THE HULK #157-158 (1972)

Another solid issue of Hulk.  We must appreciate these when we get them.  And a lot happens here.  It starts with Jim Wilson leaving Project Greenskin, which is closing down now that Hulk is believed dead (he actually just shrunk into the Microverse). 

Then we see that the Leader didn’t die when that mountain exploded on him in Hulk #147, but, instead, it left him a paraplegic living in a tube.  But his psychic abilities still work, so he draws The Rhino to him, and gives him a new suit.

And then, Buh-Koom!, he’s inside Rhino’s body!

In the conflict, Hulk and Leader/Rhino wind up on top of a rocket that somehow is able to reach the Counter-Earth from Warlock #1 (despite the fact that High Evolutionary was supposed to have made that world unreachable from “normal” Earth).  We get a brief cameo from Warlock, who for some reason doesn’t think it’s worth investigating when something huge drops from the sky on the world he’s sworn to protect.

This is really a pointless cross-over with Warlock.  Hulk and Rhino on Counter-Earth doesn’t advance the plot of this issue of Hulk and doesn’t have any impact on Warlock’s story, either.  But it’s kind of fun having the Ani-Men involved in the fight.  Anyway, Hulk gets back to Earth easily.

Meanwhile, Wilson is stuck in traffic.  He climbs on top of a car to see what’s up.  And of course it’s Hulk. 

This reminded me of one of my favorite Iron Man comics, where he, too, meets the Hulk in a traffic jam (Iron Man #131).  And then Hulk punches the crap out of him.

But it’s what happens towards the end that is shocking.  Jim Wilson decides to call General Ross and tell him Hulk is back.

Wilson has unwittingly betrayed Hulk in the past, but this seems over the line.  It’s intentional.  But it’s kind of cool in a way, because he’s not a one-dimensional sidekick.

Then on the last page Betty marries Major Talbot.

Creators: Archie Goodwin and Herb Trimpe
Grade: B-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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