Saturday, May 3, 2014

When Wakes The Golem!


Name This Marvel Villain??

You rarely hear the words "benevolent dictator" used together in the same sentence, and you won't be hearing them anytime soon when referring to our man Draxon here--other than, "This guy is no benevolent dictator, not by a long shot." The story of Draxon, the despotic ruler of the tiny nation of Morvania, was stretched out over two issues of Incredible Hulk, when it probably could have been told in one. Draxon has major ambitions beyond the borders of Morvania, seeing himself to be the next Napoleon or Hitler and eventually conquering the world--probably a pipe dream, but you never know. The peasants of Morvania wish for the day of an uprising, but are really too fearful to organize a serious rebellion beyond a small underground that meets in secret to discuss plans that never materialize; in addition, Draxon has spies everywhere, and his soldiers are loyal and well-armed.

But things are about to be shaken up in Morvania in a major way, for both Draxon and those who plot against him. Because thers's a snoozing stowaway in one of the crates of secret components which Draxon has had shipped from the United States, and the hours of shut-eye he's had haven't done much to improve his disposition:

With the Hulk, Draxon sees an opportunity to jump-start his plans to move beyond Morvania's borders. But, as you might guess, his words of rule and power fall upon deaf ears:

(Wait, is this guy running into his own gunfire??)

You have to hand it to Draxon's militia--his men seem to have mobilized against the Hulk at the drop of a hat, and they let the Hulk have it with everything they've got. We might as well let them get it out of their systems:

Now, we've seen the Hulk attacked by professionals, using much heavier armament than what Draxon is packing here. So we pretty much know how this confrontation is going to end for Draxon:

The Hulk goes on to effectively demolish his opposition as well as a good chunk of Draxon's castle. And, cornering the dictator, who is understandably fearful for his life, the Hulk issues a warning in no uncertain terms to stay out of his way and not come after him again, while he spends a few days in the otherwise peaceful countryside.

Draxon, showing good sense, takes that advice, at least for awhile. In the meantime, the underground becomes aware of the Hulk and attempts to enlist him in their cause--but the Hulk wants nothing to do with men and their endless conflicts with each other, and so the poorly armed men move on Draxon by themselves in a now-or-never incursion. The second part of this story spends a great deal of time likening the Hulk to a legendary creature called the Golem, a statue come to life in olden days who drove out evil men; and when a little girl pleas with the Hulk to save the peasants, he similarly acts to defend Morvania's underground forces (such as they are) from being routed by Draxon.

Which sets up the final confrontation between Draxon and the Hulk, in a rolling contraption that would probably have the Leader laughing out loud:

The encounter leaves Draxon dead--and when the peasants offer the Hulk the royal amulet the dictator had seized and worn, and ask the brute to be their king, the Hulk crushes the amulet in refusal, which the peasants take to be a sign that they should have no more rulers. Let's hope the remnants of Draxon's soldiers got that memo.

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