For years I have lived in the Sub-Mariner's shadow -- ever biding my time --! But, at last my plans are complete -- my supreme moment is at hand! My cousin Namor shall be prince no longer! Soon, I -- Byrrah -- will be ruler of all Atlantis! Byrrah
- (first silver age appearance)
Prince Byrrah, cousin to the Sub-Mariner, returns to Atlantis and makes his bid for power. He addresses the Atlantean citizenry and accuses Namor of being a warmonger who would rather wage endless conflict against those like Attuma or Warlord Krang, rather than attempt to forge an alliance with them. He quickly curries favor amongst his fellow Atlanteans and they demand a plebiscite.
Lord Vashti, fiercely loyal to the Prince, swims to the Rock of Meditation and tells Namor the news. The Sub-Mariner refuses to believe that the people of Atlantis could ever rally behind a coward such as Byrrah, and he hastens back to the council amphitheater. Namor openly criticizes Byrrah, and as a result, Byrrah demands satisfaction by way of trial by combat.
Vashti and Dorma warn Namor against fighting with Byrrah. They know that Byrrah is too treacherous to fight fairly and that he has surely laid a trap. Namor reminds them that he is a prince of the blood, and as such he cannot fail against Byrrah.
The two enter the field of combat, but Byrrah has already prepared the area with concealed weaponry. The two fight one another, and Byrrah manages to weaken Namor with a poison-tipped blade. The citizens viewing the spectacle are unaware of Byrrah's schemes and believe that he defeats Namor fairly. Afterward, they hoist Byrrah upon their shoulders in devout adoration. Byrrah is confident that he will now win the throne of Atlantis.
This story is continued next issue...
The Stranger decides that humanity no longer deserves to live, so he implants a hypnotic command into the Hulk's brain, leading him to seek out and destroy the world's weapons bases. The Stranger leaves Earth and returns to the stars.
The Hulk, meanwhile, arrives at a missile base but transforms back into Bruce Banner. Fortunately, Banner's mind is not controlled by the Stranger's manipulations. He knows that he will turn back into the Hulk at some point, though, and decides that he must destroy himself or else risk becoming the Stranger's instrument of destruction. He heads back towards Gamma Base.
At the compound, General Ross addresses the troops and tells them that a spy has been committing acts of sabotage at the base and that he must be found at all costs. After the meeting, Glenn consults with Betty who is worried about Bruce. Glenn reminds her that the only thing Banner has ever done for her was break her heart.
Later, a spy named Emil Blonsky disguises himself as an MP and finds the laboratory that houses the Gamma Ray machine. Bruce is inside the lab and has prepped the machine to blast him with a deadly dose of Gamma Rays. Theoretically, the concentrated gamma energy should be enough to kill even the Hulk. Major Talbot and some soldiers enter the room and grab Banner. They are unaware of Blonsky's presence.
After Banner is dragged away, Blonsky decides to activate the machine. He has little idea of what its true nature is, but he quickly finds out as he is bathed in gamma radiation. The energy transforms Blonsky into a hideous green Abomination. He destroys the Gamma Ray machine before it overloads his body with radiation.
From the window of his holding cell, Banner sees the Abomination trashing the laboratory. The tension forces him to transform into the Hulk and the two gamma-spawned powerhouses begin fighting. Due to the concentrated energy levels provided by the Gamma Ray Projector, the Abomination is actually stronger than the Hulk. He also has the added advantage of maintaining his intellect. The Abomination clobbers the Hulk with repeated blows across the head until he falls over unconscious. He then turns, scoops up Betty Ross, and leaps away into the sky.
To Be Beaten by Byrrah!
- Byrrah's rivalry with the Sub-Mariner mentioned in this story was chronicled in Sub-Mariner Comics #35–41.
- This issue contains a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation.
- Glenn Talbot's name is misspelled as "Glen" in this issue.
- Betty Ross is the one who first refers to Blonsky as the Abomination.
- Page one lists an extra credit for Story One as, "Water Ballets Staged by Irving Forbush".
- This issue features a letters page, Mails to Astonish. Letters are published from, Bobby Stewart, Bill Mantlo, Charlie Gregor and Scott Planeta.
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