November 19, 2012

The Incredible Hulk: American Model Expose?

Comic heroes are still a relatively young form of “Super” human in popular media, but they are not the first instances of god-like beings that humans have conjured for storytelling purposes. Thinking back in our history, from Beowulf to Beastboy, human imagination is reflected greatly from the stories in time that we put our children to sleep with. One might say that mankind had evolved into a cosmic ‘retro’ era with the Marvel revolution. And to those who pay no attention to comic heroes or popular culture in general: You poor, poor soul…

Speaking of the Marvel revolution, what could we say about the imagination of mankind in the mid 20th century? I know, Stan Lee is the visionary who conjured up these characters and stories in his dome-but where one of us can through a rock, millions more can throw a spear.

….No idea what that’s supposed to mean..

Point is, if one of us can imagine, so can we all! Marvel remains as one of my favorite comic series, mostly because every character that was created had a specific reason or was created as a political allegory to a key life issue. FOR EXAMPLE: Did you know that Marvel’s X-Men was created as an allegory for the gay and civil rights movement?

Revelations like this drive me to imagine what purpose there must have been for all other comic heroes. But what was Stan Lee thinking of when he invented The Incredible Hulk?

Better yet: Why has The Hulk become such a pop culture phenomenon among today’s generation? I spoke to a very old friend recently about our favorite super heroes (As long as I’ve been alive, it surprises me that this topic is still relevant), and she made the interesting point (Or negative, there is) that The Incredible Hulk wasn’t appealing at all. (WATT?!?!)

After the tears and whimpers faded away I asked her to elaborate on her opinion: she believed that The Hulk’s power was of no interest to her-A grown man who’s power is no more than a two hour long blind rage that morphs him into 10-15 foot tall green gargling gargantuan with the strength to lift over 50 times his weight and a temper reflex that would make Mel Gibson seem like a hamster.

What’s not to like?

On a more personal note, my favorite super hero is Colossus-not much more appealing than The Hulk on a mindful level but bear with me. Colossus has the ability to morph every atom of his body into a very powerful steel alloy capable of withstanding high-pressure bullet fire, intense heat temperatures, and long, long hours of rust resistance from watching Gossip Girl.

Can you say awesome?

Yet to others this gentle giant is just another blockhead with a mean right arm: what intellectual strength does he carry? For me, that answer lies within the hardships and lives of these characters. Sure, The Hulk is just a green body builder-a very angry, unemployed body builder. But he brings out the childishly imaginative side in me. Perhaps my prose is too poetic for you all to understand-bite me.

Nevertheless, the question will always remain: Do Americans praise The Hulk because he is the embodiment of what the contemporary super hero should be like? Is he our universal icon for the ideal “Man” meat that the girls so desperately crave? And finally-Is The Hulk our final resort for a super hero-esque body?

Of course not.

But it’s fun to dream.

Let us know what ya think in the comments!!!

Image Credit: Sam Aronov /

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