Daily Archives: April 21, 2009

The Incredible Hulk #103 (1968)

The Incredible Hulk #103 - my busted up copy!

The Incredible Hulk #103 - my busted up copy!

So, listen, some of the earliest issues are almost a chore to get through because of the wordy explanations and the fantastically outrageous names – but really, the characters and stories are SO worth it!  With these issues I like to give an overview rather than actually give a moment to moment account of what happened.  Also – since most of the characters have outrageously crazy names I am going to shorten them.  For example; The Space Parasite’s actual name is Randau and he’s from a Planet called Xeron – so I’ll just refer to him as SP (for Space Parasite)  Why?  Because I freakin’ can!  Alright, let’s get started…

The Hulk is sent back to Earth by Odin – and he sends Hulk right in the middle of Time Square!  As you can imagine this sends people into a tizzy!  The Hulk whines about wanting to be left alone and he jumps to the rooftops.  As he does though, he turns back into Bruce Banner.  We then join Thunderbolt Ross, Glen Talbot and Rick Jones on a talk show as they explain why they have not been able to capture the Hulk as just how dangerous he really is.  Bruce finds some janitors clothes and gets changed then hops onto a subway (illegally, I might add!) heading to Rick’s apartment.  We also meet the SP looking to fight the Hulk.  He’s searching the planet from his spaceship but is unable to locate him.  Bruce makes it to Rick’s and flips on the telly – heck, why not right?  Amazingly he catches the show Rick is on at the exact moment that Rick is saying that the Hulk is a menace and must be destroyed!  Bruce is distraught, thinking his only friend is now against him.  Then, Rick comes home – not only that, but he’s packin’ heat!  Rick aims the gun at Bruce and tells him that he has no choice but to shoot him – y’know, because he’s the Hulk!  The SP puts 2 and 2 together and figures out that Bruce is the Hulk.

Betty shows up and protects Bruce – Rick shoots but it hits the floor – Betty turns on the Hulk and calls him a monster, a little confusing, right?  That’s because the SP has now taken over Betty’s mind to upset Bruce so that he’ll turn into the Hulk – and it works.  As the SP shows up the battle begins between the 2 monsters.  Every time SP touches the Hulk he siphons off a bit of the Hulk’s power.  It’s revealed that SP was once the leader of his planet (so either this was a tiny planet or this guy achieved world dominance – and in that case – what the hell is wrong with me that I can’t find a way to take over the world!)  Well, it turns out that one of the neighboring alien planets began to attack – so SP became a super soldier with the help of a solar chamber – but it also made him insane and power hungry.  After winning the war the SP decided to keep attacking other alien worlds and defeating the strongest creatures in the universe.  Turns out the SP needed to defeat the powerful creatures and feed off their energy.  But he never had to face the Hulk before!

Hulk won't fight against a weakened foe

Hulk won't fight against a weakened foe

The battle continues between SP and the Hulk until the Hulk gets the upper hand and wraps the SP in a subway car (yeah – a subway car!) and tosses him into the river.  SP gets free and asks the Hulk to kill him a noble way – a way fit for a warrior.  The Hulk refuses to kill something weak and not attacking him.  The SP tries to return to his spaceship but his people have found it and blown it up – leaving the SP to float on a piece of shrapnel across space to die.  Meanwhile, back on Earth, the police show up and gas the Hulk and take Bruce Banner into custody.

Classic story with a great battle.  The SP’s back story was great and gave a good reason why he would be such a formidable foe for the Hulk.  He supposedly dies at the end of this issue – but the last shot of the SP floating on a piece of his space ship that was blown up by his own people?  Priceless!  Issue: C+