Tales To Astonish #88-89
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #88, Tales To Astonish #89
...and reprograms it (through "trial and error").
After failing to defeat it with whales and octopi...
...Namor figures out what it is and calls the aliens back to pick it up. I'm a little confused as to how Attuma, who is supposed to represent the barbarian side of the Atlantean race, is able to reprogram an advanced alien robot, but i'll go with it.
Meanwhile, the Hulk wakes up, still in NY and surrounded by troops.
Hulk gets grumpy when the press show up and start taking pictures (and that's the first official use of the "Hulk Smash!" phrase)...
...and Boomerang is still lurking around. His plan from last issue was to wait until the Hulk turned back into Banner, which would make him easy to kill (in theory, but we know that never seems to work), but instead he uses some minor explosives to get the Hulk angry at the crowd, ruining his reputation and his chances for amnesty (and giving Rick a good smack).
Then Boomerang gets into a fight with the Hulk and lasts much longer than he deserves to. Boomerang falls to his apparent death but the Hulk swallows some sleep gas and turns back into Banner.
Passed out as Banner, the Stranger shows up.
Here we get the closest thing to a motivation i've ever seen for the Stranger: "From a vantage point in deepest space I have been studying the primitive planet Earth. And I like not what I have seen! Man is too consumed with greed, and with hatred for his fellow mortals! Obsessed with war... and possessing atomic power... Earth is too great a danger to the sprawling universe!" His plan is to use the Hulk to destroy humanity's civilizations and then let it regrow under his control (one has to wonder what any of that has to do with kidnapping Magneto and the Toad and putting them in his museum). He brainwashes the Hulk and sends him off to rampage like only he can.
Gil Kane's art is good at times but often too cartoony for my tastes.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: For the Hulk, this takes place in a very compressed timeframe due to Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl #1; see the Considerations section there for more details.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Super-Heroes #43, Marvel Super-Heroes #44
Inbound References (3): showAttuma, Betty Ross, Boomerang, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Glenn Talbot, Hulk, Lady Dorma, Rick Jones, Stranger, Sub-Mariner, Vashti
Gil Kane was a longtime DC artist, but by this time he was fed up by what he felt was substandard inking on his art(and DC refused to let him ink it himself), so he bolted DC for a while and self-published his own creation "His Name Is...Savage!", a b&w comic magazine. I think he went to Marvel for work so he could fund it. This first run of his at Marvel didn't last long, and he was soon back at DC(who did relent on his inking demands).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 6, 2011 12:33 AM
Gil stated in a later interview that Stan Lee told him his art looked like "David Niven in a superhero suit".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 26, 2012 4:28 PM
Always loved Gil's work.
Posted by: VtCG | July 19, 2016 5:15 AM
Gil Kane's art is... different. Gil is probably best known as co-creator/designer of DC's Silver Age characters Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and the Atom (Ray Palmer).
"His Name is... Savage!" was published in 1968, still in Gil's future. Archie Goodwin scripted it under the pen name of Robert Franklin. It was too bloody for comic books and only lasted for 1 issue, which I bought and loved at age 12. Savage looked JUST like Lee Marvin on the cover, and the splash page was a great early homage to Will Eisner's Spirit, as you can see in this wiki link.
There's an interesting overview at that same link about Kane's problems with printing and distribution on this book. Also notes that Marvel put out a "Spectacular Spider-Man" black and white magazine comic right on the heels of "Savage." My snot-nosed friends and I all agreed that Marvel swiped the idea at the time, but who knows? It might have been coincidental.
Posted by: James Holt | August 27, 2016 1:33 PM
BTW, Gil Kane also did a LOT of work for Tower Comics on THUNDER Agents, UNDERSEA Agent, and related Tower titles during the period 1965-69.
Steve Ditko also did some good work on the NoMan character of that Tower line. Other notable Tower artists include Reed Crandall, Wally Wood, and Larry Ivie.
Posted by: James Holt | August 27, 2016 1:59 PM
Gil Kane is one of the greatest comic artists of all time having worked on practically every major character at both DC and Marvel at one time or another (even if it was only the covers). His Name is Savage was a step towards the graphic novels of later years. He also created the fantasy comic Blackmark and did the sci fi comic strip Star Hawks. This was not his best work but is still good. His best Marvel work was on Spider-Man and Conan.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 7, 2016 7:27 PM
The Stranger is named that cuz hes strange AF!
Posted by: Roy Mattson | June 26, 2017 4:53 PM
I'm reading all of the Astonish Hulk stories in Hulk Epic Volume 2 - The Hulk Must Die, and it's interesting to see how Hulk's look evolved with the rotating door of artists. I think Kane is the first artist to make the Hulk look truly terrifying. Many of the prior depictions stayed in line with Kirby's misunderstood Frankenstein's monster portrayal.
Posted by: Bigvis497 | January 3, 2018 11:17 PM
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