Monday, December 17, 2012

The Indexible Hulk #42!

Tales to Astonish 085Issue: Tales to Astonish #85

Title: “The Missile and the Monster!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, penciled by John Buscema, inked by John Tartaglione, lettered by Ray Holloway.

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

Villain: Gorki (don't worry, you'll find out soon who he is)

Hulk Intelligence: Same as last time... wants to be left alone, not too bright, short of temper

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: The Hulk continues to be at large in New York City, and aside from the brief tussle with Spider-Man (as seen in the previous post in this series), nobody's doing anything about it... not the Fantastic Four, not the Avengers, not the X-Men, not even Daredevil! So, the Hulk's accidentally causing damage everywhere he goes because he doesn't know his own strength and weight, and so he decides to leap up into the sky! Meanwhile, Rick Jones is nearing the Lincoln Tunnel in the car he's been hired to drive north from Florida. In Florida, the man who hired him, Gorki, is really a foreign agent, and he's been watching Rick via a hidden camera this whole time! His plan: Instant annihilation of New York City! At Cape Kennedy base, Talbot tells Ross that they're ready for the countdown, as it's time to test-launch the Orion Missile, which Ross says is anti-missile proof – no other missile can destroy it once it's in flight. The launch goes as scheduled, and it heads for it targeted location in the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, back in New York, the Hulk is atop a building, and being buzzed by Air Force jets, who fire on him, sending him stumbling to the streets below! This, of course, ticks off old Greenskin, and he starts picking up and throwing cars around. Suddenly, Rick pulls up in the car, and offers to help the Hulk, who climbs into the car (note that this is an open-top convertible, that really should've been groaning under the weight of the Hulk). “Minutes later, in a lonely, deserted section of the sprawling city” (the caption says – was there any such place, even in the 1960s?), Rick tries to figure out a way to change the Hulk back to Bruce Banner, but at the very mention of that name, the Hulk gets angry! Meanwhile, in Florida, Army intelligence breaks into Gorki's house, but it's too late! He presses a button on a console, and... in New York City, the trunk of the car Rick drove pops open, and out comes a robot, which expands in size as it emerges, its weight crushing the car (say what? How does it get heavier just because it's expanding like an accordion?). It fires an electronic bolt at the Hulk, and then turns and walks away. The Hulk gets up and attacks it, again and again, until the robot is destroyed. But it's already done its mission, as the Orion missile has changed course and is now headed straight for New York City! The Hulk spots it and, instinctively, leaps into the sky, catching it... but once he gets hold of it, he begins to change back to Bruce Banner!

Invention Exchange: Gorki's amazing expanding and weight-increasing robot!

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #40, The Incredible Hulk (Pocket Books, 1978), Essential Hulk #1

Notes: Yes, I'm going to say it again... this convertible can handle the weight of the Hulk in the passenger seat... yet when the robot in the trunk expands, somehow it crushes the car beneath its weight? And why did Gorki even need to have this robot in place? Why not simply have the car set so that, when activated, it becomes the new target that the Orion Missile is homed in on? Wouldn't that have been easier?

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