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Incredible Hulk #179: Review

Sep 1974
Len Wein, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:

Re-Enter: The Missing Link

Review & Comments

4 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #179 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Image from Incredible Hulk #179
This issue starts with a mad Hulk, tired of being locked in a "little room". That is actually a long-range rocket Memorax, the Recorder, lent to send the green goliath from Counter-Earth back to (First) Earth. Hulk breaks a hole as the rocket was entering the Earth's atmosphere, plummeting to the ground like a meteorite.

A US military base detects the Hulk as well as the rocket and launches two missiles which hit their targets. Hulk crashes on a hillside and passes out.

Waking up as Banner, he is greeted by a man called Clay Brickford and his family. They had seen the plane crash and approached in case their help would be needed. They welcome Banner into their house, located in a town called Lucifer Falls, provide him with clothing and a plate of food. Banner really appreciates the help of this poor but caring people.

Suddenly, a large monster-like man by the name of Lincoln enters the house. He's presented to Banner who has the feeling of having met him. Of course, Lincoln is the Missing Link. Hulk fought him in Incredible Hulk #106 where he seemingly perished. Flashbacks explain that the Missing Link remerged from pieces, the Brickfords found him, took him as their own and tutor him. He eventually got a job in the mines.

As the days go by, Banner spends more time with Lincoln. The pink-skinned monster takes him to the mine, they go fishing together. They become friends. Lincoln is adored by the Brickford's kids who play with him. Suddenly, one of them falls to the ground with a stomachache. Banner discovers he is suffering radiation sickness and is heartbroken to learn the source is the Missing Link. How can he tell him he should leave?

Meanwhile, Glenn Talbot returns to the US. He was a prisoner in Russian soil for weeks and managed to escape on his own. Betty Ross welcomes him lovingly. General Thunderbolt Ross is happy to see his "boy" back. But Colonel Armbruster is worried, yet he hides his doubts about Talbot accomplishing such an impossible escape.

That morning, in the mine, Banner tries explaining the Missing Link that he is poisoning the Brickford and the town people with his radiation so he should leave and get treatment. But the Missing Link doesn't accept that and thrusts Banner aside, upset, accidentally pushing him to a hole. Banner plunges into a deep well, turning into the Hulk in mid-air.

Hulk makes a dramatic return to the surface and recognizes the Missing Link who attacks the Hulk to save the town people from the green menace. The two powerhouses fight to a standstill until the ground beneath them collapses. Inside the mine tunnels, the Missing Link starts to shine and he realizes Banner was right. He repents having hurt those he loves before his body explodes. That destroys the whole mine complex.

As the Hulk digs his way out of the ground, he finds the Missing Link a few yards away. The miners come to the aid of Lincoln, returning the help he always offered them. It would take years for the Missing Link's radioactivity to build to a critical level once more. So he no longer represents a threat. Hulk is confused to witness the friendly crowd comforting the monster-like Lincoln and is left, once again, in solitude.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Herb Trimpe
Jack Abel
Glynis Wein
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Herb Trimpe (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Colonel Armbruster
Colonel Armbruster

(John D. Armbruster)
Glenn Talbot
Glenn Talbot

(Talbot LMD)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

Plus: Memorax.

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