Tales To Astonish #63:A Titan Rides The Train!

Review By:


This tale starts off and reveals to us the mysterious leader and his origin, similar to that of the Hulk but different in effect. Both were exposed to Gamma rays, both should have perished, and both had an aspect of themselves enhanced beyond human capabilities. The Leaders below-average human brain was made brighter compared to the Hulks below-average physical attributes, which were made stronger. But is that where the similarities and differences end? I think not.

Characters & Development

Hulk And the Leader: Alike yet… Different

Our new foe, with his similar origin and green coloring, is, at least near as we can tell, quite different than the Hulk, for it is his wit and brain that expanded, not his body. Still, it is also a part of him. He is now the Leader and not his former self, and he, by all appearances, does not transfer back. His new self replaced the old.

Is this a flaw in the story, or is it a strength?

Both are likely true, but I have come to see it as a strength, similar origin, and different effects that are not all bad, and it’s not like the Hulk did not have a rocky transition that was further fleshed out in later stories; this in its own way offers a great contrast, a foil for the Hulk, in power set and reasoning.

The supporting cast

In this issue, the supporting cast takes a backseat, but it does let Major Talbot take the main stage in transporting Banner and his weapon while having mistrust for the former.

Originality & Continuity

This issue follows up right where the prior left off, in the continuing narrative that goes on to the next one yet interwoven into the ongoing narrative from the Hulk’s return to his own pages. In short, In terms of this story, the continuity is strong.

In terms of Originality, I feel this one also meets the bill, feeling as much like the next move in a chess match with the stakes escalating over the tale than as a closed-in comic that would be so typical of the era. Also, the Leader is still fighting by proxy, adding to that and letting this be unique for a character whose brute strength and dim wit (while in hero form) are the defining characteristics.


The work of Steve Ditko here is top-notch, finding the right balance of detail and passing through this epic tale that keeps one eager for the next panel and the next page until all nine pages are exhausted, and the reader is left hanging for the next issue. This is as much a testament to the art as to the story.

But then there is the way Steve captures the faces, the worry and concern of a locked up banner, or the scheming of Talbot with General Ross. Even the shock of the leader after his transformation.


I am sure you can tell by what I wrote already that the story, in my opinion, is great, a work that starts to show not just why the Hulk makes a comeback but also why the Leader lasts as an antagonist and foil for our hero.

Book Information:
Cover Date: Jan 1965
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • Steve Ditko
  • George Bell
  • Sam Rosen
Review Ratings:
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733½
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734
Great Foil&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734
Stories Referenced:
  • Hulk
  • The Leader
  • The Leader’s Humanoid
  • Glenn Talbot
  • Chameleon
  • General “Thunderbolt” Ross






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