Tales to Astonish

Tales to Astonish is the name of two American comic book series and a one-shot comic published by Marvel Comics.

The primary title bearing that name was published from January 1959 to March 1968. It began as a science-fiction anthology that served as a showcase for such artists as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, then featured superheroes during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of Comic Books. It became The Incredible Hulk with issue #102 (April 1968). Its sister title was Tales of Suspense.

A second Marvel comic bearing the name, reprinting stories of the undersea ruler the Sub-Mariner, ran 14 issues from December 1979 to January 1981. A superhero one-shot followed in 1994.

Reported circulation[1]
Year Circulation
1960 163,156
1961 184,895
1962 139,167
1963 189,390
1964 207,365
1965 224,346
1966 256,145
1967 269,132
Tales to Astonish
Tales astonish 001
Cover of Tales to Astonish #1 (January 1959).
Art by Jack Kirby and Chris Rule
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
Schedulemonthly
FormatOngoing
Publication date
No. of issues
Main character(s)
Creative team
Written by
Penciller(s)
Inker(s)

Publication history

Science-fiction anthology

Tales to Astonish and its sister publication Tales of Suspense were both launched with a January 1959 cover date.[2] The early run of the first volume of Tales to Astonish ran from issues #1-34 (Jan. 1959 - Aug. 1962), initially under Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel;[3] it fell under the Marvel banner with issue #21 (July 1961), the first with a cover sporting the early "MC" box.[4] It contained science-fiction mystery/suspense stories written primarily by editor-in-chief Stan Lee and his brother, Larry Lieber, with artists including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers, Don Heck and Paul Reinman. One such story, "The Man In The Ant Hill", in #27 (Jan. 1962), introduced the character Henry Pym,[5] who would be repurposed eight issues later as the superhero Ant-Man. Anthological stories continued to appear as backups until Tales to Astonish became a superhero "split book" in 1964, when it began featuring one story each of Giant-Man and the Hulk.[3][6]

Ant-Man and Giant-Man

Talestoastonish
Tales to Astonish #44 (June 1963). Cover art by Jack Kirby and Don Heck.

Following his one-shot anthological story in #27 (Jan. 1962), scientist Henry Pym returned donning a cybernetic helmet and red costume, and using size-changing technology to debut as the insect-sized hero Ant-Man in #35 (Sept. 1962).[7] The series was plotted by Lee and scripted by Lieber, with penciling first by Kirby and later by Heck and others. The Wasp was introduced as Ant-Man's costar in issue #44 (June 1963).[8] Ant-Man and Pym's subsequent iteration, Giant-Man, introduced in #49 (Nov. 1963),[9] starred in 10- to 13-page and later 18-page adventures, with the rest of Tales to Astonish devoted to the anthological science fiction and fantasy stories the comic normally ran. Aside from Lee and Lieber, occasional writers included Ernie Hart, under the pseudonym H. E. Huntley, Leon Lazarus (#64, Feb. 1965) and Al Hartley (#69, the feature's finale, July 1965). Artists of the latter part of the run included Ditko, Ayers, and two veterans of the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books, Carl Burgos and Bob Powell.[3]

The backup feature "Tales of the Wasp" (#51-56) used the superheroine as a framing device for anthological science-fiction stories, having her relate tales to hospitalized servicemen and the like. The Wasp also starred in two subsequent solo backup stories. All were scripted and penciled by Lieber.

Hulk and Sub-Mariner

The Hulk, whose original series The Incredible Hulk had been canceled after a six-issue run in 1962-63, returned to star in his own feature when Tales to Astonish became a split book at issue #60 (Oct. 1964),[10] after having guest-starred as Giant-Man's antagonist in a full-length story the previous issue. The Hulk had proven a popular guest-star in three issues of Fantastic Four and an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. His new stories here were initially scripted by Lee and illustrated by the seldom-seen team of penciler Steve Ditko and inker George Roussos.[3] This early part of the Hulk's run introduced the Leader,[11] who would become the Hulk's nemesis, and this run additionally made the Hulk's identity known, initially only to the military and then later publicly. The Abomination first appeared in Tales to Astonish #90, and is introduced as a KGB agent and spy.[12] Stan Lee chose the name "the Abomination," which he realized belonged to no other character, before conceiving the character's background and appearance. Lee recalled that he simply told artist Gil Kane to "make him bigger and stronger than the Hulk and we'll have a lot of fun with him."[13]

Namor the Sub-Mariner received his first feature in a decade beginning with #70 (Aug. 1965).[14] The Golden Age character Byrrah was reintroduced in issue #90 (April 1967).[15] After the final issue of Tales to Astonish (which became the solo magazine The Incredible Hulk with issue #102, April 1968),[16] the Sub-Mariner co-starred in the split-book one-shot Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 before going on to his own 72-issue series.[3]

Revivals

A second volume of Tales to Astonish, using the cover logo Tales to Astonish starring the Sub-Mariner, ran 14 issues (Dec. 1979 - Jan. 1981), reprinting edited versions of Sub-Mariner #1-14 (May 1968 - June 1969). All but the last issue ran 18-page versions of the originally 20-page stories, with panels and text reworked to condense the plot. That last issue also included three Sub-Mariner pinups, one by character creator Bill Everett, reprinted from Marvel Mystery Comics #9 (July 1940); one by penciler Jack Kirby and inker Sol Brodsky, reprinted from Fantastic Four #33 (Dec. 1964); and a new one by artist Alan Weiss. Covers repurposed the original art, with the premiere issue's image flipped 180 degrees.[17]

Tales to Astonish vol. 3, #1 (Dec. 1994) was a 72-page, squarebound, one-shot special starring the Hulk, the Sub-Mariner, Ant-Man and the Wasp in the story "Loki's Dream" by writer Peter David, with painted art by John Estes.[18][19]

Collected editions

TalesToAstonish70
The Sub-Mariner feature begins: Tales to Astonish #70 (Aug. 1965). Cover art by Jack Kirby and Mike Esposito.
  • Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Tales to Astonish
    • Vol. 1 collects Tales to Astonish #1-10, 272 pages, January 2006, ISBN 978-0-7851-1889-3
    • Vol. 2 collects Tales to Astonish #11-20, 272 pages, March 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-2913-4
    • Vol. 3 collects Tales to Astonish #21-30, 272 pages, March 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-4196-9
    • Vol. 4 collects Tales to Astonish #31-34, and material from #35-51 and #54, 304 pages, March 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-5881-3
  • Marvel Masterworks: Ant-Man/Giant-Man
    • Vol. 1 collects Henry Pym story in Tales to Astonish #27 and Ant-Man/Giant-Man feature in #35-52, 288 pages, March 2006 ISBN 978-0785120490
    • Vol. 2 collects Giant-Man feature in Tales to Astonish #53-69, 304 pages, February 2008, ISBN 978-0785129110
  • Essential Astonishing Ant-Man Henry Pym story in Tales to Astonish #27 and Ant-Man/Giant-Man feature in #35-69, 576 pages, February 2002, ISBN 978-0785108221
  • The Superhero Women: Featuring the Fabulous Females of Marvel Comics includes Ant-Man and the Wasp story from Tales to Astonish #44, 254 pages, November 1977, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0671229283
  • Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk
    • Vol. 2 collects Giant-Man feature in Tales to Astonish #59 and Hulk feature in #60-79, 266 pages, December 2004, ISBN 978-0785116547
    • Vol. 3 collects Hulk feature in Tales to Astonish #80-101, 288 pages, January 2006, ISBN 978-0785120322
  • Essential Incredible Hulk
    • Vol. 1 includes Hulk feature in Tales to Astonish #60-91, 528 pages, February 1999, ISBN 978-0785164173
    • Vol. 2 includes Hulk feature in Tales to Astonish #92-101, 520 pages, September 2001, ISBN 978-0785164180
  • The Incredible Hulk includes Hulk stories from Tales to Astonish #60-74 and #88, 253 pages, July 1978, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0671242244
  • Bring on the Bad Guys: Origins of the Marvel Comics Villains includes Hulk stories from Tales to Astonish #90-91, 253 pages, October 1976, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0671223557
  • Marvel Masterworks: The Sub-Mariner
    • Vol. 1 collects Sub-Mariner feature in Tales to Astonish #70-87, 224 pages, May 2002, ISBN 978-0785108757
    • Vol. 2 collects Sub-Mariner feature in Tales to Astonish #88-101, 240 pages, June 2007, ISBN 978-0785126881
  • Essential Sub-Mariner Vol. 1 includes Sub-Mariner feature in Tales to Astonish #70-101, 504 pages, September 2009, ISBN 9780785130758
  • Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles includes Sub-Mariner story from Tales to Astonish #82, 253 pages, November 1978, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0671243913

In other media

In the 2015 film Ant-Man, after showing archival footage of Hank Pym/Ant-Man in action, Darren Cross jokes that the whole idea sounds like "tales to astonish."

See also

References

  1. ^ Average monthly data from publisher's annual "Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation", as compiled at The Comics Chronicles. Circulation data first included in Statements for 1960. Title became The Incredible Hulk in early 1968.
  2. ^ Brevoort, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1950s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 72. ISBN 978-0756641238. January [1959] saw the birth of two titles that would each have a place of importance in the coming age - Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e Tales to Astonish at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ Cover, Tales to Astonish #21 at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ DeFalco, Tom "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 84: "The first appearance of Dr. Henry 'Hank' Pym in a Marvel monster/suspense title was an inauspicious beginning for a man destined to become...[a] founder of the Avengers."
  6. ^ Daniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams. p. 120. ISBN 9780810938212. Marvel was bursting at the seams with superheroes. In order to accommodate all the characters clamoring for action, [Stan] Lee was obliged to put two stars into several of the comic books, each one taking half the pages for his own separate story. The Hulk returned to join Giant-Man in Tales to Astonish #60 (October 1964).
  7. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 88: "[Stan Lee] resurrected an earlier concept and...Hank Pym, the reckless scientist from Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan. 1962) was back."
  8. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 93: "Janet Van Dyne made her debut as the Wasp in Tales to Astonish #44. Based on a story idea by Stan Lee and a script by H. E. Huntley, the Wasp was designed and drawn by Jack Kirby."
  9. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 95: "Stan Lee drastically increased Ant-Man's power's so he could grow to giant-size proportions."
  10. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 102: "Tales to Astonish #60...introduced a new series - The Incredible Hulk - starring the famous character."
  11. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 103: "Since the Hulk was a creature of strength, it seemed only natural that he should have an enemy whose greatest power was his mind. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for Tales to Astonish #62, the Leader was once Samuel Sterns, a simple laborer."
  12. ^ DeFalco, Tom (2006). The Marvel Encyclopedia. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7566-2358-6.
  13. ^ Lammers, Tim (June 11, 2008). "Stan Lee Pumped Over Return Of Incredible Hulk". KCRA-TV. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  14. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 109: "Prince Namor replaced Giant-Man as the lead feature in Tales to Astonish #70. The Sub-Mariner series was written by Stan Lee and drawn by Gene Colan, who was using the pen name Adam Austin at the time."
  15. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 121: "Originally introduced in the Golden Age of comics, Namor's old enemy - Prince Byrrah - finally returned to comics in Tales to Astonish #90."
  16. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 128: "Hailing 1968 as the beginning of the 'Second Age of Marvel Comics,' and with more titles to play with, editor Stan Lee discarded his split books and gave more characters their own titles...Tales to Astonish #101 [was followed] by The Incredible Hulk #102."
  17. ^ Tales to Astonish vol. 2' at the Grand Comics Database
  18. ^ Cowsill, Alan "1990s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 270: "Fan-favorite writer Peter David teamed with painter John Estes for this one-shot that began a series of retro-titled prestige-format specials, including Strange Tales and Tales of Suspense."
  19. ^ Tales to Astonish (one-shot)' at the Grand Comics Database

External links

1961 in comics

See also:

1960 in comics,

other events of 1961,

1962 in comics,

1960s in comics and the

list of years in comics

Publications: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

1962 in comics

Notable events of 1962 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1963 in comics

Notable events of 1963 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1964 in comics

See also:

1963 in comics,

1965 in comics,

1960s in comics and the

list of years in comics

Publications: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

Ant-Man

Ant-Man is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Ant-Man's first appearance was in Tales to Astonish #35 (September 1962). The persona was originally the brilliant scientist Hank Pym's superhero alias after inventing a substance that can change size, but Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady also took on the mantle after the original changed his superhero identity to various other aliases.

Glenn Talbot

Major (later Colonel) Glenn Talbot is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in Tales to Astonish #61 (November 1964).

He is a close compatriot to General Thaddeus Ross and an active participant in his operations to capture or kill the Hulk. His most significant blow is discovering and informing his superiors that Doctor Bruce Banner physically transformed into the Hulk, which made the scientist a wanted fugitive. Talbot is consistently portrayed as a courageous, resourceful, and fiercely patriotic man who puts the good of his country before all else. He is romantically attracted to Betty Ross, who is in love with Bruce Banner, which adds fuel to his enmity for the Hulk. Though Talbot was mostly used as a romantic rival and general adversary for Banner, the two sometimes work together to battle greater menaces.

The character has appeared in various media adaptations, including novels, video games, animated films and TV series. In the 2003 film Hulk, he is portrayed by Josh Lucas, while Adrian Pasdar portrayed him in the television series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In the latter, he is an adversary and later begrudging ally to S.H.I.E.L.D. before ultimately becoming the MCU's version of the villain Graviton.

Gorgilla

Gorgilla is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Groot

Groot () is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960). An extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, the original Groot first appeared as an invader that intended to capture humans for experimentation.

The character was reintroduced as a heroic, noble being in 2006, and appeared in the crossover comic book storyline "Annihilation: Conquest". Groot went on to star in its spin-off series, Guardians of the Galaxy, joining the team of the same name. Groot has been featured in a variety of associated Marvel merchandise, including animated television series, toys and trading cards. Vin Diesel voices Groot in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy, its 2017 sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and reprised the role in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War and will do so again in Avengers: Endgame (2019) while Krystian Godlewski played the character via performance capture in the first film. Since his film premiere and animated series debut, Groot has become a pop culture icon, with his repeated line "I am Groot" becoming an Internet meme.

Hank Pym

Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by editor and plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and penciler Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan. 1962). The character, a scientist that debuted in a standalone science-fiction anthology story, returned several issues later as the original iteration of the superhero Ant-Man with the power to shrink to the size of an insect. Alongside his crime-fighting partner/wife Janet van Dyne, he goes on to assume other superhero identities, including the size-changing Giant-Man and Goliath; the insect-themed Yellowjacket; and briefly the Wasp. He is a founding member of the superhero team the Avengers.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, Hank Pym has featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as animated films; arcade and video games; television series and merchandise such as action figures and trading cards. Michael Douglas portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). He will reprise his role in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Jack Kirby bibliography

Jack Kirby was a prolific comics creator who created a large number of American comic books and characters, particularly for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

Leader (comics)

The Leader (Samuel Sterns) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Leader first appeared in Tales to Astonish #62, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko as an enemy of the Hulk. He has mainly appeared in Hulk related comic books over the years and was one of the featured characters in the Marvel NOW! Thunderbolts relaunch. In 2009, The Leader was ranked as IGN's 63rd Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.Sterns worked as a janitor in Boise, Idaho when he was exposed to gamma radiation. The radiation mutated him into a green skinned, super-intelligent entity who names himself the Leader, embarking on a career of crime. He is repeatedly foiled by the Hulk, who overcomes all of the Leader's schemes as well as his artificial henchmen known as the Humanoids. Sterns would later be further transformed, causing his cranium to change into the shape of an oversized brain. As part of the Intelligencia he is an integral part of the Hulked Out Heroes storyline.

Actor Tim Blake Nelson portrays Dr. Samuel Sterns in the 2008 superhero film The Incredible Hulk.

List of Hulk titles

The Hulk is a comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe. Since 1962, he has starred in several ongoing series, as well as a large number of limited series, annuals, one-shots and specials. All stories are published exclusively by Marvel Comics under their standard imprint, unless otherwise noted.

List of monsters in Marvel Comics

This page lists the known monsters in Marvel Comics.

Monsteroso

Monsteroso can refer to two different characters in the universe of Marvel Comics.

Neptune (Marvel Comics)

Neptune, also called Poseidon, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is based on the Roman God with the same name and his Greek counterpart. Neptune is the god of the sea in the Olympian pantheon, and the patron god of Atlantis. Neptune first appeared in Tales to Astonish #70 and was adapted by Stan Lee and Gene Colan.

People's Defense Force

The People's Defense Force is the name of two fictional organizations appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Tales of Suspense

Tales of Suspense is the name of an American comic book anthology series and two one-shot comics published by Marvel Comics. The first, which ran from 1959 to 1968, began as a science-fiction anthology that served as a showcase for such artists as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck, then featured superheroes Captain America and Iron Man during the Silver Age of Comic Books before changing its title to Captain America with issue #100 (cover-dated April 1968). Its sister title was Tales to Astonish. Following the launch of Marvel Legacy in 2017, Tales of Suspense was once again resurrected at issue #100, featuring The Winter Soldier and Hawkeye in a story called "The Red Ledger".

Terrific (comics)

Terrific was a weekly British comic published by Odhams Press under the Power Comics imprint. It ran for 43 issues from 15 April 1967 until 3 February 1968, when it was merged with its sister title Fantastic.

Terrific was very similar in format to Fantastic, which had started publication two months earlier. The two titles were quite unlike other British comics of the time, consisting mainly of material reprinted from American Marvel Comics. In this respect they can be considered a precursor of the Marvel UK weeklies, such as The Mighty World Of Marvel, that appeared during the 1970s.

The Marvel titles which were reprinted in Terrific included The Avengers, the Doctor Strange strips from Strange Tales, and the Sub-Mariner and Giant-Man strips from Tales to Astonish.

The Incredible Hulk (comic book)

The Incredible Hulk is an ongoing comic book series featuring the Marvel Comics superhero the Hulk and his alter ego Dr. Bruce Banner. First published in May 1962, the series ran for six issues before it was cancelled in March 1963, and the Hulk character began appearing in Tales to Astonish. With issue #102, Tales to Astonish was renamed to The Incredible Hulk in April 1968, becoming its second volume. The series continued to run until issue #474 in March 1999 when it was replaced with the series Hulk which ran until February 2000 and was retitled to The Incredible Hulk's third volume, running until March 2007 when it became The Incredible Hercules with a new title character. The Incredible Hulk returned in September 2009 beginning at issue #600, which became The Incredible Hulks in November 2010 and focused on the Hulk and the modern incarnation of his expanded family. The series returned to The Incredible Hulk in December 2011 and ran until January 2013, when it was replaced with The Indestructible Hulk as part of Marvel's Marvel NOW! relaunch.

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