The Rampaging Hulk
Cover of The Rampaging Hulk #1 (Jan. 1977).
Art by Ken Barr
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
  • (vol. 1)
    (vol. 2)
FormatOngoing series
Publication date
  • (vol. 1)
    January 1977 – June 1981
    (vol. 2)
    August 1998 – January 1999
No. of issues
  • (vol. 1): 27
    (vol. 2): 6
Main character(s)The Hulk
Creative team
Written by
  • (vol. 2)
    Tom Smith
Collected editions
Essential Rampaging Hulk Vol. 1ISBN 0-7851-2699-6
Essential Rampaging Hulk Vol. 2ISBN 0-7851-4255-X

The Rampaging Hulk is a comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The first volume was a black and white magazine published by Curtis Magazines (an imprint of Marvel) from 1977–1978. With issue #10, it changed its format to color and its title to The Hulk!, and ran another 17 issues before it was canceled in 1981. It was a rare attempt by Marvel to mix their superhero characters with the "mature readers" black-and-white magazine format.

With the change to color and the title to The Hulk!, the magazine became Marvel's attempt to cash in on the popularity of The Incredible Hulk TV series, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, both of whom were prominently featured and interviewed[1][2] over the course of the magazine's run, as was executive producer Kenneth Johnson.[3]

The series had a second run of six issues from August 1998 to January 1999.

Publication history

The Rampaging Hulk ran for nine issues from January 1977 to June 1978.[4] With issue #10 (Aug. 1978), the bi-monthly magazine changed its title to The Hulk! and became a full-color book utilizing "Marvelcolor".[5]

The magazine featured fully painted covers by such artists as Ken Barr, Earl Norem, and Joe Jusko. Norem's work on the series included a darkly-lit close-up of the Hulk's face, looking angry and gritting his teeth with one of his fists raised, done for The Hulk! #17 (Oct. 1979).

Artists such as Walt Simonson,[6] John Buscema, Howard Chaykin, John Romita Sr., John Romita Jr. (doing some of his first professional work), Keith Pollard, Jim Starlin, Joe Jusko, Bill Sienkiewicz, Val Mayerik, Herb Trimpe, Brent Anderson, and Gene Colan provided interior artwork; while writers such as Starlin, Doug Moench,[6] Roger Stern, Dennis O'Neil, and Archie Goodwin took on the scripting chores. The coloring of the color issues was done by Steve Oliff,[7] using a system developed by Rick Marschall for the magazine.[8]

Through its run, the magazine published backup features starring Ulysses Bloodstone (issues #1–6 and 8) the Man-Thing (issue #7)[9] and Shanna the She-Devil (issue #9).[10] The Moon Knight was featured in issues #11–15, #17–18, and #20, featuring some of Bill Sienkiewicz's early work starting in #13,[11] when his style was similar to that of Neal Adams.

The story "A Very Personal Hell" in issue #23 (Oct. 1980) has been criticized for its depiction of an attempted rape of Bruce Banner and the use of anti-gay stereotypes.[12][13][14]

With issue #24, the magazine returned to black-and-white, though it published the last Dominic Fortune backup story in full color.[15] It was canceled with issue #27 (June 1981).[5]

A six-issue comic book series in color, also titled The Rampaging Hulk, was published from August 1998 to January 1999 by Marvel. Most of the stories were written by Glenn Greenberg with art by Rick Leonardi and Dan Green.[16]

Editorial direction

The stories in The Rampaging Hulk were set between the end of his original, short-lived solo title and the beginning of his feature in Tales to Astonish.[17] A problem with this was pointed out by fans in the letter columns. Despite the stories being placed in the past, they depicted the Hulk's character as he was contemporaneously, e.g. speaking in his "Hulk smash!" pidgin English, changing to and from Bruce Banner based on his emotions, and wearing tattered purple trousers; whereas in the claimed time frame, he should have spoken fluent, if gangsterish, English, transformed via a gamma ray machine, and wore neat purple trunks.

With its re-titling to The Hulk!, the series turned to using stories set contemporaneously with the majority of Marvel publications (including its sister title The Incredible Hulk). It also adopted the same formula of the popular Incredible Hulk TV series: human interest-driven, with no supporting cast, no supervillains, and no guest stars.[18]

Although The Rampaging Hulk / The Hulk! was intended to feature stand-alone stories, some characters (such as the extraterrestrial Bereet) crossed over into the Incredible Hulk title. Bereet appeared in issue #269 (March 1982) of the regular series to explain away the Rampaging Hulk series as fictions she created for the entertainment of her homeworld's residents.[19] This changed the Rampaging Hulk stories into metafiction.

Other Marvel mainstays also appeared, with the X-Men making an appearance in issue #2[20] and the Avengers in issue #9.[21]

Collected editions


  1. ^ Anonymous. "Bill Bixby Tells What It's Like to Play TV's Bruce Banner," The Hulk #10, August 1978, Marvel Comics, pp. 45–49.
  2. ^ Anonymous. "Green Muscles," The Hulk #12, December 1978, Marvel Comics, pp. 29–32.
  3. ^ Swires, Steven. "This Man Tell Hulk What to Do!", The Hulk #20, 1980, Marvel Comics, pp. 38–42.
  4. ^ The Rampaging Hulk at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ a b The Hulk! at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ a b Sanderson, Peter (2008). "1970s". In Gilbert, Laura (ed.). Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 178. ISBN 978-0756641238. In these stories, written by Doug Moench and drawn by Walter Simonson, the Hulk contended against an invading race of aliens called the Krylorians.
  7. ^ Image Comics: The Road to Independence
  8. ^ X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Extended Cut
  9. ^ Gerber, Steve (w), Starlin, Jim (p), Wiacek, Bob (i). "Among the Great Divide!" The Rampaging Hulk, no. 7 (February 1978).
  10. ^ Gerber, Steve (w), DeZuniga, Tony (p), DeZuniga, Tony (i). "The Wrath of Raga-Shah!" The Rampaging Hulk, no. 9 (June 1978).
  11. ^ "The Hulk! #13 (February 1979)". Grand Comics Database.
  12. ^ Cronin, Brian (February 23, 2010). "Things That Turned Out Bad – Bruce Banner Has a Rough Visit to the Y". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015.
  13. ^ Gross, Larry (2002). Up from Invisibility: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Media in America. New York, New York: Columbia University Press . p. 213. ISBN 978-0231119528. Bruce Banner shower rape.
  14. ^ Leogrande, Cathy (2015). "Live and Let Die: Jim Wilson, the Hulk and AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s". In Darowski, Joseph J. (ed.). The Ages of the Incredible Hulk: Essays on the Green Goliath in Changing Times. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 170–171. ISBN 978-0786497331.
  15. ^ O'Neil, Dennis (w), Chaykin, Howard (p), Chaykin, Howard (i). "Slay Bells" The Hulk!, no. 25 (February 1981).
  16. ^ The Rampaging Hulk vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database
  17. ^ Warner, John. "The Rampaging Editorial", The Rampaging Hulk #1, January 1977, pp. 40–41.
  18. ^ Greenberg, Glenn (February 2014). "The Televised Hulk". Back Issue! (70). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing: 23.
  19. ^ Mantlo, Bill (w), Buscema, Sal (p), Buscema, Sal (i). "Enter: The Hulk-Hunters!" The Incredible Hulk, vol. 2, no. 269 (March 1982).
  20. ^ Moench, Doug (w), Simonson, Walt (p), Alcala, Alfredo (i). "And Then...the X-Men" The Rampaging Hulk, no. 2 (April 1977).
  21. ^ Moench, Doug (w), Buscema, Sal (p), Mesina, Rudy (i). "To Avenge the Earth" The Rampaging Hulk, no. 9 (June 1978).