Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tennn-HUT! Major Talbot Is On The Job

Given his long history as the stalwart right arm of General "Thunderbolt" Ross, it's fair to wonder if there was any more thought put into the character of Maj. Glenn Talbot other than as an aide to Ross, a subordinate to implement his orders and for Ross to play off of when he's strategizing about dealing with the Hulk. There was generally no question about Talbot's loyalty and dedication to the old man, and he's never been short on his own initiative when the situation called for it. We didn't really see Talbot fleshed out beyond that until after his marriage to Betty Ross, his capture by the Russians (and the consequences thereof), and his subsequent bitterness toward Bruce Banner and the Hulk.

But in hindsight, Talbot was a fairly interesting character from day one, when he was first attached to Ross's command. Just look at this go-getter start right to work at cleaning house:

With Talbot's arrival as Security Chief, the character of the Hulk (not yet back in his own title, but being given a second chance on the racks by starring in half of the Tales To Astonish mag) shifts in tone from simply a mysterious, powerful brute roaming the terrain to being investigated in connection with Bruce Banner, thereby raising the profiles of his limited cast of supporting characters and giving the Hulk (and Banner) more to worry about than the threat of the month.

Talbot in these scenes reminds me a little of Group Capt. Mandrake from Dr. Strangelove, though in resemblance more than in character. While Mandrake was far more reserved and diplomatic with his superior officer, Talbot was more up-front with his opinions. And I doubt Mandrake would have cozied right up to Betty Ross like our man Talbot, the smoothie:

Man, he just slides right in, doesn't he? You know, Talbot, Betty's time could very well be valuable to her, fella. Just saying. Some of Mandrake's diplomacy could stand to rub off on you.

Banner manages to slip into the desert, despite the net Talbot is casting for him--so Talbot decides to take a 'copter to do a recon of the area. And take a wild guess as to who he's invited along:

The Major has some moves, that's for sure. Already on a first-name basis with the General's daughter. He also has the good fortune of coming across the Hulk, who's unconscious after a battle and just waiting for a new Security Chief to add a feather in his cap by scoring one heck of a coup and, as a result, impressing the heck out of his commanding officer:

And so the walls begin to close around Banner--thanks in part to Talbot, who seems to have the General's ear as well as a fast track to his daughter's affections. But there's no question that Talbot, by all indications a fine officer, deserves high marks in his new position here--his first day on base, and he's already been instrumental in capturing the Hulk. And when we catch up with him next time, we'll see that even Bruce Banner's secret would fall into his lap.


Anonymous said...

Ditko was an artist that had his strengths. It took me a really long time to get used to his style. All of his people are long and thin. Betty's neck in some of those panels comes off as weird, distorted almost. And then when you compare the men's physiques with their hands? Way out of proportion.

But fortunately for Talbot, the boulder happened along. He didn't have to fake trip and fall into Betty's bosoms. Or yawn as he was piloting the helicopter.

And what the heck is a slow cautious landing?

I've really been enjoying the past few posts. I can't decide though if I want more Hulk or more Avengers......

Well, until Irving Forbush decides he's ready to double date, Make Mine Peerless!!!!

The Prowler (you know, just the other day I was thinking).

Anonymous said...

I didn't actually know that Steve Ditko had ever drawn the Hulk but I suppose I should have guessed as in Marvel's early days they only had two artists, Ditko and Jack kirby.

Comicsfan said...

Prowler, I guess "slow" and "cautious" are the only ways to land in the vicinity of the Hulk! But I'm guessing Talbot was landing that way in order to watch for signs of the Hulk stirring.