While leaping aimlessly from state to state and even country to country, the Incredible Hulk makes his way to the Canadian country-side, and he's immediately detected by their military early warning devices. The military dispatches Weapon X to deal with the monster, in hopes of making him pay for the damage he caused during a previous visit. But did the Hulk really just clumsily land on Canadian soil? Or are there other forces at play? -summary
Wolverine and the Hulk are no doubt two of Marvels most popular characters, and when they usually lock up, which is actually quite often considering they're both heroes. Some comic fans are always expecting some type of Marvel main event. Personally, I was never too amped up by a confrontation between these two, because seriously speaking, there's no way Wolverine should be able to hang with the Hulk for too long. The beast is just way too powerful and Wolverine is outclassed in every way except for speed. When I think of a superhero main event that involves the Hulk, I'm thinking Thor, Thing, Drax the Destroyer (when he was VERY big), Sub Mariner, or Hercules, now that's a main event right there. Nonetheless, their few battles have been entertaining, and this trade paperback recaptures their very first encounter, ironically, this also happens to be Wolverine's first appearance, and that's mainly what this story arc is remembered for.
Wolverine Battles the Incredible Hulk written by Len Wein, with pencils by Herb Trimpe reprints Incredible Hulk #'s 180-181. And even though the main attraction in retrospect is the fight with Wolverine; there are other story elements taking place that makes this an interesting read.
The main plot involves a woman by the name of Marie Cartier, who seeks to use black magic on the Hulk, and transfer the curse of the Wendigo from her brother to the Hulk. This later results in a big slug fest between the Green Goliath and the Mythological Beast which is really great fun. Eventually, Wolverine joins the fray and all hell breaks loose.
Lein Wein's narrative has a dated feel to it, and the dialogue really comes off incredibly cheesy at times where I would roll my eyes frequently. It's not necessarily bad, but it's way too fitting only for that particular era in comics. In any case, it does add to the fun. There are additional story elements taking place involving Thunderbolt Ross, but these are meant to set up stories in later issues, and they have no effect on this story. Therefore, those portions are easily ignored. The actual battle between Wolverine and Hulk really isn't very short, and this was an impressive showcase of Marvel's fiery tempered mutant, being able to hold his own against the Hulk so well. But I still believe no man without real super strength did it better than Captain America.
The artwork may be very dated on the character designs. However, the action panels are just so fun to watch, with Hulk hitting Wendigo with boulders, and the beast returning the favor by bashing Hulk in the head with a tree. On top of this, nothing beats watching Hulk reach into his bag of skills and pull out a drop kick. Hell, the fight with Wendigo was more entertaining, and I wish it stayed between those two a lot longer.
There's also a second story that stars Wolverine, as he takes on Hercules in a pub. This story took place in Marvel Treasury Edition #26. There's nothing much here to speak about, other than Wolverine's courage to take on anyone, in which, he earns the respect of the super powerhouse.
In closing, this is a fun read that will make a good collectors piece for Wolverine and Hulk fans. Plus there's a bio on Wolverine to end the book with some panels taken from other stories. It's a good history lesson I think for those who love the character, but don't know too much about him. The book is 48 pages.
Pros: -Fun action, Hulk vs. Wendigo
Cons -Hulk vs. Wendigo should have been a lot longer -Too wordy at times
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