Appearing in "The Avengers meet 'Sub-Mariner!'"
- Fantastic Four
- The X-Men
- Ant-Man's Ants
- Gibraltar (First appearance)
- United States of America
- Atlantic Ocean
- Unnamed deserted island
- Calcutta (Mentioned)
- Iron Man Armor MK II
- Gamma Ray Projector
- Pym Particles
- Iron Man's Tools
- Image projector
- Wasp's Suit
- Sub-Mariner's ship
- Anthony Stark's prototype bathyscaph
Synopsis for "The Avengers meet 'Sub-Mariner!'"
At their next meeting, the Avengers decide they need to find the Hulk before he causes more trouble. Iron Man uses his image projector device to communicate with the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men to ask if they have spotted him, but he has no luck. Thor comes up with the smart idea of asking Rick Jones to help find the Hulk. They contact him and Rick sets out into the desert to an area where he could be.
A short while later, Rick discovers the Hulk and leads him to a cave they had used in the past as a refuge. There, Rick operates a machine that transforms the Hulk back into Bruce Banner. While asleep, stressful thoughts cause Banner to revert to his Hulk-state and escape. Rick Jones contacts the Avengers, alerting them to the situation and they travel to the desert to stop him getting out of hand. After a brief battle, the Hulk escapes onto a passing train and with the help of an empty train carriage, some industrial cable, and a couple of bags of flour, manages to elude the team. After laying low, he reaches the sea and is eventually taken onto a ship on the brink of exhaustion.
Under the sea, Namor the Sub-Mariner watches the scene. After the Hulk leaves the ship, the Sub-Mariner meets him on a small island. After a short fight, Namor suggests they team up and fight the humans together, as they each bear a grudge against humanity. They form an uneasy alliance, each untrusting of the other, and issue a challenge to the Avengers: to battle at the Rock of Gibraltar! The villains use old World War II weaponry to attack the Avengers, but Iron Man deflects the shells with his repulsor rays. Namor disables Iron Man by firing an emery dust pellet at him, clogging up the joints in his armor. Thor holds the duo at bay while the Wasp finds a tank of oxygen, which is used to blow the dust away and bring Iron Man back into the fight. The Avengers chase their enemies through the tunnels. Namor plans to use an old air raid siren he has converted into a weapon, but is caught by Giant-Man and the battle continues. Both the Hulk and Sub-Mariner attempt to lift Thor's hammer but are unable to do so. At an inopportune moment, the stress causes Hulk to change back into Banner when Namor needs his help the most, and is forced to flee. Namor, without help from the Hulk, is quickly outmatched and narrowly escapes into the ocean.
- Prior to Avengers 3, Thor battled Mister Hyde in Journey Into Mystery #99-100.
- Giant Man and the Wasp battled the Human Top in Tales to Astonish #50-51.
- In Tales of Suspense #48, Iron Man upgrades his armor to his Mach III model during his battle against Mister Doll. In Tales of Suspense #49 a misunderstanding causes him to get into a conflict with Angel from the X-Men. The Avengers make a brief cameo appearance in that issue.
- The Hulk, without a title of his own, last appeared in Avengers #2 in which he quit the group.
- Namor the Sub-Mariner was last seen in Fantastic Four Annual #1, in which he finally found the civilization of Atlantis, only to have them all desert him following his defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four.
- Iron Man visits the Fantastic Four following the events of Fantastic Four #22 following the aftermath battle against the Mole Man. His meeting with Spider-Man occurs following the events in Amazing Spider-Man #7 where Spidey has a rematch with the Vulture. And finally his meeting with the X-Men follow their battle with the Blob in (Uncanny) X-Men #3, the favor mentioned by Iron Man during this meeting was about events which transpired in Tales of Suspense #49.
- The Gamma Ray Projector that Rick Jones uses to change the Hulk back into Bruce Banner was last used in Incredible Hulk #6. At the time, Banner could only change back and fourth between being Banner and the Hulk by constantly bombarding himself with different doses of Gamma Radiation. The device was triggered whenever Banner or the Hulk stepped on a foot plate in the floor.
- Though not established yet, this is the first issue where Banner transforms into the Hulk under high stress levels. This would soon become his most famous and his only way to transform into the green-skinned Savage Hulk.
- For awhile, extreme stress becomes the only way the transformation between Hulk to Banner would occur. Though not confirmed yet, in this issue, Hulk transforms back to Banner out of extreme anger and stress, reminiscent of a future persona "Professor Hulk".
- This story is Job # X-525.
- Thor will later recall and relate more specific details of his individual fight with the Hulk in Journey Into Mystery #112.
- References: Avengers #2, Tales of Suspense #49, and Fantastic Four Annual #1
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