Apr 4

Episode 151: Existential Threats (Tales to Astonish #59) -- September 1964

Edward Nevraumont
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What if the Marvel Universe was real? Mike and Ed are radio commentators in 1961 discussing the ramifications of a world with super heroes, monsters & aliens. Why is no one asking, "Is Ironman a good use of StarkCorp shareholder capital?"
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the detonation of a nuclear bomb on American soil. The bomb was meant to be used against the Hulk. Is that an acceptable use? Will this lower the taboo on the use of nuclear weapons? Is the Hulk more of a threat than a nuclear winter? What about other existential threats? Also: What type of jail could hold the Hulk? And why is the answer inter-dimensional?

Tales to Astonish Vol 1 59 | Marvel Database | Fandom

Behind the comic:

At this point in Marvel history, Stan Lee is using the Hulk increasingly as a supporting character. The Hulk’s own title failed, but he is becoming a draw when paired with other heroes. In a few months, Lee will add the Hulk as a regular second feature in Tales to Astonish. This issue was (we think) a trial run.

In this issue:

Davy “The Human Top” Cannon conspires to take his nemesis Giant-Man down. Meanwhile, Giant-Man and the Wasp head to New Mexico in an effort to track and take down the Hulk. The Human Top tracks the Hulk down first and warns him that Giant-Man is on the way. The Hulk and Giant-Man then meet up and fight. The Army launches an atomic missile at the Hulk. The Wasp warns Giant-Man of the incoming missile, who informs the Hulk about it. The Hulk heroically intercepts the missile.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are wondering whether the Hulk survived an atomic weapon, and what that could mean.

This episode takes place:

After Giant-Man’s battle with the Hulk.