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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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for Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Incredible Hulk 1

From Comics Buyer's Guide #1660:

For the time being, "Tony's Back Page" has switched from sterling tales of my life and career to extended coverage of comic books that appear in my new book, 1000 Comic Books You Must Read.

Incredible Hulk #1

Writer: Stan Lee

Artists: Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman

Marvel [May 1962; © 1962 Zenith Publishing Corp.]

Scientist Bruce Banner rescues rebellious teenager Rick Jones from death on a testing ground only to be himself caught in the blast of an experimental bomb. Miraculously, Banner survives. But the puny scientist has been changed by the bomb's gamma radiation. When night falls, he becomes a raging monster. It's Lee and Kirby doing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the Atomic Age.

The Hulk's initial series was confusing and short-lived. His color changed from grey to green by issue #2. His intelligence varied from mindless brute to wily genius. In one story, he wore a Hulk mask because his head was still that of Bruce Banner. The series was canceled after six issues, but you really can't keep a good monster down. After several guest shots in various titles, the Hulk once again got his own feature in Tales To Astonish (1964) and his own book in 1968.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back Friday with an all-new, full-length column.

Tony Isabella

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

Please send material you would like me to review to:

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