Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Quiet Moments In Comics History (Part 1)

While digging through the attic recently, I uncovered several boxes of comics from the '60s and '70s that I'd evidently picked up during childhood excursions to garage sales and flea markets.

As I flipped through these tattered treasures, I came to realize that for all the living planets, leopard pirates and undersea fire trolls that drove the plots in that era, it was the "quiet moments" -- those scenes between the action -- that were perhaps the most surreal.

Take, for instance, the above panel from Giant-Size Defenders No. 4 (April 1975). Dr. Strange and Valkyrie have gone into "a West Side hospital" to visit millionaire jet-setter Kyle Richmond (a k a Nighthawk), who barely survived a car bomb.

Outside, the 7-foot-tall Incredible Hulk tries to look inconspicuous, wearing a trenchcoat, fedora and purple pants, and holding the reins of Valkyrie's winged horse, Aragorn. Everything might have been fine, too, if only the emerald giant hadn't been loitering in a no-parking zone.

Damn the blue man, always keepin' Hulk down.