Sunday, October 01, 2006

His Love is Real, Hulk, even if he is not!

Um, actually, I've never seen A.I. I'm not sure why, but I'm not sure if I thought Kubrick and Spielberg were two great tastes that taste great together. But, it was an easy joke, and surprisingly fitting for this one: Incredible Hulk #127, "Mogol!" Written by Roy Thomas, art by Herb Trimpe.

Bruce Banner, still hunted by the army, is thinking, "Things have got to get better...'cause there's no way to go but up!" when he gets hit by a truck so hard that his pants change color. (They're blue, "borrowed Levis" on the first page; the Hulk's traditional purple pants thereafter.) Of course, this triggers the transformation into the Hulk, and a fairly justifiable rampage. As Hulk stomps along, he notices two bystanders disappear, then some cops vanish as well. Since everyone that's disappeared hates him, Hulk reasons whoever did that must be his only friend. Yeah, good thinking, Hulk.

Deep beneath the earth, long-time Hulk foe Tyrannus is behind the disappearances with his poorly-aimed teleport beam. You remember Tyrannus. Come on, I think he was the villain in the Byrne issues of the current, new Hulk series. No? Um, he's like the Mole Man and fights him sometimes with his army of subterraneans. Except Tyrannus is prettier, is trying to get control of the Fountain of Youth, and is a total dick. But with a kickass helmet. Tyrannus figures Hulk is looking for a friend, and summons his mightiest warrior, Mogol.

Mogol doesn't have any memory, and only remembers that Tyrannus is his king. He's bigger and different than any of the other subterraneans, and Tyrannus sends him to bring back the Hulk, to help fight the Mole Man. Back on the surface, people are running away from the Hulk, leaving him alone as he's always wanted, but feeling sad. Mogol offers the Hulk friendship, but probably shouldn't have mentioned Tyrannus, whom the Hulk remembers is a dick. They fight for several pages, wrecking up several buildings, the street, the subway track, and a lot of walls. Finally, since Mogul is unharmed, and Hulk knows Mogol can't hurt him, Hulk decides to take a chance and be Mogol's friend. And just like a lot of new friendships, it involves moving somebody's stuff.

Hulk and Mogol get to work setting up Tyrannus' army and weapons, then they all head off to attack the city of the Mole Man. Hulk still doesn't like Tyrannus, but is so happy to have a friend that he doesn't care. So, if you're looking for a willing accomplice for war crimes, you might consider giving the Hulk a ring. Bring beans.

For his part, the Mole Man is ready to fight back, and the one subterranean we've ever seen talk gets a line: "But we know Mogol's secret, o master!" As the two now-uniformed armies of little Moloids fight, Mogol and Hulk are stomping through the forces easily, until Mogol is hit by a heat ray. Mogol isn't hurt, but the wound isn't flesh and blood, but metal, and even Hulk knows that means Mogol is a robot. Mogol didn't even know he was a robot, and had been completely genuine in his friendship, but Hulk isn't having it, and rips Mogol in half. In a surprisingly understanding move, Mogol points out he could still pummel Hulk, but won't. Hulk then obliterates Mogol down to his CPU or voicebox or whatever.

Cold, Hulk, cold. Even though Mogol had been a big part of his army, Tyrannus gets a pretty big laugh out of his destruction. He manages to convice Hulk to demolish the Mole Man's city, but Hulk immediately leaves in a huff, and Tyrannus knows it's not looking good. Hulk smashes Tyrannus' (deserted) city as well, and then leaves, wondering if he should've maybe not smashed his only friend, fake, robot, or otherwise. Yeah, probably not, man. It would be slightly more shocking if Hulk had ripped Rick Jones or Jim Wilson in half, though, so you can probably blame poor Mogol's death on the Comic Code's robot-discriminatory policies.

The cover for this issue also promised "Not one--not two--but three of Marvel's most sinister super-villains!" Mole Man's in this for about three panels. Tyrannus barely qualifies as a super-villain, he's more like a huge prick. And Mogol's just wanted to be Hulk's friend. And kill the Mole Man. Iffy on that one.

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