SPIDER-MAN VS. THE HULK AT THE WINTER OLYPMICS

“The Outcasts!”
Writers: Bill Mantlo Mark Gruenwald and Steven Grant
Artist: Herb Trimpe

A group of masked mutants are trying to kidnap the Russian figure skater. Luckily Spider-man is around to foil their plan. Only a mysterious crystal forms around the skater and takes her underground. The Hulk is at this time jumping around when the crystal also forms around him. He is strong enough to break it and beat off the army of lava men that were there to capture him. Hulk goes into the caves after them and meets a beautiful woman named Kala the Queen of Subterranea.

So next day the leading skier is also captured by the crystal. When Spider-man shows up he is ambushed by the Outcasts and taken to their master the Mole Man. We learn that the Mole Man and Kala are in a war in Subterranea. Kala wants the Fountain of Youth to maintain her youth while the Mole Man is angry at her for refusing his proposal of marriage. Just then the hordes of lava men attack the Mole Man’s domain. His minions are too dumb to effectively mount a defense but the Outcasts manage to drive them back.

The Mole Man comes up with an offer to Kala. Their champions will fight on the surface so their subterranean domain is not further wrecked by the war. So the Olympic games are interrupted when giant lifts take the village up a mile. There the Mole man and his Outcasts fight the kidnapped athletes who are fighting because Kala has kidnapped the girlfriend of the skier and turned her old. She also managed to drug the Hulk so he fights Spider-man who was reluctantly recruited by the Mole Man to save the Olympic crowds from the Mole Man’s underground machines.

A big fight begins with Spider-man and the Hulk battling each other as the captive athletes and Outcasts pair up. In spite of the cheating of Kala the battle is still evenly matched. The girlfriend manages to escape and falls into the Fountain of Youth. Her presence gets the athletes to rebel. The Hulk is sent down into a rolling ball of snow that crashes into Kala. It breaks her helmet that shielded her from the effects of aging and she turns into an old hag. The Fountain of Youth was destroyed but the Mole Man still wants Kala as her queen since its dark down in his realm so looks aren’t important.

I thought I would dig out this old issue since its freezing cold out and the Winter Olympics are starting in a month. Most of the Treasury editions were reprints of past issues. This is a rare one that was original. Coming out for the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York. I remember loving this issue as a kid. It had these huge pictures and two page spreads of epic battles. The real Olympics were never this exciting so just a fun read on a cold winter day.

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