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Hulk in the 1970s! The Rampaging Hulk Marvel Essential Comic Book Review
Marvel Essential The Rampaging Hulk Comic Book Review: A Fun Romp Through the 1960s and 1970s!
Marvel Essential: The Rampaging Hulk 1 is a collection of Hulk stories from his short-lived late 1970s magazine. This volume includes the tales from issues 1 through 9, when the magazine was titled the Rampaging Hulk, and 10 to 15, when it was simply called Hulk.
The Marvel Essential series of books, each topping several hundred pages, contain the original stories in black & white rather than color. In this case, the magazine's first nine issues were in black-and-white so they appear exactly as they did when they were first printed!
Very Cool Concept at First, Then a Change of Direction!
Early Tales of the Incredible Hulk to Television's Version!
The Rampaging Hulk No. 1 appeared in 1977 with what at that time was a pretty cool concept. The magazine's stories would focus on the period between the end of his original, short-lived solo title (which stopped after issue No. 6 in March 1963) and the beginning of his feature in Tales to Astonish (September 1964).
I was a young teenager when the magazine began and I was very excited about this idea, because back then it wasn't so easy to get really old comics and this was a glimpse into what they had been like. Also, while Marvel Comics today seem to keep rewriting the early adventures of its characters at the time back in the 1970s this wasn't common.
Alas, this theme died after issue number 9. With issue 10, the magazine was renamed Hulk and published stories that were similar to the Incredible Hulk television series. Very different, but six stories from that period included in this book were interesting as well, which is why I recommend buying this collection to anyone who like the Hulk.
X-Men, Avengers, Sub-Mariner, and the Bird-Girl Bereet!
Marvel Comics' Early Days!
In Rampaging Hulk issue 1 we are introduced to the Krylorian alien race, which are seeking the return of a refugee from their planet who is hiding on the earth. The Hulk meets the refugee, Bereet, whom he calls bird-girl, and her attempt to stop the Krylorian's plans became a plot that carried through the nine issues of the 1960s tales. But along the way the Hulk will fight the Sub-Mariner, the original X-Men, and the other founding members of the Avengers. Some of his earliest enemies also pop up, including the Gargoyle and the Metal Master.
The stories are fun, and a bit silly, and there's the joy of seeing characters like Ant-Man and the old Iron Man in action. Some people have criticized the stories because the stories didn't always match the way the Hulk was portrayed in the early 1960s, but that didn't bother me.
Sadly, years later Marvel decided that these tales weren't ''true'' stories of the Hulk, but merely fictional films by the alien Bereet. The story with that explanation was published in Incredible Hulk No. 269, and an excerpt from that story is included in this volume.
The Hulk as an Avenger! - Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp all together!
When the Hulk's original comic book series died after six issues, writer Stan Lee didn't want the character to just disappear so he had the Hulk make guest appearances in suck series as the Fantastic Four and the Amazing Spider-Man. He also made the Hulk a founding member of the Avengers. But the Hulk's temper led him to leave the group after only a few issues. The early Avengers stories with the Hulk are collected in Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers No. 1, presented in full-color. The collection comes in different editions, and I have done a more complete review of the book in a separate lens. I would highly recommend this to any fan of the Hulk!
The Avengers Debut!
With Hulk Leading the Way!
Here is the review of Marvel Masterworks the Avengers Volume 1. Please check it out!
The Avengers Debut! A Comic Book Review of the Marvel Masterworks Collection!
The Avengers Volume 1 was one of the first four collections when Marvel Comics began publishing its Marvel Masterworks series in 1987. Since then the company...
Should Marvel Have Decided that Rampaging Hulk 1-9 Didn't Count? - Are Retcons a Good Thing?
Over the years various comic books have tried to explain away past stories as imagined, or false, to avoid being trapped by continuity issues. The practice is part of ''retroactive continuity,'' a term first used in 1983, and now usually shortened to retcon. Probably the most famous example of this in the past few decades occurred outside comic books, when the television series Dallas wanted to bring back Bobby Ewing so the producers of the show announced that an entire season of episodes was simply a dream!
What do you think of retcons for comic books?
The Hulk! Marvel's TV Smash!
Wandering The Country Just Like the TV Series!
The Incredible Hulk television series debuted in November 1977, and Marvel Comics tried to capitalize on that success by renaming The Rampaging Hulk to The Hulk, publishing the magazine in color and splashing ``Marvel's TV Smash!'' on the cover.
The stories were very similar to the television series, with the Hulk's alter ego wandering the country, stumbling on people in need and helping out. There are none of the major super-villains from the Hulk's regular comic book series, and each story is pretty much self-contained like the television series. The stories do keep the character's name as Bruce Banner, rather than the TV character's David Banner, and in the magazine the Hulk is far stronger than his TV counterpart.
My favorite of the tales is issue No. 13, when Banner confronts some terrorists who hijack a plane and by letting out his anger through arguing he prevents a transformation into the Hulk.
One interesting thing to look at if you want to see the impact of a comic book inker: the stories from issues 11 through 15 are all drawn by Ron Wilson, but each is inked by a different artist. If you compare each story you can see an artist can really be helped or hurt by his inker. In my view the best is Bob McLeod's work on the aforementioned issue No. 13.
The Incredible Hulk TV Series! - A Hit from the 1970s!
The TV series started in November 1977 with a pilot movie and starred Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk. The series really was similar the the 1960s' show The Fugitive. Every episode, fugitive-from-the-aw Banner would meet up with someone in trouble, help out with the assistance of the Hulk, and move on. The show as a hit for several years before ending in 1982. They also made some later TV movies.
I didn't want the show much because it was on Friday nights and as a teenager I wasn't staying home much on the weekends! Here is the opening theme from the TV series for you to enjoy.
Which Hulk Stories Do You Prefer? - 1960s Hulk vs. the TV Hulk!
This Marvel Essential volume collects stories that feature two very different types of Hulk stories. The first nine stories featuring the Hulk in the early 1960s contain more action, superhero guest stars, aliens and outlandish action. The final stories, more in line with the late 1970s television series, are more human interest, with lots more time spent on Hulk's alter ego helping out other people in trouble. Note: the illustration here is from the book's back cover, and it originally was the front cover The Rampaging Hulk No. 9.
Do you prefer the comic-book Hulk or the television version?
The Mysterious Moon Knight and Other Backup Heroes!
The Lone Drawback to This Rampaging Hulk Collection!
This Marvel Essential book also includes a two-part story where the Hulk crosses paths with the superhero Moon Knight but neither realizes it. The first part is told from Moon Knight's point of view, the second from the Hulk's view. When they cross paths during a lunar landscape a short tap by the Hulk knocks Moon Knight out. It's a clever little story, mainly because it doesn't try to come up with some fantastic way to make a fight between Moon Knight and the Hulk credible. Let's face it, the Hulk would kill him in a real battle.
The illustration here is from that story, as included in the Marvel Essential book. The story does highlight the one real drawback to this Marvel Essential collection. It doesn't include the original magazine's backup stories featuring the secondary Marvel characters Bloodstone, Man-Thing, Shanna the She-Devil, and Moon Knight. Those stories would have been a great addition!
New York Comic Con!
Tens of Thousands of Fans Under One Roof!
My daughter and I were able to attend the New York Comic Convention in New York City in October, 2011, and wrote a review of our day there. It was a blast, and we highly recommend a visit to the convention next year for any true comic book fan!
New York Comic Con + Anime Festival: A Comic Book Fan's Review!
The New York Comic Book Convention occurred Oct. 13-16, 2011, and coupled with the New York Anime Festival, drew more than 100,000 comic-book fans, video gam...
The Marvel Essential Series
Lots of Comic Stories for The Money!
The Marvel Essential series reprints many of Marvel Comics' stories from the 1960s on in large volumes that usually top several hundred pages. The series began in 1997 with the publication of the Essential X-Men No. 1 and The Essential Spider-Man No. 1. Many of the volumes have been printed more than once, with different covers on some of them, so don't let that throw you off when buying. Carefully check to make sure which volume number you are considering. The huge advantage to these volumes is cost: a reader can get 30 or more stories for about what a half dozen new comic books cost, and the old stories have more pages of action per issue. The Essentials books are much more cost-effective than buying all the original comics as well.
Our Comic Book Reviews
Spider-Man, The Avengers and the X-Men!
I have been posting reviews of various comic-book collections, so if you enjoy this lens please check them out!
The Avengers in the Late 1960s: A Marvel Comics Review!
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The Amazing Spider-Man Debuts! A Marvel Masterworks Comic Book Review
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Captain America in the 1960s: A Marvel Comic Book Review
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Geppi's Entertainment Museum
Comic Book Heaven!
If you are ever in Baltimore check out Geppi's Entertainment Museum for one of the greatest comic-book collections on display anywhere. See my lens for more details on what you can expect during a visit!
Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore: A Tourist's Guide to Comic Book Heaven!
Geppi's Entertainment Museum is located in Baltimore and is dedicated to all sorts of American pop culture: comic books, television, radio, movies, magazines...
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