Friday, November 23, 2012

The Indexible Hulk #40!

Tales to Astonish 084
Issue: Tales to Astonish #84

Title: “Like a Beast at Bay!” & “Rampage in the City!”

Credits: Both written by Stan Lee; “Like a Beast at Bay!” pencilled by Gene Colan, inked by Dick Ayers, and Lettered by Sam Rosen. “Rampage in the City!” pencilled by Bill Everett and Jack Kirby, inked by Everett, Mike Esposito, Sol Brodsky, and John Tartaglione, letters by Artie Simek.

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

Villain: Boomerang

Hulk Intelligence: Not too bright, and very short-tempered.

Guest-Stars: Sub-Mariner

Plot: On an isolated mountain peak, the Hulk has decided that he's tired of hiding and running, and that he must find Betty again, because nobody should hate him after he saved her. When he gets to the base, it's deserted, however. The Hulk decides to go to the Avengers, and that they will help him. Eventually, the Hulk makes it to New York City, but even he realizes that people will be afraid of him if they see him. Spotting a big and tall men's clothing store, the Hulk lifts the very wall of it up to get an overcoat and hat, which he puts on to disguise himself. As poor a disguise as this is, nobody spots him for half a day (the caption tells us this), until a policeman gets a glimpse of green skin, and he calls it in, sending patrol cars racing to the scene, sirens blaring. The Hulk ducks into an alley, and into the employee entrance of a newsreel theater. But inside, there's a commotion happening there, and when he looks, he sees the Sub-Mariner (also in disguise, and also as badly disguised) breaking free from the crowd and fleeing (yes, this crossed over with the Sub-Mariner story in this issue). The Hulk doesn't remember who Subby is, however, and settles down to watch the newsreel. Fortunately, the newsreel shows the Hulk how Boomerang managed to get the Orion Missle removed from storage, and how he battled Talbot for possession of it, Talbot winning only because he was willing to destroy the missile rather than let Boomerang have it. Towards the end of the newsreel, Talbot mentions the missile will be taken to Cape Kennedy for testing. The Hulk leaves the theater, realizing why the base was empty, and decides to continue searching for the Avengers. He also recalls Rick, and wonders why Rick hasn't found him. Meanwhile, at Cape Kennedy, where the Orion Missile has already been moved, Rick hears reports of the Hulk being sighted in New York, and decides to go to him. But he can't afford to get there, so he looks in the newspapers, because “There are always people advertising in the paper for someone to drive their car up north for them!” (really? Was this a thing?) Less than an hour later, Rick's found someone and is hired, and heads north, with instructions not to open the trunk. Back in New York, a stray breeze blows the hat off the Hulk's head, and he's spotted, and a panic ensues! The Hulk stumbles into the entrance for a subway, where he trips and lands on the charged third rail, which barely stuns him! A subway train is heading into the station, and the Hulk realizes if it hits the rails he's broken, everyone will die, so he stops the train, saving everyone. The crowd is confused, half of them thinking he saved the train, the other half thinking he tried to wreck it! The Hulk leaps upward, bursting through to the street, and stomps away, free... to do what?

Invention Exchange: None

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #39, Essential Hulk #1

Notes: Has anyone ever heard of what Rick says happens all the time? I mean, I've been around, and I've never heard of anyone hiring somebody to drive their car from Florida to New York. Overall, this story's purpose seemed mainly to get the Hulk to New York so there could be the semi-crossover with the Sub-Mariner story (the same panel is even used in both stories). Time is getting pretty flexible here, because the guy who hires Rick to drive his car expects him to arrive in two days – and Rick arrives in the following issue, with the Hulk still running loose in New York! What happened between? You'll see next time around!

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