Monday, March 24, 2014

The Indexible Hulk #58

Tales to Astonish 101Issue: Tales to Astonish #101

Title: Where Walk the Immortals!

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, penciled by Marie Severin, inked by Frank Giacoia, lettered by Sam Rosen.

Supporting Cast: None

Villain: Loki

Guest-Stars: Heimdall, Odin, the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg)

Plot: As Bruce Banner starts to regain consciousness on the beach where he washed ashore in the aftermath of the Hulk's battle with Sub-Mariner, he's suddenly transformed back to the Hulk by Loki, who spotted Banner while using a mystic orb to find Thor. A second spell transports the Hulk to Asgard, where he appears on the fabled Rainbow Bridge, between Heimdall's post and Asgard itself. Heimdall spots the Hulk and tries to stop him from getting to Asgard, but a two-fisted slam on the bridge by the Hulk (who's very confused by what's happening here) sends Heimdall reeling long enough for the Hulk to leap into Asgard.

Loki's plan is that Odin will be distracted by the Hulk's presence in Asgard enough to forget about Thor's current situation, giving Loki the opportunity to kill the Thunder God. Inside Asgard, the Hulk first encounters the grim Hogun, followed shortly by the others of the Warriors Three. The Three attack the Hulk, but quickly it becomes apparent to Fandral that the Hulk has no evil in him, and must be bewitched. As other Asgardians join the fray, Fandral tries to tell them to stop attacking, but they can't hear him, so he throws his sword into the ground between the Hulk and the Asgardians. Loki shows up and tries to get the fight renewed without success.

The Warriors Three decide to take the Hulk to Oldar, the Oracle to seek guidance, but they first must cross a bottomless chasm. The Hulk starts to leap across, but halfway over, Loki turns the Hulk back into Banner, sending him plummeting down the chasm.

Invention Exchange: None

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #55, Essential Hulk #2, Warriors Three: Dog Day Afternoon (not numbered, 2011)

Notes: Apparently Loki forgot that the last time he tried to use the Hulk, it didn't work out so well, as that led to the formation of the Avengers! This was the last issue of Tales to Astonish, as the book was retitled The Incredible Hulk with the next issue. At the same time, Tales of Suspense, which had been co-starring Captain America and Iron Man, also ended, the numbering continuing with Captain America's new solo comic. Sub-Mariner and Iron Man would share a one-shot title before each got their own solo books. Elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, in Avengers #51, the Collector was attacking the Assemblers; he notes that the Hulk, whom he wanted to collect, is in Asgard.

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