Tripwire Reviews The Folio Society Hulk Hardcover

A Hulking Tome

Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows takes a look at The Folio Society’s The Hulk slipcase hardcover out now…

The Hulk Folio Edition
Stories selected by Roy Thomas
Writers: various
Artists: various

©2022 Marvel.

In recent years, as well as producing the high end hardcover slipcase illustrated editions of classic and modern novels, the Folio society has diversified and moved into creating slipcase hardcover reprints of curated comic stories tying in with anniversaries. Last year it was Captain America and this year it is the turn of Marvel’s Hulk, which celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year.

©2022 Marvel.

Veteran Marvel editor and writer Roy Thomas offers an introduction here and he is also the one who has chosen the stories reprinted within these pages.

And just like the Captain America, we get a reproduction of The Hulk #1 as a separate comic sized facsimile edition here.

Roy Thomas’ introduction puts things nicely into context pointing out that the character we know as a green giant was actually depicted as a gray hulk throughout his first appearance. Stan Lee talked about how each of the Marvel characters he co-created as being archetypes based on classic novel concepts and The Hulk is Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a man who reflects the duality of human nature: a rational scientist and a raging beast. 

Incredible Hulk #1 is a slightly primitive affair but it certainly features all of the classic Marvel story ingredients, introducing us to Bruce Banner, who gets caught in the gamma ray tests because of an arrogant teenager, Rick Jones, who he chooses to save from certain death. Kirby’s art is dynamic and powerful here.

The first comic story reprinted in the book itself, Tales To Astonish 63, drawn by Steve Ditko is a short and punchy affair which introduces Hulk’s regular adversary The Leader, a figure who was also affected by gamma rays but who has gone off the rails. 

©2022 Marvel.

The next story is Tales To Astonish 100, a story written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Marie Severin and Dan Adkins, which pits him against Sub Mariner, Marvel’s occasionally villainous figure. The one thing that readers notice mostly throughout most of the stories here is that The Hulk is a fairly monolithic character, rarely changing and evolving but that was how he was designed by Lee and Kirby from his inception. 

©2022 Marvel.

©2022 Marvel.

Incredible Hulk 147 is a sweet little tale written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Herb Trimpe, a nine pager where The Hulk appears to find peace only to have it taken away.

Incredible Hulk #162 is next, a story that debuts Canadian mythical monster Wendigo. Written by Steve Englehart with Herb Trimpe returning to pencil, this time inked by Sal Trapani. Englehart was always one of the better bronze age writers and this bittersweet story is a fun romp.

©2022 Marvel.

©2022 Marvel.

We jump to Incredible Hulk#171 written by Gerry Conway and pencilled once again by Herb Trimpe, inked on this occasion by Jack Abel. Here Hulk battles against not one but two foes: The Rhino and The Abomination. Just like Englehart, Conway was always a step above your average bronze age writer and Englehart actually plotted this tale with him. Trimpe’s art, although it was never spectacular, was always very serviceable, as it is here. 

©2022 Marvel.

 

©2022 Marvel.

©2022 Marvel.

Moving on, Hulk#182 by Len Wein and you guessed it, Herb Trimpe again, here we have a small cameo from future X-Men superstar Wolverine but the main focus here is the green-skinned one pitted against escaped criminals Hammer and Anvil. Wein too was always a cut above and he manages to imbue the Hulk with a rare humanity here thanks to his friendship with bluesman Cracka Jack Jackson. 

We jump to Incredible Hulk#312 now, an origin story of sorts by writer Bill Mantlo and artists Mike Mignola and Gerry Talaoc. Of course, Mignola went on to carve a nice for himself as the creator of Hellboy but here he is just an artist for hire and Talaoc mostly swamps his pencils. In fact this story was part of Marvel’s sprawling Secret Wars II crossover in 1984 as we discover at the end so it doesn’t quite gel.

©2022 Marvel.

Next is Incredible Hulk #377, published in 1991 as part of writer Peter David’s acclaimed run. Pencilled by Dale Keown and Bob McLeod, Honey I Shrunk The Hulk looks at the psychological side of the character and David really fleshed out the character from Lee and Kirby’s creation. 

©2022 Marvel.

We return to David’s run with Incredible Hulk #420, pencilled this time by British artist Gary Frank and inked by Cam Smith. Lest Darkness Come is a story that deals with AIDS and the fate of Hulk’s friend Rick Wilson and like #377, it displays David’s deft touch at bringing something new to a Hulk tale. Frank’s art also has a real power and sophistication to it too.

©2022 Marvel.

Moving to 2001, Incredible Hulk Volume Two #24 written by British writer Paul Jenkins and drawn by John Romita Jr and Dick Giordano brings the Hulk and his supporting cast up to date, having a much more modern feel than many of the other stories contained here. Romita Jr’s Hulk is truly a monumental beast although the focus here is on Banner up until its conclusion. 

©2022 Marvel.

So just two stories left. The penultimate story is from Incredible Hulk volume 2 #92 and is Planet Hulk: Exile, which was part of Marvel’s ambitious Hulk epic that saw the character leave Earth. Writer Greg Pak with artists Carlo Pagulayan and Jeffrey Huet weave a fascinating and widescreen sci-fi tale depicting a Hulk who feels like a force of nature hearkening back a little to the 1970s stories of the character.

©2022 Marvel.

Finally Immortal hulk #2 written by British writer Al Ewing and drawn by Brazilian artist Joe Bennett with inker Ruy Jose is a gothic horror tale that wouldn’t be out of place in something like Swamp Thing. Ewing brings a humanity to the character and this is a story that is well paced and Bennett is the perfect foil for the writer’s clever script.

Sixty years is an impressive milestone and The Hulk who has now made the leap to film as part of Marvel’s Avengers is a cornerstone of Marvel’s publishing line. 

Folio have done another impressive job at encapsulating the history of the character including its high watermarks. They have also reproduced the paper colour for each of the stories, making its feel as if the reader has picked up these comics when they were first published. 

The Hulk is a fantastic primer for the character and once again Folio Society has excelled itself at creating a book that captures the spirit of comics. Recommended for fans of comics or even those who just have a passing interest in the form.

The Folio Society’s special collaboration with Marvel and production of Hulk, selected and introduced by Roy Thomas, binding and slipcase by Jim Cheung, is available exclusively from www.foliosociety.com

The post Tripwire Reviews The Folio Society Hulk Hardcover appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.

A Hulking Tome Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows takes a look at The Folio Society’s The Hulk slipcase hardcover out now… The Hulk Folio Edition Stories selected by Roy Thomas Writers: various Artists: various In recent years, as well as producing the high end hardcover slipcase illustrated editions of classic and modern novels, the Folio society
The post Tripwire Reviews The Folio Society Hulk Hardcover appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE MAGAZINE

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