The Rangers ride the Hulk

The Incredible Hulk No. 265 (Nov. 1981)
Bill Mantlo – Writer
Sal Buscema – Artist
Cover Blurb: The Green-skinned Gargantua battles the Best of the West … The Rangers.
Story Title: (It’s a long one) You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But If You Try Sometime, You Just Might Find What You Need!
Quote: “Nothing can stop my savage servant from carrying out the Corruptor’s commands!” The Corruptor. (Odd that he refers to himself in the first and third person in the same sentence!)
The Story: The Hulk,under the influence of the Corruptor, is ordered to radio The Avengers so that the Corruptor can, uhm, corrupt them too. Jones’ radio signal “bounces” off the Rockies and is picked up by Firebird, Red Wolf, Shooting Star and the Texas Tornado. From different locations, they, along with Night Rider, converge on Rick’s location. There the decide to become a team, and the Hulk wallops them something good. Rick manages to “cure” the Hulk of Corruptor’s power. The end.
The review: I bought this because it was the first appearance of the Rangers as a super team, and boy is it uninspiring! They get beat their first timeout.
The strangest thing of the whole thing is that Rick, a teenager, is shown wearing an ascot! What teenager in 1981 wore an ascot? The ones who got beat up by punk-rockers, that’s who!
Corruptor’s plot is silly. Why would he want to corrupt the Avengers when he already has the Hulk? When you’ve got the Hulk on your side, you take down Fort Knox. Screw the Avengers, man! Think of your future!
Sal Buscema is pure Sal here. There’s high cheekbones in every panel! Way to go, Sal!
The only saving grace here is the appearance of obscure characters from the West. I can’t help but wonder, what have the Rangers been doing since then? It would be fun to see. (Really, I mean that.)
Grade C-


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