Monday, July 2, 2012

Comic School Review: The Incredible Hulk #4 (1963) Damn Commies!

It's been a couple of weeks since you and I have tried to make sense of an old school classic Marvel comic, so I thought that maybe we could snuggle up inside The Incredible Hulk #4 from 1963, a classic Hulk issue split into two "feature-length" (lies) Hulk thrillers!

Of course, we don't want to exert ourselves, so we'll just focus on the second story, Mongu!! Gladiator From Space!, because I am dying to find out why Teen Brigade leader Rick Jones is squirming in Mongu's ape-like arms like a little bitch! Will Hulk save the day before young Rick is violated? And what do those damn Commie pigdogs have to do with all this?

It's written by Stan the Man Lee with art by Jack the King Kirby and I bought it for $1.99 on Comixology. You can too if you'd like to read along with me! Let's do just that... after the jump!

Before we get to far into Mongu's Wacky Space Gladiator Escapades! I will talk briefly about that first story because it kicks off some pretty big changes for the Hulk. Back when we read issue one the Hulk's transformation was not triggered by anger, but rather the setting of the sun. Well, as of issue four it's triggered by sassy teenager Rick Jones shooting a large phallic dick-gun in his face and bombarding him with radiation. The dick-gun is so massive and phallic that it must be stored in an underground bunker in the desert and they have to go back there every single time the Hulk wants to change. And when he changes back, Bruce staggers around in his underoos complaining about how tired he is. They should change the title to The Impractical Hulk.

But wait there's more! Bruce realises that it's no fun being a dimwitted Hulk and yet he craves massive pecs, so he recalibrates the machine so that he keeps Banner's intelligence while in green monster mode. But it doesn't quite work out because although he's now smarter as Hulk, he's also a raging asshole. I tell you all this because it will explain why, in this story, Hulk won't STFU.

Okay... now on with the show.

Everybody shits when an alien spacecraft touches down in a US park and a hatch opens to reveal some totally badass Kirby art...

Mongu kind of looks like Lemmy from Motorhead skipped his morning coffee. This story could be epic! Especially if Mongu requires a separate panel for every single word.

What does he want? Bruce Banner and his teenage partner Rick Jones catch it all while they watch TV together (do Rick's parents even know where he is? What is going on there?). No wonder people in the sixties though TV would ruin your eyes. Look how close these reckless maniacs are sitting...

Okay, so Mongu's looking for a worthy champion to butt heads with. And if Mongu can't be defeated then our planet is screwed. It looks bleak for humanity but wait... we have a Hulk! To the dick-gun, Rick!

So that's the sort of awesome shit the new talking Hulk says. Honestly, if he can talk and reason now you'd think he'd at least put on a shirt. It's a FIRST DATE!

Rick and Hulk fly a chartered plane to Mongu's canyon - wait... who is flying this plane? Teenage dipshit Rick or Hulk? Who has hands like ponies? None of this makes sense. But they manage it and get quite a shock when Mongu challenges them. You see, it turns out that his "two ton ax" is actually made out of "cardboard and cork"! How embarrassed do those news reporters feel now? It was probably made out of toilet rolls.

So Mongu is a total fake. So what's the deal here?

What? What is going on? Who is behind all this? Oh my god... I hope it's not...

IT'S THE GODDAMN REDS! What are these commie bastards cooking up now?!

Now I'm not sure why America saw Russia as a threat because this has to be the most ill-conceived plan ever hatched. They have constructed an elaborate working space-craft and a large animatronic space gladiator whose realistic flesh and movement hoodwinked an entire country. With all this ingenuity up their furry sleeves they use it to spring a trap in which a dozen soldiers surround the Hulk while Boris points a tiny pistol at him. Bear in mind that this is the same Incredible Frigging Hulk that repeatedly pwned the power of the US military without breaking a sweat. Way to go, Russia, you dumb-dumbs!

And you know what would be even better than a dozen men with rifles attacking the Hulk? If they actually fired their rifles! But no - they don't even crack off a single shot.

Needless to say, the Hulk easily kicks all their Ruskie asses and tears up their stupid ship for good measure. The Reds have no other option than to kidnap lollygagger Rick Jones in an attempt to barter for their worthless lives...

One thing they didn't account for though - American teenager Rick Jones is one annoying son of a bitch. After a few seconds of his sassy teen American jive-talk...

With the Commies truly vanquished and young Rick safely under the Hulk's green, veiny wing, there's nothing left but to humiliate these rascals! This is the plan that the new "smart" Hulk comes up with...

That's right! Tied together with their belts, a bunch of freshly pantsless Reds get escorted back to Russia, their embarrassingly flapping doodles being painfully sunburnt by the harsh American sun.

Later, at the bunker it's time to turn back into Banner and he and Rick share an intimate moment together...

And that's about as poignant as it gets in a pair of purple underpants.


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