The Hulk faces down the Abomination for the <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/080610-incredible-hulk-review.html>first time on film</a> this weekend, but if you're looking for some Jade Giant battles before then? There've been hundreds of epic battles from heroes to villains, and even geological formations. Here are ten of our favorites.
During the original Secret Wars, the major heroes and many villains of the Marvel Universe were whisked away to Battleword, a patchwork planet assembled by the infinitely powerful being, the Beyonder. Beyonder, like some omniscient Vince McMahon, watched as the two sides duked it out. At one point, Molecule Man attempted to kill the heroes by dropping a mountain cluster on them. And the Hulk freaking caught it. Iron Man (Rhodey, at that point) managed to blast the heroes out with a combined boost from Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau at that point) and Human Torch (yeah, Johnny), but it was Hulk who boggled fans' minds with his feat of strength.
This gem from Geoff Johns's run as writer (with art by his Flash collaborator Scott Kolins) features a great reversal: She-Hulk is going nuts, and Hulk gets dragged into the battle after trying to talk her down as Bruce Banner. The battling pair ends up essentially destroying the town of Bone, Idaho. The downside for Hulk? He winds up taking all the blame for it! For her part, She-Hulk does log some time working on the rebuilding efforts.
A story so awesome that it was made into a Power Record! Fans of a certain age remember those tremendous book'n'record combos; the set The Hulk: At Bay was drawn from this issue. It featured the Jade Giant taking on not one, but two, familiar antagonists: Abomination and Rhino! One of the great things about seeing the Hulk against nearly-evenly-matched enemies is that he gets to really unload on them. And that's true here.
Though they fall outside of regular continuity, Hulk's two big clashes in the first Ultimates series should rank. In the first, the nascent Ultimates team does everything in their power to stop an unhinged Hulk from doing unspeakable things to Freddie Prinze Jr. Along the way, he breaks Giant-Man's jaw and manhandles the others; Dr. Banner, however, pays the real price as Captain America flattens him post-transformation. In the second, a traumatized Banner is forced to Hulk-out and is guided through battle against the alien invaders by an ingenious Cap. Hulk's biggest contribution? EATING the enemy leader.
The Hulk Who Would Be King finishes his insurrection with authority. After being exiled by The Illuminati, Hulk wound up on Sakarr; he became a gladiator and, realizing a prophecy, led a rebellion against the rulers of the world. The ultimate showdown to this series of running battles came when Hulk confronted his main opposition, the Red King. Hulk ascends to the throne and takes Caiera the Oldstrong as his Queen, but more heartbreak and devastation are just around the corner.
There's a first time for everything, and this first time is pretty darn good. Establishing what would become an odd sort of tradition, The Hulk dukes it out with that other transformed powerhouse, The Thing. It's worthy to note here that, yes, many of the Hulk's most famous battles do seem to come against allies. I think part of that goes to the fact that we have less of an emotional stake watching Hulk stomp, say, Rhino, than in witnessing the lengths a fellow hero will go to in order to stop, or save, a rampaging Hulk.
After a couple of years of coming off like a huge jerk thanks to Civil War and his choice to help send Hulk into deep space, Iron Man got the chance to begin his redemption here. How? By suffering a mammoth beating at the hands of the Hulk! Hulk and his Warbound have come to Earth for some payback after the tragic end of Planet Hulk. Hulk blames many, Iron Man included, for his loss. Iron Man steps up, but only to get beat down.
When the Hulk met Maestro, the smashing was very great. You see, Maestro is the Hulk of a future where he's gone bad and lain waste to all of the other super-powered beings and installed himself as ruler. Though they would later come into conflict in a plot that involved the Destroyer, the first throw-down is the best of most significant (thanks in no small part to the creative team of Peter David and George Perez).
Hulk/Thing Two: Uno Mas! This rumble in the urban jungle precipitated the first meeting between the FF and the Avengers. Everyone was on hand after Hulk and Thing battled their way through the city. Unlike the brief first affair, this one ranged around New York, causing mass chaos and destruction. It's also one of the few times that you see the George Washington Bridge used as any kind of restraining device. Hulk and Thing may have torn down the city, but indeed, Jack Kirby tore down the house.
The Hulk's gone crazy, and everybody shows up to stop the big guy from tearing down New York. As Spider-Man and Daredevil scramble to save others, Hulk plows through S.H.I.E.L.D., Power Man & Iron Fist, the Human Torch, and the Avengers (including Thor!). That's a fight, kids. This one is especially notable because the only way that Hulk is even stopped is that Dr. Strange sends him off-world. Shades of stories to come, eh?