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Quote1 I'm alive, all right! ...though no thanks to you!! And now, welcome to my kingdom... the kingdom of Subterranea! Quote2
--Mole Man

Appearing in "The Return of the Mole Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #22.

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Synopsis for "The Return of the Mole Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #22.

The Fantastic Four has gathered to watch as Reed Richards conducts a test on Sue to examine the full extent of her invisibility powers. She shows off the ability to create an invisible force field and invisible objects that are strong enough to withstand both the Thing's most powerful blows and the Torch's flame powers.[Continuity 1] The test is interrupted when a police officer arrives to inform them that they have received complaints from the people in the neighborhood regarding the ICBM that the Fantastic Four uses on their missions. While the Thing deals with a flood of angry phone calls from area residents, the Torch deals with an artist who is threatening to sue, due to his claims that one of his works of art was melted into slag one day when Johnny flew past his window. With these disruptions dealt with, the Fantastic Four continue to watch Sue's demonstration of her powers. They witness as she can turn herself or other objects invisible, but they learn that she only has the ability to turn one object or herself invisible at a time. The demonstration is interrupted once again, this time by the Women's Canasta and Mah Jong Society, who complain about Reed's dangerous experiments. After they are scared off by the Thing, Reed ponders the recent spate of complaints and decides that perhaps it is time to move some of the FF's more dangerous experiments and equipment to a safer location. Coincidentally, Reed received a pamphlet in the mail regarding an island for sale in New Jersey that he believes fits those needs.

The Fantastic Four fly out in their U-Car to check out the island, but while they are exploring, their ship sinks into the water, trapping them on the island. Spotting a figure in the shadows running away, the FF follow after it into a cave. There they are surprised to see that the man they were pursuing is their old foe the Mole Man, who reveals that the entire series of events leading up to their coming to the island was all part of his plan to get revenge against the Fantastic Four. When the Mole Man activates a trap door, the Fantastic Four fall into an arena-like trap that is surrounded by a ring of lethal radioactive energy that prevents them from leaving. The Mole Man then explains that he survived their last encounter by escaping the destruction of Monster Island using the various tunnels within Subterranea.[Continuity 2] He then reveals his plan to lower New York City and Moscow below the surface of the Earth, in the hopes that both governments will blame each other for the strange occurrence and kick off World War III and eradicate everyone on the surface, so the Mole Man can claim it for himself.

However, before the Mole Man can hit the trigger button, Sue puts a force field around it. While the Mole Man is distracted, she creates another one around herself and her teammates, so they can get past the radioactive barrier that was keeping them prisoner. But their attack on the Mole Man is thwarted when their foe unleashes various traps that are designed to counter-act their powers. The Fantastic Four manage to break loose of these traps and chase the Mole Man. But their foe manages to escape under the cover of darkness, due to his radar-like senses. As the Fantastic Four find their U-Car and flee the scene, the Mole Man gets back to his throne room. When he activates the trigger button, he realizes too late that Reed Richards had rewired the device, so that it sinks the Mole Man's island instead.[Continuity 3]

Appearing in "The Black Knight!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #59.

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Synopsis for "The Black Knight!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #59.
Quote1 They're suspicious! They know I'm keeping something from them! What will happen next--when Tony Stark does not return? Quote2
--Iron Man

Black Knight's flying horse tracks down his owner to the state penitentiary and gets close to the window of Black Knight's cell. Black Knight extends his hand out of the window into the horse's saddle bag and retrieves a disolvo-ray, which he uses to dissolve the window bars and escape on his steed. He swears to take revenge on the Avengers.

Meanwhile, in Avengers Mansion, all members are waiting for Wasp to finish getting ready to attend a charity benefit. With Iron Man remaining in the mansion in case of emergency, the other Avengers leave. The alarm of Stark's factory goes off, and he's forced to drive there. When Tony arrives, he collapses in front of Happy and Pepper because his chest device is running out of power. He tries to convince his friends to let him stand up and reach his office, but they're too worried to let him move, and they call a doctor.

Seconds later, the lights go out. The Black Knight is assaulting Stark Industries in an effort to draw the Avengers' attention. Tony sneaks past Pepper and Happy while they're distracted by the Black Knight, and shuts himself in his office to recharge his chestplate. After a brief recharge, Tony suits up as Iron Man to battle the Black Knight. Pepper and Happy desperately knock on the door to Stark's office, concerned for his health.

Iron Man breaks through the wall of his office and confronts Black Knight, easily fending off the villain's micro-missiles and flexible steel coils. He dodges an energy blast that hits a storage tower, and the debris threatens the lives of civilians, but Iron Man quickly grabs the falling structure. Back at Stark's office, Happy tries to chop down the door with an axe, to no avail, because he soon discovers the door and even the wall are made of solid steel. Happy climbs out the window and gingerly crosses the building ledge, in order to reach Stark's office from outside. However, the Black Knight suddenly realizes Happy could work as a hostage, and captures him with a lasso.

When Iron Man tries to rescue Happy, Black Knight throws miniature power drainers at Iron Man, and they cling to his armor. In an attempt to get rid of the drainers, Iron Man dives at top speed, shaking off the disks. The Black Knight believes Iron Man has just plummeted to his death, and seeing no use for a hostage, drops Happy. Iron Man catches him and flies him back to the building.

Iron Man takes the Black Knight by surprise, and flips his horse by the hooves, causing the villain to fall off. As he starts to fall to his death, Iron Man convinces him to surrender his power lance in exchange for being saved. The Black Knight gives Iron Man his lance, and the Golen Avenger catches him at the last moment and leaves him with the police.

The victorious hero returns to his office to change back to his civilian identity, but he realizes he can't take his armor off. If he does, he'll black out, and he needs the extra power to stay alive. Iron Man's lament is soon interrupted by Pepper and Happy knocking at the door, after hearing noise from inside the office. Tony receives them as Iron Man, and claims that Stark had to leave through a secret entrance for an emergency that would take him a while to solve. Both Pepper and Happy doubt Iron Man's claims, and while he knows they are suspicious, Tony can't tell them the truth.

Appearing in "Mordo Must Not Catch Me!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #125.

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Synopsis for "Mordo Must Not Catch Me!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #125.

Attacked by minions of Baron Mordo, Doctor Strange learns that the Ancient One is Mordo's prisoner in yet another plot to destroy Doctor Strange. Battling in their astral forms, Strange searches the world over, trying to find the Ancient One while simultaneously trying to prevent Mordo from capturing him. Finding the Ancient One in Aztec ruins, Doctor Strange confronts Mordo and defeats him in a mystic duel. After the fight, Doctor Strange frees the Ancient One.

Appearing in "The Hulk"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Incredible Hulk #1.

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  • Soviet version of X-15

Synopsis for "The Hulk"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Incredible Hulk #1.

Part 1: The Coming of the Hulk

At an Army base in the desert, Doctor Bruce Banner is readying the first test of his invention, the G-Bomb. General "Thunderbolt" Ross wants to know why Banner keeps delaying the test. His daughter Betty tries to calm him down, with little success. Banner tells Ross that the final countdown has begun. His assistant, Igor, demands that Banner share his work so that someone may check his calculations. "I don't make errors, Igor," says Bruce, and, when Igor threatens him, "You know how I detest men who think with their fists."

Banner takes a last look at the bomb with binoculars. He notices a teenage boy in a car, tells Igor to halt the countdown, and hurries after the boy in a jeep. Igor, who supposedly defected to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, is a spy and decides not to stop the countdown so that America will lose its greatest nuclear physicist. Banner gets the boy into a trench, but, before he can jump in himself, the G-Bomb explodes! Gamma rays saturate Banner's body.

Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 1 002

Birth of the Hulk

Hours later, Banner regains his senses. The boy, Rick Jones, who drove onto the base on a dare, brought him back to base. Banner waits for some kind of symptoms to appear. When night falls, Jones turns on a "radio," actually a Geiger counter. Its clicking increases, and Banner changes into a huge grey figure. "Get out of my way, insect," says the figure, shoving Jones aside. He pushes through the wall, wrecks a jeep full of soldiers when it hits him, and wanders off to hide. Jones follows.

Part 2: The Hulk Strikes!

Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 1 003

The thing that was once Banner, with Jones trailing him, sneaks past the soldiers trying to find him and finds Banner's cabin. Inside, Igor is trying to find Banner's notes. He shoots at the Hulk, without effect. The Hulk takes away his gun and crumples it with one hand. He picks up Igor and slams him down on a lab bench. Jones notices a folder taped to the bottom of a large beaker, labeled "Top Secret: Report on Gamma Ray Bomb," and takes it. The Hulk picks up a photo of Banner and says, "I—I know that face!! But it is weak—soft!! I hate it! Take it away!" Jones reminds him that he is Banner. The Hulk briefly remembers what happened, then says, "I don't need you! I don't need anybody! With my strength—my power—the world is mine! As for you—you are the only one who knows who I really am!" He advances on Jones. The sun comes up at that moment, and the Hulk changes back into Banner.

Part 3: The Search for the Hulk

The MPs storm in, arrest Igor, ask Banner about the Hulk, take the folder, and leave. Betty comes to apologize for her father's outburst and tells him he should get medical attention. Banner says he'll call her and shows her out. He tells Jones that he's afraid he will change again at sunset.

Part 4: Enter... the Gargoyle!

In his cell, Igor uses a transmitter overlaid on his thumbnail. The message finds its way to the Gargoyle, a deformed Soviet scientist and secret agent, who travels by submarine and short-range missile to the desert. Banner and Jones take a jeep out into the desert before night falls, in case he changes again. He does change, and the Hulk wrecks the jeep. He recognizes the area near Ross's house and decides to visit Betty. At the same time, Betty decides to take a walk. She encounters the Hulk and faints in his arms. The Gargoyle appears.

Part 5: The Hulk Triumphant!

The Gargoyle shoots the Hulk and Jones with drug-filled bullets, making them like robots. They follow him to a truck, whose driver also gets shot. Ross finds Betty, who was frightened by her encounter but says, "In spite of everything, there was something... something sad about him!! Almost as though he was seeking... help!" Ross says, "If it takes an eternity, I'll find that monster!"

The Gargoyle and his captives reach a sub on the coast and get into a jet. As they streak towards the USSR, the sun rises on the Hulk, who changes back into Banner. Upon landing, the Gargoyle is astounded to find a man instead of a monster. He begins to cry, because he wants to be normal too. Banner treats him with radiation, which makes him look normal but takes away his super intelligence. The man who was once the Gargoyle realizes how the state has used him, so he puts Banner and Jones on a jet for home and blows up his base along with himself.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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