Written by Roy Thomas.
Drawn by Herb Trimpe.
Inked by Herb Trimpe.
Lettering by Sam Rosen.
A man of infinite wisdom (it was Tony Hatch) once said everybody needs good neighbours, who should be there for one another, because that's when good neighbours become good friends.
Well, the Hulk and the giant subterranean Mogol might not have become good neighbours but they do at least become good friends as The Incredible Hulk goes further underground than even Robert Crumb could ever hope to manage.
Tyrannus, that would-be Caesar of the underworld, is in deep doo-doo. His arch-enemy the Mole Man's yet again captured the fountain of eternal youth that's been keeping him alive and is now planning an attack on Tyrannus' city itself. Fortunately for Tyrannus, his servant Mogol's convinced the Hulk to join the fray.
This is one of my favourite Hulk tales. For a start it has Tyrannus in it. Apparently, Tyrannus isn't exactly popular with comic book readers but he's always grabbed me, with his roman garb and totally unjustified god complex. There aren't that many super-villains I'd quite like to be but supreme ruler of an underground kingdom sort of grabs me - as long as I could have weekends off. Admittedly, the Mole Man's also in the tale but at least for once he justifies his existence by giving the big T someone to fight.
But the story centres around Mogol, the giant being who can't remember where he came from or how he came to be in the service of Tyrannus. All he knows is he somehow owes the dictator his life. Sent to the surface to recruit the Hulk's aid, he and the brute quickly become bosom buddies as each at last has found a kindred spirit to relate to.
Sadly, this being the Hulk, the ending doesn't reflect well on our hero as, in the heat of battle with the Mole Man's forces, we discover Mogol is in fact a robot.
"So what?" you might think. "The Hulk's a bright green mutant. As Phillip Drummond could have told you, it takes different strokes to move the world."
Sadly, the Hulk doesn't see it that way and promptly destroys his best friend for not being "real" enough. This is actually quite disturbing and goes against the view we mostly have of the Hulk from this era as being a basically gentle soul committing acts of violence only when provoked. Bearing in mind Mogol is his only friend and refuses to lift a finger to defend himself against the Hulk's attack, it can't be seen as anything other than a form of murder. But that's what happens when you have the Hulk's lack of brains and surfeit of muscles.
And so, at the tale's end, having destroyed Mogol, the Mole Man's citadel and Tyrannus' troglotopolis, the Hulk finds himself alone.
And this time he's got no one to blame but himself.