|Characters & Development:|
|Originalality & Continuty:|
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Book Information:Cover Date: Oct 1964
Characters & Groups
- The Hulk
- Betty Ross
- General Ross
With Tales to Astonish #60, the Hulk returns to the forefront, being given his own feature again for the first time since his own title was canceled with Incredible Hulk #6. This issues cover date being a year and a half after that fateful event. But to look back to just his last feature title, would not to the Hulk justice. In all after Incredible Hulk #6 we have had 10 appearances including the following key stories:
- Avengers #1
- Fantastic Four #25 and Fantastic Four #26
Then even just the prior tales To astonish we had Giant-Man vs. The Hulk, a good way to welcome him to the tile. But now that we are here, we have to ask how does his first solo story rank up?
While we had seen the hulk, it had been a while sence the last time he was featured, giving us a good chance to look at the support cast, and compare backwards. In this story, the look, the feel of the cast was one of being aged, and even a bit worn out. While for Betty Ross, it may be in part the hair coloring; for Bruce banner, his face feels a bit longer, he looks a bit frailer. Bruce truly being weak compared to the strong hulk. While, I do not like this style as much as I did the old, it seems to work for the story being told.
It seems like even then the military was out to make its own Iron Man, while Bruce was not in his mind building a weapon; one has to wonder if General Ross, did not see the robot suit as something to evolve into one. This robot –and it being stolen by a mystery man- serves to supply the action, and the backdrop to the real story. A story of self-discovery – and perhaps self loathing. The real story, as I see it, is about the duality of Bruce Banner and the hulk. How each half, seeks to take control, to be in control, and to lose the other half. This first issue, hints at this being the big, long term story that is the basis of the hulk.
Unlike Spider-Man, Iron man or any of the other marvel hero’s, its not a mask, or a suit that makes the hulk, whether we see Bruce banner or his alter ego, is something beyond his control. This is what makes the hulk, different. This is what needs to be featured.
Originality & Continuity
We already know about how the hulk is original, and this issue is not his first, but when it comes to continuity, this issue –instead of building where the story left off- almost seems to start taking a new approach. Instead of being a night/day , or activated by a Ray gun, the hulks powers -are at last- being tied to a bio-chemical reaction, now its something tied to emotion. The finality of where this will lead is not in place yet, but this Is perhaps the biggest Retcon to come to the character, even if it breaks continuity.