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Tales to Astonish 101
"Where Walk The Immortals!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND March, 1968

Panoramically Produced By STAN LEE & MARIE SEVERIN
Inking: F. GIACOIA
Lettering: ARTIE SIMEK

(Originally Reviewed On 01/30/02)

On the cover, The Incredible Hulk leaps across The Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where All-Father Odin and his subjects are determined to detain this gatecrasher! (Holy Tollbooth, Batman!)

After a fearsome fight with Namor, a tired Bruce Banner begins to rise on a crashing beach, then...under the spell of a distant character, a familiar transformation takes place, and The Hulk is free once more! (Holy Charles Atlas, Batman! No one is going to kick sand in Bruce's face!)

In far-off Asgard, The God of Mischief observes his handiwork, for The Hulk is to be his servant. While seeking his accursed half-brother, Loki has found The Hulk, and since Odin would sense any danger to The Thunder God, Loki uses his magic to whisk the green goliath to The Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where Odin will be occupied with this unusual visitor, and not have time to think upon Thor.

Sharp-eyed Heimdall has spotted The Hulk and warns the green goliath to return from whence he came. The Hulk continues forward, only to have Heimdall unleash his sabre of sorcery upon him, which the slow-thinking Hulk, not knowing how he arrived or where, is swiftly angered, and eager to return the favor...

Heimdall is surprised that The Hulk has not fallen, and wonders what type of mortal he faces, while The Hulk, having heard the Asgardian speak of how he can hear the rustling of a leaf in a distant galaxy, slams his two mighty fists upon The Rainbow Bridge, which is definitely not music to Heimdall's ears! For the first time, Heimdall has been relieved of his post!

While he seeks to return to his post, The Hulk leaps towards the golden spires of Asgard, intent on learning where he is and how he arrived. Loki smiles as his plan continues apace, and with The Hulk's intrusion, All-Father Odin will be too busy to think about his son, and Loki will slay his half-brother, so that Asgard will someday be his. On the throne, Odin ponders matters of state, even as The Hulk pauses by a tree, and surveys the city, when a voice from behind him bids him to battle! The axe-wielder sees the face of the green goliath, who is confident that he can defeat any who live, and the axe-wielder tells him he'll have his chance against the skill of... Hogun! (Holy Hogun's Run, Batman! This should be some fight, indeed!)

Determined not to attack an unarmed foe, Hogun presents his axe to The Hulk, who stares dumbfounded, and wonders what he'd want with a weapon when his own strength is the greatest weapon of all! (Holy Brut, Batman! Let's hope Mean Green bathes in between bouts.) FFBTOM! The axe is shattered between two mighty green hands, while Volstagg and Fandral overhear the sound of cacaphonus clapping, and see Hogun knocked off his horse by the emerald man-brute.

Both combatants fall towards the golden city, bouncing off a giant statue in their descent, and above, Fandral is thrilled at the chance to test their mettle against such a foe, while Volstagg is all too eager for Fandral to have first rights. Loki watches the fight, knowing that Odin will soon hear of this, and will soon be distracted from aiding Thor.

Riding on horseback, Fandral wishes that Volstagg evinced such fierce hand-to-hand combat as he could with his mouth, while Volstagg claims that he, himself, is a humble soul, while The Hulk sees more people to smash, and Hogun is determined to continue this fight by single combat. The Hulk seizes Volstagg's horse and raises it above him, while Fandral wonders what type of beast they are facing, and Hogun notes the seemingly limitless strength and bravery. Fandral notes that Volstagg has heroically refrained from engaging in battle against an unarmed foe, while The Hulk hurls him from his mount, and bemoans the fact that everywhere he goes, he must fight! Volstagg seeks to climb out from a hole, yelling to the other warriors to be restrained from beating their foe with a single blow!

The Hulk has no desire for further fighting and asks where he is, while Volstagg is confident that his yell was enough to cow their foe, and both Hogun and Fandral think that the mortal has been bewitched, especially since they sense no evil in him. (Holy Samantha, Batman! They can tell by scent?) Other warriors arrive, determined to take on the mortal intruder, while Fandral tries in vain to tell them to stay back...

SPTANNNG! The dashing one has flung his blade in their midst, scattered the assemblage of armored warriors, for truly do actions speak louder than words in the golden realm. Volstagg and his awesome girth manages to stagger the warriors back, and Hogun uses his own powers of persuasion to vouch for the mortal, just as Loki arrives and tells the warriors that The Warriors Three are in league with The Hulk! Demanding that The Hulk be slain, Loki says that only a coward or traitor would not follow this order, and then asks Hogun which be he. The Grim One tells him that he is unable to strike The Son of Odin or else he'd let his mace do the talking, and The God of Mischief realizes that it's useless to provoke them for they are far too wise. Loki has failed, and in this failure, he is at his most deadly.

Fandral offers to share his saddle with The Hulk in seeking the wisdom of Oldar The Oracle, just as they are to leap across the bottomless chasm, but the green goliath is confident that he can leap over anything! (Holy Viva Knievel, Batman!) Seeing his chance, Loki vows to make The Hulk pay for his failure and casts a spell, which makes The Hulk turn back into Bruce Banner at the height of his leap, and the frail scientist begins to fall into the chasm below...

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner... The Hulk! Big Daddy Odin better break out the good silver, The Odin Sword, and The Destroyer for good measure.

The Hulk seems just about to leap off the cover, thanks to the art of Marie Severin.

I'd have to say that Herb Trimpe is my favorite inker for Marie Severin, but Frank Giacoia is no slouch at all.

Loki has used The Hulk to fight his half-brother in Avengers #1, which led to the formation of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. After years of reflection, The God of Mischief decided to have the villains of Earth commit Acts of Vengeance by fighting heroes they never fought before, instead of say, ganging up on one lone hero, and so on.

Heimdall is the brother of Sif.

Artie Simek is the master of the sound effect, especially when The Hulk claps his hands together.

This story answers the question of if The Hulk is in the woods and claps his hands together, do they make a sound? A resounding yes, there.

Although The Mighty Thor is nowhere in sight, The Warriors Three are amusing on their own. My personal favorites tend to be the stories written by Walt Simonson, as well as Len Wein circa Thor #263, where Volstagg gets a chance to strut his stuff.

I bet Fandral's horse is grateful that he didn't have to haul The Hulk.

Not to be forgotten is "The Good, The Bad, And The Uncanny!" by Lee, Buscema, and Buscema, where Loki sought to have The Silver Surfer defeat The God of Thunder. Another classic of The Silver Age and testament of the fine writing by The Man and the awesome art of Big John Buscema.

This Review Is Dedicated To Hoy Murphy

Steve Chung
"Where Walk The Reviews!"