Tales to Astonish #69, July 1965
Edited with perfect control by: Stan Lee
Written with all bases covered by: Al Hartley
Drawn with the impact of a line drive by: Bob Powell
Inked with the beauty of a three-bagger by: John Giunta
Lettered with only a few errors by: S. Rosen
Hulking story by Stan Lee
Hulksome art by Jack Kirby
Hulkish inking by Mickey Demeo
Hulkable lettering by Art Simek
There’s an important announcement at the end of this Giant Man comic… he may be retiring! Unfortunately, we all know that it’s not going to be a permanent thing, but there is a wonderful, carefree period of time where Giant Man’s spot in Tales to Astonish is replaced by the Sub-Mariner, and he’s already out of the Avengers. He’ll eventually rejoin the Avengers, but it’ll be wonderful to not have to read about Ant Man at all for a while. Ooh, it’s going to be so great, I can’t wait!
Last time, the Human Top kidnapped the Wasp to use as bait to lure Giant Man to his final doom. He’s built a fake city over a pit trap that he’s going to use to flash-freeze Hank Pym, then cover his frozen body with epoxy so he’ll have a statue of his ultimate triumph. Damn. Unfortunately, Pym is able to shrink to ant size as soon as the frost starts to form, so he and the Wasp can cuddle up in the finger of the hollow, frozen statue, then bust out when it’s removed from the pit. Hank realizes that it just isn’t fair for him to be constantly putting his girl in danger, and he talks about retirement. YAYYYY!!
The Hulk has also been kidnapped, and is whisked away to the Leader’s secret lab, along with Dr. Banner’s latest invention, the Absorbatron. The Leader keeps the Hulk sedated with sleeping gas, but for some reason that just makes him turn into Bruce Banner. The Leader was in the basement at the time and didn’t see this, so when he gets back he thinks that the Hulk escaped. He pumps in twice as much sleeping gas, which for some other reason turns Banner back into the Hulk, but not asleep. The Hulk comes out, smashes some stuff, and the Leader runs away.
What the fuck kind of sleeping gas does every convenient thing EXCEPT putting a guy to sleep? I’ll accept that Bruce Banner has some weird reactions to things, but making this same gas turn him back and forth between forms and never actually working for it’s intended purpose… I dunno, it just seems lazy. But hey, who cares? Ant Man is going away! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!