“Hulk #6 p 2” (March 1963)
by Steve Ditko (1927-2018)
15 x 18 in., ink on paper
General Ross wants to test fly a new experimental rocket, but he needs Bruce Banner to initiate the final sequences. Banner, however, is currently missing. Present is Rick Jones, who is worried about why Banner hasn’t returned to the base. He soon discovers that Banner is still trapped in the form of the Hulk.
Fifty Years Ago!
August 1963… Jackie Kennedy gave birth as a First Lady in office…martial law is declared in South Vietnam…Allan Sherman releases “Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda”… the X-15 rocket plane achieves a world record altitude of 354,200 feet… US performs a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site… and MLK delivers his “I have a dream speech” addressing civil rights march at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
And the first run of the Hulk comic, which only lasts 6 issues, comes to an end. This was the only one drawn by Ditko.
This is a primo page, featuring all of the main characters, a transformation that did not take place, and some hulk-ish action. Another one of the crown jewels. And if memory serves, I think this is the oldest Marvel Super-heroes page that I own.
The “Marvel Age of Comics” began with the publication of Fantastic Four #1 in November, 1961. Ant-Man was introduced in Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan 1962). Hulk started in May, 1962. Thor showed up in Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962), Spider-Man popped into Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) and the Human Torch from the FF got his own series in Strange Tales #101 (October 1962).
In March 1963, the last issue of the first run of Hulk (page featured here) was published, as was the first Iron Man story, in Tales of Suspense #39.
Later that year, the Avengers and the X-Men both showed up in September 1963, and Dr. Strange rounded up the year (Strange Tales #114, November 1963).
Over the next few years, more “Fifty Years Ago!” milestones will be passed.