Monday, March 18, 2013

Menace of the Murder Module!

You know what they say about men and their toys--so who wouldn't want to be at the controls of this cool piece of army engineering?

Well, maybe the Leader, for one--but we'll get to that in a minute. As for the rest of us, I don't think there was a Hulk reader at the time who didn't want to take the "murder module" out for a spin (or rather, a stride). And for a Hulk story, it looked pretty formidable at first glance--I mean, it doesn't seem to be having any problem holding the Hulk at bay, maybe even taking him out.

The module is basically a tripod with weaponry, as General Ross explains:

An "observation module." Who do they think they're fooling. An observation module with a big weapon extending above it that can wipe out an army division. It seems to be built for observing a lot of casualties.

And when we talk about a lot of casualties, you just know there's one villain who's going to want to be in the driver's seat:

And if the Leader is given a full page of beautiful Herb Trimpe artwork, chances are he's going to get his wish:

But the module is being guarded on its transport by none other than the Hulk, who currently has Bruce Banner's mind in control due to a recent successful procedure. And as much as I don't want to see the module totalled, I'm afraid I have to put my money on the Hulk, whose leaping ability and strength have the edge on a lumbering tripod. It also turns out those force beams don't have the firepower the army was hoping for:

I don't quite buy that "out of range" bit, do you? The weaponry arm extends above the observation dome, so that puts the Hulk within point-blank range. That big head of the Leader's doesn't seem to be living up to its rep. Anyway, it looks like the module is packing another weapon:

Wow, that doesn't sound like Banner anymore, does it? Which means that the murder module's moments are numbered, thanks to its one weakness that sticks out like a sore thumb:

Man, this thing definitely needs to go back to the drawing board. Because if a gassed Hulk can still leap to the attack, those fumes must have been sitting on the shelf for too long.  Do you think that Fabian Stankowicz might have been on the module's R&D team? At any rate, the Leader gets one more try at the Hulk in the module--or does he? Let's just say that the module does a lot better against its target the second time around.


Anonymous said...

We all regret the Murder Module, and we're all grateful Dick Cheney doesn't have one, but does anybobdy remember its appearance in tnose T-shirt iron-on ads in the 70'comic books? One particular ad featured the Hulk getting chased around by the Leader, who was piloting that selfsame Murder Module, that large insult to common sense, basic science and the laws of physics that was the stock-in trade of other crazy supervillians trying to conquer the world. It was a very striking image. It was, I've read, drawn and designed in the first place by Kirby, and later finished up by Herb Trimpe after Kirby left Marvel. There were a lot of other cool T-shirt deigns back then, apart from the all the rainbows and unicorns. Does anybody remember Mickey Rat, Keep on Truckin' or Cannabis Man?

Comicsfan said...

I definitely remember the Hulk/Leader drawing you're describing. It certainly had the Hulk on the run that time. Either the Leader made some upgrades to it (like he'd planned to do this time, before the Hulk intervened), or that was actually Banner turning tail. :)

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