5 Fights That Shaped the History of the Hulk
Find the Hulk in classic issues of 'Amazing Spider-Man,' 'Uncanny X-Men,' 'Fantastic Four,' and more!
Looking over this month's mighty Marvel offerings, a certain IMMORTAL HULK #40 caught our eye, and here's the skinny: Hulk’s lower than he ever was. He’s stuck in an iron hotel built just for him, and there’s a new Sasquatch guarding the door. If he gets through him—and the rest of Gamma Flight—all he wins is an airlock to open space. It’s a rigged game, with no way to win...only Joe Fixit never learned how to lose.
Looks like a classic Banner brouhaha is in the cards, True Believers!
This exciting encounter got us thinkin'... Back in the day you could be a perfectly normal Marvel Super Hero having perfectly normal Marvel adventures when KA-WHAMM!!! You suddenly find yourself exchanging hostilities with the Hulk! Yeah, believe us when we say it was like some kooky rite of passage, or a nifty badge of honor or something!
So! Let's look at a few foundational fights involving the Hulk, huh?
The Hulk had a confrontation...and helped build the Marvel Universe!
Way back before crossovers and guest-shots were as common as a new set of armor for Tony Stark, our celebrated costumed cut-ups didn’t see each other much in each other’s mags—or frankly, not at all! It took Marvel’s First Family and ol’ Jade Jaws himself to lay down those first basic building blocks of what would become the Mighty Marvel Universe.
In FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #12, Reed Richards and company had a visit by none other than General “Thunderbolt” Ross, Ye Olde Hulk-chaser Extraordinaire. What did he want? He wanted the FF to “find and destroy the Hulk!” and so the four took off for a missile base way out west and after meeting meek Bruce Banner came into contact with Banner’s bright green alter-ego... Suffice to say, readers were treated to many firsts in that ish, including the inaugural Thing vs. Hulk fracas—can you imagine?
The Hulk had a few formative fisticuffs with Spidey and Daredevil!
When you think of slugfests surrounding the green guy, you don’t necessarily paint a picture of puny people like Spider-Man and Daredevil, do ya? We don’t, and we sure don’t go around calling those guys puny, either, but that’s a different story! This one is about the Web-Slinger and the Man Without Fear and their dates with destiny…AKA the Hulk!
Spidey squared off against Greenjeans in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #14, courtesy of a plot by the Green Goblin to trap the arachnid on a fake movie set out in New Mexico. Our hero actually tried to punch the Hulk, and was on the receiving end of one himself! As for DD, he met the Hulk in DAREDEVIL (1964) #163 on the streets of the Big Apple and never gave up when trying to keep the gamma-spawned giant from wreckin’ the town, even when taking his lumps!
The Hulk killed the X-Men!
Kinda! Sorta! Here’s our way of lookin’ at it: When Professor X was down 'n' out in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #66 (following a fight with the obnoxious Z’Nox) and knockin’ on death’s door, he sent a thought balloon COD to his students and told them to scare up Dr. Bruce Banner or start lookin’ for a new teacher! So, the merry mutants beat tracks to Las Vegas to corral the Hulk and Banner with him.
Long story short, a boisterous battle broke out and the X-Men found their marvelous mutant powers no good when stacked up against gamma-irradiated muscles—that is, until Marvel Girl cranked up her cerebellum and cooled the creatures jets just enough to calm him down. Out popped Bruce and the lightbulb that led them to one of the doc’s patented wonder whirligigs, which after some muss and fuss mended the professor’s mind and made everyone get all mushy.
And then the X-Men’s stories ended for a time in the very next ish. See! We toldja the Hulk killed ‘em! Ah, come on!
The Hulk was a robot!
Are you excited about the all-new ETERNALS #1 comin' next year? We are, and we can’t help but think of the halcyon days when the Hulk clinked and clanked his way into the Eternals hearts forever—what? You didn’t know he was a robot? Read on, reader!
When a Hulk robot—built by two college students, of course—absorbed cosmic power from a lil’ ol’ thing called the Uni-Mind in ETERNALS (1976) #14, the Eternals—that’d be Ikaris, Makkari, and Sersi—rolled up their shiny sleeves to take the starch out of that poltroon’s pants! Ohh, what a clash! It rocked and rolled all the way though ETERNALS (1976) #15 until big daddy Zuras siphoned off the faux-Hulk’s go-juice in ETERNALS (1976) #16. Sheesh! The things these students can do on a shoestring budget!
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