The Incredible Hulk Issue 2: Attack of the Toad Men

Since his evolution, it has been established that mere mortals are no match for the Hulk. And thanks for that, because we see Stan Lee’s creativity go berserk with Bruce Banner and Hulk. In this comic book, we are introduced to The Toad Men.


Plot:

By this time, Rick Jones and Bruce Banner have made peace with their role in life. Rick has to ensure that The Hulk does minimal damage when he returns every night, and ensure that Banner survives the violence that the Hulk puts himself through.

One day, the duo decide to make their headquarters in a strong, tailor made cave, And as they are deciding to make their life simpler, an alien race, The Toad Men, make their way onto earth. The Toad Men are of course, looking to capture earth, but before that they want to know how advanced or primitive the planet is.

To do this, they wish to find out who the most intelligent man on earth is, and their research shows them to Bruce. They use a special magnetic power to capture Bruce and Rick.

Back on their spaceship that trundles along Earth, they release Rick, because they are not the person that they want. Bruce turns into the Hulk and singlehandedly defeats the Toad Men. On earth, the army sees the alien spacecraft and shoots it down, bringing down a disheveled Bruce, who has by then turned back into his natural form. The Toad Men escape from an underground passage, and therefore Bruce is the alleged mastermind of what seems to be a plot to overtake the world.

As Bruce is in imprisoned, the leader of the Toad Men makes contact with General Ross, and after some threatening dialogue, Ross decides that they will fight to their last breath. Meanwhile, Bruce has transformed into Hulk and disappeared from the prison. Angered at General Ross for imprisoning him, he jumps and flies to Ross’s house to confront him, but finds Betty, whom he kidnaps.

This is the second time that Betty has a confrontation with The Hulk. This time, she asks him why he hates humanity, and The Hulk replies with another question. Why shouldn’t he hate the civilization that has only tortured and imprisoned him?

In fact, the Hulk is just about destroy his only hope towards a normal life when Rick comes in and tells him about the Toad Men. But any chances of a conversation are turned to naught when the Toad Men attack Earth and there are a series of earthquakes throughout the night.

Finally, with daylight comes Bruce, the only person who knows the power of the Gamma Ray gun, which he uses to send the Toad Men and their spaceship into another galaxy.


Discussion:

Reading the earlier issues of The Hulk, it seems impossible that the green monster has had such a long run. All the other comics that we see in those times are about some criminal or something small. But with Hulk bringing in concepts like aliens – of course, like Superman, it was definitely an awesome change that made comics more interesting.

Batman Issue 1: The Strange Case of Dr Strange

Batman got introduced to his arch enemy Joker in the very first issue of the comic book, and the second story puts Dr. Strange in the mix.


Plotline

The issue starts with Dr. Hugo Strange, who is put in prison by Batman himself, escaping from his current scenario in life with a couple of other prisoners. He also goes to the insane asylum and breaks out a couple of more asylum inmates. Batman gets a wind of this, and even before he begins to investigate, the town is attacked by giant monsters.

Much to their dismay, the police officers find out that these monsters aren’t hurt by bullets too. What kind of insane danger is facing the city now? Well, Batman decides to find out the answer to the question that must have surely cropped in every reader’s mind.

Batman witnesses the giants laying the town waste and then follows them to their lair, only to be captured by giants, who are none other than Dr. Hugo Strange’s creation. Dr. Strange reveals that he has created a concoction that allows men to grow high and mighty. And as they unleash havoc on the city, his other minions plan to rob banks. Make hay while the sun shines, as they say.

Batman is knocked down, and Dr. Strange injects Batman with the same serum and locks him up. But the Caped Crusader comes to his senses just in time – a few hours before the serum would work on him – and gets to work. Because the baddies took away his utility belt from him, Bat has to rely on the chemicals he has in his boot heel to blast through his makeshift prison. He then clobbers Hugo, and intelligently defeats all the monsters that are in Hugo’s lair.

Bat then takes his batplane and does away with the truck that was carrying the monsters, as well as those who were planning to break the bank. While nothing is told about the serum working on Batman,we are assuming Bat went to his cave and solved the issue for himself.


Discussion:

The second story in the Batverse introduces us to Hugo Strange, who makes his appearance in the DC Comics Game, Injustice: Gods Among Us too. Hugo is also a central character in the Batman: Arkham Origins game.

Again, this story takes he typical ‘mad scientist’ route, and is proof of how medical science was still a great mystery, and therefore a fear to the general public.

In this issue, Batman professes to killing at least three people, which is a far cry from the ‘oath of not killing’. This just goes to say how comics have evolved through time.