Episode 50: The Difference Between Orange and Green (Fantastic Four #12 & Tales of Suspense #39) -- March 1963

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the “un-pardoning” of the Hulk; how to use super-powered individuals as checks on other super-powered individuals; decentralization; how the Fantastic Four is financed; and the risk the Soviet Union poses to our scientists and industrialists (including a missing Tony Stark). Also, why can’t the military tell the difference between the Thing and the Hulk?

In these issues:

Fantastic Four #12

The military, while marching through New York City (what???), bump into the Thing, mistake him for the Hulk (again, what???), and try to capture him. They realize their error, and the Thing goes home to the Baxter Building where he breaks some things and sulks. General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross then stops by and asks the Fantastic Four to help him find the Hulk, as he has apparently destroyed a military cannon. The team agree, and they head to Ross’s military base with him. While there, they consult with Dr. Bruce Banner, who tries to convince Ross that the Hulk did not damage the cannon. The Four leave on their mission. Meanwhile, Rick Jones goes sifts through the wallet of Banner’s assistant Karl Kort and finds a membership card in a “subversive communist-front organization”. Kort appears over his shoulder, basically admits that he was the saboteur, “the Wrecker”, and pulls a gun on Jones. Kort then sends a note addressed to the Hulk, which Banner finds, telling him to drive the Fantastic Four away or he will never see Jones again. Banner turns into the Hulk and gets into a fight with the Four. He is defeated, but only because Kort shot the Hulk with a ray gun. The Four then take Kort down and are given an honor guard by the military.

Tales of Suspense #39

Tony Stark, a world famous inventor and playboy, demonstrates his latest invention to the military - tiny transistors that can increase the force of any device a thousandfold. He is then captured in Vietnam and injured. His captors demand that he invent a powerful new weapon for him before he will allow his surgeon to save his life. Stark agrees and, working with the world’s greatest physicist Dr. Yinsen (who is also a prisoner), he invents a suit of armor which saves his life. Yinsen sacrifices his life for Stark, who then escapes while using his new “Iron Man” exoskeleton.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are wondering why American scientists keep getting kidnapped.

This episode takes place:

After the Hulk has dropped down the super-celebrity rankings, and people have breached a sigh of relief when Tony Stark returns to America safe and sound.