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Incredible Hulk #173: Review

Mar 1974
Roy Thomas, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:

Anybody Out There Remember the Cobalt Man?

Review & Comments

4 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #173 Synopsis by Fredrik Jullum
Hulk is in San Diego fighting the Army, until he gets bored and climbs down a manhole to escape. He arrives at the docks where he boards a ship to finally get some rest.

Meanwhile, Ralph Roberts, the ship's owner, is in a fight with his brother Ted. He wants to come along, but Ralph won't let him, and eventually knocks him down, and tells his driver to take him to a hotel.

Ted, however, is persistent, and escapes from Ralph's limo before sneaking back down to the docks and getting on the ship. There he meets Bruce Banner (who reverted...), and hangs out with him for the ride. But one night, Bruce has a nightmare (about the Hulk), and wakes up screaming. Obviously, the crew hears this, and the two get discovered.

Well, Ted is Ralph's brother, and Ralph recognizes Bruce, so things work out pretty well. Ralph tells the two of his career as the Cobalt Man, a super-villain with an armor loosely based on Iron Man's.

Anyway, Ralph is now ready to become Cobalt Man again as the ship enters an area surrounding an H-Bomb test. Everybody prepares for what is about to happen. The sailors hide under deck, shielded by a radiation shield, while Ralph is standing on deck ready for impact. But he's not wearing his armor? Ted runs over to stop him, but Bruce, remembering the Rick Jones-incident, stops the man, and lies on top of him, shielding him with his own body.

The bomb hits it's target sending shock waves against the ship and the three unshielded men on it. Everybody survived though.

A doctor checks Ralph before the unexpected happens: Ralph's skin suddenly turns blue, and he gains super powers which was his plan all along.

Ralph gets back in his Cobalt Man armor, and attacks his own crew!

So Banner turns into the Hulk and attacks Ralph who turns out to be pretty strong, throwing the green giant onto, and through, the top of the ship, before jumping after.

Another battle starts where Hulk hits Cobalt Man in the face, and lifts him over his head. But then, Hulk suddenly starts reverting. That doesn't please him too much, so he throws Cobalt Man through the floor and into the water, making a hole.

The ship starts sinking, and Bruce has just fainted after reverting... To be continued?

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Herb Trimpe
Herb Trimpe
Petra Goldberg
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Herb Trimpe (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jean Izzo.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Cobalt Man
Cobalt Man

(Ralph Roberts)

(Bruce Banner)

> Incredible Hulk: Book info and issue index

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