HULK SMASH! You BET! So one of my favorite issues of The Incredible Hulk goes way back to 1977, issue number 212 with amazing artwork by one of the Green Goliath’s best artists, Ernie Chan! This amazing one features the Hulk squaring off against one of my personal favorite villains in an unlikely encounter for the Hulk: The Constrictor! I thought it would be cool to showcase a couple alternate covers from the UK that were made especially for this particular reprint of a classic Hulk issue way back when, check these out!
I’ve always loved it when a superhero and supervillain who’s not normally associated with them, go head to head and this is a prime example of that sort of offbeat comic book battle!
I’ve also always loved The Constrictor as a villain with his deadly adamantium coils he was actually able to give the Hulk a run for his money surprisingly in their one and only match up. I’ve always really dug the OG cover too that Ernie created. If you’re a Hulk fan def hunt down this super sweet back issue!
I was rewatching some of my favorite eighties cartoon episodes straight from my childhood recently & was reminded why The Incredible Hulk series from that era remains one of my faves! It used to be paired with ‘Spider-man and His Amazing Friends’ during the Marvel “power hour” on Saturday mornings!
I’ve stated here a few years ago that as much as I liked The Incredible Hulk animated series of the early eighties there just wasn’t enough appearances from the jade giants rogue’s gallery. As far a real villains, he only really went head on with The Leader, Doctor Octopus oddly and the Puppetmaster. As a kid I’d always hoped to see The Abomination, The Rhino, The Bi-Beast or M.O.D.O.K. pop up to cause The Hulk some trouble. Instead in a strange twist we got an epic battle between the green goliath and of all people, The Hunchback of Notre Dame(?!) in an episode from 1982 called ‘When Monsters Meet’.
Yep, Quasimodo for some reason showed up not only in the animated series but also in a special one shot issue from 1983 the that I still personally adore to the this day! And at a mere 60 cents you just CAN’T complain right?!
What’s so perplexing is I could never quite figure out just why the hell they chose to pit the Hulk against him in the first place? I mean surely there were better villains to feature in an animated series! But still…
…And really who would’ve thought that Quasimodo actually had the super human strength to go one-on-one with The Incredible Hulk in the first place?! I’m impressed! They actually managed to make him into a pretty frightening and formidable foe. Go Quasi!
I’m guessing that this particular one shot issue, which featured actually a pretty sweet savage battle, was created in some sort of way to generate more excitement around the animated TV series? Either that or someone was just a real BIG fan of The Fighting Irish and just simply couldn’t resist making Quasimodo into a bonafide Incredible Hulk bad-ass villain. I think the results worked shockingly well, don’t you?
Whatever the case I just had a an 80s flashback of owning this weirdo one shot comic book beautifully illustrated by Sal Buscema and seeing this particular episode for the first time. Believe me, though an ODD choice of a story and semi stupid villain, it made me long for those Saturday mornings and sugary cereals of sooo many years past…
I’m going way out on a limb here to make a very bold statement today- I am going to declare THIS particular piece of artwork as my single favorite image image of The Incredible Hulk! I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while and ever since I was a kid I could never get this beautifully painted rage filled masterpiece by the legendary John Buscema & Joe Jusko out of my mind!
To me this embodies everything that The Hulk should be: a muscle bound monster that puts utter fear into the souls of anyone who faces him. This cover from The Hulk! magazine #26 from 1981 captures everything I love about the jade giant. A fierce, frightening behemoth And most definitely my favorite super hero of all time, hands down.
But with this post I figured I would challenge Fellow Universal Dorks out there to prove me wrong, What is your favorite piece of work that features The Hulk in all of his is gamma glory?! Change my mind on this one I challenge you! HULK SMASH!!
I never got to eat a lot of Twinkies as a kid, but don’t get me wrong I really freakin’ wanted to! I can confidently say as well that one of the reasons why I was so damn obsessed with getting my hands on some Twinkies (and hostess fruit pies) was becuz they seemed to be all the rage with my favorite green superhero: The Incredible Hulk! I mean let’s get real here, how could you actually be a kid in the eighties and not be influenced by these amazing little Incredible Hulk hostess adventures?! Plus, It appears to feature classic Hulk artist’s Sal Buscema had quite possibly Herb Trimpe doing the art! If someone knows for sure please correct me, but in the meantime check these out and let your tummy rumble and rage for a damn Twinkle!
Of Course by now you’ve all realized how much I love the iconic artwork of master Bill Sienkiewicz! Well here’s a little treat, an unpublished cover for the Incredible Hulk #300 from 1984 that he did. The truly epic artwork for a legendary issue that pitted a seemingly mindless Hulk up against some of Marvel’s greatest heroes hell bent on ridding the world once and for all of the monster. Instead though Doctor Strange sends The Hulk into an alternate universe called the “Crossroads” for a truly unforgettable chapter in chapter in The Green Goliath’s history. Check out Bill’s cover:
The original cover by Bret Blevins is equally impressive, but this unfortunately was a time before Marvel cover variants we put out there for fans, Damn how Bill’s cover would have also been perfect…here’s the original:
One of the most unique comic book covers the Jade Giant ever received has got to be from The Incredible Hulk #294, way back in April of 1983. I love the covers from this period, as you never quite knew what to expect, sometimes covers would be hand painted, or sometimes even photographs. It was all quite unpredictable in the best way possible. Today the slick artwork done completely via computer can be initially quite stunning but can also have a sterile feel to it and the weird glossy “paper(?)” they’re printed on doesn’t help give them any extra charm. Issue #294 though is what comic book covers are all about, painted brilliantly by Ken Steacy. This issue also features the wild moment, of Bruce transforming into The Incredible Hulk COMPLETELY naked while lathering up in the shower! Check that out right HERE! This is all just a couple more reasons why I miss the 1980’s so damn much…
One of the things I really enjoyed about ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was the “Professor” Hulk finally making his big screen appearance. I’ve gotta admit I was a bit disappointed that this version of the Hulk really didn’t do any smashing and even more of a let down was that we never got to see Hulk and Thanos get a rematch. Just because the Hulk’s got Banner in the brain doesn’t mean he still can’t kick some major ass! Regardless it brought back memories of the character as a kid when “Banner Hulk” was introduced and for me it was shocking to see the character this way. Incredible Hulk #285 was always a favorite of mine, where we really see Banner Hulk in full effect.
I mean the cover and the first page feature Hulk with his classic Banner attire and even some sweet ass combed hair!! Back in 1983 I was in awe that this could even ever be a thing for Hulk, the character during this period feels a lot like the ‘Endgame’ Banner Hulk, where he was a lot more reserved about doing any serious ass kickin’. Later in the 90’s we got Professor Hulk yet again, though he was much more of a bad ass often using guns instead of fists to fight his enemies. Still this great cover is a total classic from artist Ron Wilson and inker Joe Sinnot and of course who doesn’t love a classic showdown with one of his greatest villains-ZZZAX!!! Check out the first page of this issue, it’s one of my all time favorite depictions of the Professor Banner Hulk! He never looked so damn smart and sophisticated!!
So for the time being I’ve taken a break from buying comic books weekly as they are pretty damn pricey these days and honestly there really weren’t too many titles that really grabbed and made it worth the weekly cash drop. As a huge fan of The Incredible Hulk ever since I was a little kid, I’ve got to admit I do miss reading about the adventures of the “Jade Giant” and really couldn’t get into the whole “Totally Awesome Hulk” stuff. The Banner Hulk was killed off a couple years back and it seemed perhaps that the original green goliath was gone for good (or at least for the time being as no one is ever really dead in Marvel Universe). Well now there’s a new HULK book out called The Immortal Hulk and my curiosity has been sparked as the first issue dropped in June and it’s been referred to as a return to form for the Banner Hulk. I’ll probably wait for the trade but I’ve gotta say this Variant cover by Sal Buscema sure does give me the goosebumps longing for a nostalgic old school Hulk adventure!!!
Ahhh yes I can still remember how stoked I was as a kid waaaay back in 1985 when John Byrne took over writing and drawing The Incredible Hulk for a far too short of a run. I was only 11 years old, but I seriously adored John Byrne, he was hands down my favorite comic book artist and The Hulk was my favorite comic book character. Byrne had been writing and drawing Alpha Flight, which of course I was a die hard fan of too, when he switched to full on Hulk mode with issue #314. I was thrilled!
I must have read that issue a hundred times and the cover itself couldn’t have been more awesome as it featured the Jade Giant in all of his Byrne-esque glory along with a gang of his deadliest villains behind him ready to start some shit. The Leader, Modok, The Rhino, Abomination & The Juggernaut! Byrne’s highly detailed artwork pushed The Hulk to new levels of awesomeness, the character was more massive than he’d ever been too. Though the villains on the cover end up being just part of Hulk’s over active imagination, the Byrne run fully made up for that with making Hulk-centric character Doc Samson one of, if not the main character of his short run. From that point in in Hulk history Doc Samson quickly became one of my favorite Marvel characters, the series also improved upon Doc’s costume, giving him a new one, ditching his classic but sorta awful lightning bolt suit he’d worn previously.
In the past we’d seen Samson tangle with the Hulk but never quite like this. I absolutely love how Byrne’s Hulk completely dwarf’s Samson in size like never before, yet he proves just how much of a bad ass the character really is with not only his brawn but also his brains. This issue is essentially one big fight between the two and begins with a more mindless version of the Hulk who’d been missing in another dimension called The Crossroads, exiled by Doctor Strange for over a year (those were great issues too!). Samson cleverly defeats The Hulk and makes Hulk history using his genius scientific intellect to actually separate Bruce Banner from The Hulk as two living breathing entities.
This was a great era of Hulk history and let’s face it John Byrne was easily one of the best comic book writers and artists of the 70’s & 80’s if not of all time. During this run he pumped out 8 issues, one being an awesome Marvel Fanfare where’s Byrne’s stunning artwork proved he was easily one of the best of all time when it came to drawing the jade giant. Another was The Hulk annual #14 which he wrote but master Hulk artist Sal Buscema drew. I love the Byrne era Hulk and apparently he’d had big plans for the series but was thwarted, there’s actually a great story about what went down here with the Byrne Hulk run for all of you Hulk-a-maniancs. Also check out ‘Incredible Hulk: Visionaries #1‘ Trade Paperback which features the whole output of Byrne 80’s Hulk. Ahhh those were the good ol’ days….
Here’s a personal favorite cover of mine way back from 1983! This particular issue was one I must have read 100 times as a kid and I just loved the imagery of the Hulk being attacked by a cluster of The Leader’s pink rubbery silly putty style humanoids. It got me thinking of how much I miss those old classic Hulk story lines and how today we don’t even have Banner or the original classic Hulk anywhere to be found. I realize the old days of the Hulk are likely gone as comic books today are a bit more of a real life social statement. I’m missing those days of the jade giant and Banner fighting monsters, the military and all the cool sci-fi adventures they embarked on. Times have truly changed but they can never take away those classic comics of yesteryear….