Issue(s): Hulk #171, Hulk #172
I'm not going to lie to you people. The Hulk first fights a Rhino/Abomination team-up, and then fights the Juggernaut. That's really all there is to the plots of these issues. If you want more than that, you're looking at the wrong book. Big Dumb Fights is what we're here for.
Emphasis on dumb.
It's cool seeing the Abomination using a gun, a reminder that he's not just a big brute like the Hulk...
...but ultimately you want him fighting with his fists. He is, after all, the strongest mutant of them all.
After the Hulk saves Gamma Base from the Rhino and Abomination, he's sneakily captured by Colonel Jack Armbruster.
Issue #172's plot relies on past elements in the life of the Juggernaut, which were written by both Thomas and Englehart. In Dr. Strange #182, by Thomas, the Juggernaut was seen imprisoned in another dimension. In Amazing Adventures #16, by Englehart, the Juggernaut briefly escaped that dimension to fight the Beast.
Now the Juggernaut is released again as the military attempts to banish the Hulk into another dimension, and they accidentally swap the two. From the Juggernaut's point of view, a mystical entity, considering him a nuisance, agreed to restore the Juggernaut's youth (lost in his fight with the Beast) and send him back to Earth in exchange for the Juggernaut giving up his recently learned mystical abilities. So this book establishes (or re-establishes) the Juggernaut's core concept; he's an unstoppable physical force. His powers have a magical origin, but once you get past that it's irrelevant; he's not doing any more magic stuff.
The dimensional transporter malfunctions due to the Juggernaut's interference, and then the Hulk is returned to Earth as well (or maybe the same guy that sent the Juggernaut home didn't want the Hulk around either). The two Team-Up and rampage around the army base.
After leaving the base they split up. The Hulk wants to find his friends: "Dumb magician, fish-man, girl-on-horse, silver one, and purple-man. Hulk has lots of friends." Good for Hulk. But before he can go find them, he sees the Juggernaut picking on an innocent family. (Purple-man is Hawkeye, btw, who was a Defender until recently.)
Then we get a big enjoyable Hulk/Juggernaut fight.
It even ends with a nice physics diagram showing the Juggernaut's flight path and probable point of impact (and some nice sound effects: BLAMM! and CARROOMMM!).
My only problem is that once again the Juggernaut is physically defeated just because his helmet is removed, but we'll chalk that up to the fact that Professor X, along with Cyclops and Marvel Girl, are hanging out in the background.
They're in the area because they're trying to recruit Havok and Polaris to find Angel.
From a 'justification for reading my comics in chronological order perspective' the Juggernaut issue has two arguments in my favor. First of course is the appearance of the Juggernaut, which relies on knowledge of the fact that he's been hanging out in alternate dimensions. Second is this missing Angel story, which starts in the Avengers and wraps up in the upcoming Captain America: Secret Empire story. It's fun to see these plot elements appearing in different books, reinforcing the concept of a unified Marvel Universe.
The art and stories aren't great, but they're made up for with enthusiasm.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc starts with the Hulk sneaking back to Gamma Base in a box so that he can stay with Betty after the events of the previous arc. The Hulk next appears in Defenders #12. The X-Men next appear in the Secret Empire story in Captain America.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
The presence of the missing Angel subplot does tend to reinforce Englehart's claim.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 17, 2011 11:21 AM
Foom #3 announced that Roy Thomas was taking over Hulk with #171, and that he was bringing the Juggernaut back.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 3, 2013 7:33 PM
#171 also became a Power Records book/record set.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 7, 2013 5:42 PM
The appearance of the X-Men looking for the Angel would place these issues before the Secret Empire arc, but you seem to have them some time after.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | July 18, 2013 1:40 AM
Iconic cover - emblazoned in my childhood memory.
Posted by: Jack | July 18, 2013 7:12 AM
@Erik - Thanks for pointing this out. I'd even mentioned the Secret Empire arc in this review, but i think i overlooked these issues when i had to shuffle back the Cap issues due to other dependencies. Should be resolved now.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 20, 2013 10:35 AM
The Power Records version of #171 is how I was introduced to the character, and as a result, I have always liked the Abomination. That was reinforced when I obtained a copy of Bring on the Bad Guys. I really thought the Abomination was a top tier Grad A villain, but I've been disappointed to learn that few stories have made use of him in that way.
Posted by: Chris | October 4, 2013 10:16 PM
Bring on the Bad Guys is what did it for me too.
Following up on Lord Byron's comment on Hulk #194, do you remember how he talked on the Power Record? Did he have a Russian accent?
Posted by: fnord12 | October 4, 2013 10:29 PM
I had it. No Russian accent, just a deep bass.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 5, 2013 2:19 PM
If you want to hear the original Power Records, you can probably find it on YouTube. Here is a current copy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDD62Vr3tg8
Posted by: Chris | December 20, 2013 1:22 AM
I've always like the Rhino in the early Spider-Man cartoons and comics. And it was cool to see him crossover to being the Hulk's enemy. It's a shame that the new Spider-Man movie totally ruined him. These issues mentioned were just great rockem sockem fights.
Posted by: Mike | June 15, 2014 6:41 PM
I don't remember really liking the Hulk vs. Juggs fight. All I can recall is being disappointed. It seems like the two haven't had a rematch yet on this website. Considering Juggernaut is powered by magic to be basically invincible unless his brain is attacked and Hulk is unstoppable unless he gets gassed or loses interest. So the two should fight and destroy a whole country in the process or Hulk actually gets beaten down.
Posted by: david banes | November 9, 2015 11:21 PM
The Abomination hitting Ross and not turning him to jelly is my Superman II moment.
Non smashes through the Daily Planet offices, and then hits someone, angrily. Why didnt that guy turn into a smear on his fist?
I need to see Donner's version.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | September 7, 2016 6:37 AM
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