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Tales to Astonish #79: Review

May 1966
Stan Lee, Bill Everett

Story Name:

The Titan And The Torment

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales to Astonish #79 Review by (April 30, 2024)
First Tales to Astonish cover depicting just the Hulk. First time the Hulk is wrongly accussed of murder. First appearance of Hercules in a Hulk comic.

Reviews by Peter Silvestro: I told you Dr. Zaxon wouldn’t be around long but no one could have guessed he’d be killed five minutes into his first encounter with the Hulk, and by his own poorly-designed weapon at that. You’d think it would have a safety catch or something but no, ricocheting off a wall causes it to discharge at its creator. So anyway, Hulk fights a jet squadron and some railroad tracks and the latter has him go against Hercules for some vigorous sparring. Very entertaining issue, once that idiot Zaxon is out of the way.

The Subby story is quite engaging, beginning with Namor facing a band of Army guys and getting away, and ending with the hero facing a giant monster that is not as mindless as he thinks. Wait…why would Atlantean scientists create a mindless monster to protect the kingdom? Couldn’t they foresee that a mindless giant monster would constitute a dire emergency in itself? And how does this Visi-Viewer of Krang’s work? Can he see everything the comic book reader sees? Looks like it as Krang is aware of the Puppet Master and his control over Subby and is able to conceive a plot knowing how PM works. And so that’s where we leave our hero…facing a mindless monster, and the villain…who makes the monster mindful (mindful and mindless are antonyms, right?). More crazy fun next time.

Additional Comments by Peter Silvestro: Hulk story: Part two of two parts. Story takes place as Hercules is traveling to Hollywood to try for a movie career as seen in THOR #126. The idea that “the madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets,” first showed up in issue #70. Death of Dr. Konrad Zaxon.

Subby story: Part three of four parts. Penciler Gene Colan credited as Adam Austin.



Hulk?? I do not understand the word...

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #79 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Hulk withstands Dr. Zaxon's weapon, who shoots himself and dies. Hulk leaps away, becoming the murder suspect for Zaxon. 

Combat planes follow the Hulk who throws train rails at them.

A train affected by such had Hercules as a passenger. The demigod descends and faces the Hulk. 

Both fight, without a clear victor. Suddenly, the military shows up, and the Hulk leaps away to hide in the mountains.

“When Rises the Behemoth!” 4/5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro.
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Gene Colan. Inks: Bill Everett. Colors: ? Letters: Art Simek.

Synopsis: Returning to the bank he robbed, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner is surrounded by soldiers summoned by the guard. Namor is under the hypnotic control of the Puppet Master who orders him to fight to the death. Instead, Namor rips a streetlamp out of the sidewalk and swings it around to keep the soldiers at bay. He flies from rooftop to rooftop, landing in front of an electric sign, which clearly outlines him, making him an easy target for Army sharpshooters. Namor is hit in the shoulder and, enraged, he topples the sign onto the soldiers, who retreat to safety. Namor, desperately in need of water, heads to the George Washington Bridge and dives into the river….

In Atlantis, Lady Dorma and Lord Vashti are informed that the Behemoth, created to protect the kingdom in its time of direst need, has risen from its underground sanctuary and is destroying the city. Realizing Namor must return, Dorma takes a mono-scout craft in search of the king. The craft has a tracking device so that she easily locates him on the shore of the Hudson River. Namor tells her that he feels something clouding his mind; he concentrates his mental strength and breaks Puppet Master’s control, causing his clay image to shatter in the villain’s hand….

The exiled Warlord Krang watches on his Visi-Viewer and formulates a plan, using the Puppet Master to create an image of the Behemoth, giving the Warlord control of the monster. Krang hops a ship to New York and easily finds the Puppet Master, explaining his plan….

And Prince Namor faces the marauding Behemoth, ordering Dorma to flee to safety….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Bill Everett
Bill Everett
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Bill Everett (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Jack Kirby. Letterer: Art Simek.


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