We all know how this story starts, right?

Doc Bruce Banner gets belted by gamma rays when he runs out to save a stupid kid (Rick Jones) playing harmonica who doesn’t read the government’s no trespassing signs.


Hulk #1 was the sixth book published in 1962, and the eighth in the entire history of the Marvel Universe.  

Yes, just 8 issues in and Stan and Jack bring on The Hulk.

Issue #1 is not Stan Lee’s best writing, but it’s not his worst.  It’s not Kirby’s best or worst, either.  But the sequence above pretty much illustrates the essence of the character: Large, frustrated with humanity, and crushing stuff.

The only thing missing here is the lack of personal pronouns.  Soon, he’ll start referring to himself in the third person–not as “me.”

After we see Banner invent and test the bomb, run out to save Rick Jones, and get hit, Hulk dons his trademark purple suit and meets Gargoyle.

Banner’s lab partner, Igor, summons The Gargoyle from Russia, who tries to kidnap Hulk.  (Note that Hulk not only has purple pants, but an entire purple suit.)

When Hulk changes to Banner, Gargoyle is jealous because he’s unable to alter his own monstrous form.

In the end, Gargoyle kills himself by blowing himself up in his base.  The story doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The “shared universe” isn’t completely made yet, but this very issue does appear in Fantastic Four #5…

This issue is one of my 100 favorite self-contained issues of all time. For the full list, go here.

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