Friday, April 22, 2016

Going... Going... Gone!

We know that a story featuring the incredible Hulk is going to be action-packed, for the most part--but apparently the caption writer for this cover of Tales To Astonish felt that we needed to be jolted with a virtual cattle prod in order to get that point across.

If we're all done wincing, it's worth noting that even the Hulk seems to be trying to reach out to crush the caption of "go Go GO HULK!" like a ripe tomato. It's easy to picture someone like Rick Jones egging the Hulk on with those words--but as a sales device, encouraging the reader to get into the spirit of rooting for the Hulk to prevail, it seems a little, I don't know, pushy? Marvel isn't exactly reticent about slapping motivational captions on its covers, ads, and splash pages, but this one seems to go beyond suggesting feelings of excitement and instead making the decision for us.

At any rate, let's take a peek within and see why the Hulk needs to be go go going and where he's supposed to be going to. From the story's splash page, it looks like he's on his way to outer space!

From what we can tell without glancing at the prior issue, the High Evolutionary has sent one of his New Men to capture the Hulk, so that his great strength can be used to quash a rebellion amongst the New Men who have reverted to a state of savagery and want to take their aggression out on the Evolutionary. The Hulk, however, has dealt with his captor, but is helpless to affect his course--though as we see, he doesn't care where he's going, as long as he leaves Earth (something he's attempted before, using admittedly more desperate measures).

But the Hulk may not be going anywhere but to an early grave, now that his ship's pilot is incapacitated and unable to veer the ship off from its dangerous course.

We can also assume that, given the Evolutionary's current predicament, he's not going anywhere but down if he's unable to retrieve the Hulk from disaster.

But wait a minute! We still have the Hulk, right? And he can still go go GO! Except in a situation where his strength is absolutely useless.

The revived pilot manages to save the ship, but not without being fatally poisoned by the radiation from the cosmic storm. And once the pilot dies, the only place the Hulk goes is--away.

For the Evolutionary, things go from bad to worse, as he realizes that the Hulk's strength is now lost to him. Yet he still goes to guide the ship safely to a landing, in the hope that he can still salvage the situation using the one who has taken the Hulk's place.

Back on the ship, it's Banner who must now do the go go going. First, it looks like he might be going to the slammer for Murder One:

Then it looks like he's on his way to going crazy, thanks to waking up and finding himself on a deserted ship in outer space, headed toward who knows what:

And then, as a captive, it seems he's not going anywhere.

But the Evolutionary has now devised his own plans for Banner, who's now about to go much further than he ever imagined. Evolutionarily speaking, that is:

It's tempting to want to read on and discover what a man cursed with turning into the Hulk might turn out to be in an evolved state following a million years' time--but it turns out that it's actually the Evolutionary who undergoes his own procedure instead of Banner, thanks to the rebellious New Men crashing the party. As for the Hulk, the only place he truly goes is back to Earth, courtesy of the Evolutionary--the planet he was trying so hard to leave in the first place.


Anonymous said...

Getting trapped in a faulty space-ship with an agitated Hulk isn't a situation I would care to be in!

Anonymous said...

The Hulk seems to be dancing in the corner box - is that a go-go Hulk ?

Anonymous said...

Well, Colin, he seems to be doin' the Mash Potato, the Shimmy, or possibly the Frug.
It was the Swingin' Sixties, man!

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