Hulk #102 (1968)

I’ve been pretty public about my fondness for Gary Friedrich.  He was an eclectic writer-one who squeezed a scant few good issues out of the X-Men during one of the title’s lowest points, and one who is of course best known as that guy who created Ghost Rider but had to sue Marvel to get the credit.  But can even someone like him save Hulk, whose book has been mediocre-to-terrible pretty much since the beginning?

Well, he tries.  This story continues from the last issue of Tales to Astonish–which is why an issue #102 gets cover-billing as a “premiere.”  These days, everything gets a #1.  Those days, Marvel took pleasure in having longevity of characters.  My how times have changed.

Anyhow, being a debut, it re-told his origin, briefly, before picking up where ToA left off…

It pits Hulk against Enchantress and Executioner, with Odin quickly sending Hulk back to Earth (which is a mercy–Asgardian law would have him killed).  So the potential for an interesting, extended romp through Asgard is cut short.

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