Sunday, December 13, 2015

Power Of Warlock - Him!

The saga of "Him", the spawn of the Enclave's Cocoon continues in the pages of Thor almost two years after the end of the debut adventure in the pages of the Fantastic Four.

Thor and his allies Balder and Sif have just battled Pluto and his allies from a savage future, the Mutates. They stole an entire building, an atomic research center and Pluto reveals that a powerful and mysterious figure is inside the building. When the threat of the Mutates is ended, Thor and his friends investigate and find the creature called "Him", a golden man created in a laboratory on Earth and who when last seen was flying into space.

It seems Him accidentally fell into a snare set by The Watcher, and the Watcher wanting to interfere as little as possible returned him to Earth where he'd lain dormant until found by Thor. Him decides he wants a mate and smitten with Sif  imagines she will fit the bill nicely. Thor is enraged when the two escape his attempts at rescue.

Overcome by a battle madness Thor seeks out Him across the cosmos and the two wage a furious battle with Thor's relentless fury carrying the day.

Him finally relents and forms a new cocoon and is soon floating in space once again. Thor returns to Asgard to face punishment for allowing rage to overcome him.

Him here is very similar in many ways to the Silver Surfer, an alien creature apart from mankind who is at once fascinated by connections with others but has no real affinity or experience. The Surfer's humanity was stifled by uncounted years as the herald of Galactus, and Him is a virtual child who wants what he wants. Both have to understand that people outside them have needs and rights and are worthy. It will take a revelation.

More to come next week as Him and the High Evolutionary meet.

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  1. I've read that in Kirby's original concept. the scientists who created Him were not portrayed as so obviously evil. In their fear of what they have potentially created they attempt to keep him under control, which Him sees as an act of aggression against him. He responds to what he sees in absolute terms (very Ayn Randian) as violence, with violence in kind. They try to restrict his freedom; he executes them. The first appearance of Mr. A was in 1967, the same year as FF #67, so he may have been playing with ideas that his friend Ditko had brought up. Stan's simplification of a relatively subtle philosophical exploration to a cliched mad scientist scenario may have been the last straw for Kirby, though the Silver Surfer comic a year later probably didn't help. By the time Him reappeared in this issue of Thor, Kirby had seen the first few Surfer books, where his haunting alien angel was transformed into a spray-painted humanoid who moaned about being misunderstood and losing his girlfriend. Kirby must have been frustrated when he tried to open new lines of creativity only to have them squeezed back into the same old riffs.

    This story in Thor comes in the midst of a final revisiting by Kirby of his cosmic characters, culminating in the tragically botched origin of Galactus. The following year was full of those lame one-issue stories ordered by Goodman. And then Kirby was gone.

    1. Fascinating. Kirby was indeed a creator who was more complex than the traditions of his field allowed. The melodrama Marvel was famous for was indeed the true contribution of Lee, but the epic majesty of the FF and Thor and so much more was pure Kirby.

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