> Hulk Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I cannot tolerate a mere mortal having power which is almost the equal of my own! Now, more than ever, must I batter you into total helplessness!

-- the Executioner, disrespecting the Hulk, pg. 5

Is this the first appearance of FOOM?

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The Incredible Hulk
from Tales to Astonish #77

March 1966 10 pages

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Sam Rosen
Layouts: Jack Kirby Pencils/Inks: John Romita

Title: "Bruce Banner is the Hulk!"

Villain: Executioner

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

Cameo: King Arrkam

Letters Page: Page One

House Ads: Page One

Story Synopsis: The Executioner lashes out at the Hulk, tossing metal debris at him. The Hulk declares that all he wants is to go back in time, but the Executioner gloats that the secret of time travel is his to keep. The Hulk unleashes a mighty punch on the Asgardian, but it's no effect, as the immortal shrugs it off and continues the fight.

Back in the past, Ross interrogates Rick Jones about Banner's connection to the Hulk and the purpose of the T-Gun, but Rick Jones won't tell anything he knows. Without any evidence to hold him, they let him go, but Ross orders Major Talbot to follow Rick and keep him under surveillance.

Meanwhile, the warriors under the Executioner's command unleash their massive Stun Gun at the Hulk. It knocks him off balance and allows the god to lay several blows on the green-skinned goliath. But this just increases the Hulk's rage, and he picks up the very ground that the Executioner stands on, knocking him to the ground. But the mobile gunships continue their assault on King Arrkam's city, as well as the Hulk.

Rick Jones wanders into the hidden cave where he used to help Banner calm down in his Hulk fits. The boy can't help but become hysterical when the torrential flood of thoughts, memories and emotions hit him, and he starts to have a breakdown. But Major Talbot is there to pull Rick Jones together, and tells him that the only way he can unload this burden is to tell the truth of what he knows.

The Hulk decides to help rescue the city being attacked by the Executioner, and goes after the walking gunships and chases them away. But the denizens of the city who's aid he came to come out of their fortress and threaten the Hulk to surrender or die. Before he can react, the Hulk begins to disappear in thin air.

Rick finally spills the truth to an astonished Major Talbot: Bruce Banner is the Hulk, and he's not a traitor, but a misunderstood patriot. Before Talbot can get any more information from the forlorn Rick Jones, a whirlwind begins to settle inside the cave....

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--letters page and house ads 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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