Episode 180: Treason! Well, treason for a short while, and then, well, no treason? (Tales to Astonish #64 - Part 3) -- February 1965
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss Bruce Banner being charged with, and then absolved of, treason. Only 30 people have ever been charged with treason in America, so what exactly did Banner do? And why were the charges dropped so quickly? The last time treason charges were dropped was in 1947, and the process took four years. If Banner should not have been charged, someone should lose their job. If he SHOULD have been charged, then why were the charges dropped? Is America part of some secret war, and with Banner aiding the enemy. Has he been set free “they” don’t want the public to know about the war? And who are “they” anyway?
Behind the issue:
In the issue, Banner was charged with treason, but the charges are made to go away as a result of the direct involvement of the President (who was informed by Rick Jones). If this had happened in real life, it would have been an impeachable offence by the President. But in real life, it is pretty unlikely that Banner would have ever been charged. In real life, for crimes committed post-WWII, only one person has been charged with treason in the USA. This is largely because the bar to prove treason is so high that most prosecutors will charge the suspect on a different offence. (Note: people were charged with treason after WWII, although all of these charges related to crimes committed during that war - it was not until 2006 that someone was charged with treason, for aiding and abiding Al Qaeda).
In this issue:
Bruce Banner its in a military prison, charged with treason for trying to sabotage his own invention. He had not tried to do that - he was trying to protect his nuclear invention from being captured by the villainous Leader’s Humanoid - but he really cannot explain himself without revealing that he is really the Hulk. Meanwhile, the Leader plots to study his fellow gamma-irradiated human, the Leader. We return to Washington, D.C., where Banner refuses to tell his lawyer why he is innocent (i.e. that he is the Hulk, etc.) His teenage friend Rick Jones shows up and, after flashing his top-priority Avengers I.D. card, visits with the President of the U.S.A. to tell him why Banner is innocent, i.e. that he is the Hulk. The President agrees that it would not be in the public interest for Banner to share his secret, and at the same time, he does not want to lose one of the U.S.’s greatest scientists to a lifetime in prison. Faced with this conflict, the President pulls strings to have Banner cleared of all charges, and Banner goes free. Well, free to head to an island in the ocean to test his new atomic device. While there, Banner turns into the Hulk, and the Leader, who is also interested in Banner’s invention, sends his Humanoids to attack the Hulk. The battle rages and rages, with the Hulk growing more savage and more wild. How will this end?
Assumed before the next episode:
People are wondering what the heck is happening with Bruce Banner being charged with treason, and the charges then being dropped.
This episode takes place:
After Bruce Banner is cleared of treason.