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That Time That the Incredible Hulk Beat Up Hulk Hogan

In Meta-Messages, I explore the context behind (using reader danjack's term) "meta-messages." A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I'll give you the context behind one such "meta-message."

Today, we look at an amusing altercation between the Hulk and his wrestling namesake, Hulk Hogan.

As you may or may not know, Hulk Hogan began his wrestling career as the Incredible Hulk Hogan (soon then changed to the Fabulous Hulk Hogan). Here is his WWE debut (then called the WWF)...

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He soon started going by just Hulk Hogan (WWE still paid a licensing fee to Marvel for the name) and his celebrity began to grow in the United States, along with "Hulkamania"..

By the end of the 1980s, he was ALL over the place. You would almost think that he had surpassed the ACTUAL Hulk in popularity. Well, not if Peter David and Herb Trimpe had anything to say about it! In their short story, "The Main Event," in Marvel Comics Presents #45, we see that in the Marvel Universe, Hogan has also adopted the Hulk nickname...

Note, however, that this was during a period where the Hulk was believed dead and he was working in Las Vegas as a mob enforcer known as Joe Fixit.

When Hulk (the wrestler) really pushes the fact that he is the ONLY Hulk, that was a bridge too far!

So the Hulk (the actual Hulk) calls out the Hulk (the wrestler) and the delusional wrestler actually thinks that he has a chance!

He just attacks the monstrous creature and embarrasses himself...

So the Hulk gets in some cheap shots about this "impostor"...

And then he really goes for the jugular, essentially noting that in the Marvel Universe, at least, this wrestler chose the wrong name!

Very funny stuff.

If anyone else has a suggestion for a good Meta-Messages, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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