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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #31

Each day in June you’ll get an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of what I’ve featured so far.

Only two installments left, so I’ve saved some of the best ones for last! Come check ‘em out!


First time Hulk said “Hulk Smash”

Hulk had been going on about smashing things almost from the start. But they would be like this bit from 1966’s Tales to Astonish #76…

It would not be until 1967’s Tales to Astonish #88 that Hulk actually put the words “Hulk” and “Smash” directly next to each other…

But I dunno, I sort of wanted a more forceful “Hulk Smash!” You know, like in action. However, the comics just did not want to give it to me!

The very next issue you got “Hulk Smashes,” but no “Hulk Smash.”

Hulk was ALL about smashing over the next few years, he just wouldn’t say “Hulk Smash,” as if intentionally trying to drive me nuts!

1969’s Incredible Hulk #120…

1970’s Incredible Hulk #133…

(lots and lots of “Hulk WILL smash you”s but always that word in between Hulk and Smash!)

Finally, the motherlode! In February 1974, we got the following in the pages of Incredible Hulk #172…

but even better, that same month in Marvel Team-Up #18….


First time Hulk said “Hulk is the strongest one there is”

Similarly, the language just couldn’t get EXACTLY what I wanted with “Hulk is the strongest one there is!”

In 1966’s Tales to Astonish #75, Hulk comes close…

And two issues later, even closer…

1971’s Incredible Hulk #144 adds in the “one” but drops “there is”!!

“Hulk is the strongest there is” tended to be the most common, until that aforementioned issue of Marvel Team-Up from 1974…


First time Thor’s hammer is called Mjolnir

For nearly five years, including the entire run of Thor in Journey Into Mystery, Thor’s hammer was either just “Thor’s hammer” or “Thor’s uru hammer.”

That changed with 1967’s The Mighty Thor #137…

And it’s been known as such (which is its “real” name anyways) ever since.

Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts I should feature here to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


The Crazed Spruce

June 30, 2011 at 4:46 am

I don’t s’pose tomorrow we’ll get the first time we see the inscription “Whoever lifts this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor!”, will we?

(By the way, and apropos of nothing, that inscription led to one of my favourite moments of the movie. Granted, a moment I saw coming a mile away, but a pretty sweet moment nonetheless…..)

I guess the spelling of Mjolnir was still a work in progress., though.

And didn’t we see that inscription the first time we ever saw the hammer?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure the inscription was in Journey #83; after Don Blake turns into Thor, he sees the inscription which explains to him why he just turned into Thor.

Matthew Johnson

June 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

The spelling of “mjolnir” seems to have been a bit controversial: there’s an editor’s note in an issue of Avengers (I forget which issue exactly, it’s part of Englehart’s “Celestial Madonna” story) that actually cites the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology to support that spelling over “mjollner”. (Well, they just say “Larousse,” but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the reference wasn’t to the Larousse Gastronomique…)

@ The Crazed Space

That inscription was on the hammer in Thor’s first appearance, so no surprises there.

interesting that it took almost a hundred and seventy two issues before hulk said hulk smash. and a separate marvel title for hulk to say strongest there is. plus always thought thors hammer was called Mjlnoir dud not know it was just thors hammer to start with

@Chad well, to be fair, not 172 issues. The “Hulk” title was originally “Tales to Astonish” (until #102), so it was more like 112 issues. But YEAH, it feels like a long time. But that’s only because we’re so used to it after 35 years! :)

Jan Robert Andersen

June 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Thor or rather Tor and even Thur originates from the collective Scandinavian Norrøn culture.


Thor was very essential for this culture and his battle hammer was very much a religious symbol.


This hammer has many spellings from Danish “Mjølner”, Icelandic “Mjölnir”, Norwegian “Mjølner” and Swedish “Mjölner”.


Most Scandinavian languages the has the “ner” and not the “nir” suffix. But Icelandic is the closest to the original Nurrøn language and the most correct must then be the Icelandic “Mjölnir”.

The “ø” (replacing “oe” as “æ” replacing “ae) and “å” replacing “aa”) is more of a Scandinavian letter than the “ö” (in fact er German letter).

But the “ø” was actually introduced to the Danish and Norwegian language (in fact originally one nation) sometime during the 1100 century.


When spelling “Mjölnir” it would then be more correct with the “ö” as in “Motörhead” (a somewhat German spoof spelling of “Motorhead”).

Who´s the artist on the Tales to Astonish panels?

“When We First Met” has been a fun, informative feature, Brian. I hope you will continue it in the future.


July 1, 2011 at 3:05 am

btw Larousse’s main activity is to do regular dictionaries. the food one is just one of many derived we sell to backwater countries ;-D

Mike Loughlin

July 1, 2011 at 6:26 am


TOS 76 – layouts: Jack Kirby, pencils: Scott Edward, inks: “Mickey Demeo” (aka Mike Esposito)

TOS 88 – Gil Kane

Thanks, Mike. I’ve never been a big fan of Gil Kane’s art.

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