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Avengers #3: Review

Jan 1964
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Avengers Meet Sub-Mariner!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #3 Review by (February 15, 2010)
First Thor vs Hulk battle (an expanded version of which appears in Journey Into Mystery #112).

Avengers #3 Review by (August 10, 2011)
The Official Index lists the last appearance of the Avengers characters before this as Tales of Suspense #49 where Prof X asks them to help with Angel-turned-evil. Iron Man is the only one to respond as the others are busy in their civilian identities. That issue showed Bruce Banner as one of the non-respondees, despite the fact that Hulk had quit before Iron Man upgraded to his more form-fitting armour in ToS#48. The Avengers obviously must have some way of sending messages to their members without knowing each other's secret identities. I could suggest that they hadn't yet taken Hulk off their phone list. More significantly Hulk is shown as Banner, so he must have used the machine in his secret base to transform between this issue and last. But this issue indicates that, although he still needs the gamma ray machine to become Banner, the transformations to Hulk are now out of his control. And at the end of this issue stress reverts him to human. Iron Man contacts Marvel's non-Avenger heroes Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spider-Man to see if they can help find Hulk (why he thinks Spidey would know I can't guess). He presumably doesn't know about Dr Strange yet, and Daredevil is a few months away. The X-Men are glad to reciprocate following Iron Man's aid in ToS#49. Sub-Mariner is still primarily a villain - in his last appearance in FF Annual #1 he led the Atlanteans to invade the surface world. But next issue he will help bring Captain America into the modern world. And Subby and Hulk will have an entangled future as outsider heroes in the Defenders. Hulk keeps his face on the masthead through to #6, even though he's only in #5 after this.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
The Avengers decide to search for the missing Hulk. Iron Man contacts other superheroes for assistance in locating the Green Giant but it's Rick Jones who realizes that Hulk would go back to his old stomping grounds in the Southwest. Rick tries to persuade Hulk to surrender but it doesn't work so the Teen Brigade calls the Avengers for help. The heroes arrive and go to battle with Hulk but they are unable to stop him and Jade Jaws gets away. Hulk makes his way to a deserted island to plan his next move and finds Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner waiting for him. Hulk attacks and Subby defeats him in the water and proposes they work together against their common foe: the human race. However the two allies are secretly planning to betray each other once their goal is achieved. The Avengers track their quarry to Gibraltar where they engage in battle in the World War Two-era British caves. Hulk and Namor hold their own against the superhero team until the stress causes Hulk to change into Bruce Banner. Banner flees leaving a slowly weakening Namor alone against their enemies. Subby manages to break free and escapes to the water, vowing revenge.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Paul Reinman
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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