Hulk no.2, 1962

The Incredible Hulk no.2, July 1962. Cover by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. 

Usually, Ditko is in my top five Kirby artists, but in this issue, the combo fell far short. I do like the Hulk drawn with the sunken eyes. There are few lines reminiscent of Ditko’s soft clay stylings on display here. Possibly this was a deadline of doom situation. Anyhow, my last two posts were from this same month, so why not add the next Marvel hero to debut in the Marvel Age. 

The Fantastic Four no.2 had the alien menace of the Skrulls, so Hulk gets… the Toad Men?

The Toad Men were not a top villain draw by any means. Their weapons were built on invincible magnetic powers (attractor, repulsion and…mind-detector rays?) from a science far more advanced than our own. They even have magnetically guided plastic escape cylinders. (Not sure how that works either.) These aliens and their terrifying weapons can empty the world’s oceans, root everyone to the ground, or plunge the Moon into the Earth. 

After taking over the Toad Men’s spaceship, Hulk muses that with this ship, he can wipe out all mankind. General Thunderbolt Ross has Banner arrested on charges of treason when the ship crashes after being hit with missiles and Banner exits the ship. 

The horror underpinnings had Banner imprison himself in an undersea bunker behind one of the coolest reinforced doors ever. This is like the Wolfman imprisoning himself while lucid to stop his bestial side’s rampages. Banner has the help of the teenager he saved from his gamma bomb, Rick Jones.


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