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Tales to Astonish #70: Review

Aug 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

To Live Again!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales to Astonish #70 Review by (January 17, 2024)

Review: Attack of the 500-foot Humanoid! And Banner-smart Hulk has to fight it while the dimwitted Ross and Talbot try to kill both of them. Another adrenaline rush of a comic book tale with Hulk sneaking onto the missile base in broad daylight without being seen! All so’s he can get one last look at Betty! Awww! And then the violence takes over the tale! The object lesson: Rick Jones is a handy guy to have around. We all should have one.

And Subby receives his first solo series. It’s a bit rough. The story is in the form of a quest—meaning a series of loosely linked episodes building up to an exciting climax. Characterization is a bit simple too: Namor, hostile anti-hero, is okay, his character established in his FF appearances but Dorma is a weepy love interest, agonizing over his safety and Krang is just Ming the Merciless, a one-dimensional villain. The biggest surprise is Gene Colan (credited as Adam Austin to hide from DC) in his earliest Marvel work: his style is rough and unformed and he cannot draw a convincing squid. But he would improve very quickly: in only a couple of years he would be doing Iron Man in TALES OF SUSPENSE and Daredevil in DAREDEVIL and they would be great. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere.

Comments: Hulk story: First mention of “the madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets.” Hulk retains Bruce Banner’s intelligence for the first time; this lasts until issue #75. And Hulk does not return to his Bruce Banner form until issue #80. Inker Mike Esposito credited as Mickey DeMeo.

Subby story: Sub-Mariner’s first solo series starts in this issue. Part one of seven parts. Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner was introduced in MOTION PICTURE FUNNIES WEEKLY #1 (1939), making him the first Marvel Comics character; his first Silver Age appearance was in FANTASTIC FOUR #4. Dorma was introduced along with Namor, in MOTION PICTURE FUNNIES WEEKLY #1, and appeared with him throughout the 1940s and 50s; her first Silver Age appearance was in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #1. Bad guy Warlord Krang skipped over the Golden Age, making his first bow in FF ANNUAL #1. Penciler Gene Colan credited as Adam Austin. The letters page includes one by future Marvel/Warren writer Don McGregor (Killraven, Black Panther).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #70 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Rick Jones carries Bruce Banner's inert body to the desert cave lab, and unleashes a gamma ray dose on him. Fortunately, Banner turns into the Hulk and revives! Even more, Hulk now has Bruce Banner's intellect. He realizes that the bullet in his brain may kill him if he turns back into Banner.

Meanwhile, the Leader sends a gigantic Humanoid against Thunderbolt Ross' base. The Hulk attacks the Humanoid, but Ross prepares a powerful missile to kill them both.

“The Start of the Quest!” 3/5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Gene Colan. Inks: Vince Colletta. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.

Synopsis: Returning from New York (in DAREDEVIL #7), Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner races to Atlantis to learn what has happened to his kingdom. He is met by Lady Dorma who tells him that the Warlord Krang has taken the throne but she can help him regain it. He rejects her help and her love so, since the crown stands between them, she calls the palace guards to ensure he loses it forever. Namor is captured and brought before Krang, who calls him a traitor due to his love for the surface world. Krang announces his plan to invade the surface world and consigns Namor to the dungeon….

Dorma comes to him out of guilt; he tells her of King Neptune’s enchanted trident, hidden away by the old man, possession of it will mark the wielder as his rightful heir. She frees him and he sneaks out of the city to follow the trail of clues—unaware that Krang is watching him on a viewer with his henchmen ready to interfere….

Namor arrives at the Cave of the Shadows, site of the first clue and spots it, a shell with Neptune’s mark on it—guarded by a killer squid. With speed and agility, Namor is able to evade the monster and snatch up the shell, only to find that the cave entrance has been sealed off by Krang’s men….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Mike Esposito
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

> Tales to Astonish: Book info and issue index

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