Following the Hulk's guest shot in Fantastic Four he moved onto what proved to be the sixth and final issue of his own comic for a very very long time. Stan Lee was still writing but the art chores switched over from Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers to Steve Ditko. Ditko had inked the second issue and some years later would continue to pencil the Hulk's adventures when he landed his own series as part of Tales to Astonish. But that's in the future.
For the first times since the second issue we have a tale which occupies the entire comic. And like the second issue the menace descends from the depths of outer space. The Metal Master is an alien from the planet of Astra where apparently the denizens can mentally control all forms of metal. This power, a souped up version of what the X-Men villain Magneto could do proves at first to be too much for the forces of Earth. When Bruce Banner sees the menace he uses his advanced equipment to turn himself into the Hulk but this time the change is different as all of his body transforms save for his head.
The sense of whimsy in this story is really strong. The premise of alien invasion is fine, but the outlandish and grandiose manner of the Metal Master's powers make this story a flight of pure fancy more akin to the less developed monster stories of the earlier Atlas period. After the more down-to-earth adventure in the Fantastic Four this one is a real change in tone.
Ditko offers up some really eye-catching graphics but his energetic art is in service to a story which lacks some of the emotional power of a typical Marvel effort. The creation of the Teen Brigade though is a crucial detail (pointing the way to yet another premise change I suppose) but that aspect will have play itself out in a new book -- The Avengers.
More to come when the Hulk assembles with other heroes of the Marvel Universe. Despite the cancellation of the book, this will be Hulkinued.