|Character And Development:|
|Originality And Continuity:|
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Book Information:Cover Date: May 1962
Characters & Groups
- The Hulk
- Betty Ross
- General Ross
- Rick Jones
- The Gargoyle
The First issue of The Incredible Hulk was quite a compelling read, it was a fine example of storytelling, art, and creativity. At its root, The Incredible Hulk story is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. only this time its Dr. Banner and The Hulk, One half, a brilliant man, the other half a Monster whom is driven by instinct.
It may interest some of you to know that The Hulk in his first issue does not appear to be changed by emotion, but by the change in day and night. I will let you know when we see this change. But for the beginning by day we have Dr. Bruce Banner and by night we The Hulk.
Many of the early marvel comics are divided into parts or chapters, This book is no different, having 5 parts. To me this is two closely tied stories, the first 3 parts being The Hulk’s origin, him coming to be, and the first hunt for him. The last two parts we have him facing off against The Gargoyle. As such I want to discuss them each on their own.
Part 1 though Part 3
This all is what I consider his origin. while I am sure some people would only look at part I as the defining event that creates the hulk, his first transformation to and back again I feel are as key.
In this, Dr. Bruce Banner run’s to save a Teenagers life from his Gamma Bomb test, but ends up being caught in the blast, although miles away, he is exposed to a heavy dose of gamma radiation. while being treated with the kid, he fully expects to die because of it. but instead as the sun set’s he changes, into the monstrous Hulk. braking out of the base, the army pursue him, the solders looking for him give him the name ‘hulk’ on their hunt, this gets back to Banner later, and his persona takes on the name.
it is though these first few parts that we see the compassion of Bruce and see the other brute that he becomes as The Hulk. at the same time we are exposed to the fact that there is a connection between the minds of the two, The Hulk seems to know what Bruce knows, though his own perception.
This keeps them combined yet independent in their own way’s
Part 4 and Part 5
This is something of a kidnapping story to follow the events of the first half, it also serves as a way to avoid more destruction at the hands of the hulk in the first issue. The Gargoyle having received a message about The Hulk, decides he wants him for his own purposes, and comes and kidnaps him. acquiring the Hulk is easy for him. its Dr. Banner whom is in the end responsible for getting free by making a deal with The Gargoyle.
The second story is less compelling than the first, however I feel it serves well to further show us how each half of The Hulk think differently. This I feel is important for a first issue.
The Hulk #1 is well drawn, it is commonly known in the comic community that they had trouble with the Hulk’s Grey coloring in this issue, a key reason he would become green. But to me that was not an issue, while I found the coloring to be a bit off in the whole issue, I could almost see it claimed to be for effect.
The average panel, was above par, but the beginning of each part was leaps above the rest. Combine this with a well done cover that easily could have sold me the issue in a store.
I also must comment, I feel the shadowing was quite good on this issue, the depth it seems to provide excellent. almost every frame made use of showing, and that is something I liked about the issue. It also may be a big part while the hulks coloring changes did not bother me.
Originality & Continuity
Lets face it, the story is both highly original and yet based loosely off of a popular work of fiction, It is not wrong to barrow from classic’s , and put your own view on them, I feel Stan Lee did a great job at this. There is little to build upon in this story for Continuity, but it is by far Original.
Characters & Development
This issue featured a good number of minor character’s besides The Hulk. we have his seeming sidekick Rick Jones. We have the military officers and General Ross also known as “Thunderbolt” Ross, and his daughter Betty Ross.
Then we have the antagonist of the issue, Igor, a fellow scientist whom turns out to be a spy, and is responsible for the detonation of the G-bomb when he was told to hold. Then we have The Gargoyle, whom kidnaps the Hulk but Dr. Banner is able to strike a deal with.
While I do not expect to see Gargoyle or Igor again, the other supporting character’s have a good start in this issue, with some depth and interrelation being established as you read, not just defined ahead for us.
But none develop more than Bruce Banner and the Hulk. This is no real surprise, but it is good to see how both he and his alter ego develop though the pages, how they both express a dislike for their other half.
Remember, I became The Hulk when night fell, and returned to my normal self at daybreak! But day doesn’t last forever! It will soon be night again and when the sun sets, How do I know I wont change once more? How do I know I won’t keep changing into that brutal, bestial mockery of a human — That creature which fears nothing — which despises reason and worships power