Thursday 14 May 2015


From 1978: THE INCREDIBLE HULK prose novel STALKER FROM THE STARS by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman and Joseph Silva.  Published in the States by Pocket Books. 

I picked this up recently and (typically) I've not had a chance to read it yet.  But it looked too much fun to pass up on.  

The timing hits the peak of the TV show's success but a swift bit of Googling reveals this is actually one of a series of eleven Marvel Superheroes novels, all apparently published during 1978-79.  

The Green Goliath appeared solo in two of the thirteen and teamed up with Spider-man in a third.  He was also one-fourth of an anthology edition with four shorter stories (also starring Daredevil, the Avengers and the X-Men).

The Web Slinger also starred in two books (and shared that billing with the Hulk on a third).  Other volumes featured The Avengers, Doctor Strange (star of a TVM around this time), Captain America (ditto. Times two), the Fantastic Four and Iron Man. 


  1. The novel's not great, and the rambling tone of the conclusion gave me the impression that's where Silva (a Ron Goulart pen name, I think?) took over from the two comic book mainstays.

    The Marvel Novels series is by and large disappointing. The FF book is quite fun, and the Captain America novel is okay, although the bad guy's plan is pretty unbelievable. The Iron Man and Dr Strange ones have huge sections devoted to retelling the minutiae of the characters' origins, which are well done or tedious depending on your familiarity with them.

    Perhaps the most interesting are the three (two + a shared billing) Spider-Man novels because they introduce their own continuity and a girlfriend for Peter Parker we never hear of again, as far as I could tell. The books themselves are lousy though, especially the novel that launched the line - Mayhem in Manhattan.

    One correction for you: the four story anthology features DAREDEVIL alongside the Avengers, X-Men and Hulk. The Jim Shooter-penned Avengers story therein ("This Evil Undying") was later adapted for Avengers #201-202, or thereabouts.

    1. Hi KK.

      I'm impressed you have (and read!) all of these! Thanks for the summary (and the correction... now made). Were these sold widely in the UK? I don't remember seeing them at the time and copies seldom seem to surface today.

    2. I had a couple that I'd come across in UK second hand book shops over the years, but I rounded out my collection via eBay a couple of years back, with several coming from the US.

      They could be read in a few hours, they're pretty short.

      I'm always drawn by comic book characters making the jump to prose, but there are few successful examples, in my opinion. John Shirley (screenwriter of the Crow) did a very strong Batman novel called (I think) Dead White around the time of the first Christopher Nolan movie, and I enjoyed Simon Hawke's Batman novel, To Stalk a Specter (from 1989/90). But by and large they tend to miss the mark, neither achieving the sense of action and drama of the comic books, nor the depth of character.


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