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Tales to Astonish #77: Review

Mar 1966
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

Bruce Banner Is The Hulk

Review & Comments

5 stars

Tales to Astonish #77 Review by (March 20, 2024)

Reviews by Peter Silvestro: Wahooo! Hulk battles a Norse god for the bulk of the issue and, after that warm-up, he takes on Skurge’s army! Only the T-Ray saves the rest of the future world from Hulk. But the biggest, most world-changing event is quietly kept hidden and is only revealed on the last page—assuming you didn’t see the cover. [Smiley face] Bruce Banner’s secret is announced to the world (actually only to Glenn Talbot but he’ll spread the word quickly), giving him a public identity. It had to happen, Stan Lee couldn’t keep writing these stories and pretending everyone was too dumb to figure it out. And now Bruce has a new class of headaches to deal with so it’s a good thing everyone thinks he’s dead. For now….

Meanwhile, the new Subby arc gets off to a nice start, having introduced us to Earth tremors last time. Namor decides to travel alone to the surface world for unclear reasons, as well as not making it clear where he would be going (it’s usually New York, perhaps for the United Nations). He finds the massive drill right away and messes with it, bringing him to the attention of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne a/k/a Ant-Man and Wasp. His plans may be a bit vague so he relies on arrogance and attitude to achieve his goals. It may be reckless but it’s his modus operandi, part of why Namor makes such an offbeat—and popular—hero.

Comments: Hulk story by Julio Molina-Muscara: First Tales to Astonish cover depicting just the Hulk. First Hulk comic by John Romita as inker. He also participated as a penciler in the cover. And Hulk is knocked down for the first time.

Subby story by Peter Silvestro: Part one of four parts. This is Hank and Janet’s first appearance since their own series ended in issue #69 though Hank had a cameo in AVENGERS #22. First (brief) appearance of the Behemoth. Penciler Gene Colan credited under his real name for the first time, though he would go back to Adam Austin for two more issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #77 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
The Hulk fights the immortal Executioner while his army attacks the city. After trading heavy blows, Hulk defeats his foe, and destroys his combat ships.

Instead of thanking the Hulk, King Arrkam sends forces to attack him! Suddenly, the Hulk vanishes in mid air, returning to the 20th century.

Believing Banner was dead, Rick Jones reveals Banner's secret identity to Glenn Talbot ("Banner is the Hulk") to clear Banner's name, thought to be a traitor.

“To Walk Amongst Men!” 4/5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro.
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Gene Colan. Inks: Vince Colletta. Colors: ? Letters: Sam Rosen.

Synopsis: With the recurring Earth tremors destroying his kingdom bit by bit, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner informs his Royal Council that he intends to return to the Surface World to bring an end to their destructive practices. The Council, including Lord Vashti, raise objects to the plan but they submit to their Lord’s will in the end. As he prepares for his mission, he is met by Lady Dorma who asks to go with him. Namor turns down this request but asks her to maintain the vigil, watching for the rise of the Behemoth. This monster was created by Atlantean scientists at an earlier time of upheaval to rise during the Kingdom’s greatest disaster and these Earth tremors may be it. He departs…

…swimming alone to the surface. He discovers a mammoth drill piercing the ocean floor and concludes that this is what is causing the tremors. In the ship’s control room, Henry Pym oversees the drilling project, designed to uncover the secrets of the origin of life on Earth, with his fiancée Janet Van Dyne by his side. Their instruments detect damage to the drill and the approach of an unidentified threat. Frogmen are dispatched to investigate and they encounter the Sub-Mariner, who has been striking at the drill….

The Behemoth begins his rise.…

Namor passes the frogmen by and boards the ship, confronting Hank Pym and his military support, demanding they cease their drilling and depart….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Romita
John Romita
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Jack Kirby. Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)


(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Henry Pym.

> Tales to Astonish: Book info and issue index

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