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Incredible Hulk #188: Review

Jun 1975
Len Wein, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:

Mind Over Mayhem

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Incredible Hulk #188 Review by (June 2, 2020)
What if your worst enemy suddenly became your best ally? What if he saved your life? That is what this story is about. General Thunderbolt Ross, the Hulk's nemesis, reaches out to the man-monster with an open heart. Instead of using harsh words in a loud tone, he asks the Hulk softly, politely, for help. And what is the reaction of the child-like brained monster? Positive. He seems to forget and forgive all the trouble his enemy has caused him for so long. The Hulk even goes to refer Ross as a "friend" while he battles Droog, a monster that seems to equal his own might.

What united these two bitter adversaries? A common cause. A good cause. And they triumphed. They could not have made it if they did not collaborate. When the ordeal is such that there's no hopes to overcome it, perhaps finding an ally in your worst enemy, if the ordeal also affects him, is your best and only correct strategy. Turn enemies into friends. Not otherwise. No?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #188 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
The Gremlin has the Hulk, Thunderbolt Ross, Clay Quartermain, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Glenn Talbot prisoners in his stronghold, the Bitterfrost. He plans to clone them with a supercomputer of his invention and send their duplicates to the United States as Trojan horses to do his bidden. Just as he did with the fake Glenn Talbot who almost killed US President Ford if not were for Colonel Armbruster who sacrificed himself to save him (Hulk 185).

Gremlin connects the Hulk to his Psi-Clone device to control his mind. But the monster's primitive brain is out of the machine's range! While Gremlin insists, Quartermain informs Ross that Nick Fury, assisted by scientist Sidney Levine, plans to use the Russian's satellite used by the Devastator (last issue) to broadcast a beam of near-nuclear energy to destroy the fortress in an hour. They must escape before then!

With a "multi-circuit plasti-bomb" hidden under a fake fingernail, Quartermain blasts their prison cell gate off to secure their escape. (To celebrate, tricky Quartermain creates a synthetic cigar for Ross he does not pass on). Taking control of the situation, Ross corners the Gremlin at gun point. Glenn Talbot (still with Gregori Kronski's mind) resists but Quartermain knocks him off from behind.

After releasing the Hulk, Ross asks him to help them for Betty's sake and for the man inside of him. Ross feels in debt with Banner for bravely coming to help despite him ordering not to. A picture not seen often, Ross placing his hand on the Hulk's shoulder, asking to "please" come with them. The green goliath accepts with a nod.

As they walk out with the Gremlin as their captive, a large monster resembling a biped triceratops called Droog blocks their way and attacks the Americans. While the Hulk faces the Russian monster, Gremlin takes a chance to run away not before blasting Glenn Talbot with a Cerebro-Ray to seemingly eliminate his mind.

Running with his group the other way, Ross pleads the Hulk to come with them, fearing he won't survive the atomic beam. But Hulk prefers to stay and smash. Droog withstands the Hulk's power and returns some. They crash each other endlessly.

As the plane blasts off with all except for the green goliath, S.H.I.E.L.D. fires the atomic-beam and what's left of Bitterfrost is all but a memory. Realizing the Hulk sacrificed himself for them, and for Betty's sake, Ross feels in debt with the monster he tried to destroy for so long and blames himself for his death.

Also in this story: Betty Ross.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Herb Trimpe
Joe Staton
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Len Wein.


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