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Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Once and Future Valkyrie

Before Barbara Norriss became Valkyrie in Defenders #4, but after the Enchantress called herself Valkyrie in Avengers #83, another woman assumed the guise of Valkyrie.

In a tale laden with symbolism about social justice, the splash page of The Incredible Hulk #142 opened by quoting the inscription from the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor…
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…!"


Although Hulk probably did not read those words, he nevertheless climbed up the Statue of Liberty to find a quiet place to sleep. As the general public started to panic, college student and political activist Samantha Parrington talked the green-goliath off the copper-green landmark. Parrington hoped that her family's wealthy connections might find the Hulk an area where he could live without constant persecution.

As an expression of radical chic, the Parryingtons even invited Hulk to a get-together at their home. Yet the villainous Enchantress sabotaged any plans to help the Hulk by casting the valkyrie spirit into Samantha's body. In her temporary new form, Valkyrie obeyed the wishes of the Enchantress and battled the Hulk.

With a skillful maneuver, Valkyrie hit a pressure-point on the Hulk's neck. This rendered the half-ton hero unconscious long enough for Valkyrie to drag him to the top of a skyscraper. To send a brutal message to all male chauvinists, Valkyrie then pushed Hulk over the ledge. And still he survived.

Before any fighting could continue, the Asgardian magic wore off, returning Samantha Parrington to her true form. In the heat of the moment, Hulk returned to his form as Bruce Banner. Neither of them remembered the allegorical battle that had transpired. Parrington did not become Valkyrie again until the 12-issue Defenders series published in 2001.
The Incredible Hulk. Vol. 1. No. 142. August 1971. "They Shoot Hulks, Don't They?" Stan Lee (editor), Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe and John Severin (artists). Inspired by the book Radical Chic by Tom Wolfe. Lettered by A. Simek.

4 comments:

pblfsda said...

Tom Wolfe had another, near-brush with The Defenders' history; shortly before this Hulk story (1969?) Tom Wolfe appeared in a Dr. Strange story as himself. It was in the series that continued from "Strange Tales" (#169-183), so it had to be 1968-1969. His appearance was in part of a much longer story that resulted in Dr. Strange adopting the secret identity Stephen Saunders. In fact, I think that was also a Roy Thomas storyline. The reason it was a brush with Defenders' history is that the first 'Stephen Saunders" period story was the 'Undying Ones' storyline that ended his own series and carried over into "Savage Sub-mariner" and "Incredible Hulk". So Tom missed out by mere months!

cease ill said...

Oh, awesome, I came here with Valkyrie on my mind! And Tom Wolfe just came up on a friend's fb comment thread! Wow!

So, anyway, I'm almost finished with my sequel to Valkyrie's Defenders adventures on integr8dfix.blogspot.com (plug!) and had an Avengers battle over the Destroyer end with Val confronting the Enchantress.

But my question is, when did THIS happen:

Barbara Norriss’ body was murdered ... the Valkyrie's spirit and mind were inadvertently freed from their mortal host. With the help of Doctor Strange's magic, Brunnhilde regained her true body, which was rescued from Niffleheim by the Enchantress. Back in her real body, Brunnhilde regained her full memory and normal warrior personality as well. Brunnhilde then battled Amora and banished her to the crystal of souls. (Wiki) My ending was headed for a similar banishment with Norn Stones...

cease ill said...

Oh HO! Just read a couple of posts back thanks to your Search Terms feature (how do you get one? I like it!) Was Defenders 109 the showdown, then, where Valkyrie turns the tables on Enchantress and imprisons her? That would be before she appears in Secret Wars, but I don't know where it might fall in DAZZLER other than after the earliest issues.

(My ending can still address that and be different, too; it IS! Think of it as a 1980's post-Defenders time period story, starring chiefly the Avengers, a sequel to the Defenders story you've spotlighted on non-team blogroll for me on the Be Chill Cease ill blog

Steve Does Comics said...

You're clearly determined to publish my favourites. This is probably my favourite ever Hulk cover; the Hulk out cold, being thrown off the Empire State Building by a woman. I bet the Abomination would've been spitting feathers at being so outdone.

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