First 6

This page is dedicated to the first 6 issues of the Hulk.  You will find details about each and every issue here that formed the green/grey Goliath for the next 50 or so years.  I bust out some of the best tidbits from each comic and the credits to each so that you can say that you know something about the Hulk, that you didn’t before, after leaving this page.


The Incredible Hulk #1 (1962)
Writer: Stan Lee
Pencils/Inks:Jack Kirby / Paul Reinman
Vs. – The Gargoyle (defeated and killed [in self-detonated explosion] in this issue)
Hulk Transformation: triggered by the Sunset/Sunrise
Color: Grey (Semi-Intelligent)
Key Moment: 1st time Hulk shows disgust for Banner (doesn’t recognize Banner as himself) “Bruce Banner! Why do those words stay in my head? What is that name to me? That face! I–I know that face! But it is weak–soft!! I hate it! Take it away!!”; 1st time Thunderbolt Ross calls Banner a “Milksop”
1st Appearance: Bruce Banner, Hulk, Betty Ross, General “Thunderbolt” Ross, Rick Jones
Best Line: “Are you kiddin’? What do you think he is… the Hulk?” Rick Jones in response to an army soldier who was asking Bruce Banner if he was mixed up in this mess.
Lee loves Cardboard: “Holy Cow! He’s breakin’ the wall like it was cardboard!” ~ Rick Jones

The Incredible Hulk #2 (1962)
 Writer: Stan Lee
 Pencils/Inks: Jack Kirby / Steve Ditko
 Vs.– The Toad Men (defeated in this issue by Bruce Banner’s Gamma Ray Gun – Toad Men shot back into outer-space)
 Hulk Transformation: triggered by the Sunset/Sunrise
 Color: Green (Semi-Intelligent) *No explanation of the change of color
 Key Moment: 1st time Rick Jones locks the Hulk in the concrete cell under the sea.
 Best Line: “What’s that?? An Invasion? An armada of spaceships! Where? How? Keep calm, man! Sound the red alert! I’m on my way!” – Thunderbolt Ross after getting the report that there in an armada of spaceships about to attack.
Lee Loves Cardboard: “Smashing thru the concrete wall, the steel bars, as thought they were cardboard, he lunges out into the open!” ~ Narrator

The Incredible Hulk #3 (1962)
 Writer: Stan Lee
 Pencils/Inks: Jack Kirby / Dick Ayers
 Vs. – The Ring Master (Defeated and captured but released because Rick Jones is a wuss)
 Hulk Transformation: Triggered by Sunset/Sunrise but then, after being shot into space and after being exposed to mysterious, powerful rays of radiation, Hulk is no longer affected by the sun and remains unchanged for the rest of the issue.
 Color: Green (Semi-Intelligent, but getting less intelligent)
 Key Moments: Rick Jones, while saving Bruce Banner and sending the rocket – the Army sent into space – back to earth, recieves a shock that links him to the Hulk and subsequently lets him control the Hulk. The Hulk obeys Rick’s every command, and even reads his mind; Hulk leaps with such force it is mistaken for flying (although in some instances it really does seem like he can fly, especially when he turns in mid-air); 1st Time Hulk is referred to as an “Engine of Destruction”
 Best Line: “Bend down now, Hulk! I need a lift down the mountain. That’s it — bend –” – Rick Jones taking advantage of the Hulk.
Lee loves Cardboard: “As effortlessly as a man would lift a cardboard box, the mighty Hulk lifts the wrecked space capsule, and…” ~ Narrator

 The Incredible Hulk #4 (1963)

 Writer: Stan Lee
 Pencils/Inks: Jack Kirby / Dick Ayers
 Vs. – Mongu – An alien from space but actually turns out to be a robotic suit with a Russian soldier inside (The Russian Army is defeated and sent back to Russia courtesy of the Hulk)
 Hulk Transformation: triggered by Bruce Banner’s Gamma Gun only
 Color: Green (Intelligent Hulk *with the brains of Bruce Banner)
 Key Moment: Hulk uses “Thunderclap” for the first time; Bruce Banner triggers his own transformation into the Hulk; 2nd time Hulk is referred to as an “Engine of Destruction”; Ross creates an Iceberg Rocket.
 Best Lines: “Rick, you wonderful, loyal, empty-headed kid! I did it! The ray works! I have the Hulk’s strength–but I can still think like Bruce Banner!” – Hulk giving Rick Jones a back-handed compliment; “I’m leavin’ ya now… but if you’re not on the way back to Vodka-Land by the time I hit Earth, I’ll be back! And I won’t be so easy on you next time!” – Hulk’s threats against the Russian Army.
Lee Loves Cardboard: “Just like I figured! Nothing but cardboard and cork! The whole thing is a phony!” ~ Hulk finding out Mongu is a fake.

Incredible Hulk #5 (1963)
Writer: Stan Lee
Pencils/Inks: Jack Kirby / Dick Ayers
Vs. – Tyrannus (Defeated and left buried inside his underground kingdom); General Fang (defeated and left in enemy territory)
Hulk Transformation: triggered only by the Gamma Gun
Color: Green (Banner’s brains – but a lot meaner)
Key Moments: Hulk protects Betty, rescues her from Tyrannus; Hulk uses his breath to blow enemies away; 1st Time Hulk disguises himself (with a hat, sunglasses, & trench coat to boot!); 3rd time referred to as an “Engine of Destruction”
Best Line: “Hey! Watch out with that hot coffee, ya Lame Brain!” ~ Hulk complimenting an Airline stewardess on her service.

Incredible Hulk #6 (1963)

Writer: Stan Lee
Pencils/Inks: Steve Ditko (both)
Vs.- The Metal Master (Defeated by being tricked – he runs away back to space)
Transformation: triggered by the Gamma Gun (but getting more unpredictable – transforms Banner’s body, but not his face!)
Color: Green (Banner’s brain, but meaner)
Key Moments: 1st Enemy that tries to convince the Hulk to team-up with them rather than beat them; Hulk is pardoned after defeating the Metal Master; Rick Jones asks to enlist in the Army and is rejected; Rick Jones forms Teen Brigade
Best Line: “First that blasted Metal Master! Then, Banner is missing! Now, the Hulk is free again! Of all the blanketty-blank–!!!” Thunderblot Ross (who actually says blanketty blank)

Other Quick Facts:

  • The Alien Mongu, from Hulk #4, who turns out to be a fake alien – with a russian soldier center – appears again in issues #210 & 211
  • Hulk didn’t put his classic phrase “HULK SMASH” together until TTA #88
  • The Grey Hulk appeared in only 55 issues from issue #1 – #6, Tales To Astonish #59 – #101, and The Incredible Hulk #102 – #474.  This does not include the relaunch of the series.  (That’s not even a third of the books!)
  • Banner has actually cured himself from the Hulk a few times during the Hulk run.  Incredible Hulk #141 (which is the first appearence of Dr. Samson) has Samson curing the Hulk only to have Banner “re-infect” himself to take the focus of Betty Ross off Samson and back on him.  Also, Bruce and the Hulk were seperated and then later the Hulk dissapeared all together after the events of #324 (2nd appearence of the Grey Hulk).  During John Byrne’s run Bruce Banner was completely seperated from the Hulk.  And Lastly, when Peter David took over the writing – Banner was still Hulk free but, tricked by the Leader, he used his Gamma Gun (last seen in the original 6 comics) to “re-infect” himself and once again bring out the Grey Hulk to try to stop the Rick Jones Hulk.
  • Hulk has been blue twice.  Once when given the ability to breathe underwater and the other when given Captain Universe’s Power.

11 thoughts on “First 6

  1. Hey I found your blog by accident on yahoo while searching for something completely irrelevant but I am truly happy that I did, You have just added yourself another subscriber. 🙂

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