TALES TO ASTONISH #70-76 (1965-1966)

Hereon, this title offers Sub Mariner his first series, split with Hulk.

Let’s talk Subby first.  It starts with an extended arc, about a dethroned Sub Mariner and Lady Dorma, working together to unseat Krang who is the usurping King of Atlantis.  Dorma, as a character, is pretty much as vapid as Stan Lee’s other female characters, constantly pining for the love of Namor, and the story is fairly standard, but Adam Austin’s art is much more modern that what we’ve seen from Marvel thus far.  Look at the “from below” perspective, the use of shadows and shading, and the way the background conveys a slow-boiling mood.  I love this guy—wonder why I’ve never heard of him before?

Oh, wait.  I have.  It’s Gene Colan under a different name!  Not sure why he chose a pseudonym, but once you know it’s him the similarity is unmistakable.

Anyhow, it ends up with Namor being the ruler of Atlantis again and Krang exiled.

The Hulk also gets a multi-issue arc during these issues, in which, for the first time, he’s big and green but keeps Banner’s intellect.  Rick Jones is back in his life, too.

Oh, and The Leader wants one beeeeelyon dollars.

But he’ll settle for stealing from The Watcher.  In this issue, Watcher says that his power to watch comes from science and he sits in 1960s style furniture and drinks cocktails.


Hulk’s multi-issue story ends in #74, and #75 and 76 tee-up the next tale, which will be a big battle of Hulk vs. Asgard’s Executioner.

Creators: Lee and Gene Colan (Subby), Lee and Kirby, with Bob Powell (Hulk)
Grade: Sub-Mariner: C+, Hulk: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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