Issue(s): Sub-Mariner #34, Sub-Mariner #35
The logic behind the Sub-Mariner/Hulk/Silver Surfer team-up here is wildly flawed. Atlantean scientists have determined that a new weather-controlling station that the UN are about to bring online is not safe. Since the Sub-Mariner's credibility with the UN is not at a high point right now, he can't just warn them directly. But instead of finding some third party (Reed Richards? Walter Newell?) to go through, he figures he better recruit the Hulk and the Silver Surfer to go have a peaceful conversation with the UN team. The Hulk, of course, is known for his diplomatic skills, and the Surfer, if known to the world at large at all, is the guy who brought Galactus to Earth and went on at least two additional rampages against humanity.
Namor picks the Surfer because he happened to be surfing around above Atlantis, and the recruitment scene is your typical "fight, then team-up" scenario.
The Hulk was specifically targeted by Namor.
In the process of recruiting the Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer accidentally trigger a revolution in the island country of San Pablo, which definitely isn't a stand-in for Cuba.
The locals on the island call the Hulk "La Mole" (pronounced mo-lay), which means "the mass", and i guess it's what the Hulk is called in spanish translations.
With the Hulk recruited, everyone immediately wishes that he wasn't. In contrast to his more well known "just want to be left alone" attitude, in this story he is itching for a fight and only sticks with Namor and the Surfer due to the promise of one. This means he approaches the UN troops boulder-first, forcing Namor into the unnatural role of peace-maker.
Luckily the Avengers (actually only a subset hand-selected by Captain America) are called in...
...giving Hulk the fight he wanted.
Luckily, it's a powerful group of Avengers that show up, since Namor's group is about as tough as you can get.
While the teams fight, a group of Atlanteans inspect the weather station and either confirm that it was dangerous or just straight-up destroy it, depending on whether or not you believe Ikthon.
Surprisingly, the UN believes Namor and decides to shut down the program (but does this get them to reconsider Atlantis' petition for membership? No!).
The Hulk decides to try to destroy the station anyway, causing another conflict with his allies, and he leaves in disgust. The Silver Surfer immediately follows, saying "I could not endure another moment among a race of mad men... who rail at each other in the name of progress!".
If you just want a cool team-up and a fight with the Avengers, and some decent Sal Buscema art...
...this is fun. Just don't expect much logic from it.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A narration box tells us "don't waste time trying to correlate this tale with the current Avengers issue! No way!", but the MCP places this between Hulk #138-139 and Avengers #87-88.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlack Panther, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Ikthon, Iron Man, Lady Dorma, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Thor, Vashti, Vision
the original defenders were about as tough as they come: namor, hulk and the surfer. throw in Dr Strange and they are too much for anybody, i think.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | February 16, 2013 3:08 PM
Hulk used to be known in Spain as La Masa. La Mole was the Spanish translation for The Blob...
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | March 12, 2013 2:14 PM
Thanks Jay. I've added a scan with the La Mole footnote; i wonder if it differed per region.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 12, 2013 3:47 PM
In Latin America Hulk has always been Hulk. No translations. La Mole was the Thing. Hulk translated as la Mole is probably something Roy Thomas made up.
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | March 13, 2013 4:17 AM
Considering the previous Surfer apperance had that whole "I'm going to be a villain now!" speech, I wonder if being away for a while and fighting Namor sort of just snapped him out of it...then again considering Namor and the Hulk are about as "anti-hero" as you're going to get at this point and they do fight the Avengers together...so maybe its just an evolution of that. (though without Doctor Strange to at least keep them on the right line of the law)
Posted by: Ataru320 | January 29, 2015 4:50 PM
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | January 9, 2016 2:38 PM
Considering what we'l learn about Ikthon in a few issues, perhaps he was trying to set Namor at war with the surface to get him killed.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 4, 2017 7:38 PM
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