Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Indexible Hulk #16

Tales to Astonish 060Issue: Tales to Astonish #60

Title: “The Incredible Hulk Has Finally Been Awarded his Own Series!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Illustrated by Steve Ditko, Inked by George Bell, Lettered by Sam Rosen

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross

Villain: A mystery spy!

Hulk Intelligence: Cunning Brute

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: In Banner's hidden cave, the Hulk is changing back to Bruce Banner. Soon afterward, Banner arrives at the missile base to finish work on his robot project. A shadowy person notes that nobody's allowed to see this robot except Banner (oh, and General Ross and Betty, too, since they're already in the robot room). Bruce continues to work on the robot, worrying about changing to the Hulk again, and realizes that now the changes are coming when he's under stress and pressure, which causes a chemical reaction that turns him into the Hulk. He also realizes that the reverse happens, when the Hulk feels stressed out he turns back to Banner. With a new deadline to demonstrate the robot, Banner works through the night to finish it, but when he hears a noise outside the lab and sees the spy running away, the stress causes him to turn into the Hulk! The Hulk leaps away from the base, and the spy climbs into the robot to operate it at the test himself! At the test site, the robot arrives and moves to the test explosions, where it performs well, surviving tank shells and then destroying the drone tank that fired the shells. This alerts Ross, who orders that the robot be stopped. The spy learns that somehow, the hatch that would allow him to leave the robot has been fused shut, so he can't get out! At this time, however, the Hulk spots the robot, and a dim memory in the Hulk's brain allows him to realize Banner invented the robot... although the Hulk thinks it was built to attack him! The Hulk starts to attack the robot, but nothing he does seems able to damage it, and eventually the strain causes him to change back into Banner, and he's soon found by Ross. The robot – and the spy inside – has escaped! Banner vows to build a more powerful robot to defeat the first one, but Ross decides he'll defeat it his way! And that's where this chapter ends!

Invention Exchange: Bruce Banner's Robot, which really isn't so much an independently operating robot, but more like a bulky suit of power armor. Apparently Banner felt he needed to try to outdo Tony Stark!

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #25, The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Shuster), Essential Hulk #1.

Notes: Once again, the trigger for the transformation of Bruce to the Hulk is different... although oddly, just last issue Bruce already knew that stress caused him to change! I have no idea how Stan decided that if the Hulk undergoes enough stress, he'll change back to Banner, but that would eventually change. Again, I have to wonder – when is Banner working on these projects? How many scientific disciplines does he cover? And why is the spy pretty much unconcerned when he realizes he's trapped in this robot? How does he plan to eat or deal with bodily waste?

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