Issue(s): Hulk #6
Review/plot: The Hulk is trying to get back to Banner's secret lab so he can transform back, but the military is performing training maneuvers near the entrance. Not sure why the Hulk wants to change back to Banner. Even in this issue he still refers to Banner as a 'milksop'. Suddenly the army is called back to the base, and Hulk goes through the increasingly painful transformation process. The army is facing the Metal Master, an alien from planet Astra. His entire race can mentally control metal, but he is the only criminal, and he's left his planet to conquer Earth.
Banner sees his attack and transforms back into Hulk, but this time his head remains Bruce Banner's. Luckily (!) Bruce has been making plaster molds of the Hulks face, so the Hulk wears one (that is some crazy nonsense).
Then he goes off to fight the Metal Master (turning down the offer to team-up, figuring he can conquer the Earth better on his own - but why is Hulk defending the humans by fighting him?)...
...eventually defeating him using the good old wooden gun technique. Somewhere along the way, some army soldiers get a chance to get close to the Hulk and notice that he's wearing a mask, but when they pull it off, the Hulk's face is underneath.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT??
In this issue, Rick Jones forms the lame-as-hell "Teen Brigade", a bunch of ham radio enthusiasts.
Thanks to his defeat of the Metal Master, the Hulk gets a pardon for his past crimes, but the Hulk is pissed because he expects more. He's also grumpy because he seems to be stuck as the Hulk (again, why is he upset?), but as he becomes enraged he turns back into Banner.
This issue was drawn by Ditko instead of Kirby, and the art is quite nice, much closer to the look that will become the classic Hulk design than Kirby's Frankenstein monster.
This is the Hulk's last issue until he gets half of Tales To Astonish in Oct 1964 (he'll appear as a regular villain in early issues of Avengers in the meantime). What i find interesting is that throughout his original series he was not the raging, unintelligent, anger-triggered monster that we think of as the Hulk. At the same time he seemed to not be very popular; Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story quotes a contemporary fanzine saying "It stinks. A comic-book-length rendition of one of their hack monster stories with a continuing character modeled more or less on The Thing" (Don and Maggie Thompson in Comic Art #3).
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Hulk Transformations
interesting thing here. as you say, this is much closer to the look the hulk would have later and Ditko is responsible.
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