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Tales to Astonish #83: Review

Sep 1966
Stan Lee, Bill Everett

Story Name:

Less Than Monster, More Than Man

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales to Astonish #83 Review by (April 2, 2024)
Comments by Julio Molina-Muscara: Betty Ross is affectionate with the Hulk for the first time. And Thunderbolt Ross feels sorry for man monster. In The Incredible Hulk movie of 2008, Hulk protects Betty from the rain in a cave similarly as Hulk does in this comic from 1966. 

Comments by Peter Silvestro: GCD is uncertain on the cover penciller, either Jack Kirby or Bill Everett.

Hulk story: Part two of two parts. We are now told that Gabe Jones wasn’t Number Nine of the Secret Empire (as claimed last issue) but Number Six who overpowered Number Nine (according to CAPTAIN AMERICA #175). Not that anyone was keeping track.  

Subby story: Part four of eight parts. We learn that Subby’s amnesia, from which he recovered in FANTASTIC FOUR #4, is said to make him vulnerable to head injuries. Which means of course that he’s about to get thumped on the head and lose his memories again. First appearance of the Secret Empire’s Number One, who isn’t around for very long.

Review: And now for something completely different. Yes, Hulk fights the army and we’ve seen that a lot of times. And General Ross shouts and blusters. And Rick Jones tries to convince anyone who will listen that Hulk isn’t a menace. We’ve seen all this before. What we haven’t seen before is a poignant encounter between Hulk and Betty, now that she knows (or wonders, based on Rick’s testimony) that Hulk is her beloved Bruce. She sees him in a new light which means that he is inclined to protect her and care for her. It’s a very nice scene and rightly copied for the 2008 film. And for another strange bit: Boomerang, that heavily armed mercenary, discovers how to beat the Hulk and the Army! Wait until both formidable foes are nowhere near you to pull off the heist! OK Boomer! Now if only he were smart enough to wear a less distinctive costume when pulling off a crime….

And the Subby story is drawn by the incomparable Jack Kirby, ideal for a half-issue that is almost all action! And the Secret Empire, destroyed in this issue’s Hulk story, is revived in the Namor half! Maybe these tales should have been presented the other way around! Sorry about all the exclamation points but there’s no other way to write about a Jack Kirby comic!

Tales to Astonish #83 Review by (December 11, 2014)
Comments: In The Incredible Hulk movie of 2008, Hulk protects Betty from the rain in a cave similarly as Hulk does in this comic from 1966.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #83 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Hulk creates a cave to protect Betty Ross from the rain and builds a fire to keep her warm. He then takes off to find food, but is seen by soldiers who attack him.

Hulk grabs both Thunderbolt Ross and Rick Jones and brings them to the cave where he left Betty. She tells her father how the Hulk saved her life from the Boomerang. Ross seems to pity the monster. Hulk, confused, leaps away. 

Meanwhile, the Boomerang tries to steal the Orion missile. Glenn Talbot is hurt during the attack, and the Boomerang fails in his quest.

Finally, the 9th member of the Secret Empire rebels against his partners, and takes control over the evil organization.

“The Sub-Mariner Strikes!” Synopsis by Peter Silvestro. 4/5
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Jack Kirby. Inks: Dick Ayers. Colors: ? Letters: Art Simek.

Synopsis: Near New York City, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner catches up to the sea-cruiser of the fleeing Warlord Krang. His severe blows to the ship threaten to destroy it. While the captive Lady Dorma pleads with him not to harm her beloved Namor, Krang unleashes one weapon after another at his enemy. But no attack can overcome Namor for long….

Number One of the Secret Empire watches from a nearby penthouse; he realizes that with an ally like Namor, he could defeat the Hulk so his mind starts working on a scheme to control the King of Atlantis….

Having held onto Krang’s cruiser though all of its maneuvers and withstood every weapon his foe could throw at him, Namor reaches the cabin of the ship and through a window he sees Dorma. Krang’s shock-blast mortar knocks Namor into the sea again; he returns to the battle once more and the villain detonates his Fleet Destroyer, a powerful fission bomb. Namor is hurled into the sea and Krang seizes the opportunity to escape. Number One draws Namor into his hovercraft and learns that the Sub-Mariner has lost his memory and does not know who he is….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Bill Everett
Bill Everett
? (Cover Penciler)
Bill Everett (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Jack Kirby. Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)

(Frederick Myers)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

> Tales to Astonish: Book info and issue index

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