Fantastic Four #12 - Look at Hulk's 3 toes!
I got a busted up copy of this historic comic – but man, it is a prized piece in the collection! I love it! I won this off ebay for a very affordable price – the sad truth is – it wasn’t the best transaction… but I don’t care! I don’t let that sour admiring the historic comic – I love it! Now here’s something interesting… I asked 10 random Comic fans on the forums I visit to tell me what happened in the first 12 issues of FF. I told them they couldn’t look it up – it had to be from memory. Here’s what happened:
All 10 of them knew #1 – they could even describe the cover. Most (meaning all but 1) knew that #5 was the first appearance of Doom. But the other issues were sporadically unknown. Some knew, but most didn’t. Except #12 – ALL TEN knew FF #12 was the Hulk guest shot. Imagine that… I mean, I know that’s far from concrete evidence – but I found that pretty cool!
If you’ve never read the issue – it’s a pretty fun read. The Hulk doesn’t show up until the last quarter of the comic – but he takes on the FF, he beats Johnny by applauding, beats Reed by twirling – and the Thing and Hulk’s fight gets interrupted – which is good for the Thing… but Sue doesn’t have her force field ability yet – so she’s pretty useless until the end – or that’s how Stan wrote her anyways.
- The Avengers #1 – Beat Up – But Mine!
Let’s start this week off with a big one – a must and a grail for all Hulk fans. If you are seeking out every Hulk appearance in comics there is 2 things you should know. #1) There is a TON of comics out there – get ready to find comics from every series that was ever created – especially the silver/bronze age stuff and #2) Get ready to spend some money. For the first 6 Hulk comics you’re looking at spending at least a couple hundred for poor copies – and the first issue would set you back an easy grand even in rough condition – now, also keep in mind that the Hulk appeared in so many key issues including FF #12, 25,26, Journey Into Mystery #112 and the first 5 Avengers you’re looking to spend a small fortune on all of them.
When I went into my LCS a month or so ago I saw this issue on the wall. The better comic shops out there will haggle a bit on the prices listed – and that’s what happened here the manager told me he could go 10% lower – I told him if he could go even lower I would take it. He asked me to pay cash and BAM! The issue was mine. Little helpful tip here – if you pay cash you are more likely to get a better deal. And, yes, this is a rough copy – but it’s complete and it’s all mine! This issue, with my Hulk #1 – 6 are absolute center pieces in my collection.
When you have these in your collection - you've reached another level!
I just recently read the first 5 issues of “The Avengers” and I have to say – I like how they formed this group – that being said, it’s interesting that writers would make the Hulk part of any group. What about him says team player? But still he was part of 2 of the greatest groups ever! True, he was part of the Avengers for a total of 2 issues, then he fought them all, but still – that to me just says the writers knew what they were doing! For anyone who doesn’t know I’ll go over the plots pretty quick.
In the first issue Loki, Thor’s half brother, used the Hulk to create all this chaos getting the attention of Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp and Thor. As they came together to fight the Hulk they realized it was Loki and then joined forces to beat Loki and asked the Hulk to be part of the group. Then, in issue 2, they fight an alien whose power was taking over people’s bodies and one by one he took over the Avenger’s. They realize this and trick him back into the negative zone forever. But the Hulk, mad at the fact that his team mates were so quick to attack him, quit the team. Issue 3 had the former teammates against Hulk and his new ally – the Sub Mariner! The team up didn’t go as well as they thought it would and their battle shook loose a chunk of ice containing Captain America! This is now issue 4 – Cap joins the team and Rick Jones reminds Cap of Bucky – they fight off an alien that has turned the team into stone and Rick worries that the Hulk will be mad at him when he finds out about him and Cap working together. By the way – these issues are totally worth picking up in trade paperbacks. The 5th issue they fight a living rock – but Hulk’s there to help out too.
I have to say… I really hate this cover. I think, out of the first 6 comics, this is the worst one. I do, however, LOVE the story insdie more than any of the others. Check out the FIRST 6 page to see some fun facts. Mongu, the alien who challenges Hulk to a fight in this comic, turns out to be the Russians. Just like in real life! The Russians are to blame for everything! This morning I spilled my Orange Juice all over the table and I yelled out “Damn Russians!” and everyone knew what I meant.
Yes, this means I have all 6 of the original comics. I have yet to get the whole series – but these are so easy to find – it’s the random nothing issues that are going to give me the hardest time of all. I have 8 left to go!
Just look at that cover! I know, the comic is in terrible shape, but it’s freakin’ Incredible Hulk #6! At a time when artists and writers didn’t even put their names on the cover! Little did they know then that they would become legends. Kirby’s style created the look and excitement to almost every flagship character for Marvel. Stan Lee wrote stories that could grip the minds of young children all over the country. And let’s not forget Steve Ditko (who penciled this issue) who was essential in bringing Kirby’s pencil’s to the forefront. Is the language a little hokey now? Sure, but who cares! The Incredible Hulk character was already 14 when I was born and had already lived through cancellation, re-coloring, and reclaiming his own title again!
Every issue of the original first 6 had a new exciting change to the Hulk persona. In this issue, you meet the Metal Master and you also see the Teen Brigade which teen Rick Jones founded, and Bruce Banner and Betty Ross’ tumultuous relationship has it’s first big hurdle – Thunderbolt Ross finding out!
Any Hulk fan should try to get any of the first 6 issues. They are as important as they are works of art and amazing to see in person. My copies aren’t the best – but it is all I can afford right now and I’m just excited to get any of them at all! And the older they get the more expensive they will be. These are rare, and I don’t mean “rare” like retailers mean it today, saying something’s rare just to try to sell a book, I mean, these books didn’t have a big initial printing in the first place so getting any copy now is hard – unless you have the cash.
These are the few Tales to Astonish I have. I have #91 against the Abomination (#90 is when the Abomination first appeared) #69 with the Leader. Tales to Astonish was a shared Hulk book. See, when Hulk was cancelled after issue 6 in ’62 Marvel gave him this book that he shared with Giant-Man and Sub-Mariner. My favorite cover here is #77 where Rick Jones is telling Ross the Bruce Banner is the Hulk. After issue #101 (which is up there) they gave the entire book to the Hulk and renamed it “The Incredible Hulk”. Kinf of like what they are doing with Vol. 3 issue #112, giving it to Incredible Hercules. It’s Karma – that’s what it is!