Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Indexible Hulk #5

Hulk 005Issue: The Incredible Hulk #5

Title: “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Hordes of General Fang!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Pencils by Jack Kirby, Inks by Dick Ayers, Lettering by Art Simek.

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross, Rick Jones

Villain: Tyrannus, General Fang

Hulk Intelligence: Smart, but not Banner Smart, and Pretty Aggressive!

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: “Beauty and the Beast” – General Ross shows Bruce, Betty and Rick some footage of the Hulk battling the armed forces (sequences never shown in the prior issues of the comic, but given the later appearance of the Iceberg Rocket, it had to have taken place prior to issue 4, perhaps after issue 3, although that doesn't make any sense either) before Ross asks Bruce for scientific help to conquer the Hulk. This, despite the fact that Ross doesn't trust Bruce and believes him to be untrustworthy. Below the surface of the Earth, Betty is being observed by Tyrannus, who then takes a sip from the subterranean Fountain of Youth to maintain his beauty, then he sends his forces into readiness. On the surface, some time has passed, and Rick and Bruce are approaching Ross' house, where they are introduced to Tyrannus, posing as an archaeologist that Betty's offered to guide to the local cliff caves. Suspicious, Bruce and Rick follow Betty and Tyrannus, but are blocked by a huge boulder. Beyond it, Tyrannus is taking Betty to his underground realm, but Bruce has already gone to his hidden lab and transformed into the Hulk, and he's in hot pursuit, accompanied by Rick. However, even the Hulk isn't prepared to deal with a sudden blast of volcanic gas, and he's knocked out. When he awakens, the Hulk's decked out as a gladiator, forced to perform for Tyrannus' amusement else it's curtains for Betty! The Hulk easily battles the robotic foe Tyrannus puts up against him, but during the battle Banner's personality ebbs away, and the full Hulk personality re-emerges! He launches himself at Tyrannus, but a paralyzer ray stops him. Later, the Hulk is used as a beast of burden, but Tyrannus soon gets bored with this, and orders the Hulk's execution. Meanwhile, Rick has disguised himself as a guard in order to rescue Betty, and then the two of them go to release the Hulk! Once the Hulk is aware Betty's safe, he breaks out and attacks Tyrannus' forces, eventually burying them beneath rubble. Then the Hulk uses Tyrannus' own vehicle to return the three of them to the surface, but by the time they get there, Betty's in such a state of shock that she doesn't remember anything that's happened.
“The Hordes of General Fang” – The Hulk is exercising by leaping over the desert when he's spotted by soldiers who report to Ross. Ross orders the Iceberg Missile fired at the Hulk, and it does trap him in ice, but the desert heat starts to melt it quickly, and the Hulk breaks free and flees for the hidden lab, which Rick Jones is also headed to. Inside, the Hulk uses the Gamma Ray Machine to turn back to Bruce. Meanwhile, in a tiny Asian village in Llhasa, word spreads that General Fang is about to attack! When news of this attack reaches the States, Bruce decides that the Hulk should step in to deal with Fang. After changing to the Hulk again, the Hulk pulls a book off the bookshelf about “Strange Myths and Legends,” telling Rick that's how he'll demolish Fang's army. Later, with the Hulk heavily disguised, he and Rick are aboard a flight headed towards the Orient, when someone accidentally bumps the Hulk's hat off. Rick and the Hulk leave the plane while it's in flight (again, we have speed lines indicating a midair change in direction) to travel by leaping to Formosa, and from there to Red China to deal with Fang. His stop in Formosa to get his bearings is met with an attack by the local army, but they aren't much for the Hulk to worry about. Arriving near Llhasa, the Hulk puts on a costume to impersonate the Abominable Snowman, hoping to prey on superstitions, and between the costume and the Hulk's strength, it appears to be working until Rick points out what appears to be a dragon! The Hulk leaps at it, only to discover it's an illusion, and the Hulk lands in an electronically-charged cage! General Fang figures the Hulk is trapped, and prepares to send his forces into Llhasa when Rick sabotages the electronic cage, freeing the Hulk! The Hulk then wades into the Fang army, using his incredible strength to take out paratroopers by leaping past treetops, bending them back, and then releasing them to create a gale, then blocking a geyser with a boulder to build up pressure underground to stop the fleeing Fang! The Hulk next brings Fang to Formosa to be hunted down by soldiers before he and Rick return to the US (although it's not mentioned how they got back home), where the Hulk tells Rick that the human race will never be safe while the Hulk's around, and he's planning on being around for a long time!

Invention Exchange: Neuron-Magnet (inventor unknown), various inventions of Tyrannus, 3-D projector and electronic cage designed by Red Chinese scientists.

Reprinted In: “Beauty and the Beast” – Marvel Collector's Item Classics #6; “The Hordes of General Fang” – Marvel Collector's Item Classics #7; Both – Marvel Masterworks #8, Essential Hulk #1, Pocket Books Incredible Hulk #1.

Notes: “Beauty and the Beast” was adapted as episodes 31-33 of the 1966 Hulk animated series. “Beauty and the Beast” may have been the first use in the comics of Ross' nickname “Thunderbolt.”

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