It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years since Bruce Banner was hit by gamma rays and became the Hulk. In May 1962, The Incredible Hulk Issue 1 hit the stands. Since then, the Hulk has smashed a lot of things, but I was taken aback today to find out he once smashed a whole universe.
Greg Pak’s popular series Planet Hulk wasn’t the first time the Hulk went to a different planet and found love with an alien woman. As it turns out, Hulk once before journeyed to the Microverse, a sub-atomic universe within our own, where he met a blonde-haired woman with green skin named Jarella who somehow was able to look past our hero’s radioactive rage and fell in love with the softer side of Hulk (and I don’t mean Bruce Banner).
Then, as is the case of so many superhero significant others, Jarella died in battle, but not before making a trip to Earth when scientists extracted she and Hulk from the Microverse against their will. When the Hulk found himself back on a planet where he was misunderstand, he angrily smashed objects in the lab–including a slide under a microscope that contained the microverse!
In The Incredible Hulk 247, Hulk has returned to Jarella’s home planet K’ai in the microverse to see to her remains, when he finds many of the cities in ruins. It turns out, his tantrum in the lab left the civilizations of K’ai in shambles. He continues with his mission to find a place to bury Jarella, and ends up fighting not one, but two dragons–plus a griffin–in the same issue!
Despite its melodramatic story by Bill Mantlo, The Incredible Hulk 247 was a joy to read. Usually, when I think of great artists and the Hulk, it’s either Jack Kirby or Ed McGuinness who come to mind, but this issue was penciled by the comic legend Sal Buscema, and he did some fine work here. Sal Buscema did a great job of creating the planet K’ai, although his character design for the Hulk made him look a bit like a green Ernest Borgnine.
To read more articles related to members of the Avengers, click here.
You can read The Incredible Hulk Issue 247 for free on the Marvel website if you have a digitial subscription.