Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Indexible Hulk #27!

Tales to Astonish 071Issue: Tales to Astonish #71

Title: “Like a Beast at Bay!”

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

Supporting Cast: Thunderbolt Ross, Glenn Talbot, Rick Jones, Betty Ross

Villain: The Leader

Hulk Intelligence: He should be Banner smart, but he's got a temper!

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: As the Hulk is about to attack the giant Humanoid again, Rick reaches him and warns about the new missile to be launched. The Hulk grabs Rick and leaps away, barely escaping the huge mushroom cloud created when the missile explodes. Still, they are hit by the shockwave, which sends them hurtling further away. Back at the base, when the smoke clears, Ross and Talbot can see that the Leader's Humanoid is down and out of action! The soldiers surround the fallen android (I guess there was no residual radiation of any kind, eh?), but suddenly, the thing bursts into flames, and nothing is left of it – the Leader's decided to destroy it rather than let it fall into the military's hands. But the Leader's changed targets anyway – he's keeping an eye on the Hulk, to learn his secret! Where the Hulk and Rick finally landed, the Hulk is fine, but Rick is barely breathing. The Hulk performs CPR in a sense on the boy, reviving him. The Hulk picks Rick up again and leaps to the hidden cave lab, but the military spots them and follows! When they reach the lab, the Hulk checks the gamma ray equipment, which he plans to use every two days to remain the Hulk (else the bullet in his brain will instantly kill him when he turns back to Banner). Suddenly, the cave is rocked by cannon fire! The military has found the whereabouts of the cave, and are attacking! The Hulk responds by throwing debris from the resulting cave-ins back to Ross' soldiers. Then Ross uses a bullhorn to tell the Hulk to give up, or they'll drop nuclear weapons on the cave! The Hulk pushes Rick out of the cave, figuring he'll sacrfice himself, but the Leader contacts him via projecto-image, and offers to take him away from there with his projecto-ray so long as they team up!

Invention Exchange: As noted in last issue, the giant Humanoid and the Sunday Punch missile. New this issue is the Leader's projecto-beam.

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

Notes: Obviously, the idea of Banner's brain controlling the Hulk's body is already changing, as he's getting closer and closer to Hulk temperament again! Namor gets a lot of cover focus, since his feature just began in the previous issue.

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