Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Incredible Hulk #175. The Inhumans.

Incredible Hulk #175, Inhumans, Black Bolt, Counter-Earth, Herb Trimpe(Cover from May 1974.)

"Man-Brute In The Hidden Land!"

Written by Roy Thomas.
Drawn by Herb Trimpe.
Inked by Jack Abel.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by P Goldberg.

A well-known 1950s sci-fi movie exhorted us to keep watching the skies, and it's advice the Inhumans would do well to heed. Following the Cobalt Man's explosion in space, the Hulk crashes to Earth in the Great Refuge where, as Bruce Banner, he learns the Inhumans are planning to flee the planet, in a rocket bound for Counter-Earth. Unfortunately, while later taking a walk, Banner bumps into a gang of human-hating Inhumans and, under attack from them, changes into the Hulk.

After managing to knock the Hulk out, Black Bolt orders he be put into the rocket and fired into space, as the only means of stopping him from destroying the Great Refuge when he recovers.

Despite the potential of the Hulk versus an entire city of super-humans, it's a straightforward and relatively low-key tale that exists more as a way of getting the Hulk into space, so he can have an adventure on Counter-Earth, than it does in its own right. Sadly, we only get to see him against the Inhuman royal family and even then not at any great length. It actually feels like a very short story.

If it's not a major tale as such, it does its job and feels like something of a throwback to the offerings from Trimpe's earlier days on the strip. The main complaint'd probably be Black Bolt defeats the Hulk by using the sonic power of his voice. Obviously it makes sense for that to happen but the tendency for Black Bolt to save the day on behalf of the rest of the Inhumans, does always tend to undermine them and it would've been more dramatically pleasing for the Inhumans to work as a team to bring the Hulk down. It also has to be said that Black Bolt solving a problem by unleashing the power of his voice has by this stage long since become a cliché.

It's odd though that the Inhumans want to go to Counter-Earth thanks to it having no super-powered beings. Their argument being they might be more welcome on such a world. You'd have thought a planet with no previous experience of super-powered beings would be less likely to accept them than our own, not more.

But then again, there's a thought. If Counter- Earth has no super-powered beings, does that mean we're not living on the real Earth at all but on Counter-Earth? And does that mean that, on the other side of the sun is a version of our world filled almost to bursting with super-heroes?

If so, it seems like the Inhumans aren't the only ones who need to keep watching the skies.


cerebus660 said...

If this is Counter-Earth, does that make Obama the Man-Beast? I would have believed it more of Dubya.

The Cryptic Critic said...

It's the ears. Look at the ears.

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