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
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.
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.