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Incredible Hulk #163: Review

May 1973
Steve Englehart, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:


Review & Comments

3 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #163 Synopsis by Kyle Maurer
The Hulk is wandering the globe in search of Betty Ross. Without realizing it, he moves north past the polar region, allowing the U.S Air Force to catch up with him.

Fighter planes attack the Hulk. General Thunderbolt Ross, on one of them, reveals that he is trying to destroy the Hulk before his daughter Betty returns from her honeymoon.

Frustrated with being bothered, Hulk leaps out of sight and lands on ice that cracks, falling through! Surprisingly, there's an underground U.S.S.R military base, and it is ran by the Gremlin!

The Gremlin was planning on capturing the Hulk to test his Super-Trooper exo-skeleton, a suit that provides a soldier the ability to fly using jets in their feet, has various mechanical gadgets, and grants the wearer a strength of 20-times that of a normal man!

Impressive, but when the strongest one there is starts outmatching the Russian Super-Troopers, the Gremlin orders to use gas which knocks the Hulk out.

Since the U.S. Air Force was still flying around above ground, the Gremlin decides to use his "Null Ray" which can halt a plane in mid flight! With the Null Ray on them, Super-Troopers fly up to the planes, and take General Ross captive.

Hulk awakes and begins fighting his restrains, but he halts when the Gremlin tells him about his late father, the Gargoyle! The Gremlin blames the Hulk for killing his father (the footnote mentions that Gargoyle killed himself in Incredible Hulk #1 but no one told his son that part). The Hulk feels pity, and for the next few days, he lets the Gremlin run some tests of strength, while keeping him partially sedated with gas treatments, just in case.

Note: A great scene shows the gas-weakened Hulk holding two 20-ton magnets apart for two hours, spending an hour under water before his lungs began to ache, and pulling tremendous weights while wearing a shoulder harness.

Upset at the Hulk for his manners, the Gremlin gives his green skin prisoner twice the gas dosage, but such turns him into Bruce Banner. Taken to a prison cell, Banner sees General Ross who slips a note with a plan that involves the Hulk to get them out of there.

The Gremlin theorizes it'd be easier to work on the Hulk's blood by extracting it from Banner. But when they strap him down, Banner turns into the green Goliath!

Super-Troopers use gas against the Hulk, but this time he covers his mouth and holds his breath. After jumping through a wall, he sees Ross in his cell, but does not help his enemy, and leaps to the surface as Ross shouts "We had a plan!"

Back at the newly weds, Betty and Glenn Talbot arrive home from their honeymoon. On the front page of a newspaper, "The Hulk Nabbed by U.S.S.R." Realizing Hulk (Banner) is alive makes her happy (she is not worried the Hulk is captive since he always gets in and out of trouble). But as she flips the paper, she breaks into tears when she finds out that her father, Thunderbolt Ross, was captured by the Russians while chasing the Hulk!

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Herb Trimpe
Sal Trapani
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

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