Hulk #239-243 (1979-1980)

After taking about a third of the issue to get Hulk to stop sleeping on Mount Rushmore, The Goldbug, who is working with an organization called “They,” comes by and invites Hulk to come aboard his hovercraft.

Goldbug’s ulterior motive is that he has a device, made by The Tinkerer, that can use Hulk’s gamma radiation to power his aircraft.  He takes Hulk to El Dorado, the Incan mythical city made of gold, where Hulk breaks out of the craft and gets treated like a king.

Then, “They” arrive.  “They” introduce themselves as Prince Rey, Keeper of the Flame Lann, and Old Des.  Just like Goldbug, they want to use Hulk as an energy source—only “They” want to restore a mystical Eternal Flame that has been dormant since the time of The Celestials.

Then one of the They reveals that he’s Tyrannus.

 So now this story arc has revived an obscure Luke Cage villain (Goldbug), and this obscure Nova villain.  To what end?  A huge knock-down-drag-out between Hulk and Tyrannus, until one of the Celestials—Gammenon—is revived and…Does something.
It’s really not clear what.  I think he blows up El Dorado, but it’s not clear.  He might just jump away to go join the ongoing Thor storyline about The Celestials.  It’s a very weird ending, that has Hulk and Goldbug teleported to NYC where…

Luke and Danny take custody of him.

Then we get a strange two-page spread showing that from here, Hulk goes on to be in a Defenders and Daredevil story arc.  It’s the kind of slavish recounting of continuity that made Marvel both fun and frustrating at the same time.  And to be fair, Roger Stern had already left the building by the time we got to this way-too-quick and confusing wrap up.

Creators: Roger Stern (writer #239-242), Steven Grant (writer #243), Sal Buscema
Grade: C

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