THE INCREDIBLE HULK #1 (1962)

We all know how this story starts, right?  Hulk #1 was the sixth book published 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.
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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.”

In this issue, we see Banner invent and test the bomb, run out to save Rick Jones, and get hit.

His lab partner, Igor, summons The Gargoyle from Russia, who tries to kidnap Hulk.  Then Hulk changes to Banner, and Gargoyle is jealous…

In the end, Gargoyle kills himself by blowing himself up in his base.  The story doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The “shared universe” isn’t completely made yet, but this very issue does appear in Fantastic Four #5…

Creators: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Grade: A-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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