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Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #11: Review

Oct 1978
Doug Moench, Ron Wilson

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Story Name:

The Boy Who Cried Hulk!

Review & Comments

3 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #11 Synopsis by Will Pilgrim
Todd Gregory, a tender young child, watches on in eager anticipation as his town's first carnival sets up in time for its big debut. Unfortunately, the Hulk shows up and his primitive mentality renders him unable to understand the colored lights in the middle of nowhere. In response, Hulk makes way to the roller coaster and begins to forcibly remove the support beams. After inadvertently starting a fire from a fallen lantern, the Hulk departs and a befuddled Todd is left with the blame for the destroyed roller coaster.

Todd is forcibly taken home by the carnival owner, Torrance, to his drunken father and submissive mother, where Torrance informs them of their son's delinquency. The father is outraged and throws young Todd into a cabinet of dishes, proceeding to lash him repeatedly with his belt. The next day, the now-human Bruce Banner comes across Todd crying on a hilltop as he overlooks the carnival. He asks the kid about his troubles and learns of Todd's wrongful accusation (because no one would believe that a "big green monster" did it). Banner, feeling guilty about his part in Todd's dilemma, agrees to accompany the boy to the carnival.

Banner goes down to the carnival in search of work, food, and clothes and is given a job to help in the repair of the roller coaster. He investigates the situation surrounding the fire and learns that Todd's blame was based purely on assumption. That evening, Todd arrives, and Banner uses his day wages to show him a grand old time at the fair; but towards the end of their fun-filled experience, they run into Torrance, who attempts to hit Todd. Banner grabs Torrance's wrist in mid-swing, and after Todd runs away in panic, feels the effects of the radiation bringing the Hulk out of him. Banner runs away, in a futile effort to calm himself, but "Hulks out" regardless. Torrance chases after Banner, but instead discovers the Green Goliath and realizes that Todd was telling the truth.

Hulk goes on a rampage through the carnival and is met with mixed reactions from the on-lookers (Some flee in horror, while others applaud his fantastic makeup). The carnival workers, led by Torrance, attempt to contain the Hulk with a giant net, which proves unsuccessful; and little Todd, in fear for Banner's life, hurries to find himself confronted by the Hulk. Hulk vaguely recognizes him and recalls some wrong-doing on his own part. Hulk escapes Torrance, with Todd in his arms, by jumping back to the hillside where Banner and Todd met. Todd realizes that the Hulk just wants to help and keeps his encounter a secret from his parents, resulting in his father confining him to his room.

The next morning, Torrance plots to capture the Hulk for one of his carnival acts by using Todd as bait. Todd escapes from his room and is lured to the carnival in his search of Banner; and after he refuses to cooperate with the carnival owner, is ruthlessly slapped aside as Banner witnesses. Todd's parents realize he's missing and go out to look for him. Meanwhile, Banner transforms into the Hulk and races after Torrance, who ran off with Todd in his captivity. He disappears into the gathered crowd and Hulk jumps to the top of the roller coaster, threatening to destroy it if they don't reveal where Todd is. Torrance sends a volley of empty cars up to knock the Hulk off the tracks, but they are no match for Hulk's strength. Hulk comes down and the carnival owner gives up Todd as long as Hulk doesn't hurt him. Hulk gets Todd and backhands Torrance anyway, launching him into an arriving squad of police officers, who arrest him for pretending that the Hulk was one of his performers.

The Hulk jumps away from the carnival, with Todd in his arms, and lands right in front of Todd's parents' car. They get out and fearfully plead for their son, and Hulk turns Todd over. Hulk states that Todd has been hurt and that whoever hurt him will not do it again. Hulk leaps away, and Todd's father gratefully complies; he then apologizes to his son, and decides that he's going to go away for a while so that he can solve his drinking problem.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Ron Wilson
Fran Matera
Bob Larkin (Cover Penciler)

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