Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #25

Credits:

Cover Date: April 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, George Roussos

“The Hulk vs. the Thing”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter : Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: George Roussos

What’s Going On?:

Upset at the Avengers, the Hulk travels to New York City to fight them. Unfortunately, the Avengers are out of town, and only the Fantastic Four can hope to stop the rampaging Hulk!

Details:

  • Reed hasn’t given up on curing Ben; in fact, he may have up with a formula that has permanently cured the Thing —- but the Thing refuses to take the medicine! He fears that Alicia Masters will stop loving him if he is no longer the Thing!

  • The Avengers are still in the Southwestern US, hunting the Hulk, after the events of Avengers #3. Rick Jones refuses to give them anything more than the very basic information about the Hulk.

  • Meanwhile, the Hulk gets upset because he believes Rick has replaced him with Captain America. He heads to New York to fight the Avengers, not realizing that they were out of town, looking for him.

  • Upon arriving in NYC, the Hulk begins wrecking the city to get the Avengers’ attention. The Human Torch eventually encounters the Hulk, and he tries to fight the monster. It…doesn’t go well. The Hulk recognizes that the Torch is only a child, though, and spares him.

  • The Thing is the next hero to take the Hulk head-on. Smaller and faster than the Hulk, it looks like the Thing might have a chance in the fight…

  • …but that hope dies pretty quickly. The Hulk is clearly far stronger than the Thing.

  • The Thing is a smarter fighter than the Hulk, but that only slows the Hulk down.

    The Hulk inevitably wins the fight against the Thing.

  • Meanwhile, Reed is seriously ill. Sue takes this opportunity to realize how important Reed is to her.

  • Regaining consciousness after the Hulk left him, the Thing takes his loss in stride. The fight may be over, but he intends to even the score with the Hulk!

Is It Good?

It is pretty good! It was interesting to see the FF soundly defeated, even if Reed wasn’t involved in the fight. The Hulk/Thing fight was fun to read, I was honestly surprised that the Thing lost so decisively; I’m sure he’ll get some licks in part 2 of this story, next issue.

Continuity:

  • This is the first two-part Fantastic Four story.
  • The Hulk last appeared in Avengers #3. He last faced the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #12.
  • This is the first time the Hulk is referred to as “Bob” Banner. While clearly an editing mistake, this will eventually become canon, changing the Hulk’s name from “Bruce Banner” to “Robert Bruce Banner.”

  • Reed suspects that the Hulk is significantly stronger than Ben. This is a little odd, since the last time they fought (Fantastic Four #12), the Hulk only appeared to be slightly stronger.

  • Sue can not maintain her force fields if too much pressure is put on them, or if she is too far away from her target.

  • Jack Kirby is now drawing the Hulk’s face differently. The forehead is not as pronounced now, and the nose is larger than before.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • All men, even superheroes, are complete drama queens when they are sick.

  • Saying that you “don’t want to use atomic weapons” on the city of New York may be the most understated sentence Stan Lee has ever written.

  • You’re telling me that the guy covered in rocks is faster and lighter than the Hulk? How does that make sense?

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