The Incredible Hulk Battles the Inhumans
Published October 1968
Cover Art: Jim Steranko, Marie Severin
Stan Lee proudly presents a Gary Friedrich & Marie Severin Super Spectacular!
Inked by Syd Shores and Almost the Whole Blamed Bullpen
Lettered by Irving Watanabe
Wow! What a cover! As usual, Jim Steranko and Marie Severin have created another piece of iconic artwork related to the loveable yet misunderstood green giant. The pressure of the title on the Hulk’s shoulder’s clearly bring to mind Atlas trying to keep the world on his shoulders. Instead of something like the cosmos or the Elysian fields, the background burns with a fiery anger of our humongous hero. If I found a poster of it, damn right I’m getting it. It is an amazing piece of work that could be hampered by the simpler printing processes of the time, but even with them, it exceeds the paper.
After the events of issue #108, the Hulk continues to wander the European countryside and walks right in front of a peasant. It really doesn’t help that it’s night, and the only lights come from the mortal’s lamp. The man runs like a chicken, trying to warn his villagers about this “demon,” but the devil destroys an entire mountain to stop him from making the situation any worse. Leaping away could’ve solved this problem, and now the village has to contend with this huge rock-slide and debris.
The scene shifts to the Alps, where inside its bowels lies an extraordinary city, Attilan. In it lives biggest race of superbeings ever, the Inhumans. Their leader Black Bolt arrives to the stage to judge a trial where six traitors to the city are to be convicted of their crimes of treason. So the six: Falcona the Huntress, Leonus the Lion Man, Aireo the Floating Man, Timberius the Tree Dweller, Stallior the Centaur, and the shadow-man Nebulo; all led an attack to overthrow Black Bolt’s seat while he was busy with other pressing matters. The Oracle will act as the king’s voice, due to the fact that if B.B. opens his mouth, their entire city will be destroyed.
Stallior begs the court for mercy as it was the other five that led him astray. The rest of the gang are not amused and begin tearing him a new one, even though this doesn’t help their case. The melee continues until Black Bolt finally comes to a decision. His brother, Maximus is in the crowd and yells that the king is undeserving of his role due to his compassion, and plots to use the criminals as a means of overthrowing Black Bolt. The king delivers the guilty verdict and the giant pit bull, Lockjaw is summoned to take the convicted to their prison.
Meanwhile, the Hulk is being chased by a group of villagers for revenge of what happened last night. Lockjaw appears here as well, and the Hulk decides to wrestles the dog, but before he can throw the creature, he is also teleported to where the evil Inhumans are kept. They see him and attempt to make him his ally with a few flattering words. Falcona tells the Hulk that they are inside a prison and as the green brute is wont to do, he smashes the barrier that is keeping them in. At the same time, Maximus is trying to free the six and see that the Hulk has joined them. The emerald-colored savage keeps bashing away at the force field and manages to crack a hole in it, freeing the prisoners. Timberius tries to make the Hulk join their cause and ends up annoying him with his tree magic. Before the fight can continue any further Maximus appears dressed like a fool.
He takes everyone to the Inhuman city, and the Hulk attacks Maximus for taking him to another foreign place. He just wants to go back to America mmm kay? Guards notice the commotion and Maximus tells every one to run, but the Hulk charges after them as they stand in his way. The evil six and the traitorous brother go elsewhere and arrive at a hidden elevator that will take them to a hidden laboratory that took Maximus years to build.
The Hulk is busy destroying the city and because of his rampage, the entire police force is busy trying to contain him. A patrol flying-car spots the giant from afar, and thankfully for him, the Hulk doesn’t engage him in combat. He runs away, looking for a way out, but is zapped by an “electrode ray,” causing him to fall and break another building. Unfazed, he tries to leave once again, but the puny airplanes keep chasing him. Looks like the green gargoyle must destroy the city to find a way out…
In Maximus’s lab, he gives a history lesson about a scientist named Romnar and how he found a dangerous material that is more lethal than gamma rays or uranium (at the very least.) The substance basically absorbs the energy of anything it comes in contact with, especially living beings, and after a long battle with thousands of casualties, the Inhumans managed to control it. This “ultimate weapon” will now be used on the city in order to take down Black Bolt and then allow them to control the world! Seriously, capturing the hearts and minds of people by killing all of them? I’m surprised that the Six still follow this insane person. Anyway, each of the evil inhumans want to do their own thing, and Maximus warns them that if they do, they’ll only rule in exile.
Nebulo is put to task on finding where the Hulk is, and manages to steal the helmet off an officer. The shadow man tries to stop the Hulk from escaping the city, and “helps” him by destroying a police car. He takes the Hulk to Maximus’s lair where the rest are waiting for the next step. Now that the green brute is here, they can go and obtain the “ultimate weapon.” He smashes through the force field and withstands the deadly lasers to get to the container. Maximus is ecstatic at this victory, and now holds the city hostage for his place on the throne.
While the whole city is freaking out about the dangerous light, the Lion-Man speaks to their only female member about how crazy their new leader has become. Really? Now of all times?! Anyway, they manage to wrest Maximus’s wristband away from him, and it gets used on the Hulk, making him weak and he collapses. The green giant falls to the ground in an attempt at a ruse, and right before Maximus and Leonus can finish him, Black Bolt comes and save the day. Gorgon orders the traitors be taken away for re-sentencing, and the trial begins the next day. (I would like to see a Law & Order: Atillan but that’s sure as hell not going to happen.)
At the trial, the Hulk bursts out demanding revenge from the Six for tricking him and humiliating him. Stallior tries to show his “allegiance” to Black Bolt by attacking the Hulk, and manages to chain the brute. Because of this show, the other five think they can win a pardon for defeating the Hulk. Really? They turned traitor twice and they cowardly think this will save them? Stranger thing have happened in the past 10 years…
Meanwhile, Black Bolt is taking his brother to deal with the ultimate weapon. Maximus pleads with his brother to spare him, mounting an insanity defense (then why are they giving him so many toys?!) The traitor realizes that without his wristband, the world is doomed with no one to control the substance. Turns out the shadow guy stole the wrist band and intends to use it on the Hulk.
Black Bolt returns to the battle and sees millions of birds in the city. He shouts, getting rid of all of them and stopping Falcona. Gorgon tells his majesty that the Hulk is ready to do battle with him. The green brute strikes Black Bolt a few times, but the king returns the hits with a huge punch. He then shoots his opponent with an electron blast, stunning him. The Hulk smashes the ground and the fight continues. The king whispers one word and it creates a crater on the ground and pushes the giant away. Nebulo comes out of nowhere and threatens Black Bolt, but the Hulk saves him by punching the invisible enemy. The ray is accidentally activated and it knocks our hero. Black Bolt goes to the Hulk and picks him up, and he is touched by this act of kindness. Gorgon disagrees and tries to destroy the Hulk for all of the damage he’s caused. Black Bolt stops him, and tells the Hulk that he is invited to stay with them, but our green giant realizes that after all this he can’t stay in Attilan.
The story ends with the Hulk leaving the city, wishing once again for a place that will take him in, a city free of hate and fear.
This was quite an exciting story with political intrigue and thrillers that a Dan Brown book can’t reproduce. The Hulk nearly finds a new home, and because he couldn’t control his temper, ends up destroying a good portion of it. The Inhumans are lucky the Hulk only tore up part of the city, as what happens to them in later stories is possibly far worse.