INCREDIBLE HULK, THE #163
Marvel | Back To Incredible Hulk, The | May 1973 | Volume 2 | USA | 157 Owned
1st Appearance of The Gremlin

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Basic Information
Published
May 1973
Comic Age
Bronze
Cover Price
$.20
UPC
Facts
  • 1st Appearance of "GREMLIN" (Kondrati Topolov)
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Cover Artist
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Stories
Stories may contain spoilers
 TRACKDOWN! 
1st Appearance "GREMLIN" (Kondrati Topolov)
As the Hulk continues his search for Betty, he ends up somewhere near the North Pole, where he is attacked by General Ross and the Hulkbusters. During the attack, the ice the Hulk is standing on is blasted and he falls down an icy cavern and lands before a hidden military complex owned by the Russians. The base is commanded by a deformed man known as the Gremlin, son of the Gargoyle, the Russian operative the first being to ever clash with the Hulk.

Seeing the Hulks arrival as the perfect opportunity to test out his new Super-Trooper armor, he sends out his operatives to attack the Hulk. The Hulk holds his own against the Super-Troopers until they gas him into unconsciousness and take him prisoner. The Gremlin then decides to deal with the Hulkbusters that are still patrolling the area. Firing a null ray they stop the ship piloting General Ross over the Arctic. Overhearing Ross on the radio, he sends his Super-Troopers to capture the General as a high-ranking prize. Ross tries his best to stop the Super-Troopers, but is easily captured.
The Gremlin then meets with the Hulk and tells the Hulk how he blames him for his fathers death and how he's always vowed revenge. However, he has now changed his mind and decides to learn as much as he can from the Hulk by pushing the limits of the beasts abilities. Keeping the Hulk mildly sedated, he puts the Green Goliath through a gamut of different tests. When asking the Hulk about politics, the Gremlin doesn't get the answer that he'd like and gasses the Hulk twice as much as normal causing him to revert back to Bruce Banner.
Furious at this turn of events, the Gremlin has Banner locked up until he transforms into the Hulk again. Along the way, Banner sees that Ross has been taken prisoner as well. When the guards come to take Ross out of his cell for a bit, he manages to toss Banner a note asking him to transform into the Hulk so that they can both escape from captivity. The next day the Gremlin decides to take Banner out of his cell, deciding to take a blood sample to analyze. Banner takes this moment to get worked up enough to prompt a transformation into the Hulk.
When the Gremlin sends his Super-Troopers against the Hulk and attempts to gas him again, the Hulk smashes through the wall to escape. He comes face to face with Ross who asks the Hulk to break him out. The Hulk, hating Ross for his constant harassment refuses to do so and simply smashes out of the facility by himself.
While back in the States at Project: Greenskin, Betty and Glenn return from their honeymoon. Getting the paper, Betty is joyed to read about the Hulk's recent exploits knowing that Bruce Banner is still alive much to Glenn's chagrin. However Betty's joy is replaced with grief when she learns that her father has been taken prisoner of the Russians.

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