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Incredible Hulk #231: Review

Jan 1979
Roger Stern, Sal Buscema

Story Name:


Review & Comments

3.5 stars



Bah! Long-hair is crazy! Hulk has had enough of crazy people!
Guns! Guns! Everywhere Hulk goes he is attacked by men with guns! But guns cannot hurt the Hulk! Guns only make Hulk mad!!
Law cannot make Hulk leave! Hulk will smash stupid law!

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #231 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Image from Incredible Hulk #231
Hulk is out of the woods and into a small, quiet California town called Gilbert. As usual, he's frowning. Not a good sign. Out of curiosity, he heads to the only place that's open at 2 am, a tavern (Gus's Tavern, for the record). Suddenly, a long-haired, blond young man called Fred Sloan gets thrown out the main door, landing harshly on the cobblestone street. But Fred quickly stands up and rushes inside to get even with the "stupid redneck" who kicked him out, a bully called Moe Taylor. Moe pushes Fred out again and grabbing him by his shirt, makes a fist to keep on punching.

Note: The brawl was started by Moe who disapproved seeing "bum" Fred drinking at his favourite bar.

Hulk, an accidental luxury witness, dislikes Moe's behaviour and sends him back to the tavern through the window! As the men inside wonder who could've done such thing to Moe, Fred raises his fist angrily, defying any who would try to face him and his newly found green-skinned buddy. Of course, the clientele abandons the tavern as if their very lives depended on it.

Fred thanks the Hulk for saving his life and offers his place to spend the night (!) Hulk initially turns down the invitation but changes his mind after Fred calls him a friend. The two social outcasts walk to Sloan's home.

The next morning at the Gamma base in the New Mexico desert, Doc Samson, Acting Commander, and Clay Quartermain, from SHIELD, welcome Senator Andrew Hawk and Senator Eugene K. Stivak. Both were sent from Washington DC, eager to get answers about the plans to contain the Incredible Hulk. Hawk is displeased and intolerant while Stivak is calm and patient. Dr Carla Sofen is also attending the meeting. Stivak says "baying in the moonlight" as he was explaining Hawk's outbursts. Sofen is taken by surprise as that's her Corporation code-phrase. She wonders how Stivak could know she is secretly Moonstone.

Panels sample #3

Back at Fred's house, Hulk gets out of bed while his crazy host is still sleeping. As Hulk is about to leave, a scrambled-eggs-and-beans smell coming from the kitchen makes him change his mind. The loud scream from the young female cooker wakes Fred up but doesn't disturb the Hulk who starts enjoying the meal prepared by Ilsa, Fred's girlfriend. She dispraises the absurd idea to let the Hulk stay, but Fred insists that he's harmless, a "free thinker" like them. Well, she does not buy it and bursts out of his mad boyfriend's life, perhaps for good.

The sound of a police car siren is heard nearby. Fred convinces the Hulk to avoid a confrontation with the law and both jump in his van. They escape dodging the Deputy's patrol who accidentally crashes on a tree.

Panels sample #4

Word of the Hulk breaking a tavern in Gilbert town gets to Gamma Base. It is Jim Wilson who personally gives the news to Doc Samson. Introducing Wilson to the Senators as one of the few who the Hulk considers a friend, Stivak suggests flying to California with Jim and Dr Sofen to locate the Hulk while Senator Hawk stays in the base. Suggestion accepted, the three soon depart in Stivak's private jet.

Suddenly, Stivak uses sleeping gas to knock Jim out and reveals to Sofen that he works for The Corporation. She's perplexed that an actual Senator belongs to such criminal organisation. Indeed. In the Corporation, he is the head of the mid-Atlantic branch, where they know him by his middle name, Kligger. Handling the Hulk issue would benefit Kligger, and he invites Sofen to cooperate in exchange for power and wealth.

Panels sample #2

Back in Fred's van, the duo heads to Berkeley but find a police roadblock. Fred gives the Hulk a hat and a large coat to pass undercover (not the first time he's done that, see Tales to Astonish #84.)

Panels sample #5

But a cop notices a large emerald hand and asks the Hulk to come out of the vehicle, "nice and slow". Hulk does it abruptly, hitting the firing troopers and smashing their patrols! As the lawmen escape, Fred and Hulk resume their way.

This story continues in Captain America #230

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Sal Buscema
Mike Esposito
Bob Sharen
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Herb Trimpe (Cover Inker)
Layouts: Sal Buscema. Letterer: Annette Kawecki.
Editor: Mary Jo Duffy. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doc Samson
Doc Samson

(Leonard Samson)

(Bruce Banner)

(Eugene K. Stivak)

(Karla Sofen)

Plus: Andrew Hawk, Moe Taylor.

> Incredible Hulk: Book info and issue index

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