"Shadow On The Land!"
Written by Len Wein.
Art by Herb Trimpe.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by Glynis Wein.
Some might argue a strip's scraping the bottom of the barrel when its hero starts having to fight his own shadow, but it's The Incredible Hulk and, as I've said before, the less likely things get the more enjoyable it seems to become.
Here, Kaa, an alien would-be ruler of Earth, takes possession of the Hulk's shadow in order to further his evil plans. Sadly that's as far as his plot for world domination gets as, instead of setting off to conquer the Earth, he just spends all day long fighting the Hulk. As plans go it doesn't seem altogether thought through and I'm not sure from the story whether Kaa's even able to physically separate himself completely from the Hulk, meaning his plan always seemed to be on rocky ground.
In the end, the fiendish shadow's defeated when someone switches on some floodlights and he disintegrates in the multi-directional glare. It's the second issue running a villain from the days of Marvel's monster mags has been revived, and the second issue running said villain's been defeated by an agency other than the Hulk, so repetition could be said to be setting in. Still, the sight of the Hulk fighting his own shadow's fun and, even if there's really not much point to the story beyond that gimmick, it passes the time engagingly enough.
Letterers don't tend to get noticed too much - at least not by me - but credit has to be given to Artie Simek who expands on the theme by giving the Hulk's shadow black speech balloons with white dialogue. I don't know if this was his idea or if it was also used in Kaa's first appearance way back when but, either way, it's effective.
But the real drama this issue comes not from the Hulk's scrap but from the tale's coda, as Bruce Banner shows up at Hulkbuster Base only to be shot, in the second-last panel, by Colonel Armbruster.
I always said he was up to no good.