Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's Official--The Hulk Is Stronger

While I was coming across those old FF pin-ups, look what other little gem turned up:

Marvel really excelled at PR with their readership in those days. You not only read great stories about the characters--but you also felt like you were part of the company that produced them. So you were always getting little extras like this tossed in. I can't imagine such an informal rapport between Marvel and today's readership, given the "edge" that Marvel has tried so hard to attach to its characters and its stories.

For instance, I can imagine a little Q&A segment about, say, the features of Iron Man's armor--but are there any mainstays on his book who would take the time and trouble to put one together? For that matter, his armor is so much more advanced now that you'd need a lot more than a two-page spread to get a handle on it. Yet look at how simple, yet how well done, this two-page graphic of the FF turned out. "Why can't Sue walk through walls when she is invisible?" Heh. Such a silly question on its face, but how fun it was to read through this kind of trivia. And I have news for you--the question of whether the Hulk was stronger than the Thing was a burning one at the time, and here we get the answer in an insert in the back of the FF annual. That was pretty cool. Though I'm not sure how many fans swallowed the explanation that Reed's hair turned white at the temples when he "aided allied prisoners to escape from the Nazis."

Okay, kids swallowed it, including me. We were getting all these facts first-hand and as a bonus, so we were pretty easy to please.