> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 2  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Oh no! The big ape ruined my bound set of telephone books!"

- - General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, page 12

Hmm, I wonder who's stronger?


Fantastic Four #12
March 1963 • 23 pages

Publication Date: December 10, 1962

Ranked #33 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "The Incredible Hulk"
Part 2: "Mission: Stop the Hulk!"
Part 3: "Who is the Wrecker?"
Part 5: "The Hulk At Last!"

Pages: 23

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Dick Ayers
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: The Wrecker/Karl Kort, Capt. Nelson

Villain: The Wrecker/Karl Kort

Guest Appearance: Alicia Masters, Bruce Banner/Hulk, Rick Jones, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross

Cameo Appearance: Capt. Nelson

Gadgets & Technology: New Fantasticar model, Project 34

Synopsis: Thing and Alicia are leaving an opera house as a National Guard unit marches past. Someone accidentally pokes Thing in the face as he points at the unit. Thing becomes irritated and picks the man up tosses him up in the air. The guardsmen, on the lookout for a super-strong super-being, decide the Thing might be "their man" and attack him. Thing punches a fire hydrant to douse the soldiers, but they fire steel cables that bind him up and a gas bomb that slows him down. The soldiers are commanded to stand down when they realize Thing is not the one they're after. He comes to and the soldiers apologize. They thought he was the Hulk. Thing is so angry he storms into the Baxter Building and tears the elevator door off the shaft.

The team is waiting for him, as they meet with General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, who wants to hire them to stop the Hulk. A number of missile installations in New Mexico have been destroyed by what looks like the Hulk's powerful hands, and Ross is turning to the FF for help. The FF daydreams about how they would grapple with the Hulk: Thing looks forward to wrestling Hulk while Johnny wants to confuse him in a flame maze. Reed believes he can net the Hulk with his own body. Sue goes along to keep the "morale" up!

After a demonstration of the new modular Fantasti-car, they fly the general back to New Mexico. Arriving at the base, Reed meets Dr. Bruce Banner, Rick Jones and Dr. Karl Kort. Kort wants to hear Reed's plan to stop the Hulk, but Banner expresses doubts that the Hulk is involved. According to Banner, the missile installations were all destroyed from the inside out, a method of destruction the Hulk had never before employ. He believes the missiles were the result of sabotage, by a man he calls "The Wrecker".

Kort leaves the meeting and bumps into the Thing outside the office. The Thing frightens him so much, he runs away. The Torch finds that Kort has dropped his wallet. The team gets impatient and bursts in on Reed, Bruce, Rick and General Ross. Thing and Torch immaturely show off their powers but Rick Jones is not impressed. The general threatens to throw them all in the guardhouse. The team eventually calms down, and the Torch hands Kort's wallet over to Rick Jones.

Rick and Bruce head to one of their underground hideouts and Bruce shows Rick a model of Project 34, a defense mechanism he has worked on which can cover an entire city with a force field in the event of a missile attack. He believes the Wrecker is trying to destroy his research for the project. Rick goes to return Kort's wallet but finds a Communist membership card in it. That means, Kort is a Commie Red, and thus, Kort is the Wrecker! Just then, from the shadows, Kort pulls a gun on Rick and tells him to take him to see the Hulk so he can destroy Project 34.

Later, Reed and Thing are testing a new military rocket sled. Thing straps himself inside and drives the sled up to fifty Gs. A strange pair of robotic hands come out of the ground and twist the rail-tracks out of shape. The rocket sled hits them and the Thing is thrown clear. Johnny catches him and Reed stretches to cushion his fall. This was definitely the work of a saboteur, not the Hulk, but Thing still thinks it's the Hulk, despite Banner's protests. The FF demand to know why Banner is so sure it's not the Hulk, but Banner cannot give them more information, as he knows the reason why- he is the Hulk! Once he is alone, Banner reads the ransom note addressed to the Hulk: the Wrecker has demanded that the Hulk drive the FF out of the area or Rick will die. To save Rick, he must step into the gamma ray machine and become the Hulk once more!

Kort leads Rick through underground caves at gunpoint towards a ghost town. The Hulk and the Fantastic Four are elsewhere in this network of tunnels and (finally!) the Hulk and the Fantastic Four meet. Hulk takes down Thing with one punch and douses Torch in a cloud of sand. Hulk digs to the surface and into the ghost town, followed closely by Reed. As Hulk smashes the old buildings, Reed wraps himself tightly around the giant. Hulk spins so quickly Reed is thrown back. A sonic clap takes the Torch out and it comes down to a fight between Hulk and Thing. Suddenly a ray blast from out of nowhere hits Hulk in temple and he falls to the ground. Thing and Sue follow the ray into the tunnels and find a giant robot. Thing smashes through it and discovers Kort in the tunnel holding Rick hostage. Kort aims an atomic weapon at Thing but Sue turns invisible and knocks it out of his hands. The Fantastic Four capture the Wrecker but the Hulk escapes.

It is determined that Karl Kort used the giant robot to act out the series of sabotage. Bruce Banner appears again to welcome Rick and thanks the Fantastic Four. A ceremony is held in the Fantastic Four's honor and, as they fly off in the Fantasti-car, the Hulk waves goodbye to them from a desert plateau.

--synopsis by Jonathan Clarke, aka doesitmatter, with Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #11-20 and Fantastic Four Annual #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #11

FF #12

FF #13

FF #14

FF #15

FF #16

FF #17

FF #18

FF #19

FF #20

Ann #1


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