Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Incredible Hulk #129. The Leader and the Glob

Incredible Hulk #129, the Leader and the Glob, Herb Trimpe
(Cover from July 1970.)

“Again, The Glob!”

Written by Roy Thomas.
Drawn by Herb Trimpe.
Inked by Herb Trimpe.
Lettering by Sam Rosen.

Never accept lifts from a stranger - especially one who’d give a ride to a man like you. It’s a lesson Bruce Banner should learn well as he inadvertently accepts a lift from the Leader who, to enact his latest plan, has reverted to his pre-mutation guise of a lowly truck driver. In this form, he’s a perfectly nice man and, remembering nothing of his alter-ego, strikes up a rapport with Banner, both of them being somewhat bewildered souls. From their conversation, however, the Leader learns the Glob was the one foe who might have defeated the Hulk and so, upon reverting to his high-headed guise, he revives the swamp monster and sets him on the Hulk.

Maybe it’s just me but as the long as the Glob’s in a story I’m happy. He’s like the Hulk pushed in a more extreme direction and it’s great to see our hero torn between the need to defend himself from the creature and the desire to make friends with it. It’s also good to see the Hulk defeat a foe by outwitting him. It must be conceded there aren’t many foes the Hulk could ever hope to outsmart but, in the Glob, he’s finally found one.

Herb Trimpe’s art’s much better this time out. He’s still using too thick a brush which gives the book too simplistic a look but it’s a huge improvement on the issue before, and the bolder lines suit the Glob well even if they’re not quite so ideal for normal everyday people. The impression you get is this is a period of experimentation for Trimpe as he tries different ways of doing things. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Needless to say, despite his self-declared genius, the Leader’s as big an idiot as ever, determined to over-complicate his attempts at revenge on the Hulk, to the point of spurning a perfectly good chance of bumping off Bruce Banner right at the start of the tale. It also has to be said that, with the passage of time, his motivation’s gone down somewhat in the world. Once he sought to rule that world, then he wanted to destroy it. Now his sole purpose in life seems to be to follow the Hulk around, trying to come up with ever more arch ways to defeat him. You have to dig his aircraft though, which he’s clearly copied from the 1953 George Pal War of the Worlds movie. He might be a bit of an idiot but at least he has good taste in special effects.


Hoosier X said...

I really like this one as well. When I was collecting the Hulk, I went out of my way to get every issue that had the Glob (which isn't hard, even if you include Giant-Size Man-Thing #1) and every issue that had the Leader. (The Astonish appearances I had in reprints.)

So this one has long been a favorite.

As far as the Leader's motivations go, getting rid of the Hulk is a necessary first step in the process. Every time he tries to take over (or destroy) the world, he is thwarted by the Hulk. Ergo, "destroy the Hulk" becomes a sensible and vital part of the process. It is also the hardest part of the process.

And let's not forget that the Leader gets bored easily - prompting him to plan ridiculous and complicated schemes - and that he has quite an ego, which pushes him to persecute the Hulk because he views the Hulk as an affront to his intellect and, hence, every time the Hulk succceeds, it's a direct attack on the Leader's inflated and superior view of himself.

(Rationalizing the Leader's actions is fun.)

The Cryptic Critic said...

The trouble is the Hulk always got in the way of the Leader's plans because the Leader always dragged the Hulk into them. All he had to do was wait till the Hulk was in Australia - or outer space - and then he could've done whatever he wanted, free from the danger of the Hulk messing things up for him.

I suspect the Leader was wracked by insecurity and saw the Hulk as symbolising his own former stupidity and therefore needed to defeat the Hulk as proof to himself of the permanence of his own victory over his own alter-ego.

Then again, maybe I'm analysing things too much.

Hoosier X said...

You have to analyze them too much in order to force them to make any sense at all.

Silas said...

This issue is without a doubt one of all time favorite comics. It's a shame there's no love this kind of art and story telling anymore.

The Cryptic Critic said...

It's classic stuff all right.

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