Here’s how you can see ‘Incredible Hulk’ star Lou Ferrigno in Oklahoma
Before the Avengers were the box office stars they are today, the best-known Marvel hero of the 1970s was likely the Incredible Hulk. Played by Lou Ferrigno, the Hulk graced TV screens in a hit series from 1977-1982.
In conjunction with Oklahoma City’s Pop Culture Con, Ferrigno is coming to Oklahoma this weekend for a series of signings and a film screening.
Ferrigno will be attending a screening of the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron” at 7 p.m. June 13 at Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave. Tickets to the screening are $15. Following the screening, Ferrigno will be doing a Q&A session. Autographs and photos are available for an additional charge. In the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno face off in a no-holds-barred competition for the title of Mr. Olympia.
Attention brought by “Pumping Iron” helped lead to “The Incredible Hulk” for Ferrigno.
In the comics, Bruce Banner was caught in an explosion of gamma radiation, and found himself transformed. He would turn into the behemoth known as “The Hulk,” a creature of rage.
The Incredible Hulk was created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the pages of “The Hulk.” In the first issue, the Hulk was gray, and the change in his form was brought on by nightfall rather than anger. The Hulk switched to green by the second issue. The Hulk’s first series failed to meet expectations, however, and it was canceled with No. 6.
Lee believed in the Hulk’s potential, however, and he was brought back in the pages of “Tales to Astonish” No. 59. By issue No. 102, “Tales to Astonish” was renamed “The Incredible Hulk.” The series became a Marvel Comics mainstay.
By the 1970s, Marvel was attempting to get traction for its characters on TV.
“Bionic Woman” creator and TV producer Kenneth Johnson was asked to pitch a show based on a Marvel Comics character of his choice.
Johnson told The Oklahoman in a 2008 interview that he wasn’t originally interested, but in the process of reading “Les Miserables,” the fugitive concept appealed to him. He began to think about applying that idea to “The Incredible Hulk,” as well as playing up the Jekyll-and-Hyde elements.
“I could turn it into a psychological drama,” he said.
He asked for control over casting, and brought in Bill Bixby as David (not Bruce) Banner, and Ferrigno as the Hulk.
“The Incredible Hulk” became a hit, running on television for five seasons.
“My pilot was released in Europe as a theatrical feature, and it was the top-grossing movie in Europe for two months,” Johnson said.
Ferrigno reprised the role of the Hulk in TV movies after the end of the series, and has voiced the Hulk in animation and video games. He also played a fictionalized version of himself on the sitcom “King of Queens.”
Ferrigno will make multiple autograph stops in Oklahoma during his trip: he will appear from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday at Speeding Bullet Comics, 614 N Porter Ave. in Norman; from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Vintage Stock, 7201 29th St. #208 in Midwest City; from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Vintage Stock, 7407 N May Ave. in Oklahoma City; and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at Vintage Toy Mall, 530 S. Elm Place in Broken Arrow.
Matthew Price, matthew@matthewLprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.
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June 11, 2021 at 06:02PM