Marvel Comics is seemingly hellbent on reprinting their comics as many times as possible, and one of those iterations is the Mighty Marvel Masterworks. Each Mighty Marvel Masterworks starts from the beginning, with other mainline heroes like Thor and Spider-Man getting this format. Now that Hulk’s origin and beginnings are established with Vol. 1, fans can pick up Vol. 2 to get a sense of what Hulk was up to between 1964 to 1965.
The biggest distinguishing difference with this line of comics are the excellent new covers by Michael Cho, who has Hulk rampaging and Leader totally screwed on this cover. Cho brings energy and a retro feel that’s unmistakable, making what’s old feel new again. Fans can also purchase this collection with the original Jack Kirby cover as well.
The other big difference is how Marvel features a table of contents. This gives the book a leveled reader feel as if for a younger audience who might read this collection in school.
This collection features Tales to Astonish #59-74 at a time when Giant-Man was on an Avengers team that was more like a job. The heroes all clocked in, saved the day if anything came up, or simply relaxed at the mansion. The opening issue features Giant-Man going toe to toe with Hulk and eventually seeing Hulk as a reluctant hero. That tends to happen when a guy you were just grappling with saves you from a nuclear bomb.
Tales to Astonish #59 must have sold very well because the next seven issues end up being a double feature, with each hero getting their own half of the book. Unfortunately, the Giant-Man portions aren’t collected here–this is Hulk’s collection, dammit–which means shorter stories of intrigue and astonishment! Since these tales are more creature-of-the-week tales, character development is limited. Hulk ends up fighting new threats for each issue until the Leader is introduced.
Once the Leader is introduced–yep, his first-ever issue is collected here–Hulk must fight brains with his brawn. The story eventually leads to an adventure involving the Watcher and a rather dramatic and deadly end for the Leader.
Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby were the main pencilers at this time, and their art holds up to the test of time. You get plenty of action, excitement, and dramatic faces, to be sure. The sci-fi elements are strong, too, with Watcher coming off as quite strange and otherworldly.
You’ve probably read at least some of, if not all, of the stories within Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 The Lair of the Leader, but for younger readers just getting into Marvel Comics, it’s a fantastic slice of history. Paired with a slick new cover by Cho, it’s hard to deny the historical relevance of the stories reprinted here.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!