Tales to Astonish Issue 92- “Turning Point!”
Published June 1967
Writer: Smilin’ Stan Lee
Illustrator: Magnificent Marie Severin
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Letterer: Artie Simek
A brand new volume and the dawn of a new chapter in the “saga of the world’s most misunderstood misanthrope” that is not Gregory House. Marie Severin has been chosen as the new artist and she is just amazing. Jack Kirby and Bill Everett and the like were great artist with the Hulk as they created bold and exciting stories, but Severin just kicks it up a notch. Everything is just more intricately detailed, and the characters’ emotions just show through, especially in black and white print.
After his epic battle with that horrible Abomination, the Hulk has gone missing. For an entire month, the world has wondered where he is, and reporters are still bugging General Ross and other top brass to reveal his location. Nobody has a clue of where either Dr. Bruce Banner or the Hulk is at the moment, and people wait in anticipation. Betty is still grieving over her love’s disappearance, and despite all of Glen Talbot’s best efforts, she still won’t let go. Rick Jones calls the teen brigade too and also can’t get an answer as members from all around North America don’t have a clue.
In New York City, a bearded man carries a mysterious package. His inner monologue reveals that he has all of the components for something, and if this were a post 9/11 thing he’d be in jail. As he heads up to his apartment, his neighbors can’t help but wonder in suspicion. He reaches his abode, and it’s none other than Bruce Banner, though it could be Grizzly Adams… Inside that flat is a gigantic gamma ray machine, and how could anybody miss that even as it’s under a skylight? Banner activates the machine and hopes the gamma ray machine can rid himself of the Hulk. It is obviously a failure, and Banner’s anger causes him to transform once again after a long absence. His neighbors complain about the noise, and the Hulk busts out of the apartment with a loud “krrusk!” flying far away. The alarm is sounded, and the Hulk is in torment about the fact that he has nowhere to go.
In the night sky, he spots a flying saucer and chases after it. He grabs it but falls to the ground with a big impact. That flying saucer goes toward him and it turns out to be… the Silver Surfer!
Tales to Astonish Issue 93- “He Who Strikes the Silver Surfer”
Published July 1967
Hulkily Presented by: Smilin’ Stan Lee & Mirthful Marie Severin (Masters of Hulkology!)
Hulkamorously Inked by: Frank Giacoia
Hulkificially Lettered by: Artie Simek
Another massive melee begins as the Hulk tries to punch a being who moves as fast as “shrieking space wind.” The Silver Surfer easily pushes away his gigantic foe with a simple force field, but he remains unrelenting. The Surfer asks why a mortal like the Hulk wishes to fight a person such as he with many words, and the brute responds with the usual “nobody is stronger than me!” and demands to be taken into space.
The fight continues, but the Silver Surfer doesn’t lift a finger and allows the Hulk to pummel him to the ground. The green giant starts to wonder why his opponent is feeling the effects of his punches and starts to grow tired of the Surfer’s talk. Trying to end the match, he summon his surfboard and slams it at the Hulk with full force. The commotion alerts the local copes and suddenly cars surround the two. Norrin Radd tries to flee but upon seeing the cops ganging up on the misanthrope with flamethrowers, he goes to his aid.
They fly to an isolated part of the city, and the Hulk remains defiant for any help. His simple-mindedness still focuses on taking the board for himself, and the battle continues. The Surfer tells him that he can fly into space no more due to the events in Fantastic Four, but the Hulk doesn’t care as “If you won’t ride it up to the stars– the Hulk will!”
A humorous scene of the Hulk trying to get liftoff and failing happens, and the board is returned back to the Surfer. Still full of rage the Hulk attempts to throw a giant boulder at our pearly air-rider. Seeing all this destruction disturbs Radd, and so he finally uses his cosmic energy to read the Hulk’s mind to understand him. He learns his origin, and tells him that that he will rid Banner of the gamma rays in order to be free of the Hulk. However, the cantankerous colossus punches the Surfer.
The Silver Surfer flies away once again, and the Hulk is left to yearn once more about a chance to go into space. Don’t worry, as it will happen pretty soon!
Tales to Astonish Issue 94- “…To the Beckoning Stars!”
Published August 1967
We don’t know how anyone as utterly adorable as Smilin’ Stan Lee & Mirthful Marie Severin can do such a great job, on the Hideous Hulk, but they do! Perhaps it’s because of Herb Trimpe‘s Inking and Sam Rosen‘s Lettering. Quien sabe?
After the last story, the Hulk is angry once again as there is nowhere on Earth for the Hulk to go. He looks to the stars from his gutter of a mountain, and wonders if there is a place up there for him. Before the wandering titan can compose another thought, he hears some gunshots.
Two hunters are busy admiring the caribou they just shot, and it turns out they only tranquilized it. Whoever wanted it must be somebody quite odd, as one of the hunters worry that if they don’t get this job done, their master will destroy them all! The Hulk approaches, interested in this powerful man. The Hunters run away, and the Hulk gives up on chasing them. At their camp, they decide to send a message to this being called the “High Evolutionary,” about what they just saw.
On some faraway planet, a man encased in a suit of slim fitting armor responds. The High Evolutionary, excited at the prospect of capturing the Hulk, jumps at this opportunity and commands the hunters to prepare him for shipment at all costs. The two return to where they find the Hulk and prepare to shoot him with a special tranquilizer that their boss made.
The High Evolutionary hopes that the Hulk will aid him because of his botched experiments on this planet. He has created a race of beast men and after a battle with Thor, found a planet called Wundagore to live on. It was peaceful until the beast men started to devolve into a feral state. The god-delusional man thought he could try again over and over, and finally realized that his life’s work is a failure. Only the Hulk can destroy these beast men now.
Back on Earth, the hunters succeed in knocking out the Hulk and they hastily launch him into space. They are then ordered to destroy the rest of the equipment now that the rocket is launched.
The Hulk soon wakes up and is greeted by a goat man. The Knight of Wundagore tells his passenger to calm down, but the Hulk frlips out and beats him senseless, destroying some of the equipment in the process. He looks outside, happy to see the stars, and is worried about what happens next. Will the Hulk get his second chance?
I guess before anyone can find a place to be accepted, one must find a new home. The wandering Hulk in the course of four years has gone around the world so many times and with each country and its people being so hostile to him, he must have reached his breaking point. If the Hulk can ever find a home, he will have to find it among the stars. Of course, this is never so according to the 50 years that he spent rampaging in an ever expanding universe.