In addition, Kirby has gone on record as saying he conceived The Hulk as "a handsome Frankenstein". And who didn't watch the early Boris Karloff movies half-wishing the monster would somehow, against all odds, come out on top and be viewed as a hero? Further, elements from several 1950's science-fiction movies found their way into the mix, particularly THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (where a man is caught in the blast of a nuclear explosion, somehow survives, but turns into a monster in the process), and EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS (check out some of the characters in the film for parallels, especially the military types, the scientist, etc.). And then of course, there's the ever-present Cold War "red scare".
(8-17-2013) I just dug out the files for these and have done ADDITIONAL clean-ups. So if you've come here before, these are going to look BETTER than they did before! (Pass it on...)
THE INCREDIBLE HULK 1 / art by Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman (May 1962)
THE INCREDIBLE HULK 2 / art by Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko (July 1962)
art by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (September 1962)
FANTASTIC FOUR 12 / art by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (March 1963)
THE INCREDIBLE HULK 6 / art by STEVE DITKO (March 1963)
Finally, as a extra treat... many comics fans are not aware that artists, even those with "cartoony" styles, often base their creations on REAL people. It's even more hidden when they're followed over the years by an army of other illustrators, who are not aware of the original models, or simply fail to stay "on model", and compounded by decades going by and later generations of fans who simply have no knowledge of the people who served as inspiration, or even of the original creators themselves.
With this in mind, I've been slowly trying to track down the people I believe many of these characters were based on. In the case of this series, I've managed to find the following...
BRUCE BANNER (Burt Lancaster)
I just discovered Betty Ross the other day, after re-reading HULK #2 and flipping again thru HULK #1. In some panels, she was so similar, it was downright spooky! Imagine my delight when I was able, very quickly, to find a photo where she even had the same HAIR as Jack Kirby had drawn in HULK #1.
Rick Jones I mostly noticed from his appearance in TALES OF SUSPENSE, while Glenn Talbot came from his 1st appearance. Kirby never drew him quite like this, because Talbot was created by Steve Ditko!
I remember, when I was re-reading this story in TALES TO ASTONISH #61 a few years ago, seeing the above panel, and thinking, "Oh my GOD!! it's LEE VAN CLEEF!!" Ever since, I can hear his voice in my head when I read Talbot's dialogue. He never quite looked this recognizable afterwards, and when Jack Kirby returned several issues later Talbot became a more "generic" character.
The last one I added here was actually Bruce Banner. This suggestion was courtesy of Christian Alexis Olmeda, over at the Jack Kirby Fan Group (before that group went to HELL). It wasn't one that I might have ever thought of myself, as I tend to see Burt Lancaster in "action" roles, but then I found this photo from 1957, and whatta ya know? That IS pretty close to what Kirby drew in HULK #1.
(Continued in Tales To Astonish, Part 4)
Artwork (C) Marvel Comics
Raw Scans supplied by Barry Pearl
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa