TITLE: The Incredible Hulk vol. 1, issue #122
YEAR: December 1969
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Herbe Trimpe
Letterer: Artie Simek
Editor: Stan Lee
Back in 1959, Marvel Comics released “Tales to Astonish”, a science-fiction anthology.
While the majority of the stories featured mystery/suspense, the comic book series would introduce Henry Pym (The Ant-Man and Giant-Man) and would also feature stories featuring the Wasp, the Hulk and Sub-Mariner.
As Marvel Comics had several sci-fi anthology series, with the dawn of the Silver Age of Comic Books, “Tales of Astonish” would go through a name change in 1968 with issue #102 now re-titled to “The Incredible Hulk”. But believe it or not, “The Incredible Hulk” was released years before. Back in 1963, “The Incredible Hulk” was released with six issues before being canceled.
So, the first six issues from 1963 is considered vol. 1, the next series that derived from “Tales to Astonish” is considered as vol 2, but the details in the comic book first page, is stated as vol. 1.
A little confusing but because it’s printed as vol. 1, while considered as vol. 2, any early comic books of “The Incredible Hulk”, I will use vol. 1 as stated in the comic books.
In issue #122, there was no doubt the cover would get people interested as many anticipated the next fight between the Hulk and the Fantastic Four’s The Thing.
In this issue, Hulk continues his path of destruction, this time destroying a freight train thinking it holds soldiers out to get him.
Bruce Banner is amazed of the destruction he has caused as the Hulk and while surveying the damage, stumbles upon a newspaper that the Fantastic Four has created a cure from him becoming the Hulk. But to make sure that Reed Richards gets a special message on a formula, Bruce ties a message in a pouch around his waist.
As Bruce goes on the train to go to New York to the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four and the NYPD await for the Incredible Hulk to arrive.
But when one of the police (who missed the briefing on letting Bruce Banner inside without hassle), the police officer riles up Bruce Banner forcing him to turn into the Hulk and he begins destroying the Baxter Building.
And now the Fantastic Four must prepare to do battle with the Hulk and The Thing is looking forward to a rematch.
On the battle scale between the Hulk vs. the Thing, out of ten stars, this is a 2/10. Really, the battle was not as exciting as you would see on the cover because The Hulk punches him before The Thing could even fight. If anything, Ben Grimm (The Thing) uses his instincts to trick the Hulk, letting Mr. Fantastic use the formula created by Bruce Banner.
But for the issue overall and the fact that it showcases the Fantastic Four trying to find ways to make Bruce Banner normal again, it’s a comic book worth reading.