Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Editor's Picks: Classic Hulk Battles!

Everyone has their own opinion about which of the incredible Hulk's battles stand out among the rest--but in the Hulk's 30th anniversary issue from mid-1992, several artists teamed up to accommodate Marvel's own ideas on the subject. The list was whittled down to nine classic, memorable fights that presumably eclipse all other Hulk fights. "Hey, we'll be the judge of that!" I hear you shout--so let's have a look!

First, I think we can all agree on the Hulk vs. Wolverine, a fight which also introduced this feisty Canadian who would go on to become one of Marvel's most popular characters:

Art by Herb Trimpe

Next up: the Hulk vs. Thor. I think almost any of their clashes would qualify, with the fight from The Defenders #10 being one of my favorites--but this scene is taken from Journey Into Mystery #112, where Thor arranges to be deprived of some of his power for the duration. Boo! Hiss! Who wants that? Give him all you've got, Thor!

Art by Ron Frenz and Al Milgrom

Of course, one of the Hulk's most persistent enemies is the notorious Leader, who's pictured here going after the Hulk in the "Murder Module":

Art by Sal Buscema

Naturally, the Hulk vs. the Abomination should be included in this collection--a foe whose exposure to gamma rays allowed him to surpass the Hulk in strength and overcome him in battle, at least in the short term.

Art by Gil Kane

The Hulk's violent encounters with the Silver Surfer have always been unusual in nature, but certainly no less earth-shaking. The first time they met, the Hulk demanded that the Surfer transport him from Earth (whereas when Reed Richards and Tony Stark actually did so, he sought revenge--go figure); the second time, the Surfer sought Banner's assistance in freeing him from his imprisonment on Earth.

Art by Marie Severin

At one time, Banner was successfully separated from the Hulk, which left the brute a rampaging mass of anger without Banner's influence to mitigate his destructive nature. And so the Avengers attacked him en masse and succeeded in taking him down.

Art by Al Milgrom

The Rampaging Hulk magazine from 1977 contributes another battle to this list--that of the Hulk's struggle against the Krylorians. Sorry, I wasn't on board with this choice:

Art by Walt Simonson

Nor would I have included the Hulk's battle with the Pantheon. I remember the collection of issues that Peter David devoted to the Hulk's association with the Pantheon group--but if a "classic battle" developed between them, I suppose it didn't make much of an impression on me.

Art by Dale Keown

Finally, of course, the Hulk's battle with the Thing, though it begs the question: Which one? You already know my personal preference--but I think the one pictured was taken from their joint appearance in Marvel Feature:

Art by Jim Starlin

So how did these choices stack up with everyone? I probably would have booted the Krylorians and the Pantheon, and replaced them with Doc Samson and the Sub-Mariner without even thinking hard about it.  The other selections round things out pretty well for me.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the Hulk vs. the Krylorians shouldn't count as it never really happened. Anyway, I read the whole thing in Marvel UK's 'Rampage' magazine and the Krylorians were BORING. Anybody would be better than the Krylorians - the Wendigo, the Harpy, Cobalt Man, the Missing Link, anybody !! That image of Hulk vs. Thor looks like yet another "swipe" of Journey Into Mystery's Thor vs. Hercules :)

david_b said...

MF 11 was one of my FIRST comics, and that Starlin art was truely spectacular..!! He draws an excellent Thing, easily pared with the likes of Big John and Jack.

I still ponder what Bronze Age FF would have been like if Starlin accepted the offer to take over the foursome (but turned it down..). I'm sure the entire Thanos saga would have flowed through FF instead of the Avengers title..

Easily my fav of the ones listed here.

dbutler16 said...

Yup, lwt's boot the Pantheon and Krylorians .
I agree that Namor should be on the list, and Colins' suggestions of Wendigo and Cobalt Man are good, too. Come to think of it, most of these battle are against superheroes rather than supervillains. I seem to recall him having a very good fight against the Juggernaut, also maybe a Rhino battle.

Comicsfan said...

Colin, I had the same thought about that Thor/Hulk cover, myself!

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