Incredible Hulk #1 opens in the New Mexico desert with Dr. Bruce Banner getting ready to test his new G-bomb for the military, specifically under the supervision of General Thunderbolt Ross, who of course is hounding him. While commencing the countdown to explosion Banner notices that a teenager, Rick Jones, has driven out into the test area and thus leaps into action to save the boy. Unfortunately for Banner, he put his trust in fellow scientist, Igor, to stop the countdown, who apparently decides that it would be better if he ignored that and had Banner out of the picture. The result is Banner rescues Jones, but in the process he is exposed to huge amount of gamma radiation.
While Incredible Hulk is a milestone issue in the Marvel Universe, the Hulk is very much a work in progress in this early issue. Probably the most obvious difference is his color, which is gray in this issue, as well as him having a more Hyde-like physically quality versus the muscle bound behemoth he becomes. In addition, the transformation triggers in this issue are quite different. Instead of becoming the Hulk when he becomes angry, Banner becomes the Hulk based on day and night, which I have to admit I’m glad they didn’t stick with that..
There’s a lot to like in this issue, including the introduction of a number of memorable characters and some great artwork. I really liked the sequence of the Hulk crushing Igor’s gun as if it were nothing. The downside of the issue is the later part of the story with the Gargoyle really didn’t make much sense, but that’s really a small gripe. In the end this issue is worth checking out just to see how much the character of the Hulk has changed since his inception.
- Editor: Stan Lee
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko
- Writers: Stan Lee
- Pencilers: Jack Kirby
- Inkers: Steve Ditko
- Letterers: Artie Simek