Real Name: Unrevealed, though his last name probably is McCracken
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Hulk (Bruce Banner), Kropotkin the Great, general Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, Clay Quartermain, Leonard Samson, Glenn Talbot, Jim Wilson
Enemies: Leader (Samuel Sterns)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Gamma Base, New Mexico;
formerly Garland, Texas;
formerly somewhere in the American Mid-West
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II#160
Powers/Abilities: Spad McCracken possesses no known superhuman abilities. A possibly military trained pilot, he also has extensive experience transporting civilians. Though he doesn't appear to have latino roots, Spad often calls people "amigo".
Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 150 lbs. (by approximation)
(Incredible Hulk II#223 (fb) - BTS) - In his younger days, Spad spent a lot of time on military bases.
(Incredible Hulk II#160 - BTS) - Spad ran a private charter flight company in the midwest, happily taking travelers anywhere for the right price.
(Incredible Hulk II#160) - Spad agreed to take Bruce Banner to Buffalo, New York upon his request even though he reminded him it would be a costly trip (Banner had remember a vague memory of the Hulk's about Betty being in danger at Niagara Falls). Spad flew Bruce cross country in his small, red plane. By the time they reached Buffalo, the airport was stacked up which forced McCracken to circle the falls which he figured was a nice bonus for his passenger. However, the sight of the falls and the mention of honeymooners made Banner remember that Betty was now married to Glenn Talbot. This stressed him out so much, he turned into the Hulk inside Spat's plane. Shocked to find the green goliath in the cockpit with him, Spat nevertheless tried to keep calm and attempted an aerial manoeuver to lose the monster. Feeling dizzy from the sudden loup-de-loupe, Hulk burst from the plane and into the falls. This left McCracken's craft so damaged, he was forced to crashland near, as fate would have it, Glenn Talbot who went to check if he was alright. However, as soon as an incredulous McCracken recounted his tale of flying a man who turned into a green monster, Talbot rushed off to check the falls.
(Incredible Hulk II#223 (fb) - BTS) - Spad was forced to let go of his beloved little red plane when his insurance refused to cover "Hulk damage". He eventually set up shop as part of Lone Star Skyport, a private air service in Garland, Texas.
(Incredible Hulk II#223) - McCracken was relaxing next to his new plane in between assignments when he was suddenly approached by Bruce Banner who was just as surprised to spot Spad. As soon as the pilot recognized Banner as the Hulk, he panicked and tried to run off. Banner tackled him and explained to the terrified McCracken that he was now normal and cured from turning into the Hulk. Still mad at Banner for costing him his plane, Spad cursed Bruce out and walked off but he changed his tune when Banner offered to pay him if he would immediately fly him to New Mexico. Tempted by the prospect of a payday, McCracken took off for New Mexico only to realize in midair they were flying into a restricted area. They were soon contacted by Gamma Base who allowed them to land after Banner announced he was in the plane. At the base's airfield, they were met by a single soldier in a jeep who drove Banner and Spat to the main base. On the way there, Spad noticed everyone they passed looked entranced. As soon as they were taken into the administrator's building, they learned the reason why: Gamma Base had been taken over by the Leader who had trapped Doc Samson and General Ross while mentally dominating the others to be his willing slaves. The smug Leader introduced himself to the shocked Spad.
(Incredible Hulk II#224) - Spad quickly fell prey to the Leader's superior mind and stood by in a corner, overpowered and overcome. He didn't even respond when the Leader explained his plans or when Doc Samson briefly broke free and tried to stop the villain. Leader then left to deal with the approaching Clay Quartermain and a contingency of SHIELD agents. Samson managed to break free again and did the same for Banner and Ross, though McCracken remained totally unresponsive. This only helped to hammer home the urgency to stopping the Leader before he did the same to the entire world.
(Incredible Hulk II#227 - BTS) - Spad eventually recovered from the Leader's mental domination. He remained on Gamma Base while Doc Samson found a way to deal with the Hulk (Banner had been forced to revert to defeat the Leader).
(Incredible Hulk II#227) - Along with Kropotkin, Jim Wilson and SHIELD agent Clay Quartermain, Spad McCracken observed Doctor Samson's first session with the Hulk, down in a gamma study chamber in the bottom of Gamma Base. Wilson hoped some good would come of it, but both Spad and Kropotkin had very little faith in the "super-shrink".
(Incredible Hulk II#228) - Sensing there was little left for him to do at Gamma Base and feeling the need to return to making a living, Spad made preparations to leave with his plane. He received an unofficial sendoff from General Ross who was genuinely taken with McCracken's plane, even reminiscing about learning how to fly by barnstorming similar craft at county fairs. He then went on to lament the fact he was now considered too old to fly anymore before admiring the beauty of Spad's "lovely little lady", even stroking her front propeller. Eager to get underway and fearing Ross' trip down memory lane would take forever, McCracken successfully shifted the General's attention to a press conference Kropotkin was giving nearby. With Ross gone, the pilot quietly took off.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart (writer), Herb
Trimpe (pencils), Sal Trapani (inks)
Just why Roger Stern felt the need to bring back a relative nobody Spad McCracken six years after his first appearance, we'll never know. Chalk it up to Stern's love of continuity and universe building. He was nevertheless an interesting, though underdeveloped minor part of the Hulk's supporting cast during the all too brief Gamma Base era.
Profile by Norvo.
Spad McCracken should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II#223, p10, pan1 (main image)
Incredible Hulk II#160, p7, pans1&2 (shocked by Hulk)
Incredible Hulk II#224, p7, pan3 (controlled by the Leader)
Incredible Hulk II#228, p5,pan1 (with his plane)
Incredible Hulk II#160 (February, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Sal Trapani (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#223 (May, 1978) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Josef Rubinstein (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#224 (June, 1978) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Josef Rubinstein (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#227 (September, 1978) - Roger Stern & Peter B. Gillis (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Bob Hall (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#228 (October, 1978) - Roger Stern & Peter B. Gillis (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Bob Hall (editor)
Last updated: 11/28/16
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