Saturday, 14 March 2015


All images copyright MARVEL COMICS

As most everyone knows, The HULK's own mag lasted for only six issues when it first came out, cover-dated March 1963.  However, he was kept alive through guest-spots in other comics, as well as being one of the founding members of The AVENGERS when their magazine was launched later the same year (cover-dated September).  Eventually, he was given one half of TALES To ASTONISH (in #59), until it was renamed The INCREDIBLE HULK with its 102nd ish.

Here then is the first part of a series showcasing the covers of that estimable title (TOS), when readers got two tales for the price of one.  They weren't as complex (or as confusing) as today's comics, but they were far more entertaining in my famously humble opinion.  Ah, for such simpler times again.  Wait until I win that Lottery!

Anyway, enjoy these covers from another era, and keep your peepers peeled for part two.


What?  You want a bit of my personal reminiscing?  Okay then, seeing as you insist.  I first read the above tale in a British comic, but as it appeared in two different titles - SMASH!, and then in its companion paper TERRIFIC not too long after - I associate it with both of them.  At least one of those times was around the festive period, so whenever I see the story, I can't help but think of the snow-bedecked environs of the house and neighbourhood in which I lived at the time, which makes me yearn for the days of my boyhood back in the '60s with an even greater intensity than usual.  Okay, now it's your turn.  What are your memories of this tale - or any of the other ones?  Don't be shy now - get typing!


John Pitt said...

Okay, well I remember it from Terrific, I missed out on that particular Smash ( I'm guessing that it was in the #40's? )
I did however find TTO #66&7 retrospectively - ( Subby was already in it ) in a tiny newsagents on tne way to my Granny's house ).
But my best-ever TTA was given, YES GIVEN! to me by a school chum - The Man in the Ant Hill ( #26? )- the first appearance of Hank Pym!

baab said...

Thanks for this,Kid.
I am not too big to admit I have never seen that costume design on the later covers.
The Giant Man designs,not the various Hulk rags!

Its a funny world when something from the past appears and surprises.

My first encounter with Giant Man was a story in Astounding Tales or something by Alan Class.
The Human Top was the bad guy.

Kid said...

The tale appeared in two parts in Smash! #s 47 (cover-dated December 24th, 1966) and 48 (cover-dated December 31st), and in Terrific #38 (cover-dated December 30th, 1967). That means that both presentations appeared over the Festive period a year apart. You still got that TTA ish your pal gave you, JP?


Baab, you'll probably see the art used for that AC cover in one of the 9 cover galleries of Terrific dotted around the blog. Type 'Terrific Cover Gallery' into the Blogger search box at the upper left-hand corner of the home page.

Colin Jones said...

These covers are astonishing ho, ho. The big mystery is why did the Hulk's own comic fail after just six issues ? John, have you seen the comments I made on the 'Crunch' post concerning your POTA collection ? You might be missing something from it.

John Pitt said...

Sure have, Kidda. That's one I could never have parted with. It's only in VG condition, but it's the earliest Marvel comic I ever had.

Kid said...

Why did The Hulk's own comic initially fail? I think that's a 'Journey Into Mystery', CJ. Obviously it never sold well enough, but as to why, who can tell?


Good show, JP. I don't have the original issue myself, but I've got various reprints of it.

TC said...

Is it possible that the Hulk's first series was cancelled to make room for Spider-Man or the X-Men? At the time, Marvel may have still been stuck in that distribution deal that limited the number of titles that they could publish.

Under those circumstances, a title might get axed if its sales were only marginally adequate, even if they weren't spectacularly bad.

I've no idea why sales weren't better the first time around, though. Maybe the premise of an anti-hero was ahead of its time for comics in the early 1960's. Just a few years later, though, it would have fit in with the anti-establishment, anti-authority attitude that was growing among adolescents.

Kid said...

I'm not convinced by your reasoning, TC, even 'though it has some merit to it. If a title wasn't actually losing money, then to cancel it for an untried and untested new mag would be a bit of a gamble. They could easily have tried out new characters and groups in some of their anthology mags first, to see if they'd be popular, before committing themselves to the expense of launching new titles. You could be right 'though, but I'd guess The Hulk was losing money for them to cancel it after only 6 issues. Martin Goodman would cancel a mag on a whim, if the latest available sales figures were disappointing. For example, he cancelled Amazing Fantasy just as #15 went (or was about to go) on sale, because he'd just seen the most recent available sales figures on previous issues. When the figures finally came in on #15, they were such an improvement that Spidey was given his own title.

baab said...

I went and had a look.
Then I did a wee search and found the Alan Class issue.

And in my search I also found lots of art and articles featuring the Giant Man costume mentioned.
That means there is Kirby art I have never seen.
I am very pleased about that.

Kid said...

I think I've seen all that there is to see regarding Giant-Man. I'm not sure whether to be pleased about that or not.

John Pitt said...

Seen it now, Col - and replied to it. But I forgot to say that I do now have scans of the covets of those items I'm missing and a PDF of that comic strip. But thanks for telling me anyway, mate.

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