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The Incredible Hulk #240, October 1979. "...And Now El Dorado" Written by Roger Stern, pencilled by Joe Sinnott, lettered by John Costanza, colored by (credit box is blank), edited by Al Milgrom. Cover by Milgrom.

The Hulk, carrying a comatose Goldbug, arrives at El Dorado in the Andes Mountains, lead by an old man named Tulak. The Hulk has been long awaited by the people of the legendary city, and they welcome him, but the Hulk, who simply wants to meet the mysterious "They" who have been manipulating him for the past few issues, yells at the people to leave him alone. Tulak promises that "They" will meet with the Hulk that evening, but first, a feast. The Hulk warns that if he doesn't meet "They" soon, he'll go looking for them.

Meanwhile, at Gamma Base, Clay Quartermain wonders where the Hulk has gone to, but is distracted by the arrival of a delta-wing fighter jet, flown by Betty Ross. Senator Hawk, still hanging around, tells her that Ross and Doc Samson are somewhere in the Rockies, and there's a message for her from Fred Sloan, but Betty doesn't know who he is, so she disregards it for now.

Out in San Francisco, Fred's working on an insider's book on the Hulk, but he's having trouble dealing with the volume of data available. Trish Starr is trying to help him out, but since the phone for the Richmond Riding Academy (then-headquarters of the Defenders, owned by Nighthawk, whom Trish had hung around with for a while) is disconnected, and nobody he's been able to get in touch with is getting back to him, it's slow going.

At El Dorado, the Hulk is chowing down like a big dog, while dancing girls entertain him, but ol' Greenskin's certain this has to be a trap. However, before he grows too impatient, a gong announces it's time for him to meet "They," who turn out to be Prince Rey and his brothers Des and Lann, keeper of the sacred flame. The Hulk seems to recognize Des, but can't place him, and when he starts losing his temper, Rey distracts him with a sight-crystal which slows the Hulk a lab at Gamma Base where his lady love, Jarella, who doed some time ago, is being kept like a specimen. The Hulk, angry, smashes the sight-crystal. Enraged further, and goaded by Rey, the Hulk bursts out of the building he's in and starts smashing until his anger is spent, and transforms back into Bruce Banner.

Tulak dresses Banner and provides quarters for him. Bruce is asked to go to the High Temple by They, and when he arrives, he sees the "sacred flame," which to him appears to be almost alive. Rey tells Bruce of the origin of the flame, discovered long ago by the ancient Incas who fled into the Andes to escape the conquistadors. The flame is an artifact of an impossibly ancient race. Since the flame provided warmth and energy, the city was built around it. Relatively recently, a rivalry between Prince Rey and the Keeper of the Flame threatended to end it all, but the Avengers became caught up in the rivalry, and the flame was snuffed out.

However, Des returned from a long hermitage, and joining his power with his brothers, the flame was reignited, but it was not at its full glory. Bruce offers to help make it so, but Des says he was counting on it, as a metallic tentacle strikes from the flame and grabs Bruce, drawing him towards the flame!

There are a couple of ads worth sharing from this issue, the first being this one for a special mail-in Cylon Warrior figure from Battlestar Galactica. Note the scale: It's only four inches tall, compared to the 8 inch height of the totally cool Mego figures. By this time, Kenner's Star Wars line had redefined the standard size of the action figure, and most other manufacturers followed suit.

 

This can be easily seen in the last item from the second ad here...

...and I'll get to that shortly. First we have the perennial punch line... Underoos! I've heard people making Underoos jokes who couldn't have been old enough to remember them! Below that are utility belts, just like the ones used by Hulk, Spidey, Batman and Wonder Woman (excuse me? Batman had a utility belt, but none of the rest of 'em did! It's amazing there wasn't a Superman one, too). Next to that are Hulk Instant Muscles, which were essentially balloons one could pump up at will.

Last, but not least, are the Die-Cast Superheroes, one of the many last-gasp ideas Mego tried to keep the action figure market with. These were 5 1/2 inches tall, and were solid metal... probably the heaviest action figures ever made! I used to have a beat-up Hulk one, and you could shatter a car windshield with one of these suckers!

Oh, as if you couldn't have guessed, this was another one of the great Heroes World ads, and this is also a good opportunity to point out that students at the Kubert School of Comic Book Art were doing some of these ads (Joe Kubert's touch is immediately recognizeable in the inking, if not the pencils).

Now, if you've got this far, you should know that if you've got any of the items in these ads, you should get a picture of you with them, and send me a scan of the picture along with any story you might have about it, and then I'll add your picture and the story to this page!