THE RAMPAGING HULK #9

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“To Avenge the Earth”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Sal Buscema & Rudy Mesina

The pre-Avengers Iron Man, Thor, Ant-man, and Wasp have shown up to take on the Krylorian disguised as Iron Man. The Hulk is also there and being angry and confused he decides to just go smash everyone. Well the Krylorian manages to slip away and head back to the World Fair Grounds in Queens were their underground base is located. The Hulk and the other superheroes follow and eventually band together and destroy the Krylorian base and force them to flee the Earth.

“Shanna The She-Devil”
Writer: David Anthony Kraft
Artist: Tony De Zuniga

An artist portfolio showing sketches of the beautiful Shanna with a biography on her past history.

“The Wrath of Raga-Shah!”
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artist: Tony De Zuniga

Shanna has decided to take a break after the adventures she has had in Africa and India. She settles in San Pedro, California to continue studying veterinary medicine. She has a pet Python that she keeps and has little friendly fights with and sees a psychiatrist. One day with a friend at the new Taj Mahal shopping center she runs into a man that looks like her arch enemy Raga Shah. The man does turn out to be Raga Shah and his death cult of Kali runs the shopping center to finance the cult’s plan to bring death to the world. Shanna is captured and tied on an alter to be sacrificed but breaks free and kicks Raga Shah’s ass. She then feeds him to her pet python and decides to leave for Africa.

So this issue brings an end to the Krylorian Conspiracy. Probably about time but I did enjoy those kooky stumblebum Krylorians. I also enjoyed the retro Hulk adventures in the sixties. This is the last issue in the black and white format. The next issue will have a whole new look in color, story and high grade paper. Kind of missed the old format but greatly enjoyed the new format.

The Shanna stories and portfolio were excellent. Shanna has never been drawn to look so sexy. She has got to be one of the most beautiful women comic book characters. The portfolio did a great job of giving a summary of what happened to Shanna in the past. The story shows Shanna as one bad ass woman. Absolutely fell in love with her. If you read my Ka-zar entries you’ll see that she will be back.

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THE RAMPAGING HULK# 8

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“A Gathering of Doom!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Herb Trimpe & Alfredo Alcala

The gang notice a number of Krylorian flying saucers leaving one of their secret bases. Investigating they find that the Krylorians are all heading to New York. After the Hulk wrecks the base the trio head off to the Big Apple. It is here in a secret underground base under the Worlds Fair that the Krylorians will launch their invasion. One Krylorian points out that one of their main targets Stark Enterprises is guarded by Iron Man. So one Krylorian transforms into Iron Man and goes out to draw Iron Man away from Stark Industries. The phony Iron Man starts to wreck the 59th street bridge and gets attacked by the Hulk. Soon after Thor, Ant Man, Wasp and the real Iron Man show up for a climactic confrontation in the next issue.

“Gallery of Villains”
Writer: David Kraft
Artist: George Perez

A portfolio of past Hulk opponents. In this one Giant-Man, The Secret Empire, Stranger, Abomination, Silver Surfer.

“Earth Shall Have a New Master!”
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Alan Kupperberg, Rod Santiago & Rudy Mesina.

Bloodstone finally meets the Conspiracy and the truth behind the Blood Gem. The Gem is actually the intelligence behind the Conspiracy. It killed Bloodstone’s tribe 10,000 years ago. Then it arranged to be implanted into his chest and created the Conspiracy to motive Bloodstone. In reality the Gem wanted to experience life and now plans to move on. The Gem is removed from Bloodstone and he is left for dead. It uses the members of the conspiracy to bond with them and form a giant crystalline creature. Bloodstone is still alive from the residual power of the Gem and manages to defeat the Gem but at the cost of his life.

This was actually the first issue of this series that I ever read. I also think that its one of the best in the series. The Krylorian invasion is finally coming to an exciting end. The Bloodstone story comes to an end with a surprising and unexpected ending. This really takes me back to being a young kid on a Sunday afternoon when I would usually pick up these comic magazines at the discount market back in Price, Utah. Those were fun day that I miss.

THE RAMPAGING HULK #7

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“Night of the Wraith!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Keith Pollard & Jim Mooney

The Hulk being a temperamental fellow is in one of his tantrums. So angry he even hits his friend Rick Jones. He then gets in an argument with Bereet. It is here that when Bereet reaches into her spatial distorter bag that a wraithlike being emerges. The Soul Shade is an amalgamation of the lifeforce from all the dead techno creations that were in the bag. Being a wraith means that the Hulk can’t smash it which makes him even more angry. The Soul Shade can occupy solid objects and proceeds to take over a giant statue and some circus animals. The only thing that will stop the Soul Shade is a gun that shoots love which Bereet and Dr. Banner fashion from left over parts from the spatial distorter.

“Among the Great Divide!”
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Jim Starlin & Bob Wiacek

The Man-Thing is shambling around aimlessly in the Everglades when it comes upon a corpse. Suddenly it is attacked by a wild woman. The attacker leads him to a young fifteen year old girl. The girl has a multiple personality disorder. What makes this unique is that each personality can physically manifest itself. Man-Thing uses his empathic abilities to destroy the manifestations and restore the young girl to one personality.

The Hulk story was an interesting change of pace. Once again it takes a side trip to a whole new place. The Soul Shade was a strange and surreal story but shows that all three of our heroes have anger issues that have to be resolved. The Man-Thing story was a replacement for a late Bloodstone installment. I think that the Man-Thing story complemented the main Hulk story. Both were weird and surreal and dealt with dark personalities surfacing. A nice filler issue before the next one which will resolve both the Krylorian and Bloodstone storylines.

THE RAMPAGING HULK #6

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“…And All the Sea, With Monsters!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Keith Pollard & Tony DeZuniga

The story begins with the Hulk and Rick Jones looking for a way to rescue their companion Bereet who was kidnapped by the Sub-Mariner and taken to Atlantis. After fighting off one of the Krylorian’s mutant sea-beasts they are able to recover breathing apparatus from a destroyed Krylorian ship. Just then the Banshee mask ship that Bereet sent comes to pick them up and take them to Atlantis. There the Hulk fights Namor in a trial by combat. The two seem evenly matched and the fight goes back and forth with neither gaining the upper hand. During the fight the Krylorians attack with their mutant sea-beasts. Hulk and Namor join forces to fight off the attack and save Atlantis. Bereet is set free and the trio continue on their quest to stop the Krylorians.

“Conspiracy Ascendant!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: Allen Kupperberg & Sonny Trinidad

Bloodstone takes out the Conspiracy goons at the hotel where they tried to kill him. Then its off to the UN where Bloodstone petitions that his island be recognized as a sovereign entity. The meeting is interrupted by another attack by a creature from the Conspiracy. A giant demon called Sharzan comes out of the East River and is able to kidnap Bloodstone and transport him to his master Kaballa’s cavern. Bloodstone is given the choice of serving or death.

So the Hulk/Namor storyline comes to an end. It’s mostly fighting between Namor and the Hulk. But there is some beautiful full page drawings and that kind of makes up for the threadbare plot. The Namor story probably didn’t need two books and it did drag down the story. Fortunately the story will pick up in the next issue.

The Bloodstone story is coming along great. We get some interesting developments and it ends with an interesting setup for the next story.

THE RAMPAGING HULK #5

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“Lo, The Sub-Mariner Strikes!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Keith Pollard & Alfredo Alcala

The Krylorians are testing a new mutation that they have created. The aquatic leviathan attacks Atlantis and Namor the king of Atlantis follows it back. He comes upon the Krylorians in their human form and hears them talking about their command in Rome. He thinks the surface dwellers are responsible for the attack and heads off to Rome. Meanwhile the Hulk and his two friends Rick Jones and the renegade Krylorian Bereet also decide to go back to Rome and take on the Krylorians. It is here that Namor and Hulk battle one another destroying a museum until the intervention of the Italian army distracts Hulk. Namor manages to kidnap Bereet and take her back to Atlantis.

“Suitefear!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: Val Mayerik & Bob Wiacek

Ulysses Bloodstone checks into an upscale suite in Manhattan for a planned meeting at the UN. He finds out that the Conspiracy has set a trap for him. They have set up his suite with deadly traps to destroy Bloodstone. Meanwhile Samantha Eden is still held captive by Domino and a robot called the Modular Man breaks out the Killer Shrike from the hospital he’s at.

The story moves back to fighting the Krylorian invasion and a guest appearance by the Sub-Mariner. Another fun story. The Bloodstone storyline is also continuing the be interesting and introducing new threats and villains.

THE RAMPAGING HULK# 4

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“The Other Side of Night!”
Writers: Jim Starlin & John Warner
Artists: Jim Starlin & Alex Nino

On a mysterious world far across the galaxy a powerful mage named Chen K’an searches for an ally. He finds what he is looking for and transports Dr. Banner to his world. He needs the strength of the Hulk but leaves the intelligence of Banner in the Hulk’s body. Chen’s world has been taken over by dark forces that have turned it from a peaceful paradise into a garbage strewn wasteland inhabited by cannibalistic demons and monsters. He needs the star of Catalax to put his world out of its misery. With the Hulk he assaults the fortress of Lyissa and her demon army. They manage to retrieve the star and Chen sends the Hulk back before he uses it to destroy his world.

“Gallery of Villains”
Writer: David Kraft
Artist: Keith Giffin

A collection of villain profiles. Includes their origin, first appearance and history. The villains in this gallery are Gargoyle, Toad Men, Ringmaster, Tyrannus, and the Metal Master.

“Return from Oblivion!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: Val Mayerik & Sonny Trinidad

Bloodstone and his companions head back to Bloodstone Island after defeating Centurius. While meditating Bloodstone has visions from the Exo-mind the ego in the Bloodstone. It tells of the Bloodstone’s creation by elders in a universe of chaos. They mean to invade our universe. Meanwhile Samantha Eden returns home and is captured by a mysterious man called Domino who wants information on Ulysses Bloodstone.

This book has a real interesting storyline for the Hulk. We get a Hulk that can speak intelligently but yet still has the attitude and bluster of the savage Hulk. The otherworldly magical world he was transported to is a welcome change from the adventures he was having on Earth.

The Bloodstone story lets our characters take a break and gives us some insight into the Bloodstone while introducing a new villain. This story is also coming along nicely and like the main Hulk storyline something that makes you want to read the next comic.

THE RAMPAGING HULK #3

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“The Monster and the Metal Master!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Walt Simonson & Alfredo Alcala

The Krylorians have hired the Metal Master to track down and destroy the Hulk. The Metal Master is an alien from the planet Astra and can control any metal. He was defeated by the Hulk once and plans to have his revenge. So in the French countryside he finds the Hulk in one of his rampages and attacks with his Ferronaut a large robot that he controls. While battling the Hulk the Metal Master takes an interest in Bereet’s spatial distorted bag of tricks. He wants the metal objects in it an his attempt results in the gang all being transported inside the bag. There in a dimension outside of normal time and space the Hulk and his friends must defeat the Metal Master.

“Notes from Eden.”
A fictional article that is written by Samantha Eden the reporter character in the Bloodstone story. It is an interesting article that give us a brief history of Ulysses Bloodstone.

“And There Shall Come Death!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: Sal Buscema & Rudy Nebres

Bloodstone has come to Stark Industries to find Iron Man. After a brief fight the two decide to join forces in pooling what they know to find who is behind the kidnapping of scientists. The trail leads them to an island fortress run by Centurius. Centurius is part of the Conspiracy and plans to harness the power of the fragment of Bloodstone that he was able to obtain. Iron Man, Bloodstone and Shield are able to raid the island and free the captured scientists.

I enjoyed the story with the Metal Master. He was a unique villain. Unfortunately the battle destroyed most of Bereet’s techno-gadgets so they will be handicapped in their fight against the Krylorians.

The fictional article was informative in giving us some background to the Bloodstone story. The Bloodstone story is moving along nicely. Its proving to be a excellent choice for a backup feature and I am enjoying it as much as the Hulk storyline.

THE RAMPAGING HULK #2

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“And then…..The X-men!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Walt Simonson & Alfredo Alcala

The story finds the Hulk angry as usual and leaving the city of Rome. His long jumps take him to France where he is attacked by a giant creature. A creature that is a mutation created by the Krylorians. This mutation like ones before it proves unstable and disappears. At this time the X-men have come to Paris to investigate the reports of giant mutant creatures that have been attacking the city. The Hulk comes to Paris and at the Eiffel Tower battles the X-men until the arrival of the latest Krylorian latest mutant. Hulk and the X-men combine forces and defeat the Krylorians in Paris.

“X-men X-posed!” by Ralph Macchio
An article on the X-men. It gives a good history on how and why the comic group was formed. A brief dossier on each of the key members and an overview on the storyline for the X-men up to the present with was 1977 when this article was written.

“Scream, The Strike!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: Bob Brown & Rudy Nebres

Bloodstone goes to his island with Brad and Samantha. It is there that he finds Goram there looking for more pieces of the Bloodstone. At this time Killer Shrike is also there. He is an agent for the Conspiracy and is eager to find out the third party behind Goram. Shrike tries to lure Goram off the island to follow him back to his master. During this he gets into a fight with Bloodstone. Bloodstone manages to defeat Shrike while his partner Brad follows the departing Goram. Brad ends up captured by Goram’s master who is not revealed in this story.

The second in the series is another fun read. The early X-men guest star and another plan by the Krylorians is defeated. I enjoy this retro look for the Hulk. He is still a savage angry beast in the early days. The Hulk that I originally grew up with.

The article was an interesting filler I was quite informative about the X-men.

The Bloodstone backup story is also going strong. We get to see Bloodstones island which is very futuristic. It sets up a plot that scientists are mysteriously being kidnapped and a cliffhanger that keeps a main villain a mystery.

THE RAMPAGING HULK #1

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“The Krylorian Conspiracy!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Walt Simonson & Alfredo Alcala

It is 1963 and it is one year since the accident that transformed Bruce Banner into the Hulk. Deciding to leave America Bruce and Rick Jones decide to go to Rome and check out the reports of flying saucers. The flying saucers are part of an invasion force of the Krylorians. The Krylorians are a race of shapeshifters that have a secret base under the Tyrrhenian Sea. While landing in Rome Bruce gets upset and Hulks out. At this time Rick meets up with Bereet a renegade from Krylor and pursued by her fellow aliens. She is also a techno artist with a bag that she can pull out any number of gadgets and a mask that can transform into a ship. The Hulk has his first run in with the Krylorians and they find out the meaning of “Hulk Smash.”

“Trail of the Starstone!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: John Buscema and Rudy Nebres

Ulysses Bloodstone is an immortal that has lived 10,000 years. He has been searching for fragments of the Bloodstone a gem that holds the key to the mysteries of the universe. 10,000 years ago it shattered and a piece lodged in the chest of Bloodstone, giving him his immortality. He is racing a mysterious Conspiracy for the fragments. On a cruise ship from Rio De Janiero Bloodstone and his sidekick Brad Carter and an investigative report Samantha Eden battle mysterious agents and a giant monster called Goram that are after a fragment. All of this is watched from afar by a mysterious creature with tentacles on his face called Ulluxy’l.

Back in the seventies the large black and white magazines were very popular and Marvel decided to jump on the bandwagon. After their successful Conan magazine they decided to roll out a mag with a popular Marvel character and thus the “Rampaging Hulk” was born. They decided to set the story back at the beginning in 1963 and the story starts out strong introducing the basic premise and characters.

The Bloodstone back up story also starts out strong. It sets up an intriguing character and I think an excellent choice for a back up feature.