> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 3  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Well, like my dear ol' aunt Petunia used to say --- "You can only die once!"

- - The Thing, page 22

Thing vs. Hulk, one of Marvel's perennial showdowns!


Fantastic Four #25
April 1964 • 22 pages

Publication Date: January 10, 1964

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1

I: Feature Story: "The Hulk vs. the Thing"

Pages: 22

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)
Letters: Sam Rosen

Guest Appearance: Hulk/"Bob" Banner, Alicia Masters, Trucker Sam

Cameo Appearance: The Avengers: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, Wasp, Rick Jones; Yancy St. Gang

Marvel Milestones: Bruce Banner's name accidentally dropped as "Bob" Banner, first mention of Ben Grimm's Aunt Petunia

Synopsis: Reed has invented a new serum to change Thing back to Ben Grimm, but Thing won’t take it. He’s afraid it will affect Alicia’s feelings for him. Alicia arrives with the newspaper and Sue reads her the lead article which details the Hulk’s last fight with the Avengers (see AVENGERS #3).

In New Mexico, a truck stops in front of a boulder blocking the road. The Hulk has been hiding behind it and demands a ride from the truck owner named Sam. As he sleeps in the back, he changes back to Bruce Banner (referred to in this issue as Bob Banner. Guess this is why he’s now known as Robert Bruce Banner. See how we have to clean up your messes, Stan? -- doesitmatter) and escapes from the truck as it reaches a checkpoint. Banner runs until he becomes exhausted and the Hulk takes over once again. The Hulk decides to go to his underground caveto plan his next move.

The Avengers have been trailing the Hulk and examine the discarded cargo on the road. Rick Jones thinks Hulk may be headed to his underground lab, and he wants to share his thoughts with the Avengers, but he can’t give away the Hulk’s identity.

The Hulk is in his lab and is smashing it to pieces. He is wiping out every trace of Banner when he finds a newspaper clipping in his pocket. It’s an article reporting that Captain America has replaced him in the Avengers. Further, he assumes that even Rick has abandoned him. Hulk takes off for New York to destroy the Avengers....forever!

Reed suddenly collapses in his lab, a victim of some viruses he had been working with in his lab. He slips into a coma, so Johnny takes the Fantasti-car to find a doctor. On the way, he spots the Hulk smashing up the city and stops to face him. He melts the ground below Hulk’s feet but the Hulk tears a lamppost out of the ground and swings it towards his foe. The Torch melts the lamppost but then the Hulk pounds the ground beneath him, sending a shockwave that weakens the Torch’s flame. The Hulk smothers him in a bear hug and knocks Johnny out.

News cameras and police call for the Fantastic Four’s help. Reed, through his fever, sends the Thing and the Invisible Girl into the fight without him. They find a wounded Johnny Storm feebly trying to rematch the Hulk and Sue surrounds the Torch with a force field to protect him. Hulk leaps into the air clutching the force field. The distance is too much for Sue and she passes out.

The Hulk lands and tosses Johnny aside as the Thing stares him down. The fight is on! Thing punches Hulk through a wall and the Hulk tears a bus in two on the rebound. He hurls automotive parts at the Thing and uses a wheel for a shield when Thing retaliates. He tosses the Thing into the air and Ben catches the roof of a building as he rockets upward. The Hulk shakes the entire building to get him down. When Thing lands, the Hulk shoves him through the street. Thing rips out some power lines and presses them against the Hulk’s hands, shocking him.

Reed watches the fight on TV and crawls to the window to help. He stretches his arm out but falls unconscious before he can reenter the battle.

The Yancy Street Gang pushes a pickup truck backwards down the hill to save the Thing (since nobody canmess with the Thing except them!) The truck scoops up both Hulk and Thing and dumps them in the river. Thing breaks free of the Hulk’s grasp and once he surfaces, commandeers a speedboat. The Hulk misses the rocketing speedboat on his first lunge but then punches through the hull as it passes over him. Thing swims to a suspension bridge and the Hulk pursues. He tosses shrapnel at the Hulk and shoves him onto the catwalk. Thing wraps the Hulk in a suspension cable but worries that it won’t hold the green giant long.

The doctor arrives to see Reed. He tells Sue that Reed’s work with microbes has infected him with a rare disease. He gives Reed a sedative as Sue turns back to the news. She sees the Hulk break free of his cables in his battle with the Thing.

Hulk plows into the Thing and with blow after inhuman blow, he finally beats him down. The Hulk marches off the meet the National Guard as the Thing, obviously weakened, rises to fight the Hulk once more.

(Continued in FF #26)

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

--letter pages and house ads provided by Crusher Creel

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #21-30

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #21

FF #22

FF #23

FF #24

FF #25

FF #26

FF #27

FF #28

FF #29

FF #30


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