Thursday, July 21, 2016

"You'll always have the Defenders!" Great, now I'm depressed.

We saw the prior chapter some time back, but today we finally see the Hulk versus his teammates, the Defenders! From 1977, Incredible Hulk #207, "Alone Against the Defenders!" Written by Len Wein, pencils by Sal Buscema, inks by Joe Staton.

Mourning his lost love, former sub-atomic queen Jarella; the Hulk has smashed up a fair chunk of New York City while waiting for Dr. Strange. Firmly in denial, the Hulk is hoping Strange can bring her back; but their reunion gets off to the wrong foot when Strange has a little too accusatory tone, and the Hulk is a little too mad at the "puny humans." Strange wraps up Hulk with the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, but that merely traps Hulk in a big red ball that he can hop around in! Strange starts to realize the Hulk needed a friend, but then gets sidetracked into damage control.

Following a young blonde girl from behind, the Hulk hopes she is Jarella, then is enraged when she's not. Nighthawk, Valkyrie, and Red Guardian save the girl and tussle with Hulk for a bit; before Nighthawk gets the Hulk to realize the Defenders are his friends. Regrouping at Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, the Doctor casts out his astral form and checks Jarella's body...and finds that she was truly dead.

Shattered with grief, the Hulk takes it out on the Sanctum, then cries it out with Valkyrie. Finally composing himself, Hulk makes a surprisingly coherent apology, then excuses go somewhere, he no longer cared where.

I don't know if I would've brought back Jarella after Harlan Ellison's story, because once you do, she's pretty obviously doomed. Rather leave her a happy memory--or a torturing one, of Hulk's only moment of contentment.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

And yet past writers have definitely hinted or used her somewhat, Loeb being the last that I can remember during his brief run on the adjective-less Hulk title with Ed McGuinness on art. It's the Defenders VS. Offenders arc. Good stuff.