Sunday, August 23, 2015

Forgotten Runs: Ditko's Hulk!

Given the high esteem people have for Steve Ditko's work of the era--the praise for Spider-Man and Doctor Strange--I've always been surprised that nobody ever seems to talk about...

...his run on the Hulk.

When the Hulk was cancelled initially after only 6 issues, he was relegated to some guest-star appearances, mainly in Avengers and Fantastic Four.

But when he was given his own strip again, in Tales To Astonish #60, it was Dtiko, not Jack Kirby who had the art honors.

Ditko's run only lasted 8 issues--then Kirby took over again, mainly just layouts. But it was a pretty significant 8 issues! Major Glenn Talbot was introduced...

...The Leader made his debut...

...as well as his icky humanoids...

The Chameleon was around for awhile as a villain, making him on of Marvel's first crossover bad guys...
Even though Ditko didn't draw the Hulk with his classic muscle-bound physique, he was there as old Jade-Jaws gradually upped his strength...


And Ditko was the first to give the Hulk mascara!!

Ditko was also there when Rick Jones came back into the fold, and Rick went to the White House and comvinced LBJ to give Bruce Banner a pardon!!




SPOILER ALERT: That really pissed off Thuderbolt Ross.

Anyway, Ditko was Ditko, he was around for some of the most important early issues of one of Marvel's most important characters...Yet nobody seem to remember his run on the Hulk.

From Tales To Astonish #60-67 (1964-1965)

7 comments:

Mista Whiskas said...

Wow, thanks for letting me know about his run there. I know Ditko did some Hulk Annuals later in the character's run, but did not know about this early run.

Martin Gray said...

Good grief, Ruby Tuesday is rather skinny in that panel where Rick appeals for Bruce.

Dale Bagwell said...

What gets me is that I never picked up on Ditko having a run on Hulk, when I have Hulk#400, that features a reprint of the Leader's first appearence, which you highlight here. Ditko's Hulk wasn't bad, and really not that different than Kirby's, at least in my opinion.
Pardon my ignornance, but is before, during, or after his Spidey run? Based on the numbers, I wanna say during, but I could be wrong.

snell said...

During.

JohnnyBob said...

Ditko did an awesome inking job on Kirby's pencils for Hulk#2 (go look up the splash page for this issue) and all the art on Hulk#6.

Warren JB said...

So what's the objectivist theme behind Sam Sterns' story, then?

snell said...

When Stan scripted, Ditko's more Randian influences were kept at bay. After all, "with great power, there must also come great responsibility" is about the least objectivist mantra you could come with...