The Small Lebowski:
Issue(s): Hulk #180, Hulk #181, Hulk #182
Awesome scene, right? Legendary. These issues sell for several hundred dollars each thanks to that hilarious little sequence.
Oh yeah.... Wolverine makes his first appearance here as well.
The Hulk shows up in Canada and the Royal Canadian Airforce Tracking Installation mobilizes Weapon X, AKA Wolverine.
The Hulk is summoned to a lonely camp in the woods. The Wendigo's sister is using magic spells to lure him there. She wants to transfer the curse of the Wendigo to the Hulk, freeing her brother. But the Hulk makes his Saving Throw on her Sleep spell too soon, and sees the Wendigo. They get into a Big Dumb Fight...
...and then Wolverine shows up and attacks both of them.
Finding them both essentially invulnerable, however, he decides to team-up with the Hulk to defeat the Wendigo.
Hulk thinks that might mean he and Wolverine are friends, but once the Wendigo is defeated, Wolverine immediately turns on the Hulk. Dick.
Despite some interference from the sister, the two have a good long fight, but the Hulk finally manages to connect (a mere glancing blow, and a resulting BWOK!). Wolverine is knocked out cold.
Then the sister's boyfriend takes on the curse of the Wendigo so that her brother can be free.
You know how Wolverine always says he's the best at what he does, but what he does ain't nice? Well, now we know what the hell he's talking about:
Wolverine: I'll just keep moving, if you please --- because moving is the thing i do best!
Not sure why it's so not nice.
In a subplot, Glenn Talbot, back from the Russian prison camp, is acting flaky.
Wolverine's first appearance in issues #180-181 is relatively well known since they've been reprinted a number of times, but most people probably don't realize that his initial appearance continues into the beginning pages of issue #182. Which is too bad, because it shows another side of early Wolverine. The whiny-baby side.
After Wolverine's wimpy pleas are denied, the Canadian airforce itself tries to capture the Hulk in a pointless two page sequence where he is captured, escapes, is captured, and escapes again.
Then things get weird.
First, Hulk meets, urm, Crackajack Jackson.
It's always enjoyable to see those rare occasions when an ordinary human befriends the Hulk. But Crackajack is dressed like a hobo from the 1930s. And he talks like... well, what Len Wein thought black people talked like in 1974, i guess. So it's a mixed bag.
The good news is that this is where the Hulk develops his renowned love of beans.
Next we meet Johnny Anvil and "Hammer" Jackson, a blatant lift from the Defiant Ones. They meet up with... the Great Pumpkin, i guess...
...and in a double-ironic twist parody of the Green Lantern's origin, instead of helping the dying alien, they shoot him, except shooting him provides him with the metal that he needed to "sustain internal existence-support systems". So they save his life after all, and in return he grants them powers, turning their chain into an "energy-synthicon".
I don't think we ever see the Great Pumpkin again, but somewhere along the way, probably in a Marvel Handbook, we'll learn that he is "Chleee" of the "Glx"
Anyway, it all comes together when Crackajack leads the Hulk to a nearby prison so he can visit his son. And Hammer and Anvil return to the prison so they can wreak vengeance on it with their new powers. Things quickly get out of hand.
Hammer is Crackajack's son, and in the confusion, Crackajack is killed.
Earlier, Crackajack taught the Hulk how to write (!), so the issue ends with the Hulk carving a gravestone for his new but departed friend.
On the lettercol for issue #182, there's a pretty serious debate about whether or not there should be nudity in comics.
Taken as a whole, we're in a weird state for comics. This is the beginning of Len Wein's run on the Hulk, and it's somewhat better than what's come before it, but it's still got a lot of corny elements. If not for the development from later writers, Wolverine could easily have been a throwaway character ("The Hulk's in Canada; who should he fight?" "They've got wolverines in Canada, how about a guy with wolverine powers?"), and Hammer & Anvil essentially are throwaways (they've got a few more minor appearances in them before becoming Scourge-bait). Crackajack Jackson is something of an atrocious character, but if his dialogue wasn't absolutely ridiculous, his relationship with the Hulk would have been pretty good. Generally speaking, the writing isn't bad, and Trimpe's art has its charm.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Hulk next appears in Hulk #183, and then Defenders #15.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1 (issue #182 is an original)
Inbound References (14): show
The Wendigo got a solo story afterwards in an issue of Monsters Unleashed after someone realized he qualified as a monster.
One of the Marvel Fun Books stated that Wolverine was a teenager.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 19, 2011 11:56 PM
Probably irrelevant, but "Glx" was, during the 1950s and 1960s, part of "Glx Sptzl Glaaah!", a prominent baby-talk phrase from DC's "Sugar & Spike" comic(and also the name of a one-shot fanzine devoted to them).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 20, 2011 8:39 PM
Honestly even if Wolverine was never used again beyond this story and some random Marvel cameos, he still had a great nickname. I mean, just the idea that the Canadian government would have a "Weapon X" at least proved something...I don't know what but something. I do feel it
BTW: Wendigo's nose looks laughable in one of the panels you put up...
Posted by: Ataru320 | September 17, 2012 9:51 PM
Foom #2(summer 1973) ran the first results of a Create-A-Character contest, including the first Marvel artwork of Steve Rude, Trevor Von Eeden, and Rich Larson. This is relevant because another entry showed a character called "The Wolverine".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 3, 2013 7:11 PM
You can see Wein putting pieces on the board for the X-Men reboot pretty methodically. The same month as he introduces Wolverine, he uses Professor X in a Defenders story that will clear the decks of Magneto and his henchmen: out with the old, in with the new. In Defenders and two months earlier in MTU, Wein references a secret mission for the old team, which I'm now sure refers to wein's upcoming Krakoa story. The introduction of Madrox in the Wein-plotted Giant-Size FF4 may have been intended to tie in as well. Does Wein get sidetracked from X-Men and hand the reins to Claremont because he gets prompted to (or fired from being) EIC? It seems like he was putting a careful plan into action, all under his own byline.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 18, 2013 9:22 PM
There was also talk in the lettercols in Iron Man #70 (Sep cover date; Sunfire was guest starring) about about a revival of the X-Men book that was "still not yet approved by the Higher-Ups".
Posted by: fnord12 | April 19, 2013 4:57 PM
Now you've got me thinking, Fnord. Silver Samurai debuts in Daredevil while Sunfire is appearing in Iron Man. Just a coincidence that a new international mutant is introduced while the new X-Men are beginning to get a spotlight, or was the Samurai a plot seed, presumably a future foe for Sunfire? This even makes me wonder about Mandrill and Nekra, who first appear a year earlier, but are also international mutants at a time when there were maybe 20 mutants active in the whole MU. Cockrum's seems to have presented his designs for the new X-Men to Marvel around 1972, so it's possible the wheels were already turning. (Though Mandrill and Nekra don't become X-foes and Silver Samurai doesn't encounter them for years--but then, the international angle of the relaunch is dropped almost immediately.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 22, 2013 9:36 PM
Jo Duffy has a letter in #181.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 29, 2013 3:47 PM
I was one of the many that claimed to have had this sought after issue. In fact I had both 180 and 181 in almost new condition. It really wasn't a big deal at all back then. Wolvie was just another bad guy.
Then after the new Claremont X-Men came out Wolvie enjoyed an immense popularity rush. I never really held him in high regard because I just thought that he was one of those "take no prisoner" types in that he had to bleed someone, rip them up and more than likely kill them with those claws. There was no punch, it was just hack-n-slash.
I sold mine for cheap back in the late 70's but I would've just sold it for more later rather than hang onto it. Interesting how he has evolved after all these years.
Posted by: Mike | June 29, 2014 8:37 PM
I've hesitated posting this for awhile, but.... Significance should be 10. Wolverine is one of the most iconic characters in the world, rivaling characters like Thor and Iron Man in terms of recognition.
Posted by: Tabe8 | April 25, 2015 1:02 PM
I think "9" works; Wolverine may be important and iconic but at the same time there is also stupid stuff like Hammer & Anvil and Crackerjack, plus it really is hard to give a "10" unless its something extremely important that defines the universe. (the origins of the original characters, Galactus and such) He would have been one-off ultimately if someone didn't see him as a good idea for the "All-New All-Different X-Men" in having a unique set of powers and being Canadian...sort of the equivalent of most of the other international heroes in the Hulk World Tour/Contest of Champions.
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 25, 2015 1:20 PM
I think Ataru said it well (except the entry doesn't really lose points for Hammer & Anvil or Crackerjack :-) ). A 9 is a really high rating, and Wolverine gets more significance points spread out across the site as his character is developed, origin points are revealed, settings are introduced, new series are launched, etc. I feel he is more than properly acknowledge on this site! ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | April 25, 2015 4:44 PM
What is significance then? Is it amortized over a specific numbers of issues? Nebula got the infinity gauntlet for 5 minutes, should she be a 10? The fact that wolverine "gets more significance points spread out" over the years shouldn't detract from the fact that hulk 180-182 are the first appearances of one of the most recognizable characters in the world.
Posted by: Tabe8 | April 25, 2015 5:04 PM
Check The Rules page on the Sidebar.. Normally i award up to 5 points for a character. More points are awarded for things that are foundational to the Marvel Universe itself. The early Silver Age stories aren't just introducing characters, they're defining how the Marvel universe will work. So i wouldn't just compare the first Iron Man or Thor appearance to the first Wolverine and say, well, Wolverine's more popular so he gets more points. When Iron Man and Thor were introduced it was part of the universe building that made it possible for characters like Wolverine to exist and thrive. And in any event, the importance of Wolverine as a character and eventually franchise is why he got way more points just for the appearance of a character than really he should have, and way more than most non-Silver Age comics. I could see if we were debating a 5 vs. a 10, but not sure why we're even quibbling about a 9 vs. a 10. Also not sure where Nebula is coming from.
Hope this clears things up, Tabe8! :-)
Posted by: fnord12 | April 25, 2015 5:17 PM
I mean, if we're going to judge importance on Tabe's terms we should be giving GS X-Men #1 a 10, it did more to make Wolverine or the X-Men popular than either of those things' actual first appearances, but UXM #1 gets a 10 and GS X-Men #1 doesn't because UXM #1 actually introduces the entire mutant concept.
Go to the Advanced Search on the sidebar and scroll down to the Historical Significance dropdown to see what fnord sees as "historically significant". The only thing newer than the Death of Gwen Stacy to get a 10 so far is the original Eternals series because of its importance for the cosmology of the Marvel Universe. Something similar applies to FF #52-53; Black Panther and Klaw aren't "important" or "popular" enough characters to warrant a 10 on their own, but combined with Wakanda's importance to MU politics is enough to carry it over the top. Same for a lot of the stuff that gets 9's - the introduction of characters and concepts more important to the Marvel Universe itself than to Marvel Comics or comics as a whole. A lot of early crossovers get 10s (the first Sub-Mariner/Torch fight, FF #12, ASM #5) just because of the relative novelty of not necessarily siloing characters off in their own little worlds as was the norm at DC at the time; the latter two certainly wouldn't get 10s by conventional standards.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 25, 2015 7:01 PM
I think Morgan and fnord made the point across better than me. "10"s in Historical Significance are literally moments that define something extremely important in Marvel history. "9" is fine but "10" literally is a universe defining moment.
If it were up to me, the first appearance of Wolverine would probably merit an "8", with the extra point for Hammer & Anvil because they did have a few other appearances before being Scourged. (as I sort of joked above since they aren't that notable) Wolverine may be popular and notable, but his first appearance merely has him as "some Canadian superhero to get in the way of a Hulk/Wendigo fight". It was Giant Size X-Men 1 and Claremont (and later writers like Byrne and Miller) who defined Wolverine as something more than just what he was when he first appeared. Its important, but "10" is for the big stuff, which, as stated, really get fewer once you get out of the Silver Age to the things like "the Death of Gwen Stacy" and "the introduction of the Eternals/Celestials/Deviants".
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 25, 2015 7:22 PM
Just need to say it. This is THE GREATEST COMIC SITE ON THE WEB. Ataru explained the contrary opinion to mine the best I think, even when he pointed to others. Just wanted to chime in with my opinion and didn't expects so many good responses so fast.
Fnord, what you do is just......amazing. Gotta find u a night nurse... :)
Posted by: Tabe8 | April 26, 2015 10:36 AM
Thanks for understanding and for the kind words, Tabe8!
Posted by: fnord12 | April 26, 2015 11:27 AM
Welcome. This place really is an oasis for the obscure and the strange in a cynical comic book world.
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 26, 2015 5:42 PM
Walter, the international angle of the X-Men was probably much longer in development than it was actually used. It's never been clear how it got filtered down to the creative teams, since I doubt Marvel was hoping to find a new fanbase in Russia or Kenya.
It would definitely be interesting to know how much of this Wein was doing deliberately. He was next in line to be editor-in-chief, and would probably have been in on the discussions. The X-Men would be a natural choice, since the origins of their powers can be replicated all over the world, and Marvel was obviously not willing to just let the title die.
But I would think characters like the Silver Samurai and, to a lesser extent, Sunfire, had more to do with interest in martial arts and Japanese culture generally that was seen in the late 70s ["Master of Kung Fu," "Iron Fist"]
Posted by: ChrisW | May 2, 2015 1:32 PM
The international angle of the new X-Men was probably more about political correctness than looking for an international audience (think Captain Planet). It's a credit to Claremont's writing and characterization that it worked so well.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | May 2, 2015 2:42 PM
Political correctness really didn't exist when the All New, All Different X-Men came about. That the heroes came from across the globe was probably a way to distinguish the team, and may have been meant to allow them to trot around the globe. Of course, it didn't work that way and other than some dialogue and occasional references to their background (mainly for Colossus), Claremont did not really do anything to exploit their unique nationalities. For the most part, these could have been generic Americans - and for all practical purposes they were.
Posted by: Chris | May 2, 2015 3:40 PM
As with almost every major Marvel character introduced in the seventies, Wolverine's costume was designed (whiskers and all) by John Romita. Trimpe just copied Romita's sketch directly for that last panel in issue 180.
Posted by: Andrew | November 3, 2015 9:31 PM
In respect to Hammer and Anvil. It may prove worthy to Resurrect these two characters as members of the"WRECKING CREW" and put some emphasis in development of a High profile Super-Villain Team! This is one of the more prolic groups of Evil-Doers in Comic Book history..
Posted by: rocknrollguitarplayer | February 14, 2016 12:12 AM
Almost Forgot the most important part of the Hammer and Anvil offering. These Þwo were the poster Villains for Racism but after receiving said powers from metal eating alien, they seemed to be so completely self-concerned with their new skills that their Racist ways were no longer of interest to promote. These guys are a writing tweak away from being relevant here and now!
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | March 2, 2017 12:15 AM
So many hilarious moments in this storyline.
Hulk and Wendigo bashing heads! Hulk apologizing to a jerk farmer! Hulk telling a knocked out Wolverine he won because he was SMARTER than him, and actually kind of having a point(because come on, it was Logan who thought it'd be a good idea to turn on Hulk AFTER seeing what he was able of)! The Great Pumpkin! Wolverine throwing a whiny fit!
Only way this woulda been funnier is if Hulk actually had stopped to try and repair the fence.
Posted by: OverMaster | June 2, 2017 11:42 PM
Sad to hear of Len Wein's passing today. Left a major mark in comics. Co-created Swamp Thing over at DC and, of course, Wolverine and the "new" X-Men at Marvel, among many others. I met him once and he was very nice and was just a cool guy who didn't mind talking to fans, even when he wasn't getting paid and was probably discussing subjects he'd discussed a hundred times before. Rest In Peace, Len.
Posted by: Robert | September 11, 2017 12:39 AM
Two black guys introduced in two consecutive issues and they're both named Jackson.
Posted by: JP! | September 11, 2017 2:23 AM
Well, aren't I a dummy? I hadn't read the whole synopsis before I shot my mouth off. The two Jacksons are related.
Posted by: JP! | September 11, 2017 1:12 PM
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