TALES TO ASTONISH #88-91 (1967): 1st Abomination

Let’s start with the Hulk side.

It’s a bunch of short stories, which makes it easier to cover this comic–I don’t have to split the posts between Sub-Mariner and Hulk. In the first one, he fights Boomerang. Next, it’s Stranger.

He mindslaves Hulk and forces him to wage war on humanity–then Stranger leaves. It’s a weird story that feels wholly unnecessary. But Lyndon Johnson’s signature appears on an Executive Order…

Then, it’s the debut of Abomination.

Banner is in Russia, and is trying to cure himself…

…Or kill himself. It’s not entirely clear. But a soldier named Emil Blonsky gets between Banner and a gamma gun…

Gil Kane’s art is good, but overall these are rather forgettable–other than Abomination’s debut. I’d give the Hulk stories a C+.

And the Sub-Mariner side is not much better.

It’s never been clear to me whether Namor has power to talk to fish.  In this issue, he does.  But in others, he doesn’t seem to use the power when it would seem pretty damn handy to have.  Whatever.

Anyhow, Bill Everett has returned to draw the character he created and…I’m just going to say that in the mid-1960s you had artists like Gene Colan, John Romita Sr., and Gil Kane representing a new wave of artists who moved towards better use of backgrounds, shadows, and generally made the human figure more of a piece of art than a construct used to move a story along.  In the face of those artists, Everett simply isn’t that good.

Storywise, Namor fights a giant robot, continues to repel attacks on his throne by Attuma, and meets a Golden Age villain named Byrrah. Grade: D.

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