Monday 25th May 2015,
Comic Booked

Silver Age Stories: The Incredible Hulk #103

Matt Watson 11/17/2012 Reviews

The Silver Age was the period in which Marvel Comics began its growth into the publishing juggernaut we know today. Under the direction of Editor and Lead Writer Stan Lee, Marvel would usher in a new generation of complex, naturalistic comic book characters. It was a time that saw the birth of many icons of comics, the meanest and greenest of which was The Incredible Hulk . One of Marvels many pathos-heavy creations of this period, the Hulk is the radiation-empowered alter ego of brilliant scientist Bruce Banner, who is caught in the explosion of an experimental bomb test whilst saving a teenager who had stumbled onto the test site. Although he miraculously survives the explosion, he soon finds himself changing into a rage-fueled brute: The Incredible Hulk!

What’s It All About?
The Hulk suddenly finds himself back in the centre of New York after an adventure in Asgard at the start of The Incredible Hulk #103. Confused and afraid, he rampages through town searching for solitude until, whilst alone on a rooftop, he returns to the form of Bruce Banner. Bruce attempts to get back in contact with his friend, Rick Jones, but Rick is not as fond of Bruce as he once was. Meanwhile, in the depths of space, an alien warrior is searching for a foe worthy of challenging him, and his gaze is caught by the might of the Hulk!

Scripted by Gary Friedrich
Pencils by Marie Severin
Inked by Frank Giacoia
Lettered by Artie Simek
Edited by Stan Lee

Silver Age Stories: Incredible Hulk #103

The Hulk reverts to Bruce Banner in a great example of Marie Severin’s expressive lines and bold, yet not overerpowering, colours.

What’s Good?
Marie Severin’s art; simple without being simplistic. The colours are vivid without being garish. The villain is a pleasing throwback to the sci-fi stories of Atlas and early Marvel anthology books such as Tales to Astonish and Journey into Mystery.

What’s Bad?
The villain’s defeat is kind of a cop out, despite there being some great action up to that point. Hulk’s dialogue is inconsistent in representing his intelligence levels.

Why You Should Pick This Up:
It’s classic Hulk action: Hulk beating the snot out of a seemingly unstoppable foe. I had this issue when I was a kid and I must have read it dozens of times. It’s a solid example of a great Silver Age book. Is it one of the greats? Well, it’s no Avengers #1 or Amazing Fantasy #15,  but it’s a damn good ride. You can find a black and white reprint in Essential Hulk Vol. 2, but it’s worth splashing out for the colour version in Marvel Masterworks: Incredible Hulk Vol. 4 for the full effect of Marie Severin’s brilliant colour work.

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About The Author

Actor, Musician, Northerner, Nerd: I am all these things and more. I'm into bad movies and good comics. When I grow up I want to be like Robert Baratheon.

  1. kcassidy 11/17/2012 at 11:55 pm

    I loved these old issues, and Marvel did a great job in bringing them back in their Marvel Masterworks collection to let fans like me get a copy! Now we need all the publishers to do this, too, and let fans of a new era enjoy their books!

  2. Skott_Jimenez 11/18/2012 at 2:24 am

    This is the sort of thing new readers need to be checking out. Myself, I'm a huge fan of Marvel's Essential book. I have nearly 50 in my collection and love reading these classic stories. Nothing quite like them!

  3. Scorp_Moonopoly 11/19/2012 at 11:47 am

    Thank god for reprints and digital, or I would never read this kinda stuff.

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