Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Indexible Hulk #17

Tales to Astonish 061Issue: Tales to Astonish #61

Title: “Captured at Last!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Art by Steve Ditko, Inked by George Bell (Roussos), lettered by Sam Rosen

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Betty Ross, Col. Glenn Talbot (first appearance)

Villain: The mystery spy

Hulk Intelligence: Brutish Thug

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: After defeating the Hulk in the previous issue, the spy in Bruce Banner's robot armor manages to stumble upon one of Banner's hidden cave labs (this is the first time it's mentioned that there's more than one... man, Banner was making huge money!), and plans to use the equipment there to build a crude missile to destroy Ross' base! Meanwhile, at the base lab, Banner works feverishly to build an electronic scanner to find the robot that was stolen (you may recall that last issue, Bruce figured he'd build a more powerful robot, I don't know why he changed his mind)! In Ross' office, Ross is meeting Col. Glenn Talbot, newly assigned to Ross' base, and also convinced that Banner is a traitor. When Betty arrives at Ross' office, Glenn is instantly smitten, and Ross hopes that Talbot will be the one to make Betty forget about Bruce! Betty shows Talbot around the base, but when they get to Bruce's lab, Bruce isn't there! Instead, he's using his newly-built scanner to find the robot, who by this time has built his missile! Bruce sees the robot, but also sees an Army helicopter (that has Talbot and Betty on board) and realizes the robot will attack the ship, and that stress causes him to turn into the Hulk and leap up to destroy a boulder the robot had hurled at the chopper, which had just landed! Then, the Hulk leaps at the robot, sending them both down a hill. The Hulk and the robot battle, neither giving way, until they reach the opening of a bottomless pit! Meanwhile, the missile (that was apparently just laying around Banner's lab, not built by the spy) has been automatically launched at the base! Desperately, the Hulk lunges over the opening of the bottomless pit, then uses his leg muscles to bounce off the opposite side and over the robot, and then delivers a two-fisted blow to the robot, sending it and the spy inside down into the pit! The Hulk then goes after the missile, destroying it with one punch. When he returns to the ground, however, the strain has been too much, and he lands unconscious, where Talbot and Betty find him – Talbot assuming that the Hulk threw the boulder! Talbot contacts the base, and Ross sends out a crane with special chains developed by Tony Stark, which are used to bind the Hulk. Patrols are sent to search for Bruce, and Talbot and Ross discuss their hopes that there's a connection between Bruce and the Hulk. Later, the Hulk awakens in his chains, surrounded by tanks! The chains are holding him, but as the Hulk strains against his bonds, the stress begins to build, which will surely change him back to Bruce Banner!

Invention Exchange: Bruce's electronic scanner – what, he didn't have a metal detector handy? Also Bruce's missile he carelessly left in one of his many cave laboratories. We can't forget Tony Stark's special chains (did Tony design and build these out of anger for Bruce building a suit of powered armor, even one that couldn't fly?).

Reprinted In: The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Schuster), Essential Hulk #1.

Notes: Oddly, this issue as well as the Hulk issues from Tales to Astonish #62-66 don't seem to have been reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes, as one might have expected! Also odd is how this mystery spy was defeated and killed off without any reveal as to who he was or who he was working for!

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