Monday, June 18, 2012

The Indexible Hulk #26!

Tales to Astonish 070Issue: Tales to Astonish #70
Title: “To Live Again!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Mickey Demeo (Mike Esposito), letters by Artie Simek.

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Major Talbot, Rick Jones, Betty Ross

Villain: The Leader

Hulk Intelligence: Oh, let's save it for a surprise!

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: After the apparent fatal shooting of Dr. Banner (last issue), the military, led by Ross and Talbot, invade the Leader's base. They're told that Banner's body is gone! We find that Rick Jones has taken Bruce's body in a truck to the hidden cave laboratory, because he figures that Bruce is really two men – Bruce and the Hulk – and if Bruce is dead, he'll just bring the Hulk back to life using Banner's Gamma Ray device. The ray turns Bruce into the Hulk, and he rises from the table... but something's different! Bruce Banner's brain is in control of the Hulk's body! Bruce decides that the only way he can stay alive is to remain the Hulk forever, and that they have to figure how to prevent him from changing back. Meanwhile, the Leader apparently had a back-up base prepared, from which he contacts the Red leaders he's working for. He tells them he has the ultimate offensive weapon, and it will cost them a billion dollars! The Reds tell him to prove its worth by destroying Ross' missile base. Even as the Leader prepares to unleash his 500-foot tall Humanoid android, he's already planning on turning on his Red employers! The Humanoid starts walking towards the base. Shortly, the Hulk/Banner leaps to Betty's cottage, where he overhears Talbot tell Betty that Bruce is dead. Bruce decides it's better if she thinks that's the case. Just then, the phone rings, and Talbot learns of the Humanoid attack! None of the base's defenses are doing any good, so the Hulk tries to lend a hand, accidentally getting in the way of one of the missiles (and leading the military to think they're in cahoots). The Humanoid grabs the Hulk in one of its hands, but the Hulk eventually breaks free. But as the Hulk tries to get back to the Humanoid to battle it, more missiles strike, sending him flying. Finally, one volley of missiles staggers the Humanoid, and the Hulk leaps up to finish knocking him over. But before the Hulk can renew the attack, a gigantic trailer pulls up, with the Sunday Punch Missile (yes, it says so right on the trailer!) prepared to fire at the Humanoid! Rick overhears the plan to fire it, and runs off to warn the Hulk!

Invention Exchange: The Leader's 500-foot-tall Humanoid android, the military's Sunday Punch Missile (perhaps invented by Tony Stark?).

Reprinted In: The Incredible Hulk Special #3, The Incredible Hulk (Simon & Schuster, 1978), Essential Hulk #1.

Notes: Adapted as episode 15 of the 1966 Hulk animated series. The indexer of this issue at the Grand Comics Database notes this is the first time the Hulk claims that the madder he gets, the stronger he gets. Interestingly, it's the Banner-controlled Hulk who claims this!

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