For over 50 years, the Incredible Hulk has been smashing his way through the Marvel Universe and into the hearts of fans. Whether you’ve discovered the tale of Bruce Banner and his other self through comics, TV, or film, get the whole story here…
As the Mighty Thor reminisced in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112 over his battle only a few months before with the Incredible Hulk, his former sparring partner faced off against the Leader’s Humanoid creation in TALES TO ASTONISH #63. After the fight, Hulk transformed back into his alter ego Bruce Banner, only to find himself arrested as a traitor.
Banner settled upon tranquilizers in TALES TO ASTONISH #64 so as not to change into the Hulk again, but when Rick Jones wrangled his release through none other than the President of the United States, he headed off to Astra Island. There, protecting his invention, an absorbatron, he changed into the Hulk to fend off an entire Humanoid horde sent by the Leader. The green giant drove the army into the sea, where he wound up a prisoner in a passing Russian submarine in TALES TO ASTONISH #65.
The Hulk and another prisoner of the Russians escaped in TALES TO ASTONISH #66, but Banner’s companion sacrificed himself to save him from a proton gun blast, enraging the Hulk enough to beat his captors at their own game. He later flew off to the Himalayas in TALES TO ASTONISH #67, where his tormentor Major Talbot rescued him from a bandit lord. Together, the two fell off a cliff in TALES TO ASTONISH #68, but the Hulk made his way back to the States, back into incarceration, and then straight back to Astra Island after another pardon from the President.
The Leader’s Humanoids captured the behemoth in TALES TO ASTONISH #69, and brought him before their creator. The Leader watched in horror as the Hulk destroyed the absorbatron, and later, when Major Talbot ordered Banner to be brought in at all costs, the scientist caught a bullet in the head for his troubles. At that same time, unbeknownst to Banner or the Hulk, the Avengers walked into a nearby trap by the Mole Man in AVENGERS #17, eager to find Banner’s alter ego somewhere in the desert and recruit him for membership again.
Rick Jones smartly applied Banner’s original gamma ray machine in TALES TO ASTONISH #70 to change the scientist into the Hulk, and thereby save his life. With Banner’s mind once again in his green form, the Hulk knew that to transform back into his true state meant a death sentence, due the bullet lodged in his brain. The Leader attacked “Thunderbolt” Ross’ army base in TALES TO ASTONISH #71, so the general used his “Sunday Punch” missile to end the crisis. Subsequently, the Leader offered an ultimatum to the Hulk: help to escape the army in exchange for total obedience. The Hulk complied.
Whisked away to the Leader’s secret headquarters in TALES TO ASTONISH #72, the green goliath applied all his stamina not to change back to Banner, and thus bring about his death. Discovering the truth of it, the Leader used his science to dissolve the bullet in TALES TO ASTONISH #73, then teleported his “partner” to the Watcher’s homeworld to steal a fantastic device there.
The Hulk battled a powerful alien on the Watchers’ planet in TALES TO ASTONISH #74, and, allowed to bring the device back to Earth with him, delivered it to the Leader. The wily genius used it to insert all of the Watchers’ vast knowledge into his own enhanced brain, and seemingly died from the mental overload.