Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Boy And His Droog


Name This Marvel Villain??

If you thought this villain looked familiar, then you've probably been reading comics for a long time. The Gremlin is the spitting image of his father, the Gargoyle, who had his first and only appearance alllllll the way back in Incredible Hulk #1. And like the Gremlin, the Gargoyle saw the Hulk as a resource to be exploited:

But the Gremlin, still a boy but a genius like the Gargoyle, slightly revised his father's ambitions for the Hulk and sought instead to incorporate the Hulk's strength and durability advantages into his armored "super-trooper" forces. I don't know about "ruling the Earth," but having troops under your command with the ability to take on the Hulk would certainly enhance your profile with your superiors. The Gremlin was already pretty much untouchable, in that respect--but having an edge like that wouldn't hurt, given that he wasn't exactly a fan of d├ętente.

Yet the Gremlin wasn't the Hulk's biggest fan, either, mistakenly thinking that the Hulk had killed his father in their encounter. In actuality, the Gargoyle had taken his own life when he turned against the will of his Soviet masters after the Hulk's alter-ego, Bruce Banner, cured him of his deformed condition:

Which the Gremlin had no way of knowing. To make a long story short, the Gremlin failed in both of his attempts to subdue the Hulk; and thanks to SHIELD, his installation, Bitterfrost, was nuked by the same device the Gremlin stationed in orbit to power the Devastator in his attack on Hulkbuster base. But not before one last encounter with the Hulk, where the Gremlin sicced his bio-engineered pet on ol' Greenskin. A talking, rhyming mini-dinosaur named Droog:

I don't know what it says about this story when I remember Droog more favorably than I do the Gremlin. Because as tough an opponent as Droog is against the Hulk, I'm enjoying this fight like no other.  Come on, just look at these great sequences:

Seriously, who are you rooting for right now--Droog or the Hulk?

By the time the installation goes up in smoke, these two are still at it.  If memory serves, the Hulk escapes death and ends up in the Mole Man's domain.  The Gremlin went on to become one of the Soviet Super-Soldiers (as the Titanium Man) who bought it in a battle with Iron Man.  But since we haven't seen Droog anywhere since, we can probably assume he was incinerated with Bitterfrost.  And that, folks, is the real tragedy here.  *sniff*


Iain said...

I used to love following the Soviet Super-Soldiers in various comics like the Hulk and Avengers vs Xmen special, do you have a thread based on this unusual team of Russian operatives perhaps?

Comicsfan said...

Not exactly a thread, Iain, but they do make an appearance in the PPoC. :)