Staying with the Batman vs Hulk tabloid for a moment, something on the inside front cover really caught my attention. The page features pictorial re-presentations of the two lead characters’ origin stories. All well and good. But, also listed are “Created by…” credits. Not surprising when it comes to Batman, of course — Bob Kane practically had it written into his contract that he had to be credited. No, the surprise is that the Hulk gets a credit too: “created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.”

It’s very rare, even today, for Marvel to formally acknowledge anyone other than Lee as a creator of the classic characters. So, for 1981, this was pretty amazing stuff. A few years later Marvel and Kirby would be at loggerheads, with the artist being legally required to give up any claims of ownership of characters he (co-) created in return for his artwork.

Hulk created by Stan and Jack

©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc