Issue(s): Avengers #3, Avengers Classic #3
Avengers Classic #3
I'm disappointed in the attitude Iron Man gets from Professor X, considering Xavier promised Iron Man he'd repay him for helping Angel recently.
Failing that, Iron Man contacts Rick Jones, who actually knows where to look. Rick finds the Hulk and helps him change back to Banner, but he quickly Hulks back up and Rick sees that he is completely out of control so he contacts the Avengers. The Wasp continues to belittle and humiliate Pym whenever she isn't busy checking out other guys.
The scene above will be the basis for Roger Stern later allowing the Wasp to have her wings and fly when she's nearly full-sized.
The Avengers and the Hulk fight but he wipes the floor with them.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Mariner (who recently found his people but was rejected by them due to him being too soft on humans for their taste) has been monitoring everything, and when he gets a chance, he offers the Hulk a Team-Up (after the obligatory fight, of course).
The Hulk agrees, and Namor decides to go after the Avengers. Which is a show of good faith, in my opinion, since the Prince has never fought the Avengers before and would probably rather go after the FF. He's doing this for the Hulk. Of course in the next panel we get the standard thing where both villains have the thought balloons where they say 'After we defeat our enemy, i'll turn on my ally while he's still weak.'
I've always hated that. The two fight the Avengers...
...and would have won if Hulk didn't turn back to Banner at a critical moment. Banner runs off and Namor has been out of water too long, but he manages to escape and Thor lets him go, due to "respect for his valor." Gods are weird.
A cool fight issue. It's cool how the Hulk, a member of the team for the first two issues, is now still in the book but as a bad guy.
The back-up addresses the fact that by this issue both Pym and Iron Man have given themselves upgrades. It has the two fighting each other in a training session, which Iron Man wins easily...
...in no small part thanks to his roller skates.
Then Pym engages in a philosophical discussion about how they're trying to keep up with the likes of Thor and the Hulk. Iron Man doesn't agree.
Pym says that he knows that Iron Man is Tony Stark, but Iron Man denies it.
Iron Man then tells Pym he'd better find an outlet for his stress, and then we see what Stark's outlet is.
A lot of these back-ups aren't worth very much, but this one adds some great characterization to these early Silver Age stories.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Man is wearing his new armor. The back-up seems designed to fit directly after this issue, or at least soon after Iron Man's armor upgrade.
Continuity Insert? P - reprint back-up story is continuity insert
My Reprint: Avengers Classic #3
Inbound References (15): show
It does look like a pretty good back up, adding some stuff that would come decades later, Pym being insecure and Tony's got a thing for drinks.
Posted by: david banes | September 12, 2014 5:18 PM
I didn't even know about these backup stories until I started looking at these. Avengers Classic must have come along after I initially stopped reading in the early 90's. They seem to function at the same level as the X-Men Classics backups, to add characterization between the issues.
Prof. X - still yelling. Maybe I should wait and see when he doesn't yell.
I love how the FF ditch Iron Man for ridiculous reasons (a date? fashion show?) and the X-Men yell at him for interrupting their training, but it's Spider-Man, who is actually capturing crooks at the time, who gets told "Thanks for nothing."
It would take what, another decade before Hulk and Sub-Mariner helped found The Defenders?
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 12, 2014 12:56 PM
This must be the worst Spider-Man art I've ever seen....EVER! Makes you wonder if Kirby deliberately wanted to sabotage Ditko's character.
Posted by: Leves | January 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Interesting use of "I'm the Hulk! The Hulk!". I seem to recall the Grey Hulk using that during Peter David's run also at least once. Taken at face value, it's probably just him psyching himself up by affirming that he's the Hulk, the strongest one there is, and that he can do anything. But, in the light of the later MPD reveal, it's almost like that side of Banner's mind desperately distancing itself from 'puny Banner'.
Posted by: Harry | July 21, 2015 12:10 PM
There's also a scene in Tales to Astonish 78 fnord put up which has the same sort of "affirmation"; which is noted as the moment he's fully in "Hulk Smash!" mode. (its a neat three-panel that just shows him blank and then affirming himself)
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 21, 2015 12:23 PM
I think you really see the Marvel approach to their characters here, as compared to DC during the Silver Age, with the different heroes basically telling Iron Man to 'cram it with walnuts' rather than being helpful. Marvel's heroes could be (and often were) jerks. While there are a lot of Superdickery type moments from DC's SA stories, most of those are unintentional. Stan was deliberately writing these guys that way. It makes them more flawed, human, and relatable. Btw I love the bit at the beginning where Iron Man brags about how awesome Tony Stark is. "He's a world famous inventor and a master of all kinds of devices -- oh and he has to tuck it into his sock every morning!"
Posted by: Robert | February 3, 2016 10:19 PM
This issue is when the Hulk starts to shape into what we know him as. Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's wearing torn purple pants for the first time (before this issue he wore a purple speedo) and Banner turns into the Hulk all by himself (without a Hulk-turning-ray or the sun setting) for the first time.
Posted by: Enchlore | June 22, 2017 7:27 PM
Hulk wore torn purple pants in Hulk #2 and Hulk #4. In terms of transformation, Bruce says that he transforms back into the Hulk because Rick didn't give him a strong enough dosage of gamma rays when turning him into Banner.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 28, 2017 9:37 PM
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