Issue(s): Hulk #4
The story then flashes back to Betty Ross figuring out that Rick might have something to do with the Hulk. She goes to tell her father, who is busy watching a test of the latest anti-Hulk weaponry. General Ross' expression when he sees his Hulk doll caught in the ice cube is just priceless.
When Ross hears that Betty wants to talk about the Hulk and not just the latest fawnings about Bruce Banner, he perks up and sends a squad of soldiers to bring Rick Jones back to him. Rick Jones hears the soldiers coming and sends the Hulk away by having him burst out of the side of the house.
A soldier notices this but doesn't tell anyone because he doesn't want them to think he "flipped". I guess he wasn't briefed on why an entire squad of soldiers would be sent to bring back one teenager.
While Rick is interrogated, the Hulk gets out of Rick's telepathic range, and suddenly becomes Superman.
Hulk's leaps were often compared to flying in the early issues but i mean, he's really flying in this issue.
After rescuing the bus he goes on a mini-rampage at a movie set.
Soon, however, he's back in Rick's range, and he rescues Rick...
...and they head to Banner's secret lab.
You have to wonder why Banner built a hidden lab out in the desert before he turned into the Hulk. What was he working on, and why didn't he want General Ross to know about it?
From there, Rick decides to try to cure the Hulk, and he manages to operate Banner's machinery, working from Banner's notes. He successfully turns the Hulk back into Banner.
Banner decides to take things a step further, and performs a second procedure that seemingly gives him control over the Hulk, although it's tenuous.
It's amazing how the status quo of this series changes from issue to issue. It gives me the impression that Lee was flailing, trying to find the right set-up that would get the Hulk to work.
The second story in this issue features Mangu, a space gladiator, and my first thought was whatever happened to the good old days like here where aliens would just show up on Earth demanding to fight our strongest warrior so they could decide whether or not they would take over the planet?
But even better, the whole thing turns out to be a ruse by the Silver Age's other go-to threat, Communists (i'd like to tell you that they are Space Communists from the Red Planet, but sadly, no).
The Communists' plan is to capture the Hulk, but of course the mission ends in abject surrender.
After Banner and Rick Jones are gone, the military arrive and come to the conclusion that this was all some aborted scheme by the Hulk.
It really does feel like Stan and Jack are unsure of exactly what to do with the Hulk.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Collector's Item Classics #4, Marvel Collector's Item Classics #5
"You have to wonder why Banner built a hidden lab out in the desert before he turned into the Hulk. What was he working on, and why didn't he want General Ross to know about it?"
I'm assuming what Rick actually meant there was that it's the lab/Hulk prison that Bruce made AFTER becoming the Hulk for the first time (ie, the one we see in issue #2), but before the subsequent accident which turned him into the Hulk 24-7 and kept Banner from re-emerging (ie, what we see happen in issue #3).
Bruce as much as says that he has to find a way to keep from changing into the Hulk permanently, so that would be the logical place for him to set up equipment to experiment with.
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 22, 2014 11:11 PM
Banner's very early voluntary transformations to the Hulk are nicely referenced in an early Peter David story, Hulk # 331 or 332, I think. Betty, understandably, takes the revelation rather poorly, as she had always assumed that Bruce just wanted to be rid of his curse all those years.
"Mongu" is suspiciously similar in appearance to the Mongu that appeared in Hulk # 211. I wonder what (if anything) was up with that.
Posted by: intp | September 12, 2017 3:49 PM
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