Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Tedd Riccio is a comic book aficionado chock full of useful comic history knowledge. So why not tap into that knowledge for the betterment of you, the reader? Welcome to Hank McCoy (Before the Fur), a weekly column by Assistant Editor Tedd (just Tedd will be fine). Leave all that you know at the door when reading, and make sure to not speak ill of Dazzler (that will anger Tedd). And also make no mention of films The Howling or Event Horizon. The name says it all: I really liked the new Hulk movie. I’d like to take a few minutes and reflect here because I feel like it got a little “swallowed” by The Dark Knight and Iron Man. It wasn’t that I disliked Ang Lee’s attempt to bring the Hulk to life per se. Seriously, I think people are way too hard on it. It’s just that his film had a lot more in common with the 70’s television show and not so much with the actual comic book. But I am looking forward to seeing Ed Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt come back to the roles in a follow up or in an Avengers movie. And the guy I’ve really gotta give credit to? Tim Roth for bringing Emil “The Abomination” Blonsky to life. Jonathan “Bossman” Pilley and I had a chance to see Roth live at the New York Comic Con this year, before the movie came out. And I had to say-I was impressed with Roth’s responses about the character. I remember thinking he gets it. In response to one fan’s question, Roth stated about Blonksy (and I don’t have this down on paper, so don’t quote me here): “Well, he really loves this stuff. The fighting and all that. But he’s getting a little bit older and he’s losing his edge a bit. But for him, when he looks at the Hulk, he really sees this as a way that he can keep going. Forever.” Granted, there are some slight differences between the comic book and movie-adaptation versions of the character. But I really love watching this guy become the monster that you know he’s going to be. Good Hulk villains are hard to find. I mean, who do you really put up against a hero with the power to level small cities in a single blow? But Abomination never fails to please. Here’s a guy who has all of the power Hulk has and absolutely no restraint keeping him back from tapping into and using that power. Even Hulk has moments where he sees something or someone that makes him act like a lost puppy. But Blonsky is just the opposite: a complete monster. How creepy is it when Ross walks into the hospital room and finds Blonsky, no longer paralyzed but perfectly fine? Or when the guy gets up and for no apparent reason knocks a grown woman unconscious and seethes “shut up?" Super-soldiers and spies: Linking the events of Hulk, at least tentatively, to the events of Captain America is a new trend in the Marvel mythology, although I think it works. In the original comic, Blonsky was a KGB spy who got exposed to a dose of the same radiation that Banner got. Only Blonsky’s transformation was permanent-turning into a huge, gigantic freakish killing machine was a one-way street. Of course, in the comics it isn’t long before Blonsky's infatuation with the Hulk and tapping into his power gives way to the archetypal nemesis hatred. In this really bizarre way, Blonsky is probably the one guy in the entire Marvel Universe who makes Banner’s life look like a walk through the park. He doesn’t have an alter ego he gets to transform back into for relative periods of stable living, and he doesn’t have a beautiful-daughter-of-general character to follow him around and take care of him. Of course, Blonksy is convinced that Banner is the worst thing that has ever happened, not only to him, but to the entire world and sees himself as this martyred hero fighting to get rid of this pox on the planet. When he looks at Banner, he doesn’t see someone fighting to make sure that godlike power doesn’t fall into the military’s hands and get misused-he sees someone who is trying to “sneak by” with a normal life and not face the consequences of what has happened to him. And the thing is? Banner has to stop once and a while and wonder if Blonsky’s right. Maybe Banner should turn himself in or even end his own life. His life versus all the destruction and misery that the Hulk inflicts on everyone Banner knows? For that matter, would Blonsky still be stuck in the form he’s in if someone could take the time to understand Banner’s condition a bit better? Study it? The Monster or the Man?: Of course, Blonsky isn’t running out the door to turn himself in to the authorities either. In fact, he pretty much blames Hulk for all sorts of things that he might attend to himself. Not big with the personal insight, in case you see where I’m going here. But maybe the scariest thing about Blonsky (and I know the movie didn’t quite capture this) is that it really is HIM, Emil Blonsky walking around with his mind in a big ass, overgrown, radioactive, after-school special on steroid body. He’s the one calling the shots. Hulk is practically mindless. So as the saying goes: who is really the monster here?