> Hulk Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"My former name is meaningless now! I choose to be known simply as...the Leader!

-- The Leader, talking to himself, pg. 3

13 years before the Human Fly: the Leader's Humanoid!

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The Incredible Hulk
from Tales to Astonish #63

January 1965 10 pages

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

Title: "A Titan Rides the Train!"

Villain: The Leader, the Chameleon, the Humanoid

Origin: The Leader

Guest Appearance: General "Thunderbolt" Ross, Glen Talbot

Cameo: The Leader, The Humanoid, Captain America

Innovations: First appearance of the Leader out of helmet

Gadgets & Technology: Spectroscopic Transceiver

Letters Page: Page One

Story Synopsis: As the Leader monitors the development of his humanoid creation, he ponders his origin. As an ordinary laborer working with radioactive materials, he was caught in a gamma-ray blast at the plant. When he recovered, he found himself voraciously devouring scholarly and academic texts. His mind was registering and maintaining a vast amount of information, until one day, he collapsed. When he came to, he saw that his head had enlarged to massive size, and that his skin had turned green. Now, his intellect had reached the point where he realized he could take over the whole world, and to that end organized a vast spy ring. But, being let down by lesser mortals, he decided to create an army of Humanoids to do his bidding.

At the base, the Chameleon digs himself out from rubble from the explosion (see TTA #62.) He decides to try and dig up some information that could redeem himself in the eyes of the Leader. Banner is directed by the Pentagon to accompany the delivery of a nuclear invention of his being moved by train from one base to another; General Ross orders Major Talbot to shadow Banner and keep tabs on him. The Leader directs his humanoid to steal the technology on the train. He animates the super-strong Humanoid by remote control, and he is able to see everything the Humanoid sees through a camera system. He lowers the humanoid by helicopter onto the train.

Major Talbot is alerted to the Humanoid's presence, and he pushes Banner into a train car all alone to keep him out of the way. Banner's stress level increases, and he turns into the Hulk, crashing his way out of the train car. The Humanoid loosens the connection on the train car, leaving the guards on the rear cars to fall behind. Before he can do anything else, though, the Hulk is upon him. The Leader sees the incredible Hulk through the camera, and realizes he is not the only super-being with green skin! Hulk punches and grabs at the Humanoid but is unable to land a convincing blow on the elastic creature.

The fight between the Hulk and the pliant Humanoid grows so fierce that it causes the nuclear device on the train car to wobble close to falling. After crashing into the Humanoid, causing the camera signal to the Leader to go blank, the Hulk realizes the nuclear device will crash to the ground and explode, so he leaps to push it so that it falls into the soft desert sand. He begins to transform back into Bruce Banner and when Major Glen Talbot finds him next to the nuclear device, he is thrown into a prison cell awaiting official response to his perceived impropriety. Meanwhile, the Leader realizes there is more to learn about the Hulk.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--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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