BOISE Apparently, the Incredible Hulk isn't that tough, after all.
A 7-foot papier-mche replica of the muscular green monster stolen from a Boise comic book store last week has been found with broken limbs and scratched and pockmarked skin after being abandoned face down in the mud of a suburban drainage ditch.
In the original 1962 fable by Stan Lee, physicist Bruce Banner was exposed to radiation when he saved a young man during the detonation of a gamma bomb. As a consequence, he was transformed into the hulking green monster a cautionary figure in a young nuclear age who gets chased by the military for the destruction he leaves in his wake.
In the Boise edition from June 2008, the Hulk was clearly no match for a pair of evildoers who threw him into the back of a white pickup truck last Thursday, then sped off into the falling evening darkness.
"His arm is sitting on a table all by itself," Ray Egusquiza, owner of Outpost 12, told The Idaho Statesman. "Yeah, it's kind of depressing."
Egusquiza, who made the Hulk replica about 1 1/2 weeks ago, said he was originally flattered when the Hulk disappeared from his store just west of downtown Boise.
"I thought it was kind of nice that someone thought the Hulk was good enough to steal," Egusquiza said. "But then, finding out they dumped him in a ditch. That was crushing."
The blow is all more bitter because the Hulk had become quite a customer attraction, he said.
After positioning the figure strategically outside his shop Egusquiza would transport him in and out daily with a handcart comic-book aficionados would arrive for photos with the lumbering green giant.
"We had whole families coming in. Kids would pose with the Hulk," Egusquiza said.
Outpost 12 co-owner Jeff Doyle was helping a customer last Thursday at about 8:30 p.m. when he watched the two men make off with the Hulk.
With the extent of his injuries, the Hulk will likely require two or three weeks of repairs before he's once again ready to take to the gritty streets of Boise.
Egusquiza said the Hulk will reassume his post outside the shop once his wounds have healed.
"But he'll be secured with a nice, big chain," he said.