Fresh after his introduction in the previous issue, we rejoin the Hulk and Bruce Banner as they continue to come to terms with each other.
The issue begins with the Hulk appearing out of a swamp at night time. Local police are drawn to his presence, noting surprise that he is still alive. As the townspeople are quick to hide behind closed doors, it looks as if nothing will stop the Hulk, until Rick Jones appears and appeals to him to stop. The Hulk momentarily pauses, before we are given a brief retelling of the events of last issue.
Back in the present, we see that a spaceship flying into our solar system, carrying the Toad Men! The ship then fires magnetic energy beams at the Earth. It becomes clear that the Toad Men are after the most brilliant scientific mind on the planet.
Meanwhile, we see Bruce and Rick dressed strangely carrying tools, but they are interrupted by General Ross and his daughter Betty. General Ross is unimpressed with Bruce, thinking that he hid when the Hulk last appeared, but Betty is quick to come to his defence. Bruce and Rick then head off to conduct a scientific experiment.
The pair stop at an underground cave, which will serve as a fortress to restrain Bruce when he changes into the Hulk. They have created a ten foot concrete door which they help will be able to resist the power of the Hulk. Just then, they fall backwards and are pinned to the wall. The Toad Men have found their prey.
Bruce and Rick are taken to the Toad Men’s spaceship, where they are informed that there is a fleet of ships waiting to attack Earth. But first, they want to know how advanced scientifically the human population is. Bruce refuses to comply. Rick backs Bruce in his stance, but the Toad Men make clear they have no need for Rick, and send him back to Earth in an escape capsule.
Rick lands safely on Earth, just as night falls. And on the spaceship, Bruce turns into the Hulk. The Toad Men are astonished to find the Hulk in their ship, and the Hulk wastes little time in capturing the Toad Men. The Hulk then notices the weaponry on board, and realises that he can now become the hunter, rather than the hunted.
Back at the army base, the Toad Men’s ship has been picked up on radar and General Ross orders it to be shot down. They strike the ship, sending it crashing down to Earth. Soldiers surround the ship, but it is Bruce that appears from the wreckage. Whilst General Ross accuses Bruce of trying to attack his country, the Toad Men escape and head below ground. Once clear, they fire a magnetic flare, signalling the rest of the fleet to attack.
Meanwhile, Bruce has been placed in a cell, much to Rick’s anger. As General Ross makes preparations for guarding Bruce, he is informed of the alien invasion. The Toad Men make their intentions clear and General Ross vows to save mankind. It is now night, and Bruce is transforming once again into the Hulk. He easily manages to escape from his cell and heads towards the home of the person who imprisoned him, General Ross. But at the house, he finds Betty instead.
The soldiers converge on the Ross home, but Rick manages to fight his way through. All the soldiers are unable to stop the Hulk as he grabs Betty and runs. As Betty tries to reason with the Hulk, Rick manages to catch up with them at Bruce’s lab. The Hulk is not pleased to see Rick and goes to attack him but is stopped when the sun begins to rise. Luckily for Bruce, Betty had passed out so did not see the transformation. Bruce takes her to safety before plotting with Rick about how to stop the Toad Men.
Bruce realises that the only weapon on Earth that could stop them is the same gamma gun that turned him into the Hulk. Despite the General and soldiers are not far behind, Bruce is able to fire the weapon, which has the effect of dispersing the alien fleet.
Bruce’s actions in saving the planet mean that he can no longer be held by General Ross, much to his clear annoyance. He makes it clear that he does not trust Bruce, whilst the last image is of the Hulk in the underground cave.
Will it be enough to stop him? We will have to wait until issue 3 to find out.
A real mixed bag of an issue here. We have the continuing story of Bruce and the Hulk intermingled with the out of this world attack by the Toad Men. We do get some interesting snippets into the Hulk’s psyche though, including the Hulk’s hatred for humans and his willingness to attack them. The only people seemingly able to get through to the Hulk are Rick and Betty, but even this is not guaranteed. All the while, it becomes clear that General Ross will be an ongoing thorn in both Bruce’s and the Hulk’s side.
It is also interesting to note that the Hulk appears in green on the cover for the first time, though his appearance fluctuates between grey and green throughout the issue.
Writer – Stan Lee
Artist – Jack Kirby
Cover date – July 1962
Cover price – 12c
At the time of publishing, the most expensive listing for Incredible Hulk 2 is $20,000 on eBay.
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