> Hulk Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I felt so guilty, leaving you and joining Captain America! I felt like a deserter!

-- Rick Jones, pg. 5

How?!?!? He's the strongest mortal on Planet Earth! That's how!!!!

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The Incredible Hulk
from Tales to Astonish #62

December 1964 10 pages + pinup

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: Steve Ditko
Inks: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)

Title: "Enter...the Chameleon!"

Villain: The Chameleon

First Appearance: The Leader, The Humanoid

Guest Appearance: General "Thunderbolt" Ross, Rick Jones, Betty Ross, Glen Talbot

Cameo: The Leader, The Humanoid, Captain America

Gadgets & Technology: Gamma Grenade

Letters Page: Page One

House Ad: Ad #1

Story Synopsis: Ross shakes his fist at the Hulk, who is subdued in heavy-duty cables that bind him captive. At the same time, a confluence of events occurs: a strange hooded figure calling himself The Leader contacts the Chameleon and assigns him the task of locating the secret double agent he sent on a mission to General Ross' base. Also, Rick Jones asks for leave from Captain America's side, to go help the Hulk. Rick makes it to the base and meets up with Betty Ross, asking if he can help with the search for Dr. Banner. The Chameleon adopts the image of General Ross and heads to the location where they are keeping the Hulk hostage.

He tells the Hulk to work with him, but the Hulk refuses. Then, when a soldier steps up to him, the Chameleon, disguised as Ross, commands him to dismiss all the guards. Before the Chameleon can get back to the Hulk, though, he has turned back into Bruce Banner and managed to slip his bonds. Rick Jones sees Banner trying to find refuge and helps him hide, giving him a new change of clothes. Banner rejoins Ross and Talbot and tries to convince them he was only doing research in nearby caves, he wasn't a deserter. Talbot admits to him that the Pentagon sent him there to observe Banner.

On his way back to his lab, the Chameleon kidnaps Banner and takes his disguise. He heads to his lab and rifles through his notes and records to steal them when Betty walks in, and using women's intuition, quickly realizes this is not Bruce Banner! Meanwhile, Banner's stress levels rise as he is tied up in a broom closet, and he turns into the Hulk. He rushes into the lab to see the Chameleon holding Betty and threatening to kill everyone with a Gamma Grenade. The Hulk runs away to save Betty, and the Chameleon takes off with Betty over his shoulder as his hostage. He takes a swipe at Major Talbot on the way out, causing the major to be sure that Banner has changed sides.

The Chameleon, still disguised as Banner, loads Betty into a rocket sled and sends her off into the distance, to occupy the Hulk's time to save her while he gets away. The Hulk manages to save her and still catch up to the Chameleon, who threatens him once again with the gamma grenade. The Hulk has to jump on top of the grenade, absorbing the blast so nobody else is hurt. The shock turns him back into Bruce Banner, and the Chameleon makes a clean getaway.

Ross and Talbot agree not to pursue the matter based on testimony from Betty Ross, assuring them that the actions of Banner were not from him but from an impostor. And in a distant and unknown location, the Leader plans his next move, since he has lost his human agent and now seemingly the Chameleon; likely, the next move will be something he will have to use his humanoid creation for.

Pin-Up: The Hulk pulls the edifice of a building up from the ground to get at some gun-toting gangsters.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--house ad and letters page provided by Justin Fairfax

Issues Reprinted
Giant-Man from Tales to Astonish #59
& Incredible Hulk from Tales to Astonish #60-79

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

TTA #59 TTA #60 TTA #61 TTA #62 TTA #63 TTA #64 TTA #65
TTA #66 TTA #67 TTA #68 TTA #69 TTA #70 TTA #71 TTA #72
TTA #73 TTA #74 TTA #75 TTA #76 TTA #77 TTA #78 TTA #79


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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