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Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #5: Review

Oct 1977
Doug Moench, Keith Pollard

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Story Name:

Lo, the Sub-Mariner Strikes!

Review & Comments

4 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Rampaging Hulk, The / The Hulk! #5 Synopsis by Harold Holt
Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, swims through an empty Atlantis, troubled by his affections for Sue Storm (of the Fantastic Four). He lands in the heart of his undersea city where a few loyal palace guards are still lingering about. Namor believes he's been abandoned by his people, presumably due to his feelings for a surface dweller, which could be seen as a type of betrayal toward his countrymen. Namor's troubled thoughts are interrupted when a huge whale-like creature attacks Atlantis, drawing a purposeful Sub-Mariner out of his gloom and into immediate defense of his kingdom.

Meanwhile the Hulk, Rick Jones and Bereet are in France where the Hulk plays with a child named Spirou. Rick tries to warn the boy that associating with them might not be the safest thing to do, considering the kind of super-powered attention that tends to follow them. A couple of policemen soon arrive for the child, claiming they've been chasing "--the little thief" for a while. Needless to say, an angry Hulk shows his 'rampaging' side by hurling boulders and not-so-idle threats at the cops. Bereet, at Rick's request, reaches into her pouch (which is really a spatially-distorted universe) and pulls out a bird mask that, ultimately, transforms into a large hawk-like flying craft. Once she, Rick, Spirou and The Hulk are aboard the craft, it lifts off, leaving behind two very frightened policemen.

Back in Atlantis, Namor has summoned several undersea denizens to help him battle the whale-creature that attacked, but each of is own defenders are beaten. Before Namor can continue the battle, the creature suddenly flees for no reason. After intuiting that the mammoth beast was probably controlled by someone, Namor swims after it.

Back on the surface, Rick Jones and the Hulk are still trying to convince the child Spirou that he is not safe as long as he's with them. The Hulk sadly adds, "Hulk's friends are better off without Hulk." The child reveals that he has no home or family; he stays at an inn, and the innkeeper is his physically-abusive guardian. Upon hearing this, Rick comes up with an idea.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Mariner follows the whale-creature to what turns out to be a submerged Krylorian ship, though Namor does not recognize it as such; he thinks it is an experimental craft built by earth scientists. On board, the Krylorians describe the creature as a "mutation" that they control through a biotronic implant. As Namor spies through a window in the hull of the craft, he sees only an assemblage of humans: he doesn't realize that many Krylorians can change their physical shapes. Now fueled by anger and resentment toward the human race, Namor destroys the Krylorian ship, killing all within. He speeds toward the surface seeking vengeance for his kingdom.

Back in France, Spirou returns to his abusive guardian, the old innkeeper. Upon seeing his young charge, the old man tries to hit the boy for running away, but the Hulk suddenly steps in and grips the innkeeper's hand like a vice. "If you don't treat boy good, Hulk will come back and treat you very bad!" The Hulk turns to Spirou and adds, "Boy will tell Hulk if he is not treated good, right boy?" He then cries as he watches his "--big, friendly monster" depart on Bereet's flying craft. Inside, Hulk complains that he should have beaten the innkeeper while Rick and Bereet decide to return to Rome to figure out the Krylorians' next move. The Hulk, having been calmed by little Spirou's company, transforms into Bruce Banner.

Namor erupts from the sea, immediately causing a ruckus. Rick, Bereet and Banner spot Namor's arrival from their craft. Rick notes that Namor's been clashing with the Fantastic Four lately, and he wonders if the sea prince is in league with the Krylorians, but Bereet strongly doubts it. An angry mob assembles to confront Namor, but Bereet intervenes to halt any further violence. She tells Namor who she is, and it is revealed that the Krylorians sent the leviathan that attacked Atlantis. Their conversation is cut short as Bereet is struck unconscious by a brick hurled from one of the surrounding mob. Angered by such brutality and cowardice, Sub-Mariner dives headlong into the crowd, and bodies go flying everywhere like so many children's toys. Rick sees to Bereet, who quickly regains consciousness. Banner, on the other hand, is so frazzled by the abrupt frenzy of violence that he cannot halt the change. He becomes the Hulk and decides that the best way to stop the fighting is to "--smash the fighters!" He lands a solid, wide-swinging blow upon the Sub-Mariner, leading to a tremendous brawl of super-heavyweight proportions. Hulk seems to be winning at one point, until he punches Namor into a fountain, and the running water strengthens the sea prince. With both combatants evenly-matched, the raging battle continues.

When Italian military troops show up and start blasting the titans, the Hulk is even more enraged at the sight of what he recognizes as "--more soldiers! Different uniforms but still the same!" He turns his destructive fury upon the soldiers while Namor, realizing that Bereet is the key to whoever attacked Atlantis, grabs the alien woman and flies off. Rick urges the Hulk to pursue, but the Hulk doesn't care. He is tired of fighting and just wants to be left alone.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Keith Pollard
Alfredo Alcala
Jim Starlin (Cover Penciler)


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