Prepare to unleash the Grandmaster's champion in the Battlerealm!

Smashing his way through Sakaar in the big screen’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and into “Marvel Contest of Champions” comes Hulk, the Grandmaster’s champion.

Hulk demonstrates a unique blend of savage rage, showmanship, and unstoppable strength to smash through some of the strongest beings in the galaxy, and The Contest has no shortage of Champions for him to smash. Hulk’s revamped look highlights Sakaar’s gladiatorial armor and weapons.

In “Marvel Contest of Champions,” this “Gladiator” Hulk differs from his classic counterpart relying on the adoration and excitement of the masses (and they’re out for blood), their judgment of a champion fighter’s performance, and his special moves powered by his arena weapons.

Hulk’s ability kit focuses on what Hulk does best – SMASH! Special 1 knocks out his opponents when he smashes his hammer down sending out shockwaves. Special 2 unleashes a whirlwind of powerful series of attacks with both weapons. And Special 3 is a favorite of the crowd where Hulk uses his axe to throw his opponent to the ground before launching himself into a leaping smash.

Pairing Hulk with “Gladiator” Thor, Black Widow, Hela and Loki will provide him with unique bonuses while increasing his teammates’ special attacks.

Hulk (Ragnarok) is now available to check out in-game!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Namor and Hulk team up to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Never let it be said that Hulk doesn’t have feelings. In fact, a strong sense of betrayal led him to leave the Avengers not long after they formed. He helped found the team along with Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and Wasp in the first issue of AVENGERS, but then left at the end of the second after the team battled Space Phantom, who had the ability to take someone’s physical form. After assuming the Jade Giant’s identity, the Phantom fought the heroes who didn’t exactly have nice things to say about Bruce Banner’s alter ego, some of which came out even after Hulk regained his place in this reality.

As AVENGERS #3 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee began, the team discussed finding The Hulk during their monthly meeting. Iron Man—in his sleeker red and gold armor for the first time in this book—projected himself to the likes of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and even Spider-Man to see if they’d help track the man-monster down to no avail. However, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes did get help from Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade. Rick tried getting Hulk to turn back into Bruce and lie low for a while, but the procedure didn’t take and Hulk returned to his rampaging ways. Jones called out for help and the Avengers answered!

The heroes, however, didn’t quite have the upper hand. Hulk knew their desert battleground far better than anyone and used that knowledge to fight his attackers, hop a train, and make a thrilling escape. Unbeknownst to all the players, they had a secret audience watching all of this: Namor, the Sub-Mariner! He planned to put himself in the one place that Hulk would wind up and then convince him that they should both embrace their hatred of humanity and attack the surface world. Hulk agreed, though he never fully trusted his new partner. They then faced off against the Avengers in tunnels under Gibraltar, which housed abandoned weaponry from World War II. The daring duo used these destruction dealers as part of their attack on our favorite Assemblers.

Avengers (1963) #3

Avengers (1963) #3

  • Published: January 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The ensuing battle of epic proportions featured the pair essentially turning Iron Man into a statue, a sonic blast knocking Wasp out of the air, and both Hulk and Namor attempting to rip Mjolnir out of Thor’s hands! Though that endeavor failed, the two mighty misanthropes neared victory up until the moment when stress caused Hulk to return to his Bruce Banner form. At this point, he had kept his dual identity a secret, so the scientist made a break for it while no one watched.

Alone, Namor soon fell to the Avengers, partially because of their strength but also because his powers lessened the longer he moved outside of the water. Thanks to some H2O trickling in, The Sub-Mariner gained just enough juice to make his own escape. In the next issue, he’d have the most important tantrum in all of comics history, accidentally freeing Captain America from his icy prison.

This issue from 1964 went a long way to continue building the Marvel Universe that we all know and love. From the heroes communicating with one another in the beginning to the continued storylines and, of course, the epic villain team-up, Kirby and Lee worked hard on these stories to lay groundwork that’s still being used to this day.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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In theaters May 4.

There was an idea…

The first official trailer for Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” has finally arrived. We began our Marvel Cinematic Universe journey together back in 2008. All roads lead to Thanos next year. Get your first official look at “Avengers: Infinity War” right here on Marvel.com above.

Following the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” the Avengers as we know it no longer exists. Lines were drawn; sides were chosen. The Avengers is nothing more than a team name without any team members. Can Earth’s Mightiest Heroes put aside their differences and unite once more? Do they even stand a chance against the Mad Titan who delights in their failure and desperation? Can they stop his thirst for power and chaos as he begins to collect the Infinity Stones?

The trailer packs as many super heroes as it can in a mere 2 minutes and 30 seconds: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Vision (Paul Bettany), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and so much more.

“You can fight it. You can run from it. But destiny still arrives.” We know the trailer brought a smile to your face as much as pain and suffering put one on Thanos’ face. Now excuse us while we watch the trailer a thousand more times!

See the culmination of the last decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when “Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters on May 4, 2018. Stay tuned to Marvel.com, follow @Avengers on Twitter, and Like “The Avengers” on Facebook for the latest on the Avengers and the rest of the MCU as it develops!

 

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As Amadeus Cho arrives on Sakaar, let's look back at the planet once ruled by his predecessor!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Amadeus Cho intends to avoid many of the same pitfalls that Bruce Banner fell into over the years as Hulk. However, with this week’s INCREDIBLE HULK #710 we see him fully embracing a place that meant a lot to his Jade Giant predecessor: Sakaar.

Back in 2006, the heroes of the Marvel Universe – specifically Iron Man, Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Dr. Strange – got fed up with the Hulk and decided to send him off to a planet where he couldn’t hurt anyone and he could finally get the solace he claimed to want.

Instead, as seen in INCREDIBLE HULK #92 by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan, he got sucked through a strange portal and ended up on a planet called Sakaar where the locals immediately enslaved him and he soon started fighting in a gladiatorial arena. 

Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In those battles, Hulk met a group that would become known as the Warbound, who would help him first escape from the Red King and then eventually take over as king himself. Along the way, Hulk fell in love with a Shadow warrior named Caiera, who would have borne him twins, had a catastrophic accident not seemingly killed her. 

Incredible Hulk (1999) #93

Incredible Hulk (1999) #93

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The ship that Hulk’s “friends” sent him off on exploded, apparently by accident, but not. The resulting explosion tore through Caiera and many others, leaving a large chunk of Sakaar in lava-engulfed ruins.

Feeling a rage like none other, Hulk agreed to fly off with his surviving Warbound comrades and return to the true source of his misery: Earth. That story came to fruiting in WORLD WAR HULK, but what of the planet that the Jade Giant left behind? 

World War Hulk (2007) #1

World War Hulk (2007) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Well, as seen in SKAAR: SON OF HULK – simplified to just SON OF HULK on Marvel Unlimited – the planet kept on turning, even giving birth to not one, but two sons of the Green Scar. Skaar hardened himself in battle and even harnessed the full power of the Old Strong that ran through the planet. Meanwhile, Hiro-Kala, the twin, also began experiencing his own trials and tribulations on the harsh planet.

Galactus visited this place. The Silver Surfer had been drawn in by the same portal that grabbed Hulk during the original storyline, but he brought his master there in SKAAR. Thanks to the Old Strong power that flowed through the rock, Surfer figured that its energy could sate his master’s hunger for 10,000 years. Skaar had his own plans, but so did other familiar faces who appeared in an attempt to save the planet.

Now, Amadeus Cho will see exactly how Hulk-like he can be in the place that both gave his namesake his greatest challenge and also one of his most cherished triumphs.

Flash Forward

The history of Sakaar was nicely chronicled in the pages of a one-shot called GLADIATOR GUIDE BOOK. The mostly-text issue goes into great detail about everything from the Tayo Star System that Sakaar inhabits to the geography of the planet. You also get to more fully understand the hierarchy that exists on-planet with the Imperials at the top who subjugate their own kind as well as the insectoid Natives, Shadow People and Spikes. All of these groups and ideas play important parts in Planet Hulk as well as all the ensuing stories set on Sakaar!

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The Main Event makes his way from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ to the game!

Ready to smash things up and prove you’re the strongest one there is? Or at the very least, prove you’re the strongest Avenger? You’ll get your chance this week when the mean green fighting machine from the Sakaar arena, the one and only Hulk, garbed in all his gladiatorial gear, crashes into “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the new Hulk and all the beautiful destruction he promises to bring to the game.

Marvel.com: We’re getting our very own Bruce Banner Hulk 4-Star! I’m geeked! He was awesome in “Thor: Ragnarok,” and I’m assuming the team is translating that awesome to “MPQ”?

Josh Austin: That is correct! Hulk (The Main Event) 4-Star is inspired by the Hulk in the “Thor: Ragnarok” film. Along with his Sakaar Arena look from the movie, his power set focuses on dealing lots of damage and shaking up the board.

Marvel.com: We now have a grand total of five different Hulk variations in the game. How does Hulk (The Main Event) keep things fresh?

Josh Austin: Our Hulk definitely stands out! He has the Sakaar Arena helmet and all his gladiatorial garb on. Plus, this version of The Hulk is a major show-off. He starts the fight with a Grand Entrance, kicking off the fight in style, and with The Crowd Goes Wild, he roars at the crowd and the crowd roars back!

Marvel.com: All right, you’ve teased the moves a bit here so let’s talk about the strongest Avenger’s abilities. What can this Hulk do?

Josh Austin: Hulk (The Main Event)’s first ability is called Grand Entrance and it’s a Green Passive. For this power, Hulk smashes his way into the Arena and wreaks havoc. At level five he destroys seven random tiles that do not deal or gain AP. Of course any cascades do damage and gain AP. At the start of the turn, he swaps two random pairs of tiles.

The next power is called Gamma Bomb and it costs 14 Purple AP. Hulk channels his inner wrestling superstar, grabs his opponent, and slams them to the ground dealing damage and creating Critical tiles.

The last power Hulk (The Main Event) has is called The Crowd Goes Wild and it costs 12 Yellow AP. For this ability, Hulk roars at the crowd, and they roar back cheering on the champ. This translates to creating Fortified Countdown tiles that each turn [do] one of the following: deal damage to the enemy team, give Hulk a burst of health or gain AP.

Marvel.com: Grand Entrance is interesting. If he swaps random tiles at the beginning of the turn, can he create Match 5s and will that lead to extra turns for the player? Or is it more like Rocket and Groot’s I Am Groot ability?

Josh Austin: There is a possibility this could happen, especially if the player gets any type of cascade from the swap or the destruction of the tiles due to Grand Entrance.

Marvel.com: How were you building the big guy cover-wise? I was thinking 3/5/5 would be a pretty solid load out. 

Josh Austin: 3/5/5 is what I would focus on to maximize on the damage from Hulk. The Grand Entrance is a fun ability to have, but the damage from the others is better than the chance at cascades and possible damage, depending on the outcome of the tiles being destroyed or swapped.

Marvel.com: And because this is a team game, whom do we want to force into the arena with him?

Josh Austin: Makes sense to have anyone that can give him some Purple. Scarlet Witch is a good addition to his team for the purple generation, also Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw).  He’s strong with characters that react to Countdown Tiles like Carol Danvers, Agent Coulson, and Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw).

Marvel.com: When can we pick him up for ourselves?

Josh Austin: He will be live starting tomorrow, November 16. Both the S.H.I.E.L.D training event and the Hearts of Darkness—Hulk is a placement reward in this event—starts tomorrow. The Hulk and Friends store will run November 19 through November 24. Hulk (The Main Event)’s featured event will be Webbed Wonder. His Versus Tournament is Raging Fire and it will start on November 19.

There will be a third Sakaar Arena that features Hulk and this runs November 17-23. Hulk (The Main Event) will be included in the store along with a 5-Star Thor (Gladiator).

Pick up Hulk (The Main Event) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews, and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Leader and Hulk continue the longstanding argument about the superiority of intellect & strength!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Great villains often show the darker potential of the heroes they face off against on a regular basis. In the case of The Leader – who reappeared in this week’s SHE-HULK #159 – he represented the brain side while Hulk clearly leaned towards brawn.

With his return, it’s a great time to look back at this character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and his rise to power starting in 1964! The man simply known as The Leader debuted in TALES TO ASTONISH #62 as a masked figure sending The Chameleon to the base that Bruce Banner worked at to steal his military secrets. 

Tales to Astonish (1959) #62

Tales to Astonish (1959) #62

  • Published: December 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the following issue, we learned not only that this man sported an enlarged head but also green skin! He also very helpfully revealed his origin! A simple laborer at a chemical research plant happened to pass a Gamma Ray Cylinder as it exploded. Though seemingly unhurt at first, the man gained an intense thirst for knowledge and an uncanny ability to retain what he read. More shockingly, though, he eventually developed a larger cranium and his skin turned an emerald color!

At first, The Leader didn’t even know about the Hulk, but wanted Banner’s secrets. However, when he sent a Humanoid to do his bidding, the Hulk popped up to defeat it. During this time, Banner did his best to keep his double life as the Hulk a secret from his boss, General Thunderbolt Ross.

Enthralled by the appearance of a fellow green-skinned human with abilities far beyond mortal men, The Leader intended to partner up with the Hulk at first, or else destroy him!

Though The Leader would attempt to use even more Humanoids to steal the secrets and grab the Hulk, he didn’t take into account the fact that Hulk would turn into Banner if he got too agitated. After that happened without the Leader seeing, Banner made a break for it, turned back into the Hulk and wound up swimming far out into the ocean where a Russian sub picked him up.

The Leader worked with the Russians at that time, but decided to sit back and wait until Banner and Hulk broke back through the Iron Curtain. That happened in TALES TO ASTONISH #68 – now drawn by Jack Kirby – wherein Leader attempted to steal Banner’s Absorbatron with the help of cell-sized Humanoids that could grow to much larger sizes.  

Tales to Astonish (1959) #68

Tales to Astonish (1959) #68

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The two gamma-powered individuals finally met face-to-face in #69 when the Humanoids brought a knocked-out Hulk to the Leader’s lab. Upon finally waking up, the Hulk destroyed Leader’s lab. Not long after, Hulk seemed to actually consider the Leader’s offer of partnering up and they did after a fashion as Leader sent Hulk to get the Ultimate Machine from the Watcher. The Jade Giant succeeded, but the immense amount of galactic knowledge absorbed by The Leader seemed to kill him! 

Tales to Astonish (1959) #69

Tales to Astonish (1959) #69

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Of course, good villains never stay dead and the big brain returned to hassle Hulk and other heroes on more than one occasion. Considered one of Hulk’s main villains, Leader – now also known as Samuel Sterns – made the jump to other media ranging from cartoons and video games to the big screen!

Flash Forward

Curious about how The Leader recovered from his apparent brain drain? Well, readers found out for themselves in the pages of INCREDIBLE HULK #115. In that issue by Stan Lee and Herb Trimpe, Leader said that he’d taken precautions before using the Ultimate Machine. He’d set it up so that, if his heart stopped beating, a specially-designed Humanoid would use a Revivor Beam to bring him back! He then spent his time planning his revenge on his nemesis!

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The Revengers get revenge in Marvel Studios' 'Thor: Ragnarok,' in theaters Nov. 3!

Director Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson and Tom Hiddleston detail what’s in store for Thor, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Valkyrie and Loki in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” with a new featurette directly above!

Hear what awaits the film’s heroes and their unlikely team formation, the Revengers, from the stars themselves as we march towards Ragnarok on November 3. With over a week to go, you don’t have to wait long until you can finally see all the action yourself!

Get your tickets now for “Thor: Ragnarok” when it lands in theaters November 3! 

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on “Thor: Ragnarok,” and follow @ThorOfficial on Twitter and like Thor’s official Facebook page!

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Can the combined Avengers and Fantastic Four halt a Hulk-Thing fight?

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

An old philosophical question once asked, what happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? Well, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby didn’t answer that one, but they sure dug into what takes place when the Incredible Hulk comes to blows with the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing! The two titans came to blows in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #25 and #26 from 1964 and the very Earth shook! It all started with Thing refusing to take an accidentally discovered serum that could have cured him of his rocky visage because he didn’t know if Alicia Masters would still love him as just Ben Grimm.

Fantastic Four (1961) #25

Fantastic Four (1961) #25

  • Published: April 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Meanwhile, The Hulk wanted peace and quiet after his fight with his old teammates in AVENGERS #3. The group quickly replaced him with Captain America, but still wanted to find their errant ally. The Jade Giant decided to get rid of every trace of Bruce Banner and smashed up his secret lab. He then saw the newspaper about Cap’s return and Rick Jones palling around with him. Feeling jealous and spurned, Hulk decided to hop to New York City and “destroy the Avengers forever.”

With Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually near the old lab looking for Hulk, he jumped right past them and wound up causing such a ruckus that the FF took notice and moved to stop him. With Reed Richards out of commission and both Johnny and Sue Storm quickly felled by the emerald brute, Ben Grimm took it upon himself to stop the rampage. This duo had come to blows previously in FANTASTIC FOUR #12, but this time they tore through buses, buildings, and even the street to clobber one another. Thanks to some help from the Yancy Street boys, the pair wound up fighting underwater and then on boats before moving on to the George Washington Bridge!

Moving into issue #26, Hulk continued to call for the Avengers, but Thing still stood to fight another day, or at least a few more rounds! A battered Human Torch even got back in on the action, but the Fantatsic twosome didn’t stand a chance. Hulk messed them up and then went to Tony Stark’s mansion to visit his old friends.

Fantastic Four (1961) #26

Fantastic Four (1961) #26

  • Published: May 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Hulk tore into the Avengers who gave as good as they got. A rejuvenated Reed Richards soon led his own team to attack Jade Jaws as well, but all those heroes together proved more calamity than anything else. After figuring out how to actually work together, both crews converged on Hulk who had perched himself on a skyscraper construction site. Though the combined might of the Avengers and Fantastic Four could barely stop the rampage, Rick Jones wound up saving the day by tossing an “emergency gamma-ray treated capsule” that Banner had supplied him with months prior.

Hulk ran off, jumping into the water and soon turned back into Bruce, floating along to his next adventure. With that, both teams pledged to work well together in the future and returned to their own lives with an unspoken promise from Kirby and Lee that, when that happened, it would be just as exciting and groundbreaking as this time!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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The Odinson and a mindless Hulk throw down in NYC!

As the clock ticks down to “Thor: Ragnarok,” spend your time wisely by reading these stories plucked from the Marvel Unlimited archives!

Thor and Hulk have always had a tumultuous relationship.

In the short time they served on the Avengers together, the two didn’t get along too well…though, since then, they’ve adopted a healthy—though sometimes begrudging—respect for each other.

We can’t wait to see what happens when these two titans meet each other in “Thor: Ragnarok,” but until then, let’s scope out one of their most epic battles—in 1984’s INCREDIBLE HULK #300 by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema.

Incredible Hulk (1962) #300

Incredible Hulk (1962) #300

What is Marvel Unlimited?

At the time, Bruce Banner thought he’d done away with the Hulk’s rage-filled personality. However, when Nightmare decided to torment Doctor Strange, the green guy came back as Banner decided to change into the Jade Giant to stop the villain’s dark schemes.

The issue began with The Hulk rampaging across New York City. In response, the U.S. government deemed it appropriate to use any means to take him down—including the use of chemical fire bombs dropped by S.H.I.E.L.D. ships.

The chaos forced a few local New York heroes to respond to the situation as well—Daredevil saved a child from the reverberating danger, Spider-Man caught a couple of plummeting pilots as they fell from the sky, and Doctor Strange escaped Nightmare to search for an alternate dimension in which The Hulk might be contained.

Meanwhile, The Human Torch, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Avengers tried to handle the problem with a more confrontational approach. While none stood a chance against The Hulk, Thor stood tall and matched the might of the Giant. Despite summoning lightning and hurling Mjolnir in the battle, Thor realized that the only way to finally stop The Hulk would be the most drastic measure of all—to kill him.

The battle raged, and the two combatants flung fists and nearby cars as the fight seemed like it’d never end. As the war of attrition seemed most hopeless, however, Doctor Strange reemerged to enact his other-dimensional contingency—and sent The Hulk to another space and time.

Ragnarok and Roll

For an equally epic—though more recent—Thor and Hulk throw down, check out the 2011 event Fear Itself, in which Bruce Banner’s alter ego picked up one a personality-warping hammer and transformed into Nul: Breaker of Worlds. And joining The Hulk with an evil new ego was The Thing—who became Angrir: Breaker of Souls. In FEAR ITSELF #5, Nul and Angrir confronted Thor in a hammer-shattering encounter for the ages.

Next time: the Asgardians face Rangarok once again in Mike Avon Oeming and Andrea Di Vito’s THOR #80#85!

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Stan Lee and Jack Kirby team-up to tell a Hulk story for the ages!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

One year after the first volume of INCREDIBLE HULK ended with issue #6, the Jade Giant threw down once again—this time with his former Avengers teammate Hank Pym—in the pages of TALES TO ASTONISH #59! The team-up proved to be such a hit that Hulk stuck around the series until it became the second volume of INCREDIBLE HULK with issue #102.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #102

Tales to Astonish (1959) #102

  • Published: April 01, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 02, 2016
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Though he drew covers for the Hulk’s monthly return, Jack Kirby wouldn’t start penciling interior adventures until issue #68, when he reintroduced The Leader. At the time, Bruce Banner had been branded a potential Communist for seeming to help The Hulk—whom the government had a great suspicion in. Banner even appeared to die by a gunshot wound at the end of issue #69!

In TALES TO ASTONISH #70, the U.S. Army investigated the Leader’s lab in search of The Hulk—before concluding that the Jade Giant had escaped and that Banner’s body went missing. Turns out, Banner’s old friend Rick Jones previously snuck into the lab, stole the body and drove it to one of Bruce’s own laboratories—where he hoped to revive The Hulk, and with him, Bruce!

Rick succeeded in reviving them, but inadvertently brought Bruce’s consciousness back in the Hulk’s body. Banner quickly realized that, if he changed back into his human form, the bullet lodged in his brain would kill him instantly. To stave off such an event, Dr. Banner needed to stay in his Hulk form as long as possible.

The Leader, meanwhile, unleashed a 500-foot-tall Humanoid to take on all comers. In response, The Hulk and the army formed a temporary truce to deal with the new, more urgent menace. The Leader’s invention, however, proved powerful enough to withstand the onslaught—until issue #71.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #71

Tales to Astonish (1959) #71

  • Published: September 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 28, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Gene Colan
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In that book, General Ross launched a missile called “the Sunday Puncher” at—and seemed to destroy—the Humanoid. In response to the attack, The Leader commanded his creation to immolate itself, so that the military had nothing to study. And The Hulk remained in his Banner-controlled state until he found a solution and turned back into his human form.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Kirby klassics! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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