THE AVENGERS #3 (1964)

This is almost the first “Hulk vs. Everybody” comic.  The Avengers hunt him down, after having fought him in issue #1 (albeit he was under Loki’s thrall), and try to take him down so he can’t hurt anyone else.  This is a good example of there being a reason for the team to exist: So the heroes can band together and accomplish things they wouldn’t do alone. It’s also interesting that as early as 1964 it was obvious that all the world’s heroes would be needed to take down Hulk, and yet World War Hulk wouldn’t happen until the next century.

There’s also some brief cameos by the rest of the Marvel Universe, who are all too busy to help with Hulk.  Sue has a fashion show to get to.

Spider-Man is too busy with street-level criminals. Despite Professor X’s psychic connection with the FBI, The X-Men are too busy training to get involved.

Some of these excuses are…Not good.  Most of them, in fact.

Anyway, World War Hulk averted.

The Avengers find Hulk and fight him, but he escapes on a train and does a Wiley Coyote to Giant-Man.

So Hulk is missing again, but Namor finds him.

They fight, of course.

And then team up.

But of course they have to fight first.

Then they realize they are kindred spirits and fight the Avengers.  And Hulk lifts Thor’s hammer.

I’m assuming that’s an inking error, switching the hands intended to be drawn by Kirby, but it’s a pretty serious error.

Also, in this issue, Bruce refers to himself as “Bob Banner.”  Here’s a cool story about how that happened.   It’s an error, but it will happen AGAIN in the very next issue.

STRANGE TALES #118-119 (1964)

Some Dr. Strange stories.  Some solo Human Torch stories.  I’m going to bundle them because they’re short stories and not a lot happens.  Of note: It is about now that…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #59-61 (1967)

Kingpin brainwashes Captain Stacy, and Spidey saves the day. These are the roots of the Spider-Man/Stacy relationship, which becomes about as tight as Commissioner Gordon and Batman’s.  Actually, Spidey’s arguably…

STRANGE TALES #117 (1964)

This is what a jailbreak looks like in 1964. Only no.  He’s just running in his costume for fun. But Human Torch knows that only guilty people run.  But see…