- It is the first time I have found it necessary to give the signal! I pray it will be the last!
Appearing in "The Hulk"
- Betty Ross (First appearance) (See chronology)
- General Thaddeus Ross (First appearance) (See chronology)
- Rick Jones (First appearance) (See chronology)
- Various army personnel
- Nikita Khrushchev (Photo) (Topical Reference)
- Hulk (Future) (Bruce Banner) (Behind the scenes)
- Maestro (Bruce Banner) (Behind the scenes)
- Tomorrow Man (Artur Zarrko) (Behind the scenes)
- Tony Stark (Behind the scenes)
- Gary Swanson (Unidentified)
- Soviet version of X-15
Synopsis for "The Hulk"
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.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!
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.
Appearing in "The Fantastic Four"
- Fantastic Four (First Appearance and Origin for Entire Team)
- Mole Man (Harvey Elder) (First appearance) (Origin revealed)
- Overseer (Behind the scenes)
- Citizens of Central City
- Taxi driver (First appearance)
- National Guard
- French Soldiers
Races and Species:
- Fantasti-Flare (First appearance)
- Marvel-1 (First appearance) (Unnamed) (Destroyed)
- Fantastic Four's private jet
Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four"
A shadowy figure fires a flare out of a window. The flare forms the words "The Fantastic Four!"[Continuity 1]
Susan Storm is having tea with a friend. When she sees the flare, she turns invisible, gets into a cab,[Continuity 2] and offers the surprised driver a banknote when she reaches her destination.
Ben Grimm is trying to find a coat that fits him. A clerk in the haberdashery sees the flare. Grimm bursts out of the too-small door, rips a manhole out of the street, follows the sewers, and bursts out when he thinks he has reached his destination. He is struck by a taxi which is wrecked.
Johnny Storm is working on his latest hot rod in a service station. The mechanic sees the flare, which turns into the number 4. Johnny bursts into flame and flies away, destroying his car. The authorities treat him as an enemy attack, so he reluctantly melts the jets that come after him. A nuclear heat-seeking missile locks onto him, and, just as Johnny's flame starts to fade, an impossibly long pair of arms grab the missile and throw it out to sea.
Johnny's savior is the same man who fired the flare. He greets Susan, Ben, and Johnny with the words, "There is a task that awaits us ... a fearful task!" But how did these four people become so fantastic?
To beat the Communists into space, scientist Reed Richards, sister and brother Sue and Johnny Storm, and pilot Ben Grimm sneak off into space in a rocket.[Continuity 3] In space, the four are bombarded by cosmic rays.[Continuity 4] The auto-pilot lands the ship back on Earth,[Continuity 5] where they find themselves physically transformed and possessing remarkable new abilities. Sue can turn invisible. Ben has transformed into an orange, muscular "thing" with super-strength.[Continuity 6] Reed's body became highly malleable, allowing him to stretch into any shape. Johnny's body bursts into flame, and he can fly. They decide to use their abilities to become the super-team known as the Fantastic Four. They give themselves the individual names Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, and the Thing.[Continuity 7][Continuity 8]
(Chapter 2) The Fantastic Four Meet the Mole Man!
Atomic plants in the Soviet Union, Australia, and South America have been mysteriously attacked by cave-ins. Another attack occurs in Africa, where a huge monster burrows out of the ground but is recalled by a human figure. The Fantastic Four travel aboard their private jet to Monster Isle, which Reed has deduced is the same distance from each attack. There, they are attacked by a giant three-headed monster. Reed stops the monster, but a cave-in separates Reed and Johnny from Ben and Sue. Beneath the island Reed and Johnny land in the Valley of Diamonds, which temporarily blinds them. The Mole Man appears, revealing he is responsible for the attacks.
(Chapter 3) The Mole Man's Secret!
The Mole Man explains his origin. Having been ridiculed by humanity, he went off alone in search of the legendary land at the center of the earth. Eventually, he washed ashore on Monster Isle. Making his way through a cavern, he was caught in an avalanche and rendered almost blind.[Continuity 9] However, due to his other heightened senses taking over, he mastered the subterranean creatures[Continuity 10] and built himself an underground empire.
Meanwhile, on the surface, Ben wrestles a rock monster. Ben and Sue find their teammates listening to the Mole Man's plan to invade the surface world. He sends his monster army against the Fantastic Four. Whilst Johnny distracts the biggest one, the team flees through a tunnel, which Johnny seals shut behind them. After the Fantastic Four escape in their jet, Mole Man destroys the island so the surface world cannot trouble him again.[Continuity 11]
Appearing in "Spider-Man"
- Burglar (Recap)
- John Jameson (First appearance)
- Maxie Shiffman
- Liz Allan
- Sally Avril
- May Parker's Landlord
- Army personnel
- Ben Parker (Uncle Ben) (Mentioned)
- Ant-Man (Henry Pym) (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- United States of America
- John Jameson's Space Capsule
Synopsis for "Spider-Man"
With the Parker household desperate for money following the death of Ben Parker, Peter Parker decides to continue in show business as Spider-Man. However, not only does he find it impossible to cash his paycheck (made out to Spider-Man), but the irrational editorials by J. Jonah Jameson in the Daily Bugle effectively quelch his career. Besides denouncing Spider-Man as a publicity-seeking phony, J. Jonah Jameson also publishes articles lauding his son, John Jameson, a courageous astronaut about to be launched into orbit in a space capsule. J. Jonah Jameson calls his son a "real hero."
The day of the launch finds Peter Parker at the launch site as an observer. The rocket takes off successfully, but a guidance system error causes it to go wildly off course and re-enter the atmosphere. Spider-Man appears at the launch site and offers to replace the defective 24-3B guidance unit in the plunging capsule with a spare. Because there is no way for the military to get to the capsule in time, they allow Spider-Man to try.
Spider-Man commandeers an aircraft and pilot, and together they fly toward the space capsule's re-entry point. Although the capsule is falling fast, Spider-Man manages to get hold of it with his webbing and climbs aboard. He quickly replaces the faulty guidance unit. As a result, John Jameson regains control of the capsule, gets it properly oriented, and opens its parachute. To the joy of all concerned, the astronaut is saved.
Thinking that Spider-Man has at last proved himself, Peter Parker is shocked when he reads J. Jonah Jameson's editorial in the next edition of the Daily Bugle. Spider-Man is accused of deliberately sabotaging the space capsule and staging the rescue as a publicity stunt. With public opinion turning against Spider-Man with each new editorial in the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker's position is as hopeless as ever.
- This issue is all reprint and includes stories featuring:
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