Appearing in "The Hulk"
- Betty Ross (First appearance) (See chronology)
- General Thaddeus Ross (First appearance) (See chronology)
- Rick Jones (First appearance) (See chronology)
- Various army personnel
- Nikita Khrushchev (Photo) (Topical Reference)
- Hulk (Future) (Bruce Banner) (Behind the scenes)
- Maestro (Bruce Banner) (Behind the scenes)
- Tomorrow Man (Artur Zarrko) (Behind the scenes)
- Tony Stark (Behind the scenes)
- Soviet version of X-15
Synopsis for "The Hulk"
Part 1: The Coming of the Hulk
At an Army base in the desert, Doctor Bruce Banner is readying the first test of his invention, the G-Bomb. General "Thunderbolt" Ross wants to know why Banner keeps delaying the test. His daughter Betty tries to calm him down, with little success. Banner tells Ross that the final countdown has begun. His assistant, Igor, demands that Banner share his work so that someone may check his calculations. "I don't make errors, Igor," says Bruce, and, when Igor threatens him, "You know how I detest men who think with their fists."
Banner takes a last look at the bomb with binoculars. He notices a teenage boy in a car, tells Igor to halt the countdown, and hurries after the boy in a jeep. Igor, who supposedly defected to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, is a spy and decides not to stop the countdown so that America will lose its greatest nuclear physicist. Banner gets the boy into a trench, but, before he can jump in himself, the G-Bomb explodes! Gamma rays saturate Banner's body.Hours later, Banner regains his senses. The boy, Rick Jones, who drove onto the base on a dare, brought him back to base. Banner waits for some kind of symptoms to appear. When night falls, Jones turns on a "radio," actually a Geiger counter. Its clicking increases, and Banner changes into a huge grey figure. "Get out of my way, insect," says the figure, shoving Jones aside. He pushes through the wall, wrecks a jeep full of soldiers when it hits him, and wanders off to hide. Jones follows.
Part 2: The Hulk Strikes!
The thing that was once Banner, with Jones trailing him, sneaks past the soldiers trying to find him and finds Banner's cabin. Inside, Igor is trying to find Banner's notes. He shoots at the Hulk, without effect. The Hulk takes away his gun and crumples it with one hand. He picks up Igor and slams him down on a lab bench. Jones notices a folder taped to the bottom of a large beaker, labeled "Top Secret: Report on Gamma Ray Bomb," and takes it. The Hulk picks up a photo of Banner and says, "I—I know that face!! But it is weak—soft!! I hate it! Take it away!" Jones reminds him that he is Banner. The Hulk briefly remembers what happened, then says, "I don't need you! I don't need anybody! With my strength—my power—the world is mine! As for you—you are the only one who knows who I really am!" He advances on Jones. The sun comes up at that moment, and the Hulk changes back into Banner.
Part 3: The Search for the Hulk
The MPs storm in, arrest Igor, ask Banner about the Hulk, take the folder, and leave. Betty comes to apologize for her father's outburst and tells him he should get medical attention. Banner says he'll call her and shows her out. He tells Jones that he's afraid he will change again at sunset.
Part 4: Enter... the Gargoyle!
In his cell, Igor uses a transmitter overlaid on his thumbnail. The message finds its way to the Gargoyle, a deformed Soviet scientist and secret agent, who travels by submarine and short-range missile to the desert. Banner and Jones take a jeep out into the desert before night falls, in case he changes again. He does change, and the Hulk wrecks the jeep. He recognizes the area near Ross's house and decides to visit Betty. At the same time, Betty decides to take a walk. She encounters the Hulk and faints in his arms. The Gargoyle appears.
Part 5: The Hulk Triumphant!
The Gargoyle shoots the Hulk and Jones with drug-filled bullets, making them like robots. They follow him to a truck, whose driver also gets shot. Ross finds Betty, who was frightened by her encounter but says, "In spite of everything, there was something... something sad about him!! Almost as though he was seeking... help!" Ross says, "If it takes an eternity, I'll find that monster!"
The Gargoyle and his captives reach a sub on the coast and get into a jet. As they streak towards the USSR, the sun rises on the Hulk, who changes back into Banner. Upon landing, the Gargoyle is astounded to find a man instead of a monster. He begins to cry, because he wants to be normal too. Banner treats him with radiation, which makes him look normal but takes away his super intelligence. The man who was once the Gargoyle realizes how the state has used him, so he puts Banner and Jones on a jet for home and blows up his base along with himself.
Appearing in "The Terror of the Toad Men!"
Races and Species:
- Gamma Ray Projector (First appearance)
- Tribbitite Spaceship (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Terror of the Toad Men!"
Part 1: Enter... the Toad Men
A sheriff sees the Hulk wade out of a swamp. He warns the inhabitants of his small town, who take refuge indoors. When the Hulk arrives, a truck rams into him, and a group of state troopers try to tackle him, all without effect. Rick Jones arrives and leads the Hulk away.
The next morning, after the Hulk reverted back into his human form Bruce Banner, Banner pleads with Rick to leave him, since he cannot control the Hulk and doesn't want his friend to be killed, but Rick refuses, since Banner saved his life in the accident that caused Banner to become the Hulk at night. Banner then says that there is no place where he can hide the Hulk, and says that every night will be a war between Hulk and mankind.
A ship of Toad Men lands. Their mind detector puts them on the trail of Bruce Banner, "the most brilliant scientific mind on Earth," so that they can gauge the potential resistance to their coming invasion. Banner and Jones meet General Ross and Betty Ross as they set out "to conduct a little scientific research." They go to a cave Banner found; he has set up a ten-foot-thick concrete door that he hopes will keep the Hulk contained at night. Jones promises to seal and reopen the door for him. Suddenly, a beam pushes Banner and Jones against a wall and holds them there!
Part 2: Prisoners of the Toad Men!The Toad Men use magnetic beams to carry Banner and Jones to their ship. They go into orbit. The captain, Torrak, tells Banner that their fleet is ready to invade Earth and that their mastery of magnetism makes them invincible. Banner refuses to talk. The Toad Men send Jones back to Earth in a "plastic cylinder." The ship passes behind the Earth, thus bringing night and turning Banner into the Hulk. He bursts out of his cell and locks up the crew. Seeing the amazing weaponry on the ship, he vows to "be the hunter instead of the hunted."
Below, the military launches a barrage of missiles at the Toad Men ship. They hit! The ship crashes in the desert. General Ross and his men surround it.
Part 3: Bruce Banner, Wanted for Treason!
Out of the wreckage steps Banner. Ross arrests him for treason. The Toad Men create an underground tunnel and escape; once clear, they fire a flare to summon their fleet. Betty tries to plead Banner's case with her father, but the phone rings. A fleet of alien ships has appeared in the skies. The Toad King overrides all the television and radio signals and makes an announcement.
Part 4: Hulk Runs Amok!
The Toad King says that his fleet will train all their magnetic rays on the Moon and draw it towards the Earth. If the Earthlings do not surrender, the Moon will crash into the Earth, killing everyone.
In his cell, Banner watches the sun go down. As the Hulk, he breaks through the wall, destroys an artillery piece, and topples a guard tower. He remembers that Ross put him in jail. At Ross's house, he frightens Betty, who screams and draws the attention of soldiers outside. Ross, the soldiers, and even a tank enter a tense stand-off with the Hulk.
Part 5: The End of the Hulk?
The soldiers pile on the Hulk, but he shakes them off. He grabs Betty, lifts the side of the house, and drops it back in place once he's outside. At Banner's lab, Betty asks, "Who are you?? Why do you hate us so??" The Hulk says, "Hate you?? Why shouldn't I hate you? Why shouldn't I hate all mankind?? Look what men have done to me!" Rick appears, but his efforts to calm the Hulk fail. Before the Hulk can attack Rick, the sun rises, and the monster transforms back into Bruce Banner.
Told of the situation, Banner realizes that he must turn his Gamma Gun on the Toad Men fleet. No one knows how gamma beams and magnetic fields will interact, but it's the only weapon that may work. With soldiers breaking down the door of his lab, Banner readies the gun. They break through. Jones holds them back with a fire hose. The gun fires! The gamma beam reverses the polarity of the Toad Men's magnetic propulsion, "sending the Toad ships spinning across the void of space, helplessly out of control... forever!"
For saving the world, Banner is cleared of treason. Betty tries to tell Ross that Banner is a good man, but Ross still suspects there is a connection between Banner and the Hulk...
Appearing in "Banished to Outer Space"
Races and Species:
- US Missile
Synopsis for "Banished to Outer Space"
While the Hulk spends the night time hours locked inside of his alter ego Bruce Banner's fortified cave, Rick Jones is summoned to the office of General "Thunderbolt" Ross. Ross tells Rick that they need to test fly an experimental rocket ship and that only the Hulk has a chance of withstanding the titanic g-forces. Knowing that Jones is closely connected to the Hulk, he punctuates his request with the knowledge that the Hulk will be contributing to the country's national security.
Rick feels that he owes it to his country to do what he can, though he regrets that the cost of such patriotism is the betrayal of the Hulk. Rick releases the Hulk from the sanctuary cave, and the Hulk begins chasing him. He lures the Hulk to the launchpad of the rocket ship and begins scaling the gangplank. He tricks the Hulk into entering the capsule, and General Ross launches it into outer space. As he returns to the army base, Rick overhears Ross celebrating the fact that they are now rid of the Hulk forever. It was all a trick. Frustrated beyond measure, Rick begins randomly activating knobs and switches on the rocket's control panel.
In outer space, the rocket passes through a radiation storm, and the Hulk is bathed in a massive dose of powerful celestial energy. The power surge arcs back downward towards Earth, striking Rick Jones. Rick appears to be fine but cannot explain the sudden surge of energy. As night turns to day, the space capsule detaches from the fuselage of the ship and plummets back towards Earth. Rick races out to the impact sight, fearful that the crash may have killed Bruce Banner. It is not Banner who emerges from the ship, however, but the incredible Hulk. Rick doesn't understand how Banner is still the Hulk even though it is now daytime. The Hulk begins chasing Rick Jones, seeking to avenge himself against Rick's betrayal. Rick runs and, in a desperate bid to save his own life, orders the Hulk to stop. Miraculously, the Hulk obeys his commands. Rick now realizes that the energy surge he felt back at the desert base somehow created a connection between himself and the Hulk. He orders the Hulk to bring him back to his cabin and watch over him so he can get some sleep.
While Rick is asleep however, he loses his control over the Hulk. The Hulk breaks through the wall of the cabin and goes on a rampage in a nearby town. Rick catches up to him and orders him to take him to the sanctuary cave. There, Rick instructs the Hulk to enter the steel cell and secures the door behind him. Tired, Rick slumps to the floor on the other side of the door. He refuses to fall asleep however, lest the Hulk go berserk and break free.
Appearing in "The Monster and the Machine!"
- Betty Ross (Appears in flashback)
- General Thaddeus Ross (Appears in flashback)
- Rick Jones (Appears in flashback)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Monster and the Machine!"
Betty Ross is milling about the Desert Base. She reflects upon recent events, particularly the lives of Bruce Banner, Rick Jones, and the incredible Hulk. She finds her father General Ross who is testing the effectiveness of his prototype "Iceberg Rocket" against a facsimile of the Hulk. A jet-powered faux Hulk is launched into the air, and the rocket targets the projectile, encasing it in a block of ice. Ross is satisfied with the test, confident that this rocket will succeed in capturing the real Hulk. He then sends his soldiers out to track down the Hulk.
Meanwhile, Rick Jones is inside his cottage with the true Hulk, who is still under his mental control due to an accidental overdose of cosmic radiation. When Rick sees soldiers coming to capture him, he orders the Hulk to flee. Without a word, the Hulk leaps away and lands in a nearby town.
General Ross is convinced that Rick Jones knows more about the Hulk then he lets on. He interrogates Rick at length, but when the boy refuses to cooperate, Ross has him arrested. Rick sends out a telepathic S.O.S. to the Hulk. The Hulk turns back and super-jumps his way to Rick's location. He scoops him out of the army jeep and leaps away. Rick directs him to Doctor Banner's secret cave. Once inside, he places the Hulk in front of a gamma ray projector. After reading some of Banner's notes, he activates the device, and the Hulk transforms back into Bruce Banner.
After careful study, Banner concludes that regulated doses of gamma radiation might give him the power to control his transformations. After making some adjustments to the projector, he has Rick use it on him, this time instigating the change into the Hulk. The Hulk now has the intelligence of Bruce Banner, but he still maintains the machismo brutishness of the Hulk. Rick is happy for the Hulk and more than a little scared.
The Hulk decides that he wants to commit good deeds. He goes outside of town where he finds a farmhouse on fire. The Hulk tears away the burning wall of the house and pitches them into the distance. Though the family inside is now safe, they are terrified of the monster's presence. The Hulk then takes Rick back to the secret cave where another dose of gamma rays turns him back into Bruce Banner.
Appearing in "Beauty and the Beast!"
- Tyrannus (First appearance)
- mechanical gladiator (Destroyed)
- Tyrannoids (First appearance)
- The President (Mentioned)
- Merlin (Mentioned)
- Hercules (Mentioned)
- Chubby Checker (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- United States of America
- Roman Empire (Only in flashback)
- Rome (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Beauty and the Beast!"
General Ross presents a slide show showing the Hulk in the middle of one of his rampages. After the show concludes, he assigns Bruce Banner the task of scientifically devising a means to put the Hulk down once and for all. As Bruce and Rick Jones leave, Rick points out the irony of Bruce's new vocation.
Meanwhile, a would-be conqueror known as Tyrannus monitors the affairs of Earth from a grotto deep within the planet. He is attended by a group of strange-looking minions. He watches images of Betty Ross with great interest and declares that she shall be the instrument through which he will achieve global domination.
Tyrannus assumes more conventional garb and goes to New Mexico where he introduces himself to Betty Ross as an archaeologist. He asks her to assist him in the exploration of some nearby caves. Bruce and Rick arrive at Betty's cottage, and she introduces them to Mr. Tyrannus. Bruce doesn't trust Tyrannus, but he cannot explain why. He and Rick decide to secretly follow the two into the caves.
Tyrannus takes Betty Ross deep underground in a unique vehicle designed for traversing such terrain. Sealing off a portion of the cavern behind them, Tyrannus reveals his true intentions to Miss Ross. He plans on using her as leverage against her father. He activates a video transmitter inside his vehicle and opens a channel to General Ross. He tells Ross that he has his daughter, and, if he ever expects to see her again, he will let Tyrannus conquer the United States with no opposition from the U.S. military.
As Bruce and Rick try to follow Betty's trail, they find the sealed off section of the cave. They return to Bruce's laboratory so that he can transform into the Hulk, then return to the underground caves. Breaking through the seal, he follows the caverns down towards the center of the Earth. As Rick and the Hulk reach Tyrannus' private grotto, the villain releases a powerful gas that knocks the Hulk out.
When the Hulk awakens, he finds himself dressed in gladiatorial garb and standing inside a fighting arena. Tyrannus forces the Hulk to fight or else Betty will be killed. The Hulk fights and defeats his robotic opponent, then charges the stadium. Before he can reach Tyrannus, he is felled by a paralyzer ray and rendered unconscious. The minions bring him deeper into the caves where he is now forced to labor as Tyrannus' slave. For the sake of Betty's life, the Hulk follows Tyrannus' commands.
Meanwhile, Rick Jones finds the compartment where Betty is being held captive and rescues her. They proceed to the mines and tell the Hulk that Betty is no longer in danger. The Hulk rebels and smashes through several walls until he reaches Tyrannus' personal chambers. He pushes against several columns, causing the ceiling to collapse, seemingly burying Tyrannus beneath a ton of rock. The Hulk, Rick and Betty then use one of Tyrannus' vehicles to return to the surface.
Appearing in "The Incredible Hulk vs. The Metal Master!"
- Metal Master (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Astra (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "The Incredible Hulk vs. The Metal Master!"
General Ross wants to test fly a new experimental rocket, but he needs Bruce Banner to initiate the final sequences. Banner, however, is currently missing. Present is Rick Jones, who is worried about why Banner hasn't returned to the base. He soon discovers that Banner is still trapped in the form of the Hulk.
The Hulk, still possessing a limited amount of Banner's intellect, manages to evade army personnel and get back to his sanctuary cave. He activates the Gamma Ray Projector and transforms back into Banner. Each time he uses the device, the transformation becomes more and more painful. This most recent transformation yields another side effect. Though he looks human again, Banner is now bigger and stronger than his usual frail self. From within the cave, Banner monitors events at General Ross' desert base. What Bruce witnesses on the view screen causes him great distress.
At the Desert Base an alien known as the Metal Master comes to Earth with plans of conquest. He demonstrates his superior powers of magnetism by melting the metal components of General Ross' test rocket. When Ross orders his men to attack, the Metal Master uses his powers to melt a tank, turning it into a cage of twisted, molten metal, which he then uses to ensnare Ross, his daughter Betty, and Rick Jones. Ross slips through the latticework of the cage and activates a barrage of hunter rockets and targets the Metal Master. The Metal Master pries up a piece of metal plating and uses it as a hover-board while simultaneously deflecting Ross' missiles.
At the sanctuary cave, Banner once again activates the Gamma Ray Projector and turns into the Hulk. This time, however, another unexpected side-effect manifests. Though he has the body of the Hulk, his head is still that of Bruce Banner. To disguise his features, the Hulk dons a latex Hulk mask so that no one will recognize him as Banner.
The Hulk power-leaps to the Metal Master's whereabouts and confronts him in battle. The Metal Master uses discarded metal debris to erect a cage around the Hulk, but the Hulk easily tears through it. The Metal Master batters the Hulk in the back of the head with a piece of the cage, knocking him out. The Metal Master leaves the area, and army personnel apprehend the unconscious Hulk. One soldier removes the latex mask, but, by this point, the transformation has completed itself, and the Hulk looks like his normal self. The Hulk is airlifted to a stone building designed specifically to contain him. When the Hulk awakens, he finds himself trapped in this massive cell. Rick Jones tries to visit him, but the Hulk calls him a traitor and swears that he will make him pay once he escapes.
Rejected, Rick Jones leaves and returns home. He no longer feels that he can trust Bruce Banner and decides to take his own measures to safeguard society from the likes of the Metal Master. At the advice of one his friends, Rick helps to form a network of teenagers across the country who communicate with one another via ham radios and pledge to help the world whenever they can. Rick dubs this organization the Teen Brigade.
At the Desert Base, the Hulk continues to batter at the stone walls of his prison until he finally breaks free. News of the Hulk's escape quickly reaches the office of General Ross. Ross shakes his fists in frustration, while Betty worries that the Hulk may have something to do with Bruce's unexplained absence.
The Hulk returns to his laboratory cave and uses the projector to turn back into Bruce Banner. Rick Jones arrives, feeling bad that he mistrusted Banner's intentions. He realizes that Banner's motivations are drastically different from the Hulk's. Bruce develops an idea on how to defeat the Metal Master, but he requires a lot of equipment to make his plan work. Rick contacts the Teen Brigade, who arranges for a variety of odds and ends to be secretly delivered to Banner's laboratory.
The Metal Master, meanwhile, continues to demonstrate his awesome power across the world. He travels to Russia where he wreaks havoc against the Soviet military apparatus. He then travels to Washington, D.C. to execute a similar demonstration of his might at the nation's capital. As the Metal Master pontificates, the Hulk arrives in Washington, armed with an over-sized specially designed rocket launcher. The Metal Master scoffs at the Hulk's weaponry and tries to use his power to make it explode. The tactic fails, however, and the Metal Master does not understand why. He looms in closer and tries even harder to destroy the Hulk's weapon. The second attempt meets with the same success as the first, and he moves in even closer for a third attempt. Once he is within arms reach, the Hulk drops his rocket launcher and grabs the Metal Master. He threatens to pulverize him unless the alien agrees to restore all the damage he caused. The Metal Master, a coward at heart and fearing for his life, agrees. Once he rebuilds all of the facilities he has destroyed, he gets into his rocket ship and returns to his home world.
The Hulk congratulates the Teen Brigade for helping him build a faux rocket launcher made out of non-metallic parts. Fortunately for the world, his bluff worked. Grabbing Rick, the Hulk power-leaps away, returning to his secret cave where he transforms back into Banner.
Once he is fully human again, Banner finally returns to the Desert Base. General Ross admonishes him for his sudden disappearance, and Bruce tells him that he had taken a small vacation in Bermuda. Betty is elated that Bruce is safe but can't shake the feeling that there is some connection between him and the incredible Hulk.
- Includes an introduction by Stan Lee.
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- Discuss Marvel Masterworks Vol 1 8 on the forums
- 3 Images from Marvel Masterworks Vol 1 8
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