Monday, 18 October 2010

Incredible Hulk #189. The blind girl and the Mole Man

(Cover from July 1975.)

"None Are So Blind...!"

Written by Len Wein.
Drawn by Herb Trimpe and Joe Staton.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by Glynis Wein.


Yet again the Hulk demonstrates his uncanny ability to speak any language known to man, as he finds himself in a Siberian village and understands everything everyone says to him. Just where did such a stupid character get such an incredible gift for speaking so badly in so many tongues?

Having easily survived the destruction of the Gremlin's stronghold last time out, the Hulk meets a blind girl - Katrina - and befriends her, only to learn her village is raided every night by a horde of strange small creatures who turn out to be the Mole Man's subterraneans. It seems Katrina's scientist grandfather's developed a cure for her blindness and, being all but blind himself, the Mole Man wants it.

The Hulk's not having any of that and, venturing into the Mole Man's underground kingdom, he takes on the villain's diminutive hordes to retrieve the now-stolen medicine. That done, he returns it to the village where, being a comic book cure, it removes Katrina's blindness within seconds.

But here's the rub. When Katrina sees him for the first time, she sees our protagonist not as the Hulk, an ugly and frightening brute, but as the man he really is inside - Bruce Banner. This prompts the Hulk to leave the village behind, tears streaming down his face because, while Katrina may look into his eyes and see a man, the Hulk can see only a monster.

It's a lovely little story that, not for the first time in the strip's history, draws on its Frankenstein roots to engage our sympathies. While that trick might not be new, what is new is the story's told entirely in the First Person by the Hulk. It's a bit of a surprise, given his notoriously foggy memory, to discover the Hulk can actually recall an entire adventure, let alone retell it coherently, but it's a conceit that works and, along with its oddly fairy-tale like mood, lifts the tale well above recent offerings.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was a nice story that I consider to be one of my favorites.But it does get lost with so much retelling and myth rebuilding that it could have been any other comic character.I did enjoy the following issue as well.It returned the Hulk back to his own world,daydreaming about the more peaceful places and characters that he'd been and knew.Marie Severin even made a nice comeback.Budd

Anonymous said...

I have the exact cover but it is a 3 rings mead binder. Wonder how much this is worth. 49ers Fan

The Cryptic Critic said...

Sadly, if it has holes punched in it, I fear you'd struggle to get anything for it.

NINE9INCHE STUD said...

you know the ending time might be kind of corny, to tell you the truth but the story of a blind girl see that see's Incredible hulk as hansome woodman' the man she like to see but the whole big ole green monster images. gonna love it difficult roll up to the power suggestions

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