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Top Five Hulk vs. Thing Covers

Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at the best covers featuring the Thing versus the Hulk!

Enjoy!

5. Fantastic Four #166

You’d be amazed by how many Thing vs. Hulk covers, no matter how cool the story was within, have the same straightforward angle of the set-up. This Rich Buckler/Dan Adkins cover is one of the more interesting ones.

4. Hulk/Thing: Hard Knocks #2

Pretty much all of the Jae Lee covers for this series were great. I almost considered doing #2 AND #3 for the 4 and 5 spots.

3. The Thing #3

This Andrea DiVito cover technically features Thing and Hulk ROBOTS, but while I guess I’d disqualify it as a Thing/Hulk STORY, I think it still works as a COVER. And as a cover, it’s very clever.

2. Fantastic Four #25

The first Hulk/Thing fight and a great cover by Jack Kirby and George Roussos.

1. Fantastic Four #112

The classic John Buscema and Frank Giacoia cover that pretty much inspired tons and tons of covers.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

37 Comments

I correctly guessed your number one choice. The green on black & orange on black works so well. I’m surprised I’ve never seen other subsequent covers with the Hulk or Thing against a solid black background.

As an aside, IBM engineers were aware of the power of green on black as used for the 3270 mainframe terminals. The green font on the black screen was easy on the eye. Takes me back to my first job as a scientist in the early 90s.

Fantastic Four Unlimited #4 springs to my mind. http://tinyurl.com/2vc7vcf

(The story is awful but I think the cover is certainly worthy of consideration.)

I should also mention FF #320, because it’s a double-variant on the traditional contest: a non-standard Hulk (gray Hulk) vs. a non-standard Thing (pineapple-creature Thing). http://tinyurl.com/22ok2yr

Fantastic Four Unlimited #4 springs to my mind. (The story is awful but I think the cover is certainly worthy of consideration.)

I should also mention FF #320, because it’s a double-variant on the traditional contest: a non-standard Hulk (gray Hulk) vs. a non-standard Thing (pineapple-creature Thing).

I think the first meeting in FF #12 has a wonderful cover.

That Jae Lee cover is really awful, though. Why is the Thing gnawing on the Hulk’s eyebrow?

A big thumbs down for that Hard Knocks cover!

I like the rest…especially the subtle underselling on FF #25 ;-)

What the hell is going on in that Hard Knocks cover? Is he eating the Hulk!?

To me, the cover to FF #25 is still the absolute best. It conveys so well that the Thing is not as big and strong as the Hulk, but still confronts him in battle without hestitation, head to head. Great stuff.
And I’ll my own WTF on that Hard Knocks cover. Seriously, what’s going on there? He’s either eating Hulk, or it’s foreplay for some pretty kinky, and brutally rough, sex.

The Hard Knocks cover is awesome! Very stylized rendition of the two bruisers and such a different pose from the cliched punching each other covers that the rest of the list is made up of. I would LOVE to see the rest of the covers from the series.

Man, I wish Marvel would ditch all of their ridiculous cross-company crap that sprawls into nearly every title and just focus on some cool one-off stories like these again. Have Hulk and Thing team up and go on a road trip. Make the story last three issues, tops. Have fun with it, and don’t worry about the future ramifications, etc. The current storylines are a drag.

stealthwise, if you haven’t read it I highly recommend the Thing/Hulk graphic novel, “The Big Change.” It’s sort of a Thing/Hulk road-trip, at any rate a kind of oddball “buddy movie” team-up. It’s also funny, and gorgeously illustrated.

Peace.

How is Giant-Size Super-Stars #1 nowhere on this list????? I’d put it at #2 behind FF #112

What about the period where The Thing was actually *stronger* than the Hulk (Back when Ben was in his even more mutated “spiky” form and Banner was the Gray Hulk/Joe Fixit?) I remember at least two issues of their battle. What about their covers?

Now this is an Awesome top 5!
@Sijo that sounds cool

I don’t know about all of these. Their first meetup in FF#12 is, well, the first meetup!!! It’s iconic. How could it not be the best, the numero uno???

Wasn’t there a Jim Starlin cover on a graphic novel (or something)?

Still, I’d put the Jae Lee cover for # 2 spot. ;-)

That Rich Buckler one, even taking into account typical comic book art exaggeration and disregard of real world physics, is just…weird. I always think of a comic panel or comic book cover as capturing a single instant in time, a snapshot, but that one is capturing such a crazy sequence of events: The Hulk is in the process of throwing the debris, as shown by the motion lines, then the debris is hitting the ship, the ship is then exploding, the Fantastic Four emerge from the ship and have time to have a conversation exchange, have enough time to reach the ground via freefall…that’s a whole sequence of events shown as a single instant…plus the ship looks so small that you would think it was a far distance away, way up in the sky, yet the perspective from which Buckler drew the figures emerging from the ship you would think they only fell from a few feet up.

@stealthwise
“Have Hulk and Thing team up and go on a road trip. Make the story last three issues, tops. Have fun with it”
That’s exactly what happened in 166-168, with Perez art, no less! One of the best FF stories ever IMO.

I have to throw in Fantastic Four 320 (I think that was the number at least), the cover with gray hulk fighting Englehart Thing. Great cover from a great run.

Marvel Feature #11 had a pretty solid Starlin cover, that I would rank ahead of a couple of these.
I HATE that Hard Knocks cover. And I agree with T that the Buckler cover is more than a bit crazy. Having Johnny clarify what it depicts by shouting “He’s smashed our ship!” makes it even sillier.
And how does non-flying, rock-heavy Ben soar over from the wreckage to reach the Hulk faster than the Torch?

@ Wraith – I was hoping that would be on the list. It’s a great little GN, tons of fun and has some gorgeous art by Bernie Wrightson.

Let me throw in a vote as well for the cover of the Starlin/ Wrightson Graphic Novel.

Wrightson’s Hulk on “The Big Change” cover was awesome. His Thing, less so, but still fine. That Hulk, though, would be enough to put it in my Top 5.

I liked the Jae Lee covers for “Hard Knocks,” including the one on the countdown. I remember laughing when I saw it.

Wrightson’s Hulk on “The Big Change” cover was awesome. His Thing, less so, but still fine. That Hulk, though, would be enough to put it in my Top 5.

They weren’t “versus” each other on the Big Change cover.

Technically,the first Hulk/Thing fight took place in FF 12,not 25,as mentioned above.

Technically,the first Hulk/Thing fight took place in FF 12,not 25,as mentioned above.

Sorry if I wasn’t more clear – I meant the first Hulk/Thing fight on a COVER (since this was all about Hulk vs. Thing covers).

Eric L., Sofer, the Silver Age Fogey

September 13, 2010 at 8:52 am

Wow… that Hard Knocks cover is really GARBAGE. It’s amazing what publishers will accept as art these days… it doesn’t show the characters in character, it doesn’t show anything that the book is about, it doesn’t make a good presentation of the characters… and the Thing BITING the Hulk? What a piece of s**t. Still, it probably only cost four bucks… and everyone has that kind of free cash lying around, don’t they?

I’d have definitely put Giant-Size Super-Stars 1 and Marvel Feature 11 up before Hard Knocks 2 and The Thing 3. Oddly, I’m not wild about FF 166 either (largely because the Thing has never seemed quite right to me).

“And how does non-flying, rock-heavy Ben soar over from the wreckage to reach the Hulk faster than the Torch?”

It’s not that all of the forward component of his velocity vector comes from the existing velocity of the ship pre-impact, as can be seen by the positions of Reed and Sue. However presumably Ben could’ve added to his initial forward velocity by leaping towards the Hulk pre-impact. Once launched, Ben’s parabolic trajectory is fixed, as he can’t fly. Johnny CAN fly, however, which includes being able to *reduce* his forward velocity if he chooses. So Ben reaching Hulk first is physically plausible by allowing the Torch, who can control his speed midair, enough prudence to slow down just enough to let Ben, who cannot control his speed midair, reach the Hulk first.

Uhh… Yeah, that Hard Knocks cover needs to be dumped from this list.

Thing appears to be caressing Hulk and nibbling on his eyebrow. Not only does it looks like porno fan fiction art, but I think it’s very uncharacteristic of Ben Grimm to bite a downed enemy.

There’s no ‘vs.” in that cover at all.

Also hating on the Hard Knocks cover. I think this is one of Jae Lee’s lesser works. I think it came out in the year that Mike Tyson took a chomp out of Evander Holyfield’s ear.

Totally left off Marvel Feature Vol 1 #11
http://marvel.wikia.com/Marvel_Feature_Vol_1_11

Jae Lee is a phenomenal artist. Well, the Hark Knocks cover shows that even the greats can make crappy choices. Thumbs down!

Instead, I’d choose Marvel Feature #11 or Fantastic Four Giant-Size #1:

http://hulkdatabase.com/

#25 oozes all the energy and excitement that emanated from the early, unpredictable days of Marvel.

i remember this cover through a diner door on a rack in new York. i can tell you i didn’t buy it then at the tender age of ‘what ever’ even though i was a major hulk fan. must of been dyslexic as i only looked at the pictures. the greatest cover a kid could see with the black background to throw it right out there. it is by far 1 of the best covers ,and a clear run away when it comes to hulk / thing matches..

Incredible Hulk #350 is one of my favorite covers, period. It beats all of these hands down, imo.

http://www.collectingcomix.com/prodimages/IncredibleHulkV2/IncredibleHulkV2-350.jpg

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