Tales To Astonish #92-100 (1967-1968)

I’m running this down, all eight at once, because it’s just more hot garbage.  Although I do like the shoe issue:

Having a regular creative team and an artist like Marie Severin helps, but not much. 

Hulk/Bruce Banner fantasizes about going to another planet where he won’t be hunted (instead of fantasizing about not breaking shit all the time, which is why everyone is after him).

First, he tries to get Silver Surfer to take him away.  Hulk doesn’t believe Surfer is strong enough to lift him.

So Surfer hits him in the face with his board.

Multiple times.

Then, High Evolutionary gets involved and takes Hulk on a bizarre outer space adventure but, in the end, he mind-wipes Hulk.  So even if this story presented some opportunities to develop the character, those chances are gone by the end.

Hulk is the best Marvel character that Marvel has no idea what to do with.

Meanwhile, after a brief conflict with Ka-Zar’s brother, Prince Namor takes on pollution when he finds drums of nuclear waste under the sea, and decides to go to war against the surface dwellers who left it there.  But the Atlantis government doesn’t want war, so they kick Namor out of his native land.  Again.  After sticking him in a clear plastic prison.

Then there’s a bunch of done-in-ones against forgettable foes. And he loses his memory again.

I do like this cover, though:


…in issue #100, the stories come together: Namor decides to team up with Hulk and take over the entire world. But instead, for reasons that are too bizarre to go into, Puppet Master takes control of Hulk and makes the two of them fight.    Namor hits him with both fists, but Hulk wins in the end.

Namor also beats up an orca.

1 thought on “Tales To Astonish #92-100 (1967-1968)”

  1. One of the better Hulk-Namor battles. A clear, decisive victory for the ever-Incredible Hulk! A rare event for a Marvel Super-Hero battle! It is certainly the ONLY time I have ever seen the noble Sub-Mariner run from an opponent! Of course, he brought it on himself in attacking the Mean Green Machine! I agree with you on the topic of the cover of #98- that IS an unusually sophisticated cover for it’s time! Marvel wouldn’t start giving us covers like this for several more years, with the exceptions being Neal Adam’s ‘X-Men’ covers ( issues#56-63 ) Jim Steranko’s ‘SHIELD’ and ‘Captain America’ covers ( issues#110-113 ) and several of Jack Kirby’s more abstract ‘Fantastic Four’ covers. ( issues#72, 74, 75, 85, 86, and, especially#78, ( “The Thing No More”, which particularly grabs me ) I would like to counter-posit that the Hulk is the one Marvel character that the “House of Ideas” can’t get a handle on. In my humble estimation, that would be, firstly, the Son of Satan, a truly inspired character that Marvel just cannot make a buck off of, simply because they can’t figure out how to use him!! He’s the main one- two other characters that Marvel just cannot find a marketable direction for are the Sub-Mariner, and………….the Silver Surfer!!! Yes! The Silver Surfer, arguably Marvel’s most inspired creation, cannot sell comics, and the reason WHY is because, with the advent of his second series in 1987, Marvel went so FAR OFF-PREMISE- freeing the Surfer from the Earth, and having him roam the galaxy, where the Skrulls/Kree/Cotati/Z’Nox/Dire Wraiths/Klingons/Romulans/Borg/Andoreans/Celestials/Bug-Eyed Monsters all roam. The Surfer- like the Green Lanterns, at DC- work best in relation to the Planet Earth and the Humanity found there. Now, that’s not to say that the Surfer cannot chase off an occasional alien invasion- Lord knows, where would comic-books be without them-??! But, the best Silver Surfer stories of all time ( as well as the best Green Lantern stories ) mostly occur on Planet Earth, in relation to the Human Race! 1969’s ‘Silver Surfer’#5 ( “And Who Shall Mourn For Him??” ) stands as, arguably, the single-greatest comic-book ever published! What is it about-??! Why, about how following the Surfer’s latest heartbreaking attempt to escape our beautiful world, said beautiful world comes under full-scale attack from the omnipotent Stranger, and how the Surfer is able to repulse the attack with some considerable assistance from a black dude who has also known no small share of ostracization due to his race. Being black was a lot tougher in America in the 1960’s than it is now. Nevertheless, Mr. Al B. Harper sacrifices himself on behalf of his fellow Man, even those who have persecuted him, in order to save the Earth. Stan Lee and John Buscema at their top-form, and the Silver Surfer at his most messianic. Yeah, they just don’t MAKE Silver Surfer comics like this, anymore. In recent years, Marvel has tried to rectify this problem by having the Surfer’s circumstances return him to Planet Earth, even going so far as to hook him up with a little bubblehead named Dawn Granger, with whom the Surfer has absolutely nothing in common with, but…….there it is. ( he and the exquisite Shalla Bal- with whom he DID have “worlds in common”- apparently just gave up on each other a long time ago, even after all the tribulations they have endured on each other’s behalf! ) Since the Barrier- which I have always considered to be an actual “character” in the Silver Surfer mythos, as the Big Apple is a character in the Spidey-saga, and Gotham City is, in the ‘Batman’-saga- was NOT actually destroyed, or dismantled, or deactivated, in the first issue of the Surfer’s 1987 relaunch, but, instead, simply “side-stepped”, by highly-dubious means, then, my question is, now that the Surfer is back on Earth, how is it that he can actually come and go from our planet as he sees fit to do so-??? That Barrier is STILL THERE. So- like I say- LOTS of work to be done on the saga of the Silver Surfer, if the “House of Ideas” wants to restore this inspired creation to his 1960’s status as Marvel’s Statement Piece! Excelsior!


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