Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Incredible Hulk #216, 1977.

Double-Sized 100th Issue!
Yes, this is our 100th post, and we kind of got away from one of the main reasons we started this blog, and that was: making fun of old comics. So here we go.

I present to you, Hulk #216. Written by Len Wein, with pencils by Sal Buscema & Ernie Chan. I bought a random run of comics off of eBay a couple of months ago and I did not expect to get this gem. It is truly a masterpiece. This issue prominently features the Bi-Beast as the Hulk's main foe. I am not kidding around, the main villain's name is the Bi-Beast. The reason he's called the Bi-Beast is because he's got two heads; one is in the normal location, and one is in his chest. So, yeah, there you go, Bi-Beast in the house. This issue also features the Hulk getting in a fight with a steel door. I am 100% serious. Don't believe me? Well, just hold on a second and we'll get to it, I promise.

So, you're probably asking yourself right now, what the hell is a Bi-Beast? Well, according to wikipedia, not only did he have two heads (one contains knowledge of warfare, the other knowledge of culture) but he was an android created many years ago by an Avian race that were in turn a sub-species of the Inhumans. Wow, that is one complicated answer. I just really wanted to know why Marvel actually called it the Bi-Beast. I have a hard time believing that even back in the '70s, Marvel had no clue that years later his name would sound like a bad S&M porn flick. I mean, come on, who doesn't do a double-take when they see that name? I guess Marvel just decided, "What the Hell, we're Marvel, we do what we want" and ran with it. The Bi-Beast was assumed drowned after this conflict with the Hulk, only to come back and get his ass kicked a few more times before developing an attraction to She-Hulk. Yes, you read that right, he wanted to hook up with She-Hulk. Wow. I mean, wow. Am I the only one that thinks this is insane? Also, the Bi-Beast has been horribly underused for that last 10-15 years. I'm just sayin'.

So, I know that was a long intro, and that we should probably get to the comic "review". This one is basically a stock Hulk story from the '70s where the Hulk and the villain of the month (in this case, the aforementioned Bi-Beast) fight and fight and fight and fight and smash and smash and smash; resulting in lots of collateral damage. This time, I think it takes place on a S.H.I.E.L.D heli-carrier for some reason, and I don't really remember why. Anyways, so the Hulk and the Bi-Beast fight, and eeventually the Bi-Beast gets away, so the Hulk follows him through the doorway he fled through. But the door closes on him and we get a narrative from the Hulk (check the scan off to the right for even more awesomeness): "If puny door thinks it has caught Hulk...door is wrong!"

Totally. Awesome.

That is some amazing writing right there. Didn't I tell you this one was gold? But wait, it gets better. So, inevitability, the Hulk gets frustrated and goes crazy and starts trashing the place. I know, big shocker, but that's pretty much the whole point of buying a Hulk comic; you want to see him beat the crap out of someone, or, at the very least, an inanimate object. Either one, I'm not very picky when it comes to Hulk smash scenes, just as long as he's destroying something. Anyways, the Bi-Beast then tries to burn Hulk with a flame-thrower and that's a pretty bad idea because, as it turns out, Hulk is stronger than fire! Bad move Bi-Beast, you just succeeded in making him even more angry than he already was. I think the Bi-Beast is a few clowns short of circus if you know what I mean. I'm just saying that for a super-intelligent android, he's actually pretty dumb.

At some point, I think they fall off the heli-carrier and it ends in a cliffhanger because the reader isn't sure if either of them survived the fall into the ocean. Hmmm, I wonder who survives; the guy who has his own book, or someone we've never heard of?

So, I've got my checklist right here; Hulk: stronger than a steel door; check. Hulk: stronger than fire; check. Hulk: stronger than the Bi-Beast; well, duh. Hulk: strongest one there is?; double-check.

And that pretty much sums up this awesome issue. Check it out if you get the chance, it's amazing.

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