Tales To Astonish #59
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #59
Review/plot: Any issue that starts with Thor sitting daintily on a gymnastics ring is OK in my book, no matter how bad it is.
Nonetheless, this is pretty bad. It starts off with the Avengers working out and watching footage of the Hulk fighting Spider-Man (from Amazing Spider-Man #14). Since they were fighting in an isolated cave in the deserts of New Mexico, it's pretty amazing that the fight got caught on film, but let's be charitable and say that one of the film crew secretly followed Spidey and the Enforcers when they went off to "practice" their fight scene.
Captain America, watching the film, says "I wonder how he feels about us right now?". That's guilt over stealing Rick Jones.
Meanwhile, Davy Cannon, AKA the Human Top, who will later become Whirlwind, is laying in bed reading about Giant-Man's recent defeat of the Colossus in Africa. He's been training, and he's ready for a rematch. And he's decided that he's not going to wear a costume anymore, so that he won't be so easily recognized. He just spins like crazy all the time, and when he stops he's in civilian clothes and can blend in with the crowd. Good idea, really.
The Human Top watches Giant-Man trying to prove his manhood by beating up some street corner ruffians who were harassing the Wasp...
...and then overhears the fact that Giant-Man has decided to go and try and get the Hulk to rejoin the Avengers. He and the Wasp were going out to eat, but he's changed his mind and Jan can eat on the plane, the whiny bitch.
The Human Top follows.
The next scene introduces the relationship between Banner and Betty Ross to new readers. Banner says, "You're the general's daughter, and I'm a humble atomic scientist - with a secret I can never reveal to a living soul!" Yes, Bruce Banner now speaks in movie preview taglines.
Giant-Man says he wants to find the Hulk to convince him to rejoin the Avengers, but the Hulk knows better, and of course the two of them fight. The Hulk is egged on by the Human Top, who never actually joins the fight.
Giant-Man's real goal, of course, is to prove himself to the other Avengers by taking on the Hulk alone. He does some projecting when he says, "And the most important thing is to win his respect - to show him he's up against someone as powerful as he is." Of course, that's totally not the way to get the Hulk to do anything, but this fight isn't really about the Hulk; it's all about Hank Pym's ego. Unfortunately, fighting the Hulk isn't really good for anyone's ego.
The fight ends when the Human Top convinces the army that the Hulk is in an abandoned town alone, and they launch a nuclear missile (out of a tank turret!) to destroy him. The Wasp tries to disable the missile but fails (this was billed on the cover as the Wasp's 'death-defying missile ride', so you'd think they'd actually let her succeed at it, but no)...
... and the Hulk jumps up and catches it, getting changed back into Bruce Banner due to the explosion.
The Hulk announces an important aspect of his character this issue: "The angrier I get, the stronger I get.". Thanks to CBR for documenting that this was the first use of that phrase (or a variant, anyway), and Michael for pointing it out to me.
Hulk won't say this again until Tales to Astonish #70.
Starting next issue, the Hulk will be the regular second feature in this book, so the main purpose here was to re-introduce him.
This issue ends with the Avengers again. Note Cap reading a newspaper featuring an article about Dr. Zemo.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Needs to take place after Amazing Spider-Man #14.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBetty Ross, Captain America, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Henry Pym, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Whirlwind
Giant-Man failed to report his encounter with the Hulk to the Avengers? Egregious dereliction of duty! 7 day suspension! 10 demerits!
Posted by: James Holt | August 17, 2016 1:27 AM
I remember being excited by this story as I was glad to have the Hulk back in his own series.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 29, 2016 8:05 PM
Perhaps the tank that fires that nuke was the same model of atomic tank that the Miracle Man tried to steal in FF #3.
Posted by: Nathan P. Mahney | May 25, 2017 7:49 AM
On page six, Banner refers to himself as Dr. Robert Bruce Banner.
Posted by: Jay Phillips | September 25, 2017 9:27 PM
There was a scene in the Antman film where the Wasp rides on a missile to disable it. (Doubt this inspired it but you never know).
Posted by: kveto | July 8, 2018 6:57 AM
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