Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Indexible Hulk #50

Tales to Astonish 093
Issue: Tales to Astonish #93

Title: “He Who Strikes the Silver Surfer”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, Penciled by Marie Severin, Inks by Frank Giacoia, Lettered by Art Simek

Supporting Cast: N/A

Villain: N/A

Guest-Stars: Silver Surfer

Plot: The Hulk, angry at the Surfer, throws blow after blow, but none connect due to the Surfer's speed and dexterity. The Surfer then creates a force field to drive the Hulk back so that he can convince Greenskin of the folly of his attack. Even though the Surfer tells the Hulk that he cannot leave the Earth, the Hulk still insists that the Surfer should take him to another world. The Surfer's cosmic bolt doesn't keep the Hulk from delivering a double-fisted haymaker that staggers the Surfer briefly... but the Surfer does not feel anger towards the Hulk, but rather pity. This makes the Hulk even angrier at the Surfer, and he grabs the Surfer and lifts him up. In response, the Surfer calls his board to him, which separates them. Meanwhile, the police have surrounded the scene of the brief battle, using the headlights of their cars to confuse the Hulk. The Surfer, flying away, takes one look back and sees the Hulk is about to be attacked by flame throwers. This causes the Surfer to recall his own persecution, and flies back to rescue the Hulk, flying him away. The Hulk thinks this means the Surfer will take him to another world, but the Surfer again tells the Hulk that Galactus has exiled him to earth. The Hulk figures the Surfer is lying, and he starts attacking again, his goal to steal the Surfer's board. Though the Hulk's strength is nearly limitless, none but the Surfer can control his flying surfboard. The Hulk is thrown off the board, but continues to attack him. The Surfer manages to stun the Hulk, and then he uses his powers to learn about the Hulk. Ironically, the Surfer is just about to use the power cosmic to remove the gamma energy from the Hulk, curing him forever, when the Hulk revives, and interprets the Surfer's gesture as an attack. Well, even the Surfer has his limits, and decides that that's all he can stands, he can't stands no more (to paraphrase Popeye), so he flies off, leaving the Hulk to sit there in the wildernesss bemoaning his fate.

Invention Exchange: None.

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #48, Marvel Treasury Edition #13, Essential Hulk #2, Hulk Vs. the Marvel Universe (2008), The Incredible Hulk (Pocket Books)

Notes: Obviously, there was no way that they were going to cure Bruce Banner in this story... but this was basically a two-pronged set up! The first was to get the Hulk established as wanting to go to another planet; the second was to see how the Surfer's presence in a book other than Fantastic Four affected sales – this seems rather plausible, as it wasn't all that terribly long after this that Marvel was able to expand their line, with Tales to Astonish and Tales of Suspense ending their individual runs, splitting up into solo books (oh, Strange Tales would do the same)... and of course the Surfer would later get his own title.

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