Real Name: Sam Burgh
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Matt Murdock, Kate Waynesboro,
unidentified friends and neighbors
Enemies: Hulk (Bruce Banner)
Known Relatives: Mrs.
Burgh (estranged wife), two unidentified children
Base of Operations: Hadleyville, Rhode Island,
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk I#293
Powers/Abilities: Sam Burgh possesed no known
superhuman abilities, by all accounts a normal, productive member of
the suburban middle class. Losing all he had due to a chance encounter
with the Hulk drove him to desperation.
(Incredible Hulk I#293 (fb)) - Several years before Bruce Banner would learn to actively control the Hulk, his continued conflict with the United States military inadvertently led the behemoth to Hadleyville. Soldiers came to evacuate the inhabitants but they were all powerless as the Hulk tore through the suburb, levelling it within hours while fighting the forces brought to bear against him. After defeating the military units, the Hulk moved on.
(Incredible Hulk I#293 (fb) - BTS) - In the wake of the Hulk's onslaught, the people of Hadleyville returned to the site of their now devastated homes. Eager to rebuild, Sam Burgh was shocked when his insurance company denied all of his claims, stating that destruction caused by gamma-irradiated monsters wasn't covered in their policy. Forced to rely on the government for assistance, Sam and his family were given relatively tiny trailers to live in. The cramped living quarters, as well as the fact he was out of work with the entire town demolished, caused him to start drinking. Sam's behavior caused his wife to leave with their children. Feeling he had hit rock-bottom, things got worse when he read that the President had granted the Hulk a full pardon following his recent brush with sanity. Suddenly out for vengeance, he acquired a gun and was determined to kill Bruce Banner.
(Incredible Hulk I#293) - After finding out Bruce Banner's plane would land at New York's Kennedy Airport following a recent trip to Mexico, Burgh decided to wait for him among the gathered members of the press. As soon as Banner appeared, accompanied by his ladyfriend Doctor Kate Waynesboro, Sam reached for the gun he'd kept tucked in his pants and shouted "Bruce Banner, today you die!" before pulling the trigger. However, an instant before the bullet reached Bruce, he had turned into the Hulk. As the projectile harmlessly bounced off his thick hide, the Hulk grabbed the would-be assassin and destroyed his firearm. Furious, Sam told Banner he might have everyone else fooled but to him, he was still just a monster as the cops dragged him away.
(Incredible Hulk I#293 - BTS) - Sam's words kept
nagging at Banner, especially after he had another one of his
horrifically vivid nightmares (caused by Nightmare as part of his
ongoing schemes). Desperate to do right, Banner decided to visit with
his would-be assassin in jail.
(Incredible Hulk I#293) - After arranging with the courts to see his assassin, Banner was taken to Sam's cell, where he asked Burgh why he did what he did. Sam revealed what he had been through, telling the shocked Bruce Banner in exact, horrendous detail just what the Hulk had cost him. Having heard the story, a sorrowful Banner tried to apologize, even explaining he had been trying to undo all the damage he caused as the Hulk. However, the Hadleyville native would hear nothing of it, dismissing Bruce's olive branch with a cold: "How can you undo the destruction of a town, how can you rebuild a man's dreams?"
(Incredible Hulk I#293 - BTS) - Meeting Sam Burgh had an immediate effect on Banner, who instantly tried to get the man released from prison by telling the police captain he'd like to drop charges against him. The officer informed Bruce it wasn't up to him as attempted murder was a crime, making it the state's call whether or not to prosecute. Bruce Banner then decided to hire Matt Murdock to argue the Hadleyvillian's case before court as the Hulk dedicated himself to rebuilding the suburb he'd destroyed.
(Incredible Hulk I#293) - Following a two week trial,
Matt Murdock managed to get the prosecution to drop all charges,
effectively allowing him to walk free. After thanking Murdock, Sam
Burgh lamented he had no place to go back to. As if on cue, Kate
Waynesboro reintroduced herself to him. She told Sam that Bruce asked
her to take him to see him... in Hadleyville. Initially thinking
Waynesboro was messing with him, he still agreed to take a drive with
her out into the country where Hadleyville once was. Once he arrived
near the site of the old, demolished suburb, he was stunned to see the
Hulk had all but finished restoring Hadleyville to its former glory.
With tears in his eyes, Sam thanked Banner for what he'd done,
promising he'd handle his life now that he had a home again. Banner and
Waynesboro then watched as Burgh went home again.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils) and Gerry Talaoc (inks).So it's come to this... the 200th profile. Following such gems like #100's Stu Pfaffenberger and #150's Thaddeus Hatcher, here we have another forgettable nobody, someone who was never even named in the one story he appeared in (he wasn't given a name until 2008!) which begs the question: why this guy? Well... I remember being about 6 years old, stuck at home suffering from one of those 24 to 48 hours bugs that most kids of that age tend to have. The most vivid memory of that episode is laying on the couch in the living room with a blanket, drinking all the fruit juice I could stomach and thumbing through a copy of De Verbijsterende Hulk Special I#6, a Dutch reprint of Incredible Hulk I# 291, 292 & 293. That one comic introduced me to the Circus of Crime as well as Dragon Man and it explained to me who was related to who in the Fantastic Four and oh yeah, it started with a 22-page Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross retrospective which spelled out the general's history and failures while he actively contemplated suicide. And you thought having the sniffies was the worst, kid. But the story that really stuck with me was the one about the Hadleyville assassin, perhaps because it struck a cord with me: for the first time my childlike brain "got" that superheroics come with a price...one the common man usually ended up paying. It only makes sense some of them would be out for blood because of it. All in all, a memorable character even though it took me 20+ years of re-reading to realize he never even received a name.
Profile by Norvo.
Sam Burgh should not be confused with
Sam Burgh was a happily married man, enjoying the bliss of suburbia with his wife and two children. However, after the Hulk tore through the town while fighting the military, the community fell apart. Even though they got an emergency trailer to stay at, Burgh turned to drinking and soon forced his wife to leave with their young children for parts unknown.
--Incredible Hulk I#293
images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk I#293, p2, pan6 (main image)
Incredible Hulk I#293, p14, pan5 (family)
Incredible Hulk I#293, p14, pan6 (furious at Hulk)
Incredible Hulk I#293, p18, pans3&4 (thanks Hulk)
Incredible Hulk I#293 (March, 1984) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Gerry Talaoc (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Last updated: 10/28/14
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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