Episode 3: The Avengers Meet The Sub-Mariner

Avengers 3

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Paul Reinman
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Plot Summary

This issue begins with the remaining Avengers discussing the events of the previous issue and deciding that they cannot let Hulk just run around on his own. Iron Man uses a piece of Stark tech to project an image of himself to various other heroes including the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the X-Men, attempting to gain aid in their attempts to locate Hulk. Much to his frustration, none of the other heroes are available to aid the Avengers in their search. Back in New Mexico, Rick Jones manages to find Hulk fishing a jeep out of a lake, the driver having bailed out and run away in fright after seeing Hulk. Rick Jones joins Hulk and convinces him to return to the secret cave lab that Banner has set up. Within the lab is equipment which uses gamma rays to forcibly transform Hulk back into Banner. The equipment works and Rick helps Bruce into bed. Unfortunately, Rick failed to use a high enough dose of gamma rays and while lying in bed, Banner reverts back to the Hulk and smashes through the barred door. Rick alerts the Iron Man who in turn contacts the remaining Avengers and the team converges on Hulk’s location. As the heroes arrive, they each attack Hulk in turn, without much effect. Making use of his superior knowledge of the local terrain, Hulk dives into an old mine tunnel and eventually escapes on a train. After leaving the train, Hulk hides out in a truck hauling dirt and after being dumped into a stream, Hulk makes his way out to sea. Several days go by and Hulk is eventually pulled aboard a passing cargo ship, nearly drowned. Watching all of this is Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Upon regaining his strength, Hulk jumps ship and heads for a deserted island where he can be alone. Much to his surprise and frustration, Hulk finds Namor waiting for him. Namor announces that he wants Hulk’s help in getting his revenge against the surface dwellers that have “ruined” his life (Fantastic Four Annual #1). Hulks only desires to be left alone and so he proceeds to assault Namor. After being defeated by Namor in the water, Hulk agrees to help, though both men secretly plot to betray one another after the Avengers have been dealt with. The duo issue a challenge to the Avengers to fight them in Gibraltar. The Avengers promptly accept the call to battle and vow that this time they won’t be pulling their punches. A significant fight ensues which neither side is winning until Hulk begins to turn back into Banner after being verbally assaulted by Namor. The helpless Banner runs away, leaving Namor to fend for himself. Namor is nearly defeated but is able to get back in contact with water and promptly retreats. The Avengers choose not to pursue Namor because of how valorous he was, but also recognize that they may come to regret their decision.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Iron Man
Thor
Wasp

Villains

Hulk
Namor

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