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Incredible Hulk #211: Review

May 1977
Len Wein, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

The Monster and the Mystic

Review & Comments

5 stars

Incredible Hulk #211 Review by (July 5, 2020)
A story of a despot madman, Yogi, and his faithful powerful ally, Mongu. Len Wein borrows Mongu from a Steve Gerber's story from four years back (1973, Fear #14). But the gladiator shares the name and aspect with a robotic warrior used earlier, in Hulk #4 (1962). Then, the Soviets had plans to conquer the world; ruined by the Hulk. This 1977 story is basically that, but carefully and skillfully adorned. All in all, I always liked it. Mongu's fierce and shaggy aspect, somewhat shocking and intriguing, contributes to this comic high grade; he dwarfs the Hulk and his might is remarkable. Aided by Yogi's Jewel, the fight against Hulk could have ended in defeat for old greenskin if not for Druid's intervention. Being against the ropes like that is quite rare for Hulk. Such makes this story unique despite the aforementioned parallelisms.

At the end, when Yogi is a weak resemblance of what he was, Mongu goes to his aid with genuine care. He doesn't judge his evil master or leave him alone in his fragile state. He's there for him as a son to his elderly ill father who cannot attend to himself anymore. That's a strong message. Hulk and Druid understand it so they just stare them, in silence, immobile and let them go. We may not live countless millennia like Yogi did, but hopefully someone will attend to us when we're too weak. Perhaps, if we gave or saved their lives, as Yogi did with Mongu.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #211 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Image from Incredible Hulk #211
As Hulk lies unconscious, Doctor Druid must face Mongu on his own. He dodges the gladiator's attacks and is Maha Yogi who knocks him out with a mental beam.

Both heroes end up shackled in the dungeons. Druid triggers the transformation so Bruce Banner can release himself from his large bonds, and free up Druid in return. The mage is weakened by his act but throws a bolt to smash the prison gate and try their escape. Unfortunately, Mongu is waiting for them outside.

Yogi's faithful servant owes his life and honor to the evil wizard, who saved him after an unfortune battle against the Man-Thing (in Fear #14).

Since his mercenaries are growing restless, Yogi plans to entertain them with a Mongu vs Hulk fight. Banner is against his alter-ego participation, so he's thrown to the arena to face Mongu himself! As Banner avoids his attacker, he realizes that there may be a right time and place for the Hulk. That is now and here.

As Hulk, the fight turns in his favor. But Yogi uses his Jewel of Jeopardy to enhance Mongu's powers. Now, the "shaggy" man starts winning. Badly.

With Yogi's attention on the battle, his control over Doctor Druid fades. With a tapestry cord, he causes Yogi to drop the jewel into the arena. Hulk grabs the jewel and realizing it could hurt him, turns it into dust. As a result, Yogi ages rapidly into a decrypt man since the jewel kept him alive for several millennia.

As Maha's dream of world conquest is ruined, his mercenaries desert him. Not Mongu, who lifts fragile Yogi and walks away.

Meanwhile, Betty Ross has left Gamma base, leaving a note to her father Thunderbolt Ross. And Jim Wilson finally reaches New York City. Far away from his Los Angeles troubles, but not from trouble; the truck driver who just dropped him, informs of Jim's whereabouts to someone called the Constrictor...

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Sal Buscema
Ernie Chan
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
Ernie Chan (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Irv Watanabe.
Editor: Len Wein.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

Plus: Maha Yogi (Merlin the Magician).

> Incredible Hulk: Book info and issue index

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