Tales to Astonish Issue 70- “To Live Again!”
Published August 1965
Take a Stan Lee story, add Jack Kirby artwork, mix with Mickey Demeo inking, and Artie Simek lettering… Presto! Instant Confusion!
While searching the Leader’s lab, the MPs find an impressive plastic replica of the Hulk. However, General Ross is still angry that the Hulk escaped and the Absorbatron is destroyed. A solider arrives and informs Ross and Talbot that Banner’s body has gone missing, despite being under military surveillance. They didn’t put a camera on the Hulk, and now they lost a dead body, is there anything they can’t do right?
Rick Jones has taken Bruce’s body and brought it back to the underground lab, hoping that the the gamma ray machine can help save his friend. The machine turns Banner into the Hulk, but Banner’s intelligence and voice remains in his giant body. If Banner turns back to normal, it will mean his death due to the bullet in his brain. Amusingly, the Hulk tells Rick that the debt between the two is now cancelled, as Banner saved Rick’s life then and now it’s vice versa.
Elsewhere, the Leader has to contend with his angry backers, as he has lost the Absorbatron and has not defeated the Hulk. He convinces them that the Absorbatron was not worth it as it was purely a defensive weapon, and for the low low price of one billion dollars, he will be able to build “the greatest offensive weapon ever created!” He is then ordered to prove this claim by blowing up General Ross’s base. Instead of an actual bomb, the Leader’s greatest weapon turns out to be a giant Humanoid, and he commands it to attack the missile base. Fighter jets are dispatched to fight it, but they fight futilely.
Leaping back to the residential area of the base, the Hulk finds Betty grieving over Banner’s supposed death. Talbot tries to comfort her, but Betty adamantly refuses to believe that he was a traitor to the very end. The phone rings and Talbot is told that a giant Humanoid is wrecking havoc on the Air Force Base. The Hulk rushes to fight the plastic
Missiles are used on the thing and it’s just not working, and the Hulk is unfortunately hit by one of the missiles. The Humanoid uses this chance to capture the Hulk and squeezes him, our brutish hero’s uses his ability to grow stronger as he gets madder to break free of the thing. As soon as he grabs a hold of a rock formation, General Ross shoots him down. While the Hulk is stunned, General Ross tells the force to aim all missiles at the Giant Humanoid. However, they don’t even work as well due to its Bakelite shell.
With nothing else left, the military decides to bring in their secret weapon, a big honking missile called the Sunday Punch. As they prepare to fire, Rick Jones tries to warn the Hulk of what the army is planning to do. What will happen next? Doesn’t Rick realize by now that a mere missile won’t be enough?