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Incredible Hulk #207

Incredible Hulk #207

When they say Hulk meets the Defenders, they mean it. This reads just like a Defenders of the era — Sal Buscema art, Hulk calling Nighthawk “Bird-Nose,” Doctor Strange as an old man in a flying bathrobe, Valkyrie hitting everything with the flat of her blade … the works! Hey, even Red Guardian is here, throwing her belt buckle at the Hulk. (Like that’s going to help). Hulk is on a rampage because Jarella is dead and he has some notion that Doctor Strange can fix it.

He can’t. For whatever reason, this is one death that Marvel can’t reverse. (This time). Hulk takes the news hard and wrecks a freeway. But buried beneath all the “Hulk Smash” is some genuine pathos from writer Len Wein. The Hulk has lost his love; he’s grieving, and coming to terms. Poor guy. The end of the issue promises a bold new direction for the Hulk in the month to come but I recall it was the same creators doing pretty much the same stuff, so not sure what to make of that. The boring predictability of mid-to-late Seventies Hulk was half the charm of this series. Don’t mess with a bad thing!

  • Script: Len Wein
  • Pencils: Sal Buscema
  • Inks: Joe Staton

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About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published once a month or so at www.longboxgraveyard.com!

Posted on May 29, 2018, in Marvel 1977 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I was a die-hard Hulk reader during this period, and the death of Jarella was a real big deal at the time. As I recall it was not very many issues past the one where she came to our “macro-world” before they killed her off. It was a total shock to me…. I guess you cold say Jarella was the Bucky of my generation (or you could, you know, NOT say that too…)

    Love that Cockrum cover too!

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    • I liked the Hulk but I had dropped the book by this point. Even at thirty cents an issue, I had a budget back then. I think I missed the whole Jarella storyline. It grew out of a Harlan Ellison script, yes?

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  2. PS The only negative here is the appearance of the bad version of Valkyrie’s costume

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  3. Chuck Paquet

    Loved the Defenders back then. Anything goes for team members – the more bizarre the better. Also is that a Romita redraw on Hulk’s head on the cover?

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  4. Poor Hulk. He’s never really gotten over the death of Jarella, or maybe it’s just Bruce who hasn’t. Either way, they both still very much miss her as future issues from this point on have well established. I guess no one thought to use the twin idea or simply resurrect her like they’ve done everybody else lately. Probably because she’s not that important alive to the writers?

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    • I expect there’s just too much heavy lifting for Jarella’s return to make much sense. The character is so old now you might as well introduce a different love interest to kill and resurrect or whatever. I don’t think Jarella entered the collective unconscious of “comic characters that should NEVER come back” the way Bucky, Gwen, and Uncle Ben did.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read these Jarella issues not too long ago and thought they were pretty good. While I wasn’t necessarily a regular reader of the Hulk, this era, with Sal Buscema (and to a lesser extent, Bill Mantlo) is “my” Hulk.

    And let’s not forget, back when this was written, death in comics was sometimes actually permanent.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, and as Paul indicated, there was a sort of comfort zone feeling in this series, with the predictability.

    Liked by 1 person

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