Plotted by Steve Englehart.
Written by Gerry Conway.
Drawn by Herb Trimpe.
Inked by Jack Abel.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by G Roussos.
Poor old Talia. First Jim Wilson drags her two thousand miles to see a military base (surely a thing every fashion conscious young lady dreams of seeing), and then he uses her as a decoy to distract two of the deadliest villains the world has ever known, while he tries to defuse a Gamma bomb. There’s no denying he knows how to show a girl a good time.
Still, she should take heart from the fact she’s not the only one who’s travelled a vast distance to be there because the Hulk’s stowed away in a crate on a plane and, like them, finds himself in a Hulkbuster Base that’s been taken over by the Rhino and the Abomination who plan to blow it - and him - sky high.
Fortunately, Jim saves the day by defusing the bomb, leaving the Hulk to sensationally defeat the Rhino and Abomination by doing…
…nothing. In one of the great twists, the Hulk beats his foes simply by getting bored and walking off, leaving his two onrushing opponents to crash into each other, no doubt bringing on yet another of the Rhino’s comas.
Though the idea of the Rhino and Abomination teaming up’s the sort of thing to get a fan’s pulse racing, it does seriously undermine the Abomination as a foe for the Hulk. The Rhino’s always been somewhat out of his depth against the jade behemoth but the Abomination’s a whole other matter. There was a time when he could defeat the Hulk with his bare hands. Later, he could fight him to a standstill. Now he’s reduced to needing a partner, and even then deciding that’s not enough and that he’ll need a bomb as well. It’s a shame. The Abomination’s one of my favourite villains and his descent into being little more than an irritant to the Hulk’s a waste of a perfectly good enemy.
The team-up of two foes aside, it’s a pleasing but straightforward tale that somewhat trivialises its villains and to some degree recycles the plots of older issues like Incredible Hulk #139, where Jim Wilson also sneaks into a military complex and saves the day by using instinct and dumb luck to disable a deadly machine.
It does though give us a closing scene where Thunderbolt Ross seems to have finally learned his lesson to not hate the Hulk.
Will that lesson stay learned?
It never has in the past.