon, he’ll start referring to himself in the third person–not as “me.”

Creators: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

First Appearances: Hulk and his supporting cast.

Grade: A-

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