Saturday, 9 October 2010

Incredible Hulk #183. Zzzax is bax.

(Cover from January 1975.)

"Fury At 50,000 Volts!"

Written by Len Wein.
Art by Herb Trimpe.
Lettering by C Jetter.
Colours by Glynis Wein.

"Hulk will smash glowing monster into little glowing pieces!"

"Argh! Now Zzzax killzz!!"

Yes it's the greatest meeting of wits since George Bernard Shaw met Noel Coward, as Zzzax returns. How he gets back is all a bit silly, as a trio of scientists, helped by Bruce Banner, activate a machine designed to recreate the thoughts of long-dead people by means not quite explained. Unfortunately, the dead "person" whose thoughts they bring back is Zzzax and, as Zzzax is basically living thought energy, that's enough to bring his body back too.

However, in his attack, he absorbs the thoughts of one of the scientists, who just happens to be in love with one of the other scientists and, deciding he too is in love with her, Zzzax climbs to the top of Chicago's John Hancock Center with her. So far this of course owes nothing to any ape-based movie we might've seen. The Hulk sets out to get her back but, in the end, it's the airplane and not the beauty that killed the beast.

It's hard to see it as any more than a not-greatly disguised retread of Zzzax's previous appearance but with Hawkeye removed and the gap filled with elements from King Kong but Zzzax is a fun character and if the way Zzzax is "killed" bears more than a passing resemblance to the way he was "killed" last time out, well, if it works once, you might as well do it again.

So the Hulk's sort of defeated Zzzax, and Bruce Banner's blown his brand new janitorial job. Odd though that Bruce Banner's first instinct when he turns back to Banner at the tale's start is to find employment. Knowing as he does how potentially dangerous he is, I would've thought that, by now, he would've decided the best thing to do in such circumstances is to call General Ross, or the Fantastic Four or Tony Stark or Doc Samson or Peter Corbeau or anyone else with the wherewithal to help him. Is finding a cure really not his first priority in life?


Anonymous said...

I noticed a pattern about now.It seems to me that every time Banner is getting ready to hulk out,he makes on like some whiny neurotic.With Banner quotes like:"pulse pounding,head spinning,can't take the pressure no more", was his main mantra for awhile.It could have made for a good song or something.Predating the green eye effect on the television show.Budd

The Cryptic Critic said...

It does always strike me how easily Bruce Banner gets over-excited. I mean, OK, most of us would get over-excited if we were confronted by Zzzax but there are issues where it takes virtually nothing to set him off. That man definitely needed psychiatric help.

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