Here is one of the prize gems in my comic collection, Incredible Hulk #6. Released in March 1963, this was the last issue in the original run of the Incredible Hulk. Mean green would continue to exist in the Avengers or in Tales to Astonish until 1968 when Incredible Hulk #102 would reintroduce him. Yes, my issue is bit beat up but to own any of these old issues costs a small fortune. A beat up copy is sometimes the only way to have them all.
Sadly this comic has the weakest story of the run and some of the strangest moments I think most Hulk fans would rather forget. This issue proves that Stan Lee was really trying everything with this character and seeing what stuck.This is also the first issue where Ditko takes over the art direction from Kirby.
For example in these early issues Banner can only change to Hulk with the aide of a Gamma Machine (or the Moon). However, during one transformation, it isn’t completed. He is changed, except for having Banner’s physical head and face. So the Hulk has to wear a mask to disguise himself completely so no one knows he’s Banner. An interesting twist. I had never considered a disguise being an issue for someone who changed his body at the molecular level.
In addition the Hulk is much smarter and outsmarts the metal master using a gun. A gun! I won’t spoil how. But its a pretty low-tech solution.
And finally we get to see another moment that does influence the future of the character and become canon…but in reverse. In this issue Hulk becomes so mad that he actually reverts back to Banner without the use of the Gamma machine. In future issues it would be anger that would bring out the Hulk. I’m sure this moment would inspire future Hulk writer Peter David to bring this idea back and give us the ‘Savage Banner’ .
The comic ends with Metal Master defeated with the help of the Teen Brigade (First appearance) and Banner hoping to leave the Hulk behind him.
Average eBay Value:
- $130-350+ depending on quality (8/2/16)