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Tales to Astonish #84: Review

Oct 1966
Stan Lee, ?

Story Name:

Rampage in the City!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales to Astonish #84 Review by (May 29, 2024)
First time a base in charge of hunting the Hulk is shut down. First appearance of the Sub-Mariner in a Hulk comic.

Review by Peter Silvestro: And a simple bare-bones Hulk tale has him on a rampage in the city—so simple that’s even the title. Hulk is looking for the Avengers but can’t find them; he resorts to a disguise, is recognized, there’s a panic, Hulk acts heroically, opinions are polarized. Nice—though Hulk must have been hiding in that cave for a long time as it was long enough for a military installation to be closed down and all of its material and personnel relocated to a distant state (it’s 1676 miles from central New Mexico to central Florida). 

As for Subby’s half of the comic…what a pointless waste of space! The plot summary boils down to: Subby looks for the Hulk, can’t find him, leaves. For twelve pages. Colan’s art is great but can’t disguise the fact that the entire tale feels like padding because they couldn’t think of a real story.

Additional Comments by Peter Silvestro: The two stars of this comic are placed for the first time in the same location at the same time—so they just miss each other. Wonder what any of the citizens thought when they managed to glimpse both rampaging monsters? Hulk and Subby had met previously in AVENGERS #3 but neither one was the star of that comic.

Hulk story: Art credited to “Almost the Whole Blamed Bullpen;” see GCD for possible contributors. “Unanimously voted the best Hulk thriller ever produced by mortal man (since last ish anyway).” Good old Stan Lee and his tongue-in-cheek boastfulness.

Subby story: Part five of eight parts. Technically the first appearance of the Hulk in a Sub-Mariner comic though he isn’t seen. There is no mention of where Namor found the money to buy a movie theater ticket. 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #84 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Hulk visits Thunderbolt Ross' base looking for Betty Ross. But the base is deserted. Hulk decides to ask the Avengers for help, and leaps until reaching New York. To prevent others from recognizing him, Hulk puts on a coat and a hat (!)

Suddenly, the Sub-Mariner is seen rushing out of a movie theater. This links to Subby's story in this comic.

Hulk learns that Glenn Talbot is awarded for preventing the Boomerang from stealing the Orion Missile. The missile is taken to Cape Kennedy, and Ross' base gets shut down.

Police discover the Hulk and start chasing him. Hulk escapes without fighting back. 

During his escape, Hulk saves a man. Witnesses believe the Hulk is well intentioned.

Meanwhile, Rick Jones is paid to drive a car to New York, ignoring the evil intentions of his boss.

“Like a Beast at Bay!” Synopsis by Peter Silvestro. 3/5
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Gene Colan. Inks: Dick Ayers. Colors: ? Letters: Sam Rosen.

Synopsis: Number One of the Secret Empire has convinced the amnesiac Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner that he is the monarch’s friend. The baddie places a radio transceiver around Namor’s neck and commands him to go out and kill the Hulk. As he walks through the nighttime city, he is spotted by the police, shot at, and pursued. Namor flies off and decides that he needs a disguise; he breaks into a men’s store and dresses himself awkwardly in somewhat appropriate clothing. He is caught by a police officer who shoots at him; a bullet ricochets off his chest to graze the officer’s skull. Hearing a siren, Namor leaves the injured man on the floor and departs….

Namor comes upon a movie theater advertising the first film footage taken of the Hulk. Reasoning that the film may help him locate his quarry, Namor enters and sits in the audience. Namor is impressed with the Hulk’s strength but as all the film was shot in the Southwest, it has no bearing on Hulk’s current whereabouts. Number One contacts Namor by radio and his voice is heard by a young woman in the next seat who recognizes Namor. His attempts to flee cause a panic in the theater. Namor doffs his disguise and flies high into the sky to seek his quarry but he encounters Warlord Krang’s sky-cruiser which he finds vaguely familiar. As Lady Dorma again pleads with Krang not to harm Namor, the villain shoots him out of the sky with another weapon. All this one does is restore Namor’s memory, leading him to pursue Krang’s craft….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Dick Ayers (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


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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