> Marvel Masterworks Library

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An INCREDIBLE HULK of a site! Oodles of information about the green skinned monster!

Tons of information from the official Universal Pictures site!

I was angry for a long time, and nobody liked me when I was angry. But then I found this page, with tons of space devoted to the TV show starring Bill Bixby, and I have learned to control my anger.



Original 27

  • First print: 9/89
  • _________________________

    Barnes & Noble Softcover

  • First print: 4/03

  • Same trade dress as 2002 Silver/Black design

    Marvel Masterworks: Hulk Vol. 1

    Reprints: Hulk #1-6

    (Vol. 8 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

    Current In-Print Edition: Second Edition, First Print
    Original Release Date: 5/7/03

    REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1185-9 • List Price: $39.99
    VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1258-8 • List Price: $44.99

    150 Pages

    Scripted by Stan Lee
    Pencilled by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko
    Foreword by Stan Lee

    Buy From:
    AMAZON.COM USA: n/a • AMZ UK: n/a • AMZ CANADA: n/a
    TALES OF WONDER: $27.99 • Barnes & Noble SC: $11.65

    Is he man or monster....or is he both?

    So challenged the blurb on the cover of the very first issue of the Incredible Hulk. But how could a freckled ten year old with a frog in his pocket and twenty cents to spend on a comic and some candy possibly fathom whether that gray (yes, gray!) hulking Kirby creature was anything other than your typical monster? I mean- look at him! Isn't the answer self-evident? Here's a huge, musclebound and imposing colossues, reaching those arms out to grab someone, anyone- maybe even you! Of course he's a monster!

    But...who is that funny looking guy in a suit, tie and labcoat? Why does he look so ill- as if his eyes are turning back into his head? That is surely a man! Of course he's a man! And those people around him- that woman in shock, and that old army general in awe! What can they know that I don't? Maybe they know the answer.....well, heck, now that I think about it, I don't know if this is a man or a monster! I guess the only thing left to do is plunk that dime and two pennies down and find out.

    Marvel had lots of ground to cover in the dawning of the Silver Age, but not many titles to do it with. The most familiar terrain for the company was monster comics. Back then you had your big hairy monsters, giant slimy monsters, huge scaly monsters, massive one-eyed alien monsters....you get the idea. They'd lumber into, fall onto, or bubble up under a small hamlet, and shortly thereafter wreak havoc by smashing/stomping/burping/puking their way to some ignominious end based on how clever the townspeople were. But with the launch of the Fantastic Four, and the success at DC with the reviving of the moribund super-hero genre, the time was right for Marvel to further their venture into that area. In a classic example of Marvel magic, Stan Lee took the hoary concept of Frankenstein's monster, added a Jekyll and Hyde twist, and reinvented him for the atomic and nuclear age! Was it monster or superman? Or both? Aha!

    The first volume of Hulk Masterworks covers the only six issues of the Incredible Hulk's first run as a solo title. It bears the distinction of being the very second title introduced into Marvel's stable of super-heroics, and also the first title to get the axe. Stan and Jack were learning their way through the character and what it could offer, and that confusion is very clear throughout. At first, our green-skinned goliath is colored gray! By issue 2, he's an unannounced and unexplained green. His behavior and intellect also fluctuate bi-monthly. Initially, the Hulk seems a shrewd intellect, but a very abrasive fellow at the same time. In the second issue, he's dumbed down, and as the series goes he also flashes signs of Banner's identity, except perhaps a darker side of the doctor's persona.

    Within these pages we are introduced to young Rick Jones is introduced. This teenage impudent caused the accident that created the Hulk. Here, he plays the confidante and only friend of Bruce Banner, and perhaps also represents the guilty conscience of an American public trying to wrestle with forces far beyond their control. Of course, this isn't the last time we'd see Mr. Jones. His legacy is pervasive throughout the Marvel Universe, as he has played stand-in for you and me, the wide-eyed and powerless innocent that gets to stand next to the giants of comics newsprint and live to share their adventures.

    Also introduced in these pages are long-time cast members in the drama of the Hulk: General Thunderbolt Ross and his daughter Betty Ross. But just as powerful a presence is the shadow of atomic fear that pervaded the times. Marvel comics always stressed the human side of the hero. In early issues of FF and especially this Hulk, humans have no problem showing their humanity, but there's always the problems of exposure to the weird realities of gamma and cosmic rays. Certainly Gen. Ross is comfortable and secure with his arsenal of nuclear weapons, but what of their human manifestation. It drives him to near raving lunacy to try to destroy this human atomic dynamo, this Incredible Hulk.

    In 2002, the Hulk celebrated his 40th year of creation, and after that many years of comics, cartoons, TV dramas and movies, after being passed through the hands of dozens of writers and editors, are we any closer to being able to answer that question asked of those hundreds of thousands of little boys with frogs in their pockets? Do we really know if the Hulk is man or monster? Or....maybe he is both! Best thing to do, if'n you ask me, is to enjoy this Masterworks volume and try and find out!

    -- by Gormuu

    -- panel images provided by Gormuu

    Issues Reprinted
    Hulk #1-6

    Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


    HULK #1

    HULK #2

    HULK #3

    HULK #4

    HULK #5

    HULK #6


    All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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