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An INCREDIBLE HULK of a site! Oodles of information about the green skinned monster!

Tons of information from the official Universal Pictures site!

I was angry for a long time, and nobody liked me when I was angry. But then I found this page, with tons of space devoted to the TV show starring Bill Bixby, and I have learned to control my anger.

Marvel Masterworks: Hulk Vol. 2

Reprints: Giant Man & the Wasp from TTA #59
and Hulk from Tales to Astonish #60-79

(Vol. 39 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

Current In-Print Edition: First Print
Original Release Date: REG: 12/29/04 • LTD: 12/22/04

REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7581-1654-0 • List Price: $49.99
VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1655-9 • List Price: $54.99

266 Pages

Scripted by Stan Lee
Pencilled by Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Bill Everett, Gil Kane, Bob Powell, John Romita and others
Foreword by Stan Lee

Buy From:

The only super-hero soap opera in all of comicdom!

That was the blurb on the splash page of the Hulk's half of Tales to Astonish #64. Now, when you think of Hulk, you think of larger than lifemonster-type action, super-sized panels of furiously flyin' fisticuffs, and gamma-irradiated madcap mayhem! But soap operas? You mean, the kind of action where little old ladies across the country pull their hankies out when two-timing lovers return from the dead, long-lostchildren pop up from out of nowhere, and everyone is really, really good looking? Well....sort of! But in a Hulk-ified way, for sure. You know, that blurb blows the lid offof one of comic fandom's best kept secrets. It's something most of us dare not talk about! We don't admit it to each other, and we especiallydon't talk about to non-comics fans, but while the action, fisticuffs and mayhem is what we enjoy, it's the soap operatics that keep us involved. Comics are soap operas for little boys- and little boys at heart! (And, hey, some little girls, too!!!)

But of all the comics to trumpet the words "Soap Opera?" The Hulk? There were so many other obvious choices for comics to declare itselfopenly as Marvel melodrama. Avengers jumps right to the top of the list, as does Thor. But a comic surrounding the life of a giant, green monster? Well, let's meet some of the characters you'll find in the pages of the Hulk:

BRUCE BANNER: This mild mannered scientist is gripped with the double life of a raging beast. When his rage overtakes him, he changesinto a giant, green, gamma-irradiated monster with the power of a thousand men. He is the strongest beast in human creation, with only one desire- to be left alone! Bruce Banner is...the Hulk!

BETTY ROSS: This brunette bombshell desperately loves the brainy Banner, with no idea how to explain his strange behavior and inexplicable absences, and no idea how to understand that despite all his eccentricities, she still loves him! More than he can know- more than he will ever know!

MAJOR GLEN TALBOT: This new man on the scene, this dashing young patriot has no confusions about his identity or sense of self. No, he is sure about only two things! He will die, if need be, in the service of his country, and he must show Betty Ross that he is worthy of her love. And he must win it, no matter what!

GENERAL "THUNDERBOLT" ROSS: This cantankerous father of Betty, never understanding how she could love a milquetoast like Bruce Banner, but unable to deter the wild love his daughter feels for the scientist he fears is a traitor! And more, the responsibility of destroying something that seems beyond destruction falls heavy on his shoulders. How a man like this general, with all the training and experience of a lifetime, and the weapons of a potentially world-destroying military might at his disposal, can come up empty so many times pursuing a single, solitary beast, is another thing beyond his understanding. If he stopped to reflect, it might drive him crazy, and so he rages on into the night....

RICK JONES: This young man, loyal to a fault on behalf of his best friend and savior Bruce Banner, cannot rest as long as Banner wandersthe desert landscape, lost and bewildered by a world not set up to accomodate one such as he. Can a young man- nay, a boy!- such as he, help his friend, the Hulk, save not only himself, but the people of Earth who he might destroy in his rage?

THE LEADER: This mysterious and powerful protagonist to the Hulk! He too, with powers spawned by gamma-ray irradiation; he too, imbued with green flesh; he too, with powers that could rule the world if he so chooses. And he so chooses! For the power of the Leader is a grave and terrible mind, a super-intellect like no man has ever before been endowed with, and the arrogance to try to follow his every whim of dominance. And the Leader is smart enough to see that any proper domination of the world must reckon first with the Hulk- to either make him a tool of that domination, or to utterly destroy him as an enemy!

Whew! How's that for a cast of characters? Now I see why Stan put the hard sell on the Hulk as a soap opera! You know, if they had packaged it as a weekday drama, sponsored by Palmolive or Ivory Soap, it couldn't have failed, could it? But it wasn't a TV show (yet!) It was a comic book. And after being restoredto monthly glory in the pages of Tales to Astonish, as a backup to Giant-Man and the Wasp, and later the Sub-Mariner, the Hulk could once again restore himself to the front of the line of Marvel's pantheon of super-heroes. The two artists who took hold of him in the first six comics that bore his name- Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko- are back online in the stories reprinted in Hulk Masterworks Vol. 2. Steve pencils the first eight stories of Hulk's run, and Jack provides pencilled pages or layouts on the rest of the volume's stories.

But there's a ton of great artists beyond Jack and Steve to be found in this excellent book. John Romita pencils and inks a lone story, and Bill Everett climbs on board for some stunning linework in two stories. Gil Kane drops in to pick up the book one month, and Bob Powell nails down the chores on a couple issues. Mike Esposito must be considered a stalwart on this run of comics, as he is either pencilling or inking about half the issues here. You might think that with no consistent artist on the book, that the material suffers. On the contrary, it makes for quite an interesting look through all the different takes of the Hulk, and with Jack providing layouts throughout the post-Ditko issues, there is a stability to the proceedings.

As far as what happens in each issue, well, why don't you read the soap opera, partner? The easy thing to do would be to tell you! But what's the fun in that?

-- by Gormuu

-- panel images provided by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Giant-Man from Tales to Astonish #59 and
Hulk from Tales to Astonish #60-79

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

TTA #59TTA #60TTA #61TTA #62TTA #63TTA #64
TTA #65TTA #66TTA #67TTA #68TTA #69TTA #70
TTA #71TTA #72TTA #73TTA #74TTA #75TTA #76
TTA #77TTA #78TTA #79


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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