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Quote1.png I sure hope we find 'im soon! I'm just itchin' to tangle with that over-rated creep! Quote2.png
The Thing

Appearing in "The Incredible Hulk"

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Synopsis for "The Incredible Hulk"

Part 1:

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The Thing and Alicia are exiting a symphony auditorium at the end of their date when they notice soldiers marching on the streets. Someone panics as they see through the Thing's disguise and calls him a monster. The soldiers attack Ben -- mistaking him for the Hulk. After they subdue Ben, they realize the error an apologies for the unprovoked attack. Alicia calms Ben down and he returns to the Baxter Building. There he complains about being mistaken for the Hulk to his teammates. The Fantastic Four are soon visited by General "Thunderbolt" Ross, who has come to ask for the Fantastic Four's assistance in destroying the Hulk.

Part 2:

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Ross then shows them footage of the Hulk as well as the recent destruction of various military test weapons that are being designed by Dr. Bruce Banner. Ross tells them that the military believes that the Hulk is responsible for the destruction of these devices. After coming up with various theories on how to take down the Hulk, the Fantastic Four bring Ross to their newest model of the Fantasti-Car that was designed by Johnny and they all fly to New Mexico to Gamma Base. When they arrive they find that the military's prototype anti-gravity missile has been wrecked. Ross introduces Reed Richards to Bruce Banner, his young assistant Rick Jones, and another scientist named Karl Kort. When Ross tells them that the Fantastic Four will be going after the Hulk, Banner tells his employer that he believes that someone is framing the Hulk for these acts of sabotage. Kort then excuses himself from the meeting and on his way out he bumps into the other members of the Fantastic Four who have been waiting impatiently outside. Kort is frightened by the Thing and flees the hallway, dropping his wallet as he goes, and it is picked up by the Torch.

Part 3:

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Having become fed up with waiting, the Thing comes bursting into the office with the other members of the Fantastic Four, angering Ross, especially when the Thing picks up an entire bookshelf of phone books and rips them in half. Reed calms down General Ross and Banner goes on to explain that he believes that someone, whom he and Rick have dubbed the "Wrecker", is really responsible for the acts of sabotage. The Human Torch then introduces himself to Rick, showing off his flame powers before handing over Karl Kort's wallet asking Jones to return it to him. Banner and Jones then leave and go to their secret cave hideout. There Bruce shows Rick a scale model of his next invention a device that could erect a force field around a city in order to protect it from a nuclear attack. Bruce vows to stop the Wrecker as the Hulk before he can destroy his invention. Meanwhile, Rick goes to return the wallet to Karl Kort and seeing a card sticking out of it, he is shocked to find that it is a membership card to a communist organization.[Continuity 1] Kort, having sneaked up behind the boy gets the drop on Rick and takes him prisoner at gunpoint.

Part 4:

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The Hulk vs. the Thing!

Later the Fantastic Four are testing out a new one man, rail-driven rocket car using the Thing as a test subject. As the Thing rockets down the rails they notice that the rails had been crushed. Ben's rocket car is quickly derailed, but he is saved from a nasty fall by his teammates. When Bruce arrives on the scene and tells them that the Wrecker kidnapped Rick Jones, the Fantastic Four dismiss this, convinced that the Hulk is responsible for the sabotage and Rick's disappearances. Bruce leaves, not revealing to them that a note was left for the Hulk from the Wrecker ordering him to send the Fantastic Four away in order to save Rick's life. Knowing that there is no way he can make the Fantastic Four leave, Banner goes back to his secret lab and uses his Gamma Ray Projector to turn into the Hulk so he can capture the Wrecker himself.[Continuity 2]

The Wrecker meanwhile takes Rick through a series of underground passages to an abandoned frontier town. Also searching the various tunnels are the Hulk and the Fantastic Four. When the Hulk crosses paths with the FF, a fight soon breaks out between him and the Thing.[Continuity 3] Unable to fight in such close quarters, the Hulk forces his way to the surface, where the fight rages on into the old ghost town. The Hulk manages to incapacitate Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch, but as he struggles with the Thing again, a beam is fired through the ground below and strikes the Hulk from behind. Seeing this, the Invisible Girl points it out to the Thing, who digs through the Earth to find its source. Below, he finds a robot, confirming the existence of the Wrecker. Ben easily demolishes the robot and then breaks through a metal door. On the other side, he finds Kort holding Rick prisoner. Before Kort can blast Ben with an atomic-powered weapon, Sue invisibly sneaks around Kort and knocks the gun out of his hand. The Thing then apprehends Kort and frees Rick. They return to the surface to reveal the truth to Reed and Johnny and while they are comparing notes, the Hulk recovers as well and bounds away to his secret lab to change back into Bruce Banner. Bruce is waiting at the military base when they arrive, and he thanks, Reed Richards for his help. The FF is then celebrated by the military before they head back home for New York.

As they fly away, the Hulk watches from the distance as they depart, but the Hulk has a feeling that they will meet again someday.


Continuity Notes

  1. All references to Kort being a spy for the USSR should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616
  2. During this period of time, Bruce Banner purposely triggered his transformations into the Hulk using a Gamma Ray Projector which he began using in Incredible Hulk #2.
  3. This iconic battle between the Thing and the Hulk is revisited in Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks Vol 1.

Chronology Notes

This story is revisited many times and as such there are events going on behind the scenes in this story that affect the chronology of the following characters:

Mister Fantastic:

Invisible Girl:

Human Torch:



General Ross:


Publication Notes

  • Arguably one of the first Marvel Crossovers between titles. The same month this issue came out, the Fantastic Four also made a guest appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #1. At the time of this publication the Hulk had his own title but it was cancelled that same month.


See Also

Links and References


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