Saturday, 21 November 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #120. The Hulk in Canada

Amazing Spider-Man #120, the Incredible Hulk, Canada
(Cover from May 1973.)

"The Fight And The Fury!"

Words by Gerry Conway.
Pencils by Gil Kane.
Inks by John Romita/Tony Mortellaro.
Art assist by P. Reinman.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by Stan G.

Hard to believe that something the size of the Hulk might quickly become an irrelevance but, oddly enough, that's exactly what he is this issue. After all the big build up, last month, to the fight between the not-so-jolly green giant and the webbed wonder, this issue, he doesn't really need to be in it at all.

The core of the tale is this; Peter Parker goes to meet the mysterious lawyer Mssr Rimbaud, only for the solicitor to be shot before he can tell Peter what the big deal with his aunt is. All of which makes Spider-Man's twin meetings with the Hulk so much padding. Remove them and the outcome of the tale would be exactly the same. It's inevitable I suppose. Whatever Spidey's many attributes, he's never going to win a fight with the Hulk, so any action between the two can only be used as a temporary diversion in a wider plot.

On the art front, Gil Kane's back. His layouts this issue don't seem as imaginative as they have in the past but, of course, they still have all their usual polish and slickness.

Something that's oddly pleasing to me is the final panel on the page where the Hulk uproots a column and flings it at our hero. The depiction of the Hulk in that frame is remarkably Ditko-esque. I'm sure it's pure coincidence, just a natural overlap in styles but still, it's oddly pleasing to be reminded, at this late stage, of the strip's original artist.

How unlucky is Peter Parker? It's the second issue running where he happens to be in a vehicle that just happens to blunder straight into the path of the gamma-spawned monster. I mean, really, what're the chances?

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