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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Episode 2: The Space Phantom

Avengers 2

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Inker: Paul Reinman
Letterer: Art Simek

Plot Summary

While the Avengers are having a regularly scheduled meeting in Tony Stark’s mansion, an alien known as the Space Phantom, descends from the heavens. Disguised as a meteor he arrives undetected and makes his way towards the Avengers. According to months of observation the Space Phantom knows that if he can defeat the Avengers, no one will remain that can stop his people from invading. Space Phantom takes the form of a nearby human, sending that person to Limbo, and makes his way to the mansion. The Avengers notice their uninvited guest and Hulk decides to confront him alone. Space Phantom promptly takes the form of Hulk, sending the real Hulk to Limbo. In his Hulk form, Space Phantom confronts The Avengers, working to drive a wedge between the team members. Eventually Space Phantom storms out, though out on the street he runs into Hulk’s friend, Rick Jones. Rick convinces Space Phantom to leave, however he soon realizes something isn’t right, and Space Phantom reveals himself to Jones, saying there is nothing he can do to stop Space Phantom’s plans. On his way back, Space Phantom, still in his Hulk guise, steals a new weapon system being tested by Stark Industries. When Tony Stark is informed, he rushes to the site in his alter ego as Iron Man to engage Hulk. Upon finding that Iron Man is providing more opposition than expected, Space Phantom changes into an insect, returning the real Hulk to deal with an assaulting Iron Man. Whilst the two Avengers continue their dual, Rick Jones manages to contact Ant-Man and Wasp and informs the pair of both Space Phantom’s plan and his identity assuming ability. The duo immediately make their way to break up the fight, however Space Phantom soon takes the form of Giant Man (Ant-Man’s new oversized form) and attacks Hulk. Becoming desperate to end the fight, Space Phantom becomes Iron Man after failing to achieve victory over Hulk. Wasp, meanwhile, has left the fight in search of Dr. Don Blake in an attempt to bring Thor into the battle. Upon their arrival, Wasp disables Iron Man/Space Phantom while Thor summons a storm to rust him over. As a last ditch effort, Space Phantom attempts to take the place of Thor, but is foiled when, instead of Thor being pulled into Limbo, Space Phantom finds himself cast into the voided dimension. Thor explains that because he is not human, the Space Phantom’s powers had the opposite effect, banishing their foe. While the threat may have passed, Iron Man’s comments during the battle have made Hulk realize how little the team trusts him, decides that he is better off on his own and departs.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Hulk
Iron Man
Thor
Wasp

Villains

Space Phantom

Show Notes

space-phantom-2