Herb Trimpe shows how to choreograph a fight scene — Incredible Hulk #125
As anyone who’s read the Hulk knows, there is a lot of fighting. All too often, these fights can devolve into a series of panels that, while explosive on their own, lack a degree of continuity that flows from one panel to the next. In this case, Trimpe choreographs what remains one of my favorite fight scenes from any comic — one that flows from panel to panel, beat by beat as if you’re watching it live.
I started reading comics in 1978. Partially because I was simply the right age for comics, but also because the Hulk television show premiered that year. So it should be no surprise that my very modest collection had more Hulk than any other title. One of three Hulk comics I had was Marvel Super Heroes #77, a reprint of Incredible Hulk #125 featuring Marvel’s TV Sensation!
Just check out this gorgeous opening splash…
Trimpe’s artwork from this book was burned into my memory for another reason. Around the same time I discovered comics, I had been able to twist my parents’ arm into getting me Hulk ViewMaster reels. Amazingly, these reels adapted the very same story that was in my reprint issue, a fact obscured by the Romita promo art that dominated the sleeve. Rather than feeling ripped off at getting a story I already had, I was even more engrossed to take in the same story told by two different media using the same imagery as a bridge with animation cell caliber clarity.
Herb Trimpe will forever be etched into my memory as the person who introduced me to the Hulk, but also for his masterful storytelling.
Rest in peace, Herb. You will be missed, but never forgotten.