By Jim Beard
Sometimes a book can
be judged by its cover.
The Abomination defines ugly, inwardly and outwardly. His hideously craggy, scaly exterior encompasses an evil, selfish soul, making him one of the most despicable foes with which the Incredible Hulk has ever tangled. The Abomination exists purely for himself, jealous and covetous of anyone or anything he perceives as superior.
The history between the Hulk and his gamma-spawned enemy speaks of battle and destruction, lies and treachery. The Abomination matches Bruce Banner's alter-ego strength for strength but bests him in intelligence and fox-like cunning, creating an odd symmetry. Those same dynamics will play out on the big screen June 13 when "The Incredible Hulk" hits theaters.
In case of faulty memories your friends at Marvel.com gathered together a scorecard of the greatest gamma-irradiated slugfests between the original incarnations of these two brutes.
TALES TO ASTONISH #90-91 (1967)
Foreign spy Emil Blonsky bedeviled "Thunderbolt" Ross' army base with sabotage for months, but glimpsing Bruce Banner's gamma ray machine he saw his destiny. Bombarding himself with an incredible dosage of the rays, Blonsky transformed into an even more horrific creature than the Hulk-which promptly caused him to go insane. Intelligent and powerful, he battered the Hulk into submission, prompting Betty Ross to dub him an "abomination." To reward her for the nickname, the Abomination kidnapped the girl and forced Banner once again into the role of the Hulk. Lured back to the base with strength-sapping "infra-gamma beams," Blonsky's reckoning proved at hand as the Hulk swept the desert with his ugly visage.
INCREDIBLE HULK #195-196 (1975)
After several defeats by the Hulk and other heroes, the Abomination found himself courted by General "Thunderbolt" Ross himself in a scheme to capture ol' Greenskin. The spy-turned-monster double-crossed the General and in a shocking gambit roped the Hulk into a terrifying team-up against the world. The Abomination and his new partner crashed the Kennedy Space Center demanding 100 million dollars ransom but the Hulk chafed at the "stupid" of it all. Then Blonsky made a horrible faux-pas by insulting Betty Ross and our jade-jawed hero pounded him some Abomination into the tarmac.
INCREDIBLE HULK #270 (1981)
A fantastic alien being called the Galaxy Master saved the Abomination's life after yet another humiliating defeat and set him up as a sort of galactic herald. Softening up rebellious worlds on his new master's quest for energy sources, the megalomaniacal Blonsky adopted the humble title of "Ravager of Worlds." The Sagittarian race took umbrage at such treatment and doing a bit of research realized that the Abomination possessed a weakness: the Hulk's fists. Along with pals the Dark Crawler and the robotic Torgo, the Hulk taught Blonsky that ugly by any other name still means ugly. Abandoned in orbit, the Abomination also learned just how deathly cold space can be.
INCREDIBLE HULK #287-290 (1983)
This slobber-knocker between the two mutated monstrosities would prove one of the most humiliating of all for the Abomination. Defrosted from a space-faring block of ice, Blonsky once again entered into an agreement with "Thunderbolt" Ross, this time via big-headed bully MODOK. Ross chafed at the presidential pardon the now Banner-minded Hulk had been awarded and viewed the Abomination as his preferred dish of revenge. MODOK fiddled with Blonsky's pathetically pathological fear of Hulk-defeat and sent him into the trenches-where he received another blistering beatdown. Wobbly and woozy, the Abomination then received the ultimate diploma from Professor MODOK: disintegration.
INCREDIBLE HULK v2 #24-25 (2001)
HULK v2 #25
Poisoned by the Abomination's radioactive blood, Bruce Banner's wife Betty figured as a lynchpin in the next evolution of the behemoths' battles. General Ross desired revenge for his daughter and cruelly manipulated Banner into the ultimate Hulk-Abomination showdown. The struggle quickly exploded into a death match and the Hulk came within a hair's breadth of killing Blonsky, but ultimately surrendered him to the military.
SHE-HULK v2 #15 (2005)
SHE-HULK v2 #15
The Hulk's cousin, the Savage She-Hulk finally got in on the fun of facing the Abomination. While the Hulk fought for his life on the planet Sakaar, Blonsky rampaged freely through the unsuspecting city of Reno, Nevada-a situation which sat poorly with She-Hulk. Boldly battling the much-mightier Abomination, the gamma girl managed to wrest victory from Blonsky by utilizing vastly-superior fighting skills and a whole lot of luck. The Abomination then disappeared into the gaping mouth of Tony Stark's mysterious "Project Achilles".
HULK v2 #1-3 (2008)
HULK v2 #3
The Abomination...dead. Really dead. Apparently murdered at the hands of the enigma known as the Red Hulk, Emil Blonsky's tormented and demented career as a gamma-ray hellbender came to an end. Enter the Hulk's old bosom buddy Rick Jones and his allegedly still-radiated cells, gamma-pulsing tissues that held a fascinating story of their own. Simply wanting to be left alone, Rick encountered the Red Hulk, and history repeated itself.
Need to catch up on your Hulk reading? Looking for the perfect stories starring the Jade Giant? Check out our list of the 10 Collections marked as required reading by any Hulk fan!
Read classic Hulk stories in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Take pictures with a life-size Hulk statue at select theaters nationwide! Visit the official "The Incredible Hulk" movie site! Remember, "The Incredible Hulk" comes to a theater near you on June 13!