Thursday 10 March 2011

Incredible Hulk #121. The Glob.

Incredible Hulk #121, the Glob
If a man should learn something from every experience in life, He should learn two things from The Incredible Hulk #121. He should learn never to hang around in a motel next to a swamp - you never know what might come calling - and he should learn never to fling barrels of radiation into the Everglades.

But of course, Glenn Talbot and Betty Ross pay no heed to the former advice, while the Hulk pays no mind to the latter. And so is born one of my favourite Hulk tales as the Glob stalks the sludge.

The Glob's created when a slightly miffed Hulk flings barrels of radioactive material into the swamp, causing the mutated resurrection of a long-dead escaped convict.

When he died, that convict had one thought on his mind - to get to the woman he loved.

Unfortunately that woman, like the convict, is long dead so he goes instead for Betty Ross and when he kidnaps her, mistaking her for his former love, it's mere pages before the Hulk and Glob are fighting. But, as the Glob re-enters the swamp and starts to dissolve thanks to a load of chemicals Thunderbolt Ross has poured in, the muck monster holds Betty aloft for the Hulk to rescue, leaving the Hulk to reflect on the possibility that he's lost someone who could've been his friend,

How could anyone not love this tale? Leaving aside that it's got a cover that can only be called spiffing, the Glob's easily my favourite comic book swamp monster, leaving the likes of the Man-Thing, the Heap, the Swamp-Thing and the other Glob far behind. Herb Trimpe's art's perfect for the story, and Roy Thomas weaves a tidy tale that at times feels suitably feverish. The fact that we never get to know the name of the long dead convict, even when we get his back-story told in flashback, adds to the vaguely nightmarish nature of the story. But of course it's not the Hulk's nightmare, it's the Glob's.

It's easy to compare the Glob to those other swamp creatures but, with its resurrected monster looking for the woman he once loved, only to be swallowed by the mire, I detect the influence of a million and one Mummy movies. It seems that's the third thing to be learned today; be you mummy or muck monster; learn to let go.


O-Bot! said...

That was awesome! Thanks for recapping that mighty MARVEL tale!

Blaze Morgan said...

This is a treasured memory. One of my first Marvel comics and my first exposure to the Hulk. In later years, reading old issues showed how lucky I was to have this nice little tale for my first.

It also has the wonderful scene: a soldier scout is reporting back to General Ross as the Hulk stomps by thru the swamp. "Yes sir, I'm sure it's him. What else is big, green, ugly and looks like it couldn't care less if it stepped on a gator?"

Steve said...

I've always been baffled by General Ross' actions in it. He wants to keep Betty out of the Hulk's way, to keep her safe, so he puts her in a room slap-bang next to the exact area where the Hulk's been seen. I think I'm starting to get an inkling as to why his plans never seem to work.

Anonymous said...

I love this era of the Hulk and I remember this story with fondness. Have you read the issues with Zzaxx (or some such spelling) - great stuff!


Blaze Morgan said...

At the risk of getting too analytical, I can only assume General Ross doesn't send Betty to Tokyo or Paris for safety because she is bait. A good percentage of the time, Banner looks for Betty and, spoiler alert, Banner is the Hulk.

So ol' Thunderbolt wants her near his assembled forces, but not directly in the line of fire.

Steve said...

Simon; I have indeed read the issues with ZZZaxx in them and you can find my blink-and-you'll-miss-it review of the first Zzzaxx story if you use this link -

Blaze; I dunno. I just think Thunderbolt's not too bright.