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Incredible Hulk #189: Review

Jul 1975
Len Wein, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:

None Are So Blind

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Incredible Hulk #189 Review by (June 3, 2020)
Sometimes, others see in us what we don't. But we don't allow ourselves to see or accept that. Perhaps, it is too late to do so.

The picture we have of ourselves may be accurate, to a certain extent. But we fail to admit there may be a better (or worse) side in us that a few others can see, and we cannot. The problem is, in the case of an unknown better side, we prevent ourselves from becoming our best versions.

Thus, we stay still, not move forward, in fear or ignorance, not taking those brave little steps to our ultimate versions. And there is one less Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, or Juan Manuel Fangio in the history books because he never came to be.

In the case of this story, Hulk is unable to accept the fact that he could be a good "man". Much less a "handsome" man. That's what Katrina sees in him. And she's not faking it. Her cure accidentally gave her the power to see past the surface and view a person's soul. Instead of a phantasmagoric mesh of light, she sees a fleshed-out person, handsome when he is "good". But Hulk does not buy it. Does not accept it. Can we blame him?

He knows himself better than anyone, or so he thinks. He has been TOLD, from day one, repeatedly, that he is a monster, a big... ugly... monster. How could he believe otherwise?

This story asks us: Is a mediocre man really "mediocre" or has he been convinced of that by those who can't truly see him?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #189 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Hulk emerges from under the ground. He just remembers a big explosion (previous issue) and wonders the icy Soviet territory until eventually coming across a blind girl named Katrina. As they chat amicably, her family appears and Sergi, her father, shots the Hulk in fear. Fortunately, Katrina quells the Hulk's temper before things get out of control. Doctor Anton Palkov, Katrina's grandfather, mentions that the Hulk could help them against evildoers frightening their village, called Trenka. Hulk accepts to help Katrina's folks and is invited for dinner.

Palkov later brings the Hulk into his lab where he is trying to find a cure for blindness. Hulk likes that and then gets some rest. But he wakes up with the arrival of little pale men. After fighting some, he follows the rest into a cave where he is ambushed by many more. Unfortunately, he gets knocked by gas. When the Hulk wakes up, he is facing the Mole Man!

The subterranean villain reveals that Palkov found a cure for blindness using a unique flora that blooms once in a hundred years. But he wants to apply it into himself to stop depending on his radar-senses. The miracle treatment is in a syringe. Remembering Katrina, Hulk breaks free and recovers the syringe before facing his enemies. As expected, Hulk defeats them, destroys the entire place and gets out to safety. What's strange and a reason to celebrate is that the syringe made it out in one piece!

Palkov treats his granddaughter with the cure and as she begins to see, the Hulk pleads not to look at him since he is "big and ugly". But Katrina insists, she has known the Hulk as a tender, compassionate man with a good soul, and when her eyes clear, she sees a good looking, fair skin man, not the monstrosity everyone else sees. She kisses Hulk on the cheek. This troubles the monster who without greeting, walks out the door to walk the icy area in loneliness, once again. His childish mind felt it wasn't right to stay, not with her, because she saw him as a man, a gentle, strong, man. But Hulk knows himself well and honestly believes, even if it pains him to tears, that he is just a monster, not a man, a true monster, nothing more and nothing less.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Herb Trimpe
Joe Staton
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Len Wein.


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