Hulk #297-300 (1984)

This is the culmination of what Hulk has been building towards ever since he got Banner’s brain power.  Gradually, issue by issue, we’ve seen him start to lose his temper, get haunted by dreams of losing control, etc.  Eventually, brute Hulk takes over and we’ve got an “everybody versus the Hulk” big action fight.  It’s fun, but I don’t understand why Nightmare has to be in this.  In his dreams, savage Hulk has been haunting smart Hulk—and the dream aspect means Nightmare inserts himself and has savage Hulk take over.  It seems like that could have just been a natural story development, rather than inserting a mystical force.

Or maybe it’s just that I don’t really like Nightmare as a character.

Nightmare’s motive is to manipulate Hulk into killing Dr. Strange.  Strange defeats Nightmare, but Hulk is still a brute.  So it doesn’t make a lot of sense, right—if Nightmare was behind it all, then defeating him should solve the problem.  If he wasn’t, then there really wasn’t a need for the whole Nightmare story anyway.

After that, it’s just fun fighting stuff.  Hulk beats up the entire Marvel pantheon: Iron Fist, Power Man…

…The Avengers…

…Look what he does to Vision:


…And many more.  A terrific battle story.

All of this makes a baby cry.


And Daredevil hears it.


Daredevil saves that child from the splash page; Spider-Man helps protect some cops; SHIELD and local law enforcement try to evacuate civilians and minimize damage. And even real-life mayor Ed Koch gets involved.


Then Dr. Strange banishes him to other dimensions.

So in the end, this is just the first version of World War Hulk.

You might think Sal Buscema would be good for a mystical, weird villain like Nightmare, but it all works well.

Creators: Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema
Grade: B

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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