Yet Another Mystery Solved

Close on three years ago, I mentioned finding an issue of DAREDEVIL that resolved a mystery that had been hanging around in my head since I was a kid of seven or eight. If you’ll pardon me for quoting the start of that post:

Way, way, way back in the late 70s when I was about 7 or 8, I had what my ailing memory informs me was an INCREDIBLE HULK annual. Over here in the UK, Annuals were about A4 sized, hardback, and usually released in the run-up to Christmas. British kids’ comics like THE BEANO and THE DANDY were staples for years, and as I got older, I’d get the 2000AD annual and even an ACTION annual which was the first time I read about Hook Jaw. But at some point, I had that INCREDIBLE HULK annual which contained a selection of stories.

I’m pretty sure there was one involving the Fantastic Four, possibly transporting the Hulk by plane; definitely one with the Hulk who ended up fighting some huge pink-skinned creature with yellow, fly-like eyes. The Hulk thought he was protecting the nearby mining town from the pink guy but it turned out the pink guy was welcomed in the town and was one of them, leaving the Hulk alone and rejected. (If anyone knows what that story is, let me know)

Sadly, no-one has let me know about either of those stories, but never fear – with the wonders of the internet, I’ve come across the Hulk vs the pink guy story!

THE INCREDIBLE HULK #179 from 1974 and that “huge pink-skinned creature with yellow, fly-like eyes” turns out to be a character called the Missing Link.

Finding that issue online and re-reading it, I was surprised (much like the Daredevil story in the post linked above) just how much I remembered, with even specific panels sticking in my head.

Hulk crashing to the ground after falling from a spaceship and being struck by a missile (all of which happened in the first three pages!)

The first meeting between Banner and Lincoln:

So much came flooding back! As to the story itself, despite his initial reservations, Banner comes to like Lincoln and enjoys a peaceful couple of weeks with the family until one of the young boys becomes ill, suffering from radiation sickness, caused (unknowingly) by proximity to Lincoln. Banner tries to do the right thing and tell Lincoln he should leave town to stop harming the people who have given him a home and the big guy reacts as you’d expect.

All of which leads to the inevitable fight between the two as they hurl machinery and all manner of vehicles at one another.

They fall into the mines and, for some reason, Lincoln’s radioactivity kicks in, giving him the opportunity to realise that Banner was right before he explodes, wrecking the mine.

But as we’d seen earlier in the issue, the Missing Link is able to reform despite being blown to pieces, and it’s probably this final page that has stuck with me the most since I read it way back in the late 70s:

If the people of Lucifer Falls are so friendly and willing to forgive, if they took in Lincoln when he arrived as a misshapen stranger, why don’t they extend that same hospitality to the Hulk? Why do they happily rescue Lincoln, but not the emerald giant as well?

Man, you gotta feel sorry for the big guy . . .

Untold Tales #440 Justice League of America vs The Incredible Hulk

It’s the satellite era League trying to hold its own against the Hulk on a rampage, with the heavy hitters or Superman and Wonder Woman nowhere to be seen! Something tells me Red Tornado’s going to end up in pieces again . . .

Mash-Up #172 The Avengers and The Freedom Fighters

I’ve long been a fan of the Freedom Fighters and would be more than happy to see this team up actually happen.