Monday, 6 September 2010

Incredible Hulk #160. Tiger Shark

Incredible Hulk #160, Tiger Shark at Niagara Falls(Cover from February 1973.)

"Nightmare In Niagara Falls!"

Written by Steve Englehart.
Drawn by Herb Trimpe.
Inked by Sal Trapani.
Lettering by John Costanza.
Colours by Clara Bear.

If Niagara Falls are a magnet for lovers, they seem pretty attractive to haters as well. Having found out about Betty Ross’s wedding to Glenn Talbot, our hero’s determined to reach their Niagara honeymoon and do the, “Hulk smash!” thing.

Sadly for such plans, finny felon Tiger Shark’s hiding in the falls, thinks the Hulk’s been sent to get him by the Sub-Mariner and attacks him. Determined that Betty doesn’t learn the Hulk’s still around, Talbot hurriedly rushes her away, and over the border into Canada, delaying the inevitable for just that bit longer.

It’s a startlingly straightforward tale. The Hulk goes to Niagara Falls and has a fight with Tiger Shark. There’s no twists, no turns. The tussle with Tiger Shark’s entertaining but the very definition of vanilla. The Hulk and his foe hit each other for a few pages and then the Hulk wins by doing exactly the same thing he did to beat the Rhino only two issues earlier.

That’s not to say it’s a bad tale. It's not. It’s perfectly enjoyable, and Glenn Talbot trying to get Betty away from the scene without her knowing the Hulk’s mere yards away adds a human drama to the outing but the fact the tale’s highlight is Bruce Banner’s flight to Niagara in a hired plane probably says it all about the workmanlike nature of the tale. If it was the first issue of The Incredible Hulk you’d ever picked up it wouldn’t put you off the strip, but nor would it turn you into a true-believer.

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