Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Not a definitive punch-up for them today.

Some time back, we looked at an old Hulk issue, wherein General Ross commits treason, perhaps at least in part to save his daughter Betty from the Hulk, and the Abomination was a simpering wreck from taking too many beatings from ol' Greenskin. Today we've got an earlier, stronger showing from the Abomination, and possibly more treason from Ross: from 1967, Tales to Astonish #91, "Whosoever Harms the Hulk..!" Written by Stan Lee, art by Gil Kane. (Reprinted in 1974's Marvel Super-Heroes #47, which we have here!)

The Abomination had already beat the Hulk down and taken off with Betty as the issue opens, and General Ross is less overjoyed that the menace of the Hulk was over, then torn up with worry over Betty. He orders his men to attempt to revive the Hulk, but they fail. Rick Jones makes his way in, and suggests the "gamma electrodes," which do the trick; except now the Hulk thinks the soldiers were trying to capture him, and just wants to leave. Rick pleads with the Hulk, seeing this as a chance for the Hulk to be seen as a hero, but he's not having it until Rick mentions Betty was in danger. The Hulk reverts back to Banner, who gets Ross to put him in charge of the "infinite weapon lab" and come up with a way to lure the Abomination back and drain his powers. Which works, until Banner hulks out again and wrecks it. Now evenly matched, Abomination and Hulk throw down...for about four panels.

Four panels? That's it? Well, meanwhile, the Stranger--who isn't mentioned the rest of this comic, until the last page! (Well, I guess Stan would say that's what you get for missing an issue, true believer!) He decides the Hulk is too unrelenting to serve as his underling, but the evil Abomination just might. (Spoiler: no, not so much.) The Stranger releases any hold he might've still had on the Hulk, and abducts the Abomination into space. The Hulk leaves, headed for a new chapter in the next issue...Meanwhile, I had to flip through the GCD for a while to find the Abomination's rematch with the Hulk, and we already saw it here! While he would show up in Silver Surfer and Thor, he wouldn't face the Hulk again until 1971's Hulk #136! (Incidentally, those old posts had the tag "The Stars My Aggravation," which I've used a few times since...)


SallyP said...

Ah, the good old days...a great fight and story, and it was all done in a single book... instead of stuffed with giant spreads, and milked to fill six issues.

I...I miss those days.

Dale Bagwell said...

Shit me too Sally,me too!
My earliest exposure to the Abomination was the classic Hulk issue where he fights both the Abomination and Rhino at the same time. To this day, those Gil Kane panels hold for me. Especially the one where Think and Abomination collide, and it looks like Abominations' ear came right off!