Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Indexible Hulk #15

Tales to Astonish 059Issue: Tales to Astonish #59

Title: “Enter: The Hulk”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Drawn by Dick Ayers, Inked by Paul Reinman, Lettered by Artie Simek

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross

Villain: The Human Top

Hulk Intelligence: Angry Brute

Guest-Stars: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk (this is, after all, the Giant-Man and the Wasp strip)

Plot: At Avengers Mansion, Iron Man is watching newsreel footage of Spider-Man fighting the Hulk (filmed with what cameras, I ask??? There were none on the scene!), and Giant-Man wonders what became of the Hulk. Meanwhile, David Cannon, aka the Human Top, reads a newspaper account of Giant-Man's battle with Colossus, and then recalls his last encounter with Giant-Man. The Top has learned to create a powerful air pressure blast with his spinning power, and he's decided to no longer wear his costume. Meanwhile, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man leave the Mansion, while Giant-Man and the Wasp stay behind for a few moments before leaving themselves. As they walk home, disguised with trenchcoats and hats, they encounter some ruffians who whistle at the Wasp, causing Giant-Man to grow and place one of them on a high-strung clothesline. As fate would have it, Dave Cannon sees this from the window of his apartment, and follows them, spinning at invisible super-speed. He overhears Giant-Man decide that he and the Wasp will head to New Mexico to search or the Hulk! Arriving at Ross's missile base, Giant-Man learns that the Hulk hasn't been spotted in some time, and Ross is no longer interested in hunting Greenskin down. Ross does, however, assign Bruce Banner to help Giant-Man and the Wasp, but Bruce wants nothing to do with it! Bruce leaves, but his blood pressure's already rising, and he transforms into the Hulk and leaps in pursuit of Giant-Man! In a nearby town, the Hulk is spotted by Cannon. Meanwhile, Betty finds Bruce's jeep, tipped over by the Hulk in a fit of pique, and assumes that Bruce was attacked by the Hulk! At that time, Giant-Man arrives, and tells Betty he doesn't believe the Hulk would hurt Bruce. Back at the Hulk, The Human Top has tried to prepare to slow down the Hulk so he can make an offer to Greenskin, but the Hulk doesn't even notice the Top! Then Giant-Man spots the Hulk and races him to the next town over, where Giant-Man warns everyone to evacuate. However, the Human Top has finally got the Hulk's attention, and tells the Hulk that Giant-Man is waiting for him. The Hulk, enraged, takes off to battle Giant-Man. Meanwhile, the Top spins his way to General Ross, where he tells Ross he's spotted the Hulk (Ross is apparently more interested in finding the Hulk and stopping him than he'd previously told Giant-Man). At the town, Giant-Man tries to convince the Hulk he just wants to talk, but as mad as the Hulk is, he refuses to listen! The two begin a battle, with enlarged muscles battling gamma-spawned might, with the town beginning to suffer! Meanwhile, the Wasp finally appears again, and learns that Ross is about to fire a small bore atomic missile at the town to destroy the Hulk! The Wasp catches a ride on the missile, hoping to somehow force it to change course, but is unsuccessful. She then decides to contact Giant-Man via their helmet radios, just in time! The Hulk spots the missle and takes off to intercept it, because he doesn't want the bomb to finish off Giant-Man – he wants to do it himself! In mid-air, the Hulk grabs the bomb, but the momentum of the bomb sends Greenskin hurtling through the air some distance away, where the Hulk throws the bomb away to detonate harmlessly in the desert. The shockwave causes the Hulk to hit the ground and turn back to Banner, and soon, Ross' men find Bruce. Giant-Man returns to New York to report his failure to his fellow Avengers.

Invention Exchange: The only noteworthy gadget is a tiny carbon-dioxide powered rocket Giant-Man has been carrying around. When he sets it down, he shrinks to Ant-Man size and uses it to catch up with the Hulk.

Reprinted In: Essential Ant-Man #1.

Notes: This was the last issue of Tales to Astonish where Giant-Man/Ant-Man and the Wasp would be the only superheroes. With the next issue, the new Hulk series would start, joining Highpockets and the Winsome One. General Ross and Betty seem to have been used mostly to remind the readers about the Hulk's cast. 


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