Tales to Astonish Issue 67- “Where Strikes the Behemoth”
Published May 1965
Script by: Stan Lee, who created the Hulk!
Art by: Steve Ditko, who adopted the Hulk!
Inking by: Frank Ray, who fears the Hulk!
Lettering by: Artie Simek, who looks like the Hulk!
After escaping from the weapons research facility, the Hulk quickly finds himself under siege by an entire fleet of tanks. The Hulk is still angry after the loss of his friend, and begins to tear apart tank after tank. Rockets are fired at him, but they don’t even scratch him. It is truly an action packed first half, as it one giant against an entire military organization.
Soon, the Hulk arrives in Mongolia. A spy plane spots the Hulk, but is told not to approach and goes back to base. The Hulk finds a hiding spot, and rests. “No food, no friends, no home,” he cries. Once again he is truly alone. He thinks about Rick, but he is off on his own adventures. He sleeps, and turns back into Bruce Banner.
Soon he is awakened by two Mongolian bandits. One of them is Kanga Khan, a bandit chieftain, and he quickly realizes that Banner is an American. The milksop tells them that he would make a fine hostage, as the Americans would pay handsomely for him, and so Khan takes him. The underling doubts Banner’s claims, due to the torn pants Banner wears, but vows to guard him with his life. Banner wonders what will happen to him, and which side will get to him first?
Back in America, Major Talbot learns that Kanga Khan is holding Dr. Banner for ransom. Now that he is out of Soviet hands, Talbot is allowed to go and track Banner down and bring him back to the States. The Major tells his superior that he still believes Bruce to be a traitor, and is told to get him no matter what.
Major Talbot arrives in Mongolia and arranges the trade. Far away, at the camp of Kanga Khan, Banner remains captive until Talbot arrives. In the shadows, two turbaned men carrying machine guns observe the state of Khan’s compound, and they quickly leave. Before Talbot can take Banner into custody, the enemy bandits return and attack. Khan identifies them as Hakun Gantu’s men. Banner attempts to flee, and Talbot follows close behind. The two manage to escape, but end up on a ledge. The battle causes them to lose their footing and they begin to plummet to their deaths.
A totally thrilling episode, and what will happen next? This is one serial that Steve Ditko has drawn so well. Compared to the tall buildings and street grids of New York, these adventures in a foreign country are quite different than what is seen in the more traditional Marvel Comics, though they deal with alien menaces more often.