Incredible Hulk #245-247 (1980)

Hulk is the book where Bill Mantlo finally comes into his own, as a writer who can carry a series—not just be reliable for quick fill-ins.

This, his first three-issue arc, starts with Hulk going completely nuts.  When the Army tries to stop him, he flips the road like it’s a wet towel.

I think this is the first time he did this, but I know it wasn’t the last.  What I don’t know if it was Mantlo’s idea, or the idea of artist Sal Buscema.  Either way, it’s awesome.  Completely unrealistic, but cool as Hell.

He also beats the crap out of Talbot, who is in Mandroid armor.

Hulk is furious because he now knows that Jarela’s dead body is being held at Gamma Base, and he wants to see her.  The Army is now using Super Mandroids as part of their Hulkbusting.  That’s cool, too.  I love the mandroid armor.

Then Mar-Vell shows up.

Hulk finds Jarella inside the base.

Again, awesome.

Sal Buscema really can draw the crap out of a Hulk fight.

In the end…

Mar-Vell helps Hulk shrink down to return to the microverse, so he can bury Jarela in her homeworld. More on that next issue.

We get some updates on Hulk’s cast of characters.  Doc Samson is trying to give some therapy to General Thunderbolt Ross, who is catatonic from his losses to Hulk, when the story about Hulk’s mad-on comes on the radio and makes Ross hallucinate.  Nice moment, because it recognizes the lasting damage that can be caused by a worldbreaker like Hulk.

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