Tales to Astonish #61, Nov. 1964
Written by: Stan Lee (he’s getting to be a habit!)
EDITOR’S NOTE: We had announced that another artist would draw this strip. But, circumstances beyond our control caused a change in plan. With Dick Ayers on a brief vacation, Steve Ditko quickly pencilled Stan’s script while George Bell inked it seconds before deadline time! Our sincere thanks to them both!
The Incomparable Stan Lee: Author
The Inimitable Steve Ditko: Illustrator
The Indescribable George Bell: Inker
The Inevitable S. Rosen: Letterer
Robots, robots, and more robots! Giant Man gets to fight an “android” made out of a dummy and controlled by his old enemy Egghead, and the Hulk gets to finish his fight with the completely invincible robot that Dr. Banner invented last ish. If you like big guys fighting robots, this is your comic!
So Egghead’s back, that fat old bald idiot, and his newest plan is to defeat Giant Man by stealing a mannequin, covering it in pink putty, then zapping it with a ray that will not only make it huge and strong, but also allow him to control it. He lures Giant Man into a big, empty warehouse by claiming he wants to make a TV show about him (so far, this trap has been used on basically every superhero, and it works every single time. People just love the movies). There’s an intense fight which somehow lasts for an hour, which is also how long the air in the place will last. Finally Giant Man spins the android around, which makes Egghead dizzy because he can feel everything the android does, and this forces Egghead to let them go. I haven’t said this recently, so… fuck Giant Man.
Meanwhile, the Hulk doesn’t know how to defeat this robot that can’t be defeated, and turns back into Bruce Banner. He constructs a device that’ll lead him back to the robot (which he still can’t beat and he has no plan on how to do so) just in time to meet the Major Talbot, the new second-in-command of the base, who immediately starts hitting on the General’s daughter. Banner finds the robot and turns back into the Hulk, who proceeds to throw the thing down a nearby bottomless pit. He stops the missile that the spy-in-a-robot made and launched at the base, but it knocks him out, allowing Talbot to capture him and restrain him with some fancy Stark Industries technology. What’s a captured Hulk to do?
This issue is kind of a mess. You’ll notice the odd credits for the Giant Man story, which apparently was finished at the last minute by a hasty Ditko/Bell combo because Dick Ayers… I dunno, something happened. A death in the family, probably, that sounds like what that excuse is for. But hey, this is comic books, we can be a little bit more creative. Turns out Dick Ayers is actually The Incredible Artist, and when he gets overworked he turns bright red and uncontrollably draws the only hot chicks from 60’s Marvel comics! THE HORROR!