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December 03, 2008

Comments

JLH

318 wasn't written by PaD, it was written (and drawn) by John Byrne.

Unfortunately, Jeph Loeb later decided to write "Hulk: Gray", which proceeded to ignore the characterization from not only the original issues but from Byrne's reestablishing and PaD's years of making Fixit his own person. "Hulk am are dumb" didn't happen until after he lost his monthly book originally, after all.

Comic Coverage

Thanks for the correction, JLH. I've updated the post to include the correct information. And don't get me started on Jeph Loeb...probably the most over-rated guy working in comics.

Pat Curley

I took a look at the early Hulk issues a few years back, pointing out that this was one of Marvel's few stumbles in the 1960s. I concluded that it was because of uninteresting villains (only the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime became regular villains in the Marvel Universe), undeveloped subsidiary characters (Rick Jones, Thunderbolt Ross and Betty Ross were ciphers throughout the six issues of the Hulk's solo title), and a poorly thought-out transformation trigger (there actually were a few stories where the change was voluntary--Banner would stand in front of a cosmic ray machine to turn into the Hulk).

Comic Coverage

Good points all, Pat...but when I think back about what it might have been like for Stan and Jack, I can cut them alot of slack. After all, the Hulk was very much an anti-hero amongst Marvel's new breed of heroes...all of whom were flawed in some way, but nonetheless heroic. With the Hulk, you had what was essentially a super-strong misanthrope, turning all previously existing superheroic conventions on their head...which explains alot of the "well...what do we do NOW?" feeling of that initial six issue run.

In fact, to some extent, that same feeling has continued throughout the Hulk's entire run as new creative teams grapple with just what to do with this still very misanthropic brute. Like the character's actual physical girth, it's been tough for creators to "get their arms around" this awkward, not terribly idealistic figure.

ShadowWing Tronix

I should dig out my Uncanny Origins that featured the Hulk, but it also covered the grey-to-green switch.

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