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Tales to Astonish #72: Review

Oct 1965
Stan Lee, Mike Esposito

Story Name:

Within The Monster Dwells A Man!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales to Astonish #72 Review by (February 6, 2024)

Review: And then Hulk visits Italy! Paisano! And the Leader has his own special form of teleportation he calls Matterportation! He could learn a thing or two about branding! And Banner-brained Hulk sound increasingly like a big dumb tough guy. The Big Revelation is that Humanoids hatch from eggs! And Glenn Talbot continues his monomania that everyone he can’t understand must be a traitor! Don’t they give psychological screening to anyone who wants to join the Army? Meanwhile, having practiced beating up pink humanoids for several issues, Hulk now gets to fight dark green humanoids!

Namor battles the Seaweed Man and that clause right there tells you how wonderful the 1960s Marvel Comics were. We also have a fish with a diamond in its mouth which the young Gene Colan cannot make look anything but silly. Dorma and Krang have a larger role in this installment than earlier and she gets to endure indignities like Namor, here being packed in a plastic bag and dropped through a hole in a floor. And for those who diss Aquaman for talking to fish, herein Namor picks up the local news from some odd fish so even with his prickly attitude he still can’t always show himself superior to his orange-shirted DC counterpart.

Comments: Hulk story: Artist Mike Esposito credited as Mickey DeMeo.

Subby story: Part three of seven parts. Seaweed Man’s next and final appearance is in ROM #34-35. First appearance of Zantor, whose only subsequent appearance is in INCREDIBLE HULK AND SUB-MARINER ANNUAL #1 in 1998. First appearance of the Faceless Ones. Penciler Gene Colan credited as Adam Austin.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #72 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Soldiers attack the cave lab, destroying Banner's machines. Cornered, Hulk (still with Banner's intellect) accepts the Leader's offer to help him escape.

Secretly, Hulk expects to find gamma machines in the Leader's lab he could use to prevent his transformation, and avoid death (since the bullet is still in his head). 

The Leader somehow teletransports the Hulk to a secret lair in Rome where he is knocked out with a powerful sleeping gas. When Hulk awakes, he battles a group of Humanoids. 

Meanwhile, Thunderbolt Ross discovers that the Hulk cave had machines built by Banner, and locks Rick Jones for questioning.

“A Prince There Was!” 3/5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Gene Colan. Inks: Vince Colletta. Colors: ? Letters: Sam Rosen.

Synopsis: Searching for King Neptune’s enchanted trident, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner battles the giant Seaweed Man. Namor uses a judo move to free himself from his enemy’s grip, then swims around him at high speed, creating a whirlpool that staggers him. In the spot where the Seaweed Man was standing is an iron door with Neptune’s mark on it. Namor pulls it open and sees a fish with a diamond in its mouth, speaking in the voice of King Neptune. Namor then heads for the Diamonds of Doom….

In Atlantis, Lady Dorma agonizes over her beloved Namor; Warlord Krang, miffed that Namor has succeeded twice, visits Dorma to ask whether she will be his queen. She refuses, denouncing him, so he gasses her and traps her in a thin diaphanous plasti-cage. She is then put out on the street for display with a guard proclaiming she is to be banished to the subterranean world of the Faceless Ones. So she is shipped out to the undersea mountain where mad scientist Zantor lowers her in the Dome of Doom to the bottom of the pit. There the dome breaks open and she sees the Faceless Ones approaching….

Namor learns from some fish that Lady Dorma is in danger. After some pondering, he decides that his quest is more important. An array of brightly colored lights leads Namor to the Diamonds of Doom. But standing close to them begins to sap Subby of his vitality and he finds himself growing weaker by the second….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Mike Esposito
Mike Esposito
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Vince Colletta (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Jack Kirby. Letterer: Sam Rosen.


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