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Incredible Hulk #1: Review

May 1962
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Coming of the Hulk!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Incredible Hulk #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Stan Lee (concept, script) and Jack Kirby (artwork) co-created the Hulk. The original color of the Hulk's skin was gray.



I don't make errors.
You know how I detest men who think with their fists!
Get out of my way, insect!
Human?? Why should I want to be human?!?
I don't need anybody!
The trouble with you is you're a milksop! You've got no guts!

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #1 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Image from Incredible Hulk #1

Bruce Banner, the foremost US nuclear physicist, is working for the US government creating the G-bomb or Gamma bomb, "the most powerful weapon ever created by men." The lab is located in a secure military area in the New Mexico desert.

Banner kept the weapon's plans a secret. This concerns Banner's assistant, Igor Starsky, since no one was able to verify his work. Starsky corners Banner violently, but Banner claims he makes no mistakes, and detests those who think with their fists.

General Thaddeus Thunderbolt Ross, the officer in charge, is impatient, and pressures Banner to test the bomb, calling him a "milksop". Betty Ross, the General's daughter, steps in to defend Banner, which is appreciated by the scientist.

On the day of the test, Banner discovers that someone is parked near the detonation area. Asking Starsky to delay the countdown, Banner jumps on a Jeep to alert the individual, Rick Jones, a teenager who sneaked in the base dared by his friends.

Banner reaches Jones on time to push him into a protective trench, but he does not make it. The G-bomb blasts, and bathes Banner with the mortal Gamma rays.

Against all expectations, Banner is not killed, or wounded. Banner and Jones are kept in a room for observation.

At sunset, Banner starts to feel strange. A Geiger counter (a device that measures radiation) goes wild. Suddenly, Banner suffers a metamorphosis and turns into a tall muscular gray skin monster: The Hulk!

Panels sample #2

Jones witnesses the incredible transformation, and is pushed aside by the Hulk who walks through a wall as if it were made of cardboard.

Hulk is accidentally hit by a Jeep; the car is damaged, but not the monster who escapes into the darkness.

Jones follows the Hulk, feeling in great debt to Banner for saving his life earlier that day.

Story #2

The Hulk Strikes!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Bruce Banner in his monster side hides from the soldiers. One of them states: "We've got to find that... That Hulk!!", naming one of Marvel's greatest characters!

Panels sample #3

Hulk walks back to the cabin he came from; he is after the secret gamma bomb documents. Rick Jones follows him.

At the cabin, Banner's assistant Igor Starsky is looking for the same documents, and shots the Hulk on a shoulder. Hulk throws Starsky over a desk, knocking him out. It is Rick who finds the documents taped to the bottom of a glass beaker.

Hulk looks at a photo of Banner and claims "I... I know that face!! It is weak.. Soft!!" Ricks explains the Hulk that he is indeed Banner.

Panels sample #4

Hulk has memories of the bomb explosion, and realizes that the gamma radiation caused his human side to turn into him.

Rick offers to help the Hulk, but he reacts like an arrogant savage: "I don't need you! I don't need anybody!" and adds "With my strength, my power, the world is mine!"

Hulk dislikes the fact that Rick knows his secret identity, and walks towards him in a menacing way. At that very moment, the sun rises. This has a terrible effect on the monster. "My head!! My brain.. It's on fire!" utters the Hulk as he changes back into Banner.

Panels sample #5

"The nightmare is over!" says Banner. Oh boy, what an erroneous statement from a man who recently said "I don't make mistakes..."

Someone is at the door, it's the police!

Story #3

The Search For The Hulk

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolt Ross and his soldiers storm into Bruce Banner's cabin as they trailed the Hulk there. Yet only Banner, Rick Jones, and Igor Starsky are in it.

Soldiers recognize Starsky as a spy, and believe he has something to do with the Hulk. They take him away.

One military man wonders if Banner and Hulk are related but the others find such impossible since the Hulk looks like a grand gorilla, or bear dressed in tatters.

Banner hands the secret gamma bomb documents to the military, who leave to pursue their search for the Hulk.

Betty Ross, the General's daughter, comes to the cabin as well. She appologizes to Banner for her father's harsh behavior, explaining that he's under a terrible strain. But Banner wants to be left alone, so he kindly walks Betty to the door, promissing to call her later. "Please do... Bruce! I feel you're in some great trouble, and... I want to help!", she replies. It's obvious these two have feelings for each other...

Panels sample #6

Rick places bandages on Banner's shoulder (where Starsky shot the Hulk), and asks Banner if the nightmare is really over. The scientist gives a correct answer this time: "No, Rick, it's just... Beginning!"

Story #4

Enter... The Gargoyle

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

From his prison cell, Igor Starsky sends an encrypted message to his team, using a sub-miniature transistor located under his thumbnail. The message informs the Soviets about the existence of the Hulk.

The message gets to the Gargoyle, a powerful yet feared Soviet military monster man. He looks very interested about the Hulk, so he flies on a rocket to the United States.

Panels sample #7

The US defense forces destroy the rocket, but after the Gargoyle escapes from it, landing near the Army base in New Mexico where Bruce Banner was at.

Meanwhile, Banner and Rick Jones are driving a Jeep, trying to get away as far as possible. Banner realized that night would trigger the metamorphosis into the Hulk!

Unfortunately, night came too sudden, Banner turns into Hulk while still at the wheel, crashing the car! Fortunately, Rick is not hurt in the accident.

Hulk realizes that Betty Ross lives nearby and walks to her house, ignoring Rick's pleads to stop. The Gargoyle finds them, and follows them unnoticed.

In her house, Betty is troubled by Banner and all of the recent events. Her father, Thunderbolt Ross, asks her to get some fresh air.

"Perhaps I can tell myself it was all a dream.. There is no Hulk!" says Betty. But it is no other that the Hulk who approaches her!

The monster states: "But there is a Hulk!! And don't you ever forget it!!"

Panels sample #8

Betty faints!

Ricks begs the Hulk to leave before someone sees them. Suddenly, the Gargoyle shows up pointing at them with a strange gun!

Story #5


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The Gargoyle shoots at Hulk and Rick Jones using hypnotic bullets which make them fall under his command. Then, he takes them away.

Thunderbolt Ross finds his daughter Betty: "It was the Hulk! He came from out of the darkness! He.. He was terrifying!"

Ross calms her down, and says "I'll find him, Betty! I swear to you, my child, I'll find him and destroy him!"

Panels sample #9

The Gargoyle is anxious to return to the Soviet Union. He wants his scientists to study the Hulk and create an army of powerful creatures which they could use to rule the world.

He brings them to a stealth plane, and flies back to the URSS.

High in the sky, Hulk receives sunlight, and turns into Bruce Banner.

When they land, the Gargoyle realizes that Hulk and Banner are one and the same.

Bringing them to a secret stronghold, the villain laments not being able to look like a regular man again, and breaks in tears (!): "I'd give anything to be normal!"

"I cannot stop myself from turning into the Hulk.." Banner tells him. "But your case is different! I know how to cure you... "

Using radiation, Banner is able to turn the Gargoyle into his human form. As a side effect, the villain is no longer a genius.

Panels sample #10

Grateful, the former Gargoyle helps Banner and Rick escape, and turns against his Soviet comrades since he became a monster because of them -- during secret bomb tests. While Banner and Rick fly back to the US on a rocket, the Gargoyle blows up the Soviet base, seemingly dying in the blast.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Paul Reinman
Stan Goldberg
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
George Roussos (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Ray Holloway.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Gray Hulk
Gray Hulk


(Bruce Banner)
Igor Starsky
Igor Starsky

(Igor Drenkov)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

> Incredible Hulk: Book info and issue index

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