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Incredible Hulk #185: Review

Mar 1975
Len Wein, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Incredible Hulk #185 Review by (June 2, 2020)
When President Ford is introduced to Bruce Banner, shackled in a large prison cell, he responds in an unusually sarcastic tone. "Welcome to the Monkey House, Mr. VICE-President" (Ford no longer was). "Why don't you throw me a banana? Maybe I'll do a trick or two!" Clearly, Banner is enraged, and such affects his judgement, failing to respect the figure of such high officer, acting obnoxious, clearly not the typical Robert Bruce Banner we know. Yes, everyone gets upset occasionally, and in such temperature, we tend to say things we then regret. Nobody is perfect. But Banner is clearly not himself in those panels. One could ask if perhaps, Banner was playing Len Wein, the writer, instead. Whatever the case, Banner does react more Hulk-like in this story than in most. And gets defeated as his strongest self. Is that the right way to react? Yes, if you want to lose.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #185 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Bruce Banner is locked in a Hulkbuster Base prison. He is angry. The new US President is visiting the base and the possibility of him hulking out was a risk neither Colonel Armbruster or Thunderbolt Ross would accept. But Banner doesn't want to hear their apologies. Neither those from Betty Ross, now married to Glenn Talbot. She is sorry for hurting Banner, for finding reciprocal care in another man. But, she needs a companion that would not share her happiness with a monster like the Hulk!

Banner responds angrily to her that everything seems to be about the Hulk, and nobody gives a damn about him. Then, he is better off alone. He needs no one. He has no friends! Banner talks as the Hulk would. Chased away, Betty hurfully believes that her true love may deserve no friends.

When Air-Force One lands, General Ross welcomes President Gerald Ford and alongside Talbot, they show him around the base.

Meanwhile, Armbruster goes into Harold Conrad's lab to demand him of the due report on Talbot. Horrified, he finds him dead in a storeroom. The report is but ashes in a trash bin, but Armbruster manages to reprint it (not without cursing the "mish mosh of baling wire"). Learning that the Russians had planted an organic, undetectable bomb in Talbot's chest, he sprints to save the US President's life.

Armbruster arrives just in time to push Talbot away, as he detonates, killing both. At that time, they were next to Banner's prison. Shock turns him into the Hulk who easily breaks free. Ross takes the President to safety while soldiers try rescuing Betty from the monster. But Hulk does not behave like a monster with Betty, her tears made him want to help her. Soldiers spoiled the moment and pay it dearly!

Hulk carries Betty outside and is confronted by Ross at the helm of a biped robotic tank, the HS-1000, a ten-ton device designed to best the Hulk. It seems to just do that initially but Hulk's strength increases as his anger does, and when he is about to smash Ross for good, Betty pleads for her father. Such takes the Hulk out of the fight and gives Ross enough time to shot his opponent with a gamma blaster at point range, knocking the Hulk out.

As Ross celebrates his very first victory against his archenemy, Betty claims that the cost of her father's revenge has been too high and wonders in tears if it will have no end.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Herb Trimpe
Herb Trimpe
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Letterer: Ray Holloway.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Colonel Armbruster
Colonel Armbruster

(John D. Armbruster)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

Plus: President Gerald Ford.

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