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Tales to Astonish #86: Review

Dec 1966
Stan Lee, John Buscema

Story Name:

The Birth Of The Hulk-Killer

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales to Astonish #86 Review by (June 19, 2024)

Reviews and Comments by Peter Silvestro

Review: So, Bruce Banner easily gets that pesky nuke out of the way so we can move on to the next big cool thing: the giant Humanoid. And not to worry, Boomerang, who likes bragging about his powers when no one is listening, is lining up behind him to tackle Hulk next. It’s the headlong adrenaline rush of this comic’s pacing that makes it one of Marvel’s most enjoyable reads in the 1960s.

Jerry Grandenetti! Worked for Will Eisner on THE SPIRIT! Star artist on DC’s war comics of the 60s and 70s! And I first encountered him through his quirky style in DC’s 70s horror comics! And this is his only superhero art for Marvel! Couldn’t wait to see it! So here it is…and it’s rather unremarkable. Looks like Bill Everett inked out any distinctive bits in the art. Story has some nice action and it is competently drawn, just nothing special.

And the big question of the day: since the two stories in this book are taking place at the same time according to issue #84, why is half of New York City unaware of a tidal wave and the other half ignorant of a nuke about to hit the city?

Hulk story: First time the Hulk is felled by his opponent due to raw force. There's a cameo of the Hulk in the Sub-Mariner's story. Tale mentions the “death” of the Leader in issue #74; he will return in #115. Boomerang was introduced in issues #81-83. Inker Mike Esposito credited as Mickey DeMeo.

Subby story: Part seven of eight parts. “Tidal wave” is the old-timey name for a tsunami.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #86 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Bruce Banner reprograms the Orion missile, changing its course to save New York city.

The missile blasts in the Hudson river, and Banner changes into Hulk saving his life.

A jet pilot sees the Hulk, and erronously reports the monster as responsible for the attack. 

Meanwhile, researchers find a powerful Humanoid in a secret lab belonging to the deceased Leader. They name it the Hulk-Killer.

Thunderbolt Ross
wants to send it against the Hulk and hires the best scientists to power the android, which they do. But the Humanoid plan back fires, and the android starts tearing the city apart. 

Hulk goes onto face the android, but it proves way too tough, felling the Hulk!

“The Wrath of the Warlord Krang!” Synopsis by Peter Silvestro 4/5
Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Jerry Grandenetti. Inks: Bill Everett. Colors: ? Letters: Art Simek.

Synopsis: As Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, searches the city for his quarry, Warlord Krang parks his battle cruiser in a small cove outside the city and secures it to the river bottom. Lady Dorma looks on in horror as Krang activates a weapon creating a massive tidal wave that slams into New York City, creating destruction and panic. Namor is atop Rockefeller Center when the deluge hits; citizens see him and blame him for the disaster and seek to kill him; he topples the Atlas statue on them and flies away….

As the waters subside, Namor enters a radio station on a building’s upper floors, seeking to contact Lord Vashti in Atlantis, asking him to bring help for the city. But the people in the radio room panic and call the army. Namor discovers the radio signal will not reach Atlantis so he calls the United States Air Force….

Meanwhile, Krang and Dorma walk around the panicked city, the villain gloating over the destruction he has caused and planning a second, bigger wave. But Dorma hears firefighters mentioning how the Sub-Mariner is trapped in a radio station and learns her beloved is alive….

Acting on Namor’s guidance, the US Navy discovers Krang’s cruiser near the city and blows it to bits. Krang and Dorma are netted trying to reach it and dumped on a roof….

Meanwhile, Namor is electrocuted while touching the radio then a squad of soldiers arrive and Namor fights them off. A news truck goes by announcing the capture of Namor’s two “accomplices” so he heads for the place where they are being held. Krang’s formula wears off: he and Dorma turn blue again and lose the ability to breathe air. Namor approaches Columbus Circle where the army is waiting for him with a great deal of firepower….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Mike Esposito
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Bill Everett (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)

(Frederick Myers)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Bruce Banner)

> Tales to Astonish: Book info and issue index

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