Incredible Hulk #255 (January 1981)
Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
“Thunder Under the East River”
Every other Friday, I leave the comfort of my apartment to work in the office. Since I’m already in town, I like to visit one of the local comic shops, Phantom of the Attic, to pick up my pull list books. They recently added a Bronze Age Back Issue Bin (try saying that five times fast) where they have a different selection of titles for 2 dollars apiece. This issue of Incredible Hulk caught my eyebecause it features the Jade Giant versus the God of Thunder, Thor in a titanic tussle for the ages.
The Hulk’s journey to find solace away from humanity takes him to the city that never sleeps, heavily populated New York City. Dr. Donald Blake is in town helping treat homeless people at a shelter near a freight yard. When Bruce Banner is almost run over by a train, he transforms into the Hulk and causes a ruckus. Dr. Blake uses this distraction to stamp his cane and turn into Thor. Their last encounter ended in a draw. Who will win this face off? Can Thor stop Hulk before the city is destroyed and any casualties are caught in the crossfire?
Hulk versus Thor is a solid matchup no matter if its in print or on the big screen. I won’t reveal who the winner is at the end of this issue, but this fight is packed full of action and drama. Mantlo’s run on Incredible Hulk is legendary, right up there alongside Peter David. I only remember seeing Sal Buscema’s art once before in Spectacular Spider-Man and he does a phenomenal job bringing the Hulk’s rage and power to the comic page.
I was reviewing a pull list update email from Phantom of the Attic and I saw that the Hulk and Thor titles will be having a mini crossover called Banner of War later this Spring. I added the Alpha issue and four tie-in issues to my list and I’m excited to see this new chapter in their longstanding rivalry. Banner of War is also the celebration of both Hulk and Thor’s sixtieth anniversaries in 2022.
Incredible Hulk #255 is available for the low price of $1.99 on ComiXology if you would like to read this issue. The price of admission for this heavyweight fight is much cheaper than a UFC or WBC pay-per- view and a perfect way to get hyped for the coming war!