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The Incredible Hulk #235, May 1979. "The Monster and the Machine" Written by Roger Stern, pencilled by Sal Buscema, inked by Mike Esposito, lettered by John Costanza, colored by George Roussos, edited by Al Milgrom. Cover either entirely by Milgrom or Milgrom inks over Steve Ditko pencils.

The Hulk, with Fred Sloan in tow, leaps towards Central City, CA, for a confrontation with Machine Man at Peter Sanderson's house, where he believes Trish Starr is being held a prisoner. Taking a break to get their bearings, the duo is spotted by a Forest Ranger who alerts Mr. Jackson, head of the local branch of the Corporation, who is really holding Trish, and hopes that the Hulk will destroy Machine Man.

In Central City, meanwhile, Machine Man performs some repairs before joining Peter and General Kragg at a congressional hearing which is to determine if X-51 will be considered a person or a machine in the eyes of the law. However, Congressman Brickman (who is taking Senator Stivak's place following the Corporation manager's recent death) announces there's pressing business in Washington, and until a reconvening, MM will be in Peter's custody.

Aside: If MM's in someone's custody, isn't he being treated ipso facto as a sentient being? Next time I chat with Bobby Donnell or his associates, I'll have to ask.

Anyway, as MM and Peter leave, we learn Brickman's also a Corporation lackey!

Meanwhile, the Hulk and Fred arrive at Peter's home, and Fred starts to think that Peter's innocent until he finds a stash of guns -- leading him to believe Peter and MM are both involved with the Corporation! Outside the house, a Corporation scout reports the Hulk's there, and that MM and Peter are just arriving.

What a homecoming! MM leads the way into the house... and walks right into the Hulk's fist. As the Hulk and X-51 battle (Machine Man tries to convince the Hulk he doesn't know anything about Trish Starr's kidnapping, but the Hulk doesn't believe him), Fred holds Peter at bay with one of the found weapons. The fight ends when the Hulk's haymaker sends MM's limbs flying off his body. Greenskin decides that since MM's "just another stupid robot!" that Peter must have taken Trish, therefore it's Peter whom the Hulk must smash!

As the Hulk stomps towards the house, MM magnetically draws his limbs back into place, knowing he must save Peter from the Hulk... or die trying!

Note: Kurt Busiek, modern-day writer of the Avengers and Astro City, doesn't have a letter in this issue! Neither does anyone else that I'm aware of who's worked in comics since!

The ad of the issue was picked just because I think these posters were just too damn cool (I wanted those, 'specially the Cap and Hulk ones), and this also shows the expansion of Heroes World (now grown to five states!) before they imploded.