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Really, shouldn’t it be “Konqueror”? – The Incredible Hulk #135

April 24, 2010

I’ve always liked Kang as a character, but I hate the things that his plans do to my mind.  His time travel schemes inevitably render my cerebral cortex a useless mush after several hours of puzzling over their implications.  You know how it goes…”So if Kang kills X, Y will never live and thus Kang will win, but if Y never lives, then neither does Kang, so…”  You get the picture.

Because of that lobotomizing complexity, I’ll try to keep this plot summary as simple as possible.  Here goes nothing.  Kang hatches a plan to defeat the Avengers, but is blocked from traveling to the appropriate time (World War I) by a time storm.  The only being who can pierce the time storm?  The Hulk, of course.  He convinces the Hulk to go back and stop a WWI era hero/pilot named The Phantom Eagle from detroying a German supergun.  If the gun isn’t destroyed, then its bombardment will kill an ancestor of Bruce Banner, thus preventing the advent of the Hulk, and thus preventing the Avengers from originally forming to combat the Hulk.  Kang leaves these last details out – that Banner will be killed is enough to convince Hulk.  Hulk not smart.  Hulk dumb.

So Hulk bursts through the time storm and makes it back to WWI and manages to stop good ol’ Phantom Eagle from destroying the gun, but winds up destroying it himself when the Germans piss him off by firing on him.  So much for Kang’s big plans.  Hulk returns to 1971 and Kang, for reasons I don’t think even the writer (Roy Thomas) knew, ends up in sort of a time limbo.  And so our story ends.

Despite the Rube Goldberg-esque machinations of Kang, I liked this issue a lot.  Herb Trimpe’s pencils are a perfect fit for the Hulk, and the cover, with The Green Goliath crushed under stone dates, is a cool visual.  The Phantom Eagle, a creation of Trimpe’s that has popped up a few times in other comics, was a bit of a throwaway, but his inclusion hinted at a Marvel Universe even broader than the one that had been depicted to that point in the comics. 

On a side note, I bought this book a couple of weeks ago, and then found out that Trimpe will be at the local D.C. Comic-Con next weekend.  For a second I considered having him sign this issue, but then I thought better of it.  The signature would only mar the condition – I know, that’s a little picky of me, but that’s how I roll when it comes to my comics.  Maybe I’ll just stop and say “Hi” to him instead.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 24, 2010 10:45 pm

    I LOVE the Thomas/ Trimpe run on the Hulk (and I liked the previous year when Stan was scripting). Bonus when John Severin was available to ink. I met HT right around the very month #135 came out–very nice man.

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