Monday, March 24, 2008

Slightly Off Topic, But

I had to comment on this comic:

The Incredible Hulk #141 is dated August 1971, so it's just outside my normal focus, but it's such a gas that I couldn't resist talking about it anyway. Done as an homage to Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic, it's a superb collaboration between Roy Thomas, Herb Trimpe and Johnny Severin.

In the story, we meet Malicia and Reggie, a wealthy liberal couple who are looking for a socially responsible cause that they can support. Their daughter has the obviously trendy one featured on the cover, but:

So they decide to take up the cause of the poor, misunderstood Hulk. Now that is a positively brilliant premise for a story, and the execution is near perfect. Severin's inks help set the lighthearted tone, and before you know it, the charity fundraiser for old Greenskin is under way:

I get the feeling the gal in the blue dress is supposed to be Barbra Streisand. The blond-haired fella in the background is Tom Wolfe himself, making his second guest appearance in a Marvel comic.

But you can tell that the bull is about to start knocking over the china. Sure enough, the daughter, who turns out to be pretty good at fighting, leads a protest.

The Enchantress has been watching all this and decides to lend a hand, turning Samantha into the Valkyrie:

Val became a regular in the Defenders series as well, although this issue ends with both her and the Hulk transformed back into their normal, socially-oppressed selves.

Highly recommended!