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  • atom | Male | Utah

"I have a lot of issues. . ."

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Longbox Junk - Hulk 2099 #1

476 views • 237 days ago • (0) Comments

Sorry about the delays lately, folks.  It's summertime and the hotel I manage is JUMPIN'.  I haven't been able to do much readin' and reviewin' this past month or so, and it's probably going to be the same until September.  To illustrate. . .I started writing this review on June 7.  Bear with me, good people!
 
BUT ENOUGH EXCUSES!
 
 
Welcome to Longbox Junk, the blog stuffed absolutely FULL of comic reviews NOBODY asked me to write!

 
I've been having a fun little trip to Marvel's dark future 2099 comics line lately. There's been ups and downs along the way, but I think it's about time to move along to something else.  
 
But I'm not done just yet!
 
Before we leave the world of 2099 I'm going to look at one more.  One of the last monthly 2099 comic titles before the entire line imploded, condensed, and ultimately fizzled out in 1996. . .coinciding with the imploding, condensing and ultimately fizzled out comic collecting boom of the 90s in general.
 
 
So let's strap ourselves into the Longbox Junk time machine for one more visit to the past. . .er. . .future?  Whichever one it is (probably both), let's go take a look at HULK 2099!
 
BUT!
 
Before we set out, a bit of a disclaimer.
 
Before doing this review, I didn't realize that Hulk 2099 #1 does NOT have the first appearance or origin of Hulk 2099 in it (except for a bit of a flashback skimming over it).  The first appearance of Hulk 2099 was in the first issue of a 2099 anthology series called 2099 Unlimited.
 
Actually I was pretty confused while reading this issue.  I distinctly remembered reading the origin of Hulk 2099, but the comic at hand wasn't ringing any bells and seemed to dump me right in the middle of a story that was already happening.  A little research showed me the error, and so I had a choice. . .either review 2099 Unlimited (which also has a Spider-Man 2099 story in it) OR stick to my guns and review this one.  
 
I ultimately decided to go ahead and stick with Hulk 2099 #1.  
 
The way I see it is that, if I were a comic fan in 1994 without the benefit of the internet to hold my hand every time I had a comic-related question, then THIS would be the comic I would assume had Hulk 2099's origin in it.  It SAYS #1 right there on the cover, right? RIGHT?
 
ANYWAY. . .
 
2099 Unlimited had such poor sales, I probably wouldn't even have known it existed anyway back when it was out.  It only lasted 10 issues, was bi-monthly, cost more than your average comic, and was pretty much propped up by Spider-Man 2099, as far as I can tell.  So I'm coming in here like it was 1994 and that awesome shiny green foil border cover happened to catch my eye on the rack.
 
SO. . .
 
Hulk 2099 is a bit of a strange bird in that the first issue of the series is actually a continuation of another series entirely. . .but we're gonna get through it okay.  It's gonna be okay.  I promise. Ready?
 
Let's do it!

HULK 2099 #1

Marvel 2099 (1994)

 
 
COVER: Malcolm Davis
 
NO EXIT
 
SCRIPT: Gerard Jones
PENCILS: Malcolm Davis
INKS: Chris Ivy
 
THE COVER:
 
Further reinforcing the illusion that this is actually the first appearance of Hulk 2099 is that shiny foil border that characterized all the other first appearances of the 2099 line. . .this time in glorious dark green! (2099 Unlimited doesn't have the foil border)
 
I REALLY like this cover a lot!  It has a dark, nightmarish, twisted feel to it. . .bold, thick inks contrasting with vibrant color really make this brutal portrait of the future Hulk stand out in a big way.  There's things popping out all over the place to catch the eye.  The colors really stand out to me.  This is one of my favorite 2099 covers, coming in a close third behind Doom 2099 and Ghost Rider 2099.
 
Let's get inside!
 
THE STORY:
 
We begin our tale by being thrown right into the action!  The Hulk is fighting his way through the security at a water reclamation plant outside of Los Angeles.  
 
He abandons the fight to take care of one last bit of  business his human alter-ego (Ruthless virtual reality studio executive John Eisenhart) has left before he can leave civilization behind and roam the desert.
 
 
That business is to take a young boy in his care (Gawain, the last of the now destroyed "Knights of the Banner") and get him to a safe place after John cashes out his contract to Lotusland Entertainment.
 
But as the two of them arrive at Lotusland, they are surprised to see employees fleeing the area.  It seems the company is under some sort of attack. . .
 
 
Leaving Gawain with the car, John tries to contact his superior, but finds the systems locked down.  Unable to terminate his contract and cash out his Lotusland shares, John finds himself facing an interrogation by the Corporate psychologist, demanding information about John's recent whereabouts for the new owner of Lotusland. . .who reminds John that even his very THOUGHTS are the property of the Corporation under his contract.
 
AND THEN WE SWITCH SCENES. . .
 
We follow the underground musician Quirk. . .who had accompanied John through the desert in search of Gawain during his first days as the Hulk.  She returns to her old Los Angeles neighborhood and seeks out Stevie, an old friend.  She's decided she's done with monsters and wants to get back to work singing.
 
But as the two discuss her future plans, Stevie's studio is attacked!  Stevie is killed and Quirk is taken captive as part of a "Hostile takeover".
 
 
SWITCHING SCENES BACK TO LOTUSLAND. . .
 
John endures interrogation, knowing it will be the only way to access the systems and cash out of his contract.  The questions cover John's recent activities and absence. . .and in doing so, we get a condensed flashback version of Hulk 2099's origin (as seen in detail in issues #1-#6 of 2099 Unlimited, which I guess I SHOULD have reviewed instead of this issue, but here we are.)
 
John Eisenhart was tasked with finding new material for Lotusland.  He followed rumors of a cult living in the desert outside of L.A. who were living a strange monastic lifestyle, called "The Knights of The Banner."
 
Upon investigating the cult, he discovered that the "Banner" was Bruce Banner, the original Hulk.  They refused to sell John the rights to their story, but Eisenhart befriended a young boy (Gawain) and through him learned that the Knights were carrying out highly illegal gamma ray experiments to try and recreate the original Hulk. . .
 
 
As the questioning continues, we learn that Eisenhart betrayed the Knights and reported them to the authorities. . .hoping to buy the story from THEM once they had captured and broken the Knights.
 
But what John didn't count on was the heavy resistance the Knights would put up.  They fought a pitched battle with the authorities and John was caught in the middle of it.  Learning of John's betrayal and seeing that there was no hope for the Knights, Gawain activated their gamma device, which exploded. . .turning John into the Hulk.
 
 
But John keeps THAT part of the story to himself, claiming that the device exploded and that was all.  He ends the interview, proclaiming that he wants nothing more to do with Lotusland and demanding to cash out his shares and contract.  But as he does, the sounds of combat outside the room can be heard!
 

A strange cybernetic-enhanced person bursts into the room, proclaiming himself to be Draco. . .the new owner of Lotusland.  John doesn't seem to be particularly impressed.  Lotusland security forces also burst into the room and a firefight erupts between Draco's cybernetic forces and Lotusland's humans.
 
John notices that Draco's forces look exactly like those he fought at the water reclamation plant and wonders why someone would take over a water plant AND an entertainment company, but he doesn't have time to wonder for long as the firefight becomes more violent and he decides to make a run for it.
 
 
As John runs back to the parking garage, Gawain hears the commotion and leaves the car against John's orders to remain.  A force of guards pursuing John fires on him as Gawain rushes toward the sound of fighting.  Seeing John is in danger, Gawain (being sworn to protect human life as a Knight of The Banner) throws himself in front of John, saving him but being killed in front of John's horrified eyes!
 
 
John's horror at Gawain's sudden, brutal death quickly turns to rage. . .and we know what happens when a Hulk gets angry, right?  Transforming into the twisted 2099 version of The Hulk while cradling Gawain's dead body, John howls Draco's name and immediately rushes back into Lotusland for vengeance!
 
 
Smashing his way through both Draco's and Lotusland's security forces, Hulk confronts Draco, demanding payment for Gawain's life right there and right now!
 
 
ANNNNNNND. . .
 
To be continued.
 
THE REVIEW:
 
Okay, so there we have it.  The first issue that's sort of not a first issue of Hulk 2099.
Let's break it on down!
 
Hmmmm. . .okay.  Well. . .yeah.  I guess the first impression I get is that maybe I SHOULD have reviewed 2099 Unlimited #1 instead.  This story just jumps right in and assumes readers have already been following Hulk's six part adventure through the other title.
 
To be fair, it was probably just as confusing for comic fans in 1994 who picked this up without reading 2099 Unlimited.  What I'm trying to say is that right off the bat this issue fails the first expectation I have for the first issue of a new series. . .does it introduce the characters and their situation in a new reader friendly way?
 
This would be a no.  It does not. 
 
Once again, I'll be fair. This issue DOES skim over Hulk's origin, and they're actually some of the best pages in the comic. . .but the whole side story of Quirk and Stevie is extremely confusing and out of place in the context of just THIS issue.  It fits just fine in the context of the story in progress told in 2099 Unlimited.  Other characters like Ty and Keisha (John's friends/rivals at Lotusland) just sort of appear without any explanation at all. . .unless you've read 2099 Unlimited, where they are first introduced.
 
So as a continuation of the story in 2099 Unlimited, this is great.  As the first issue of a new series. . .not so much.  Pretty disappointing, and I'm sure there were comic fans at the time that felt the same way.
 
Don't get me wrong.  This isn't a bad story at all.  It's well written.  The interrogation of John by the corporate psychologist stands out in particular.  He deftly tells the doctor what he wants him to hear while we see the true story unfold in the surrounding art.  It's very nicely done.
 
I like that we're getting yet ANOTHER point of view on the 2099 "universe".  This time that of the cutthroat West Coast entertainment corporations.  I also like that this version of the Hulk is skewed so that the human side is ruthless and manipulative while the monster side is heroic and caring.  It's an interesting twist on the Hulk mythos and one I wouldn't mind reading more of.
 
Which brings us to the second thing I expect of a first issue. . .does it make me want to read more?
 
That would be a yes.  This story throws us right into the middle of something that's already been going on, but there's enough meat on the bone for me to want to check out those 2099 Unlimited issues AND go forward into the Hulk 2099 issues after that.  This version of the Hulk is different enough that it sort of hooked me into wanting to see more.
 
On the art side of things. . .90s-tastic in the best way!  
 
Like the awesome cover, the art team of Malcolm Davis and Chris Ivy give us a twisted, slightly-exaggerated vision of the dark 2099 future with plenty of detail and bold inks. The art in this comic is really eye-catching and engaging.  
 
Credit due to the colors of Tom Smith as well.  There is a GREAT use of color in this story.   The colors are bold, rich and vibrant.   Everything pops and demands your attention.  For a great example, just look at the page I scanned above of Quirk meeting with Stevie.  So much color, interesting angles, great detail, cool panel shapes.  That carries through the whole issue. VERY nice. I like this art team a lot!
 
 

CONCLUSION

 
As a continuation of the story started in 2099 Unlimited, this does a great job.  As the first issue of a new series, not so great.  Hulk 2099 #1 dumps the reader right into the middle of a story that's already been going on.  There IS some background material to be found, but really, in order to enjoy this comic you need to have already read what came before it.
 
That aside, there's another problem with Hulk 2099 #1, and really, Hulk 2099 in general.  It's a pretty fundamental problem. A kind of "big picture" problem when looking at this series as part of the 2099 line in general. . .
 
The whole setup for Hulk 2099 is derivative of other 2099 titles. . .a corporate-type has a life-changing violent encounter that leads him to turn against the corrupt corpocracy that he previously was a part of, mirroring the same basic setup for Spider-Man 2099, Ravage 2099, and Punisher 2099. This would be the FOURTH time the 2099 line used the same storyline.
 
To make matters worse, there was ALREADY a savage transforming man-beast in Ravage 2099, who had recently been revamped into a sort of Wolverine/ Hulk hybrid character in an effort to prop up sales of the unpopular title.
 
It's sort of a shame, because I DID find the character (and art) compelling enough to make me want to read more, despite the title sort of dumping me into the deep end of the pool with a story already in progress.
 
Overall, I liked Hulk 2099 and can recommend it to Longbox Junk readers who want a different and interesting take on the Hulk.  But I wouldn't suggest starting with THIS issue.  You're going to want to read the origin story in 2099 Unlimited first and then continue into this series.  
 
It doesn't look like the 10 issues of Hulk 2099 have been collected, so you'll have to hunt down the individual issues.  This is one of the 2099 series that I don't see that often in the bargain bin for some reason, but they're out there to be found.  If you like the Hulk, give it a try!
 
Up Next. . .
 
I guess that's enough of Marvel 2099 for now.  
Time to move along to something else.
 
It's July, and I usually like to throw in some Captain America, so how about we do that? Yeah. . .Captain America! 
 
Be there or be square.

- read more

Welcome to Longbox Junk, where the comics are cheap and the reviews are free!

 
For those of you who have been sending me messages of concern about the frequency of Longbox Junk posts, I have good news and bad news:
 
The good news is that my health has taken a turn for the better and I'm feeling about 90% normal, with just a few bad days here and there now, and thank for THAT.  
 
The bad news is that it's summertime and the hotel I manage is SUPER busy!  I write these things during my down time at work, and this time of year that's pretty scarce.  One would THINK that with gas prices above five bucks a gallon that people would want to put off their interstate travel plans.
 
Nope.  Not happening.  I've observed before that Americans are a bit psychopathic about doing what they want, when they want (during the supposedly strict state Covid lockdown when our hotel's business didn't slow down one single bit), and this is just more evidence of that.  I have the distinct feeling that even if gas was TEN dollars a gallon, it wouldn't stop people from rolling out on vacation.
 
What I'm trying to say is that the long gaps between entries are pretty normal for this time of year.
 
BUT ENOUGH OF THAT!
 
I've got a retro review for you! Summertime may be super busy at work and a slow time for Longbox Junk, but it's also flea market and yard sale season.  I LOVE flea markets and yard sales!  For a Longbox Junker like me, it's a great time to pick up old comics at a price that won't break the bank.  Every weekend this time of year is like a treasure hunt!
 
CASE IN POINT. . .
 
The comic at hand is part of a stack of six from this series that I recently bought at a yard sale for the sweet price of five lousy bucks apiece.  Now THAT'S the kind of summertime Longbox Junkin' I'm talkin' about!  
 
I already have an issue of Marvel's "Rampaging Hulk" Magazine in my collection that's in black and white, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that THESE Hulk Magazines are printed in full, glorious SUPER MARVEL-COLOR!  Look! It even says so right there on the cover!
 
I did some checking, and thanks to the fine and friendly folk of the "Old Guys Who Like Old Comics" Facebook group, I learned that Marvel-Color was a process where the colored plates are shot from the colored artwork, making the artwork pop in a sharp and bright way that was rare at the time.  All I know is that it REALLY looks good!  
 
And not for nothin' but if you're looking for a comic book group second to none, go check out "Old Guys Who Like Old Comics" on Facebook.  No, really. . .go.  I'll wait.
 
ANYWAY. . .
 
Let's crank up the Longbox Junk time machine and head back to 1979 for a look inside this awesomely colored comic book magazine I found at a random yard sale, shall we?  WE SHALL!

THE HULK MAGAZINE #14

Marvel (1979)

 

COVER: Bob Larkin
 
THE COVER:
 
At the heart of things, The Hulk is a nuclear age horror story and this cover showcases exactly that.  I like it a lot!  The black border really makes the brilliant colors of the title and the feature text pop.  At the center of it all is the Hulk!
 
 Between the black sky and lightning framing the raging beast, to the torch-wielding villagers below, THIS is a fantastic image!  It's full of detail and atmosphere. There's NOTHING I don't like about this cover.  It's a beautiful example of some great Bronze Age comic art.  
 
Let's get inside this thing!
 
THE STORIES:
 
There's two big stories in this magazine for your 1979 buck and a half!  We've got The Hulk leading things off and a Moon Knight backup.  Let's take a look at each one in their own turn. . .
 
A Cure For Chaos!
 
SCRIPT: Doug Moench
PENCILS: Ron Wilson
INKS: Rudy Nebres
COLORS: Steve Oliff
 
Our tale begins as Doctor Robert Bruce Banner (AKA The Hulk) arrives in Switzerland.  We follow the thoughts of this gentle man of science as he dwells on the Gamma radiation accident that turned him into the monster known as The Hulk.  
 
He's in Europe trying to find one Doctor Hans Feldstadt.  A scientist who has recently won the Nobel Prize for his research into Gamma radiation.  It's a long shot, but Banner is willing to take any chance to rid himself of the monster inside him!
 

Unfortunately, upon arrival, Banner discovers that Doctor Feldstadt has departed Zurich for some unknown reason.  Desperately, Banner seizes upon information that Feldstadt may be in the village of Jungfrau, and so he continues to follow Feldstadt's trail to the Swiss mountains. . .

 
But once again, Banner finds only dead ends.  With Feldstadt seemingly nowhere to be found, Banner decides to make his way to a mysterious castle overlooking the village where a Doctor Klein is said to be in residence, hoping that Doctor Feldstadt may have been acquainted with Klein. . .

 
At the castle, Banner immediately recognizes the man who opens the door as the missing Doctor Feldstadt.  
 
As Banner demands to be let in and assist Feldstadt in his research, he learns that the Doctor has taken on a false name and hidden himself far from prying eyes in order to continue his research in peace. . .the Nobel Prize has brought him too much unwanted attention.
 
Mistaking Banner's desperation for the desire to ride the coattails of the famous scientist, Feldstadt turns him away.  Banner's persistent attempts to get inside the castle cause Feldstadt to call the police.  As Banner gets more frustrated, he feels the change coming over him!

 
Banner changes into the Hulk and begins to rampage through the village, leaving a trail of destruction as he searches for the one person who was kind to Banner, Katrina, the serving girl at the local inn.

 
The next morning, Banner returns to Feldstadt's castle.  After witnessing the destruction from the night before, Feldstadt has come to realize that the strange visitor is the infamous Doctor Banner.  
 
Feldstadt sees the great opportunity before him to study the most famous example of Gamma irradiation and invites Banner to join him in his research. . .

 
But as time goes by, Banner is dismayed to find that Feldstadt is less interested in reversing the effects and damage of Gamma radiation, but more in discovering new effects. 
 
 Feldstadt explains that all avenues must be explored in a scientific manner, but Banner becomes frustrated and convinced that Feldstadt will use him to accidentally create another monster like him. 
 
 Banner realizes he won't find the answers he was looking for with Feldstadt and leaves.

 
That night, Banner reconsiders his hasty departure.  Feldstadt may not be pursuing the exact thing Banner is looking for, but his research may still be an important step in ridding himself of The Hulk.  Banner decides to return to the castle and apologize.  
 
But as he dines at the inn, Banner overhears a group of villagers talking about attacking the castle and driving Feldstadt out. . .believing him and his strange experiments to be the cause of the monster that ran rampant through the village the night before.
 
Banner rushes to the castle to warn Feldstadt of the danger.  Breaking in and making his way to the laboratory, Banner is shocked to see Feldstadt engaged in some sort of experiment on the serving girl from the inn, Katrina!  

 
As Banner berates Feldstadt for using human guinea pigs in his experiments, Feldstadt counters with the fact that only by experimenting on humans can he research the effects of Gamma rays on humans, which may possibly lead to Banner's cure.  
 
Torn between the two moral opposites, Banner suddenly remembers the villagers and their plan to attack.  As he warns Feldstadt, they arrive and surround the castle.  
 
Enraged by the villagers, Feldstadt grabs a pistol and begins shooting!  In response, they throw lit torches into the castle windows, trying to burn Feldstadt out!

 
As Banner rescues Katrina, the flames spread and ignite chemicals in the laboratory, causing the Gamma ray machine to explode, exposing Feldstadt to a massive dose of radiation.  To Banner's horror, Doctor Feldstadt transforms into a brutish monstrosity!

 
The creature that was once Doctor Feldstadt attacks Banner, savagely beating him until he can't help but to transform into The Hulk!  Unfortunately for Feldstadt, he can't match The Hulk's power and ferocity, and after a short battle he is easily defeated by the Jade Giant!

 
After defeating the Feldstadt creature, Hulk saves him from the burning castle before leaving the bewildered villagers behind. . .

 
But the next day, Banner learns that the radiation and the beating the Hulk dealt out to him were too much and Feldstadt has died, taking his secrets to the grave, since his laboratory and notes were destroyed in the fire.  Banner moves along, leaving Switzerland with little hope of ever ridding himself of the curse known as The Hulk.


The End.
 
THE REVIEW:
 
I said in my look at the cover that at its heart, The Hulk is a nuclear age horror story. . .a Jekyll and Hyde tale shadowed by the looming Cold War fear of radiation.  This tale leans hard into the horror aspect of The Hulk, and I liked it quite a bit!
 
We have a mysterious castle overlooking a mountain village, a mad scientist overtaken by his own experiments, and a battle between two rampaging monsters while a mob of villagers burn the castle down around them!  It's just a great little gothic romp that I found very enjoyable.
 
Is it the greatest story I've ever read?  Not even close, but I really liked the way Doug Moench pays homage to classic horror tropes here.  I mean. . .there's literally torch-wielding villagers!  
 
If you're a fan of old-fashioned horror movies, then this story will bring a smile to your face.  There's no super-heroics here, just clandestine experiments carried out in a dank castle and the grim misunderstood monster called The Hulk.  
 
Let's talk about the art.
 
I mentioned the "Marvel-Color" brag on the cover, so let's take a look at what they're talking about.  Frankly, I'm impressed!  Just LOOK at the pages scanned above.  The colors really are sharp and brilliant, making each page pop!  
 
Compared to other Marvel comics I have from 1979, the color here is simply on another whole different level.  I'd say that Marvel had a right to brag about their Super Marvel-Color process!
 
Ron Wilson's art takes full advantage of the sharper color process, filling each page with wonderful detail (Just look at the scans above of Feldstadt's laboratory for some prime examples) that perfectly complements the dark science fiction horror tale being told.  
 
A very nicely done story all around.
 
Now for some Moon Knight!
 
Countdown To Dark
 
SCRIPT: Doug Moench
PENCILS: Bill Sienkiewicz, with Gene Colan & Keith Pollard (Story recap pages)
INKS: Bob Mcleod, with Frank Giacoia &Tony DeZuniga (Story recap pages)
COLORS: Steve Oliff
 
This story is actually the final chapter of a story continued from the previous two issues.  Unfortunately, I don't have those issues.  The good news is that Marvel was kind enough to provide a couple of nice recap pages. . .
 

 
To boil it down to the gravy. . .While on the hunt for a stolen Egyptian artifact, Marc Spector (AKA Moon Knight) has stumbled into a terrorist plot to blackmail New York City with a nuclear bomb.
 
Not knowing who the head of the plot is, Moon Knight's only lead is a planned hijacking.  He joins the hijackers in his identity as Marc Spector, international mercenary. . .and that brings us to the events of this issue.
 

We begin our tale in progress, as Marc Spector is shocked to find Moon Knight attacking the terrorist group he has infiltrated!  Elsewhere, we learn that a mysterious man called Lupinar is aware of Spector's infiltration AND his identity as Moon Knight, and that he is behind the deception.  

 
As Marc Spector fights the fake Moon Knight, the terrorists open fire and believe they've killed both Spector and Moon Knight, leaving them both for dead.  But Spector is protected by his armored Moon Knight costume beneath his clothes, and he resumes his pursuit of the terrorists. . .

 
The terrorists split up and Moon Knight contacts his comrade Frenchie in the skies above, tasking him to follow one of the cars while Moon Knight rides unnoticed on the roof of the other, hoping the terrorists will lead him to the head of the nuclear plot. . .

 
After a day spent in hiding, watching the terrorists as they go to ground and wait for orders, night falls and they are on the move again with Moon Knight following.  His hunch pays off as the car he's been following heads to a massive fortress-like mansion.  Moon Knight takes out the terrorists in the car as Frenchie circles overhead and tries to contact N.E.S.T. (a government nuclear emergency response agency) with their location.

 
Moon Knight gains entry into the mansion and easily takes down Lupinar's assistant, Smelt.  As he explores the halls of the building, not knowing exactly who or what he's looking for, Moon Knight is surprised to open a door and find himself being invited into the room for a glass of wine!
 
A mysterious figure in the shadows informs Moon Knight that not only has he been expecting him, but all that has transpired has been in the service of luring Moon Knight to the very place he stands!  The figure steps into the light and is revealed to be a twisted wolf-like monstrosity of a man. . .

 
The man, Lupinar, rails against a world that has rejected him because of his condition.  He reveals to Moon Knight that his plan was to take the ransom and detonate the nuclear bomb anyway. . .and then burn the billion dollars.  But once he learned Moon Knight was involved, he knew he had finally met a worthy challenge, and so lured him to the mansion. 
 
As Frenchy circles above, trying to contact N.E.S.T., Lupinar draws two swords, throwing one to Moon Knight and challenging him to a duel!

 
As Moon Knight and his opponent clash, Lupinar gloats that should Moon Knight defeat him, his terrorist henchmen have orders to demand his release from custody or they will destroy New York, so even if he does lose, he will still win in the end.  
 
Little does he know that Frenchie has managed to contact N.E.S.T. and they have apprehended the remaining terrorists and now have the mansion surrounded.
 

 
When Moon Knight informs Lupinar of the failure of the nuclear plot and his intention to take him alive and into custody, Lupinar throws himself onto Moon Knight's sword, preferring to kill himself than to be taken prisoner.  Moon Knight is saddened by the outcome and leaves the mansion. . .

 
Outside, N.E.S.T. has finished rounding up the terrorists and begin disabling their nuclear bomb.  Disgusted by being forced to kill again, Moon Knight calls for Frenchie to pick him up and take him home.  His work is done here.
 
The End.
 
THE REVIEW:
 
I'm a big Moon Knight fan and was excited to see some early Moon Knight stories were to be found in these Hulk Magazines. . . especially when I saw that the classic Moon Knight team of Moench and Sienkiewicz were on the job!
 
I have to say that I wasn't disappointed.  Okay. . .maybe a little bit because I don't have the rest of this story to enjoy, and only have the conclusion to it.  Reading this story brings back memories of the great original Moon Knight series by Moench and Sienkiewicz.  Just good, solid superhero action with a psychological twist.  
 
I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was reading this story.  THIS is the Moon Knight I remember and like the most! There's something to be said for changing a character to keep up to date for new readers, but sometimes you just want to get back to the basics, and THIS is classic Moon Knight right here.
 
The story itself sort of connects with the classic horror tropes of the Hulk main story by giving us Moon Knight swordfighting a werewolf (sort of) in a spooky mansion.  It's kind of a Halloween-themed issue, even though it came out in April.  
 
As for the art, what can I say?  It's Bill Freakin' Sienkiewicz before he went insane and just started scribbling all over the place.  In other words, it's rock solid and made even better by the same SUPER MARVEL-COLOR process that gave the lines of the Hulk story such a fine, sharp look.
 
Overall, even though this is just one piece of a multi-issue story, it really makes me want to dig out my original run of Moon Knight and read it all over again!
 

CONCLUSION

 
I'm gonna come right out and say that I really enjoyed this magazine and, in my humble opinion, it's a great little nugget of 1970s Longbox Junk gold!  
 
The first story was a very nice gothic tale spotlighting the desperation of Doctor Banner to rid himself of the Hulk.  Even to the point of working with a mad scientist.  It leaned hard into the nuclear age horror story aspect of the Hulk and paid homage to classic horror tropes.  It's the kind of Hulk story I never knew I wanted until I read it!
 
AND THEN. . .
 
We ALSO get an early Moon Knight tale from the classic Moon Knight team of Moench and Sienkiewicz!  Even though it was the conclusion of a multi-part story and I wasn't able to read the whole thing, it hit me HARD with nostalgia for some old school Moon Knight.
 
The two together provided me with a very enjoyable reading experience! The stories both hold up well, even 43 years down the road. I can highly recommend this magazine to fans of the Hulk, Moon Knight, or both.  Even if you aren't big fans of the characters, this issue is worth a look for the beautiful, sharp Bronze Age art alone.  Every page is a feast for the eyes!  Just LOOK at the scans above!
 
Overall, if you're a fan of the Hulk or Moon Knight, you WANT this magazine!  I can't really think of anything to complain about beyond a bit of disappointment that the Moon Knight story wasn't complete.  I give Hulk Magazine #14 the official Longbox Junk Gold Seal of Approval!
 
Up Next. . .
 
Not really sure.  I've been piling up a LOT of Longbox Junk!
This has been a great year for comic hunting.
 
But no matter WHAT I throw down next. . .
 
Be there or be square!

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Welcome back to Longbox Junk, home of comic reviews nobody ever asked me for!

It's October!  Leaves are on the ground and there's a chill in the air.  Halloween is just around the corner, so I like to have a little Longbox Junk Halloween fun this time of year by spotlighting some horror comics in my (and my daughter's) collection.

This time out, I'm stepping outside of the bargain bin just a bit and taking a look at the first issue of a Marvel book that sort of took the comic fandom by surprise.  I'm talking about Al Ewing and Joe Bennett' series,  "Immortal Hulk" (now on issue 24, as of this writing).

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