Thursday, August 25, 2011

Groove's Faves: "Heaven Is a Very Small Place!" by Thomas and Trimpe

Can't have a "faves" week and not represent Roy Thomas, can we Groove-ophiles! I've rapped mucho about Roy and how much I love his work. Some of his best work in the early 1970s (like his Avengers and Conan weren't enough!) was in the Incredible Hulk. During his tenure, Roy came up with such characters as Doc Samson, the Valkyrie, and Jarella, and most every ish was top-notch fun. His Hulk was the child-like, "I just want to be left alone" Jade Jaws us denizens of Groove City grew up with and love. Of course, it didn't hurt one iota that the art was being supplied by Herb Trimpe, who spent half the 1970s as Ol' Greenskin's definitive artist.

Probably my fave Thomas/Trimpe Hulk tale was this little back-up, "Heaven Is a Very Small Place!" It captured all of the reasons I dug the Hulk, boiled down all the reasons I understood and often empathized with him, plus, it seemed kinda like a Twilight Zone episode, and Young Groove was really into that show starting in '71. Lots of reasons to love this short-but-sweet stunner, not the least of which are John Severin's awesome inks. "Heaven Is a Very Small Place!" first appeared in Incredible Hulk #147 (October 1971) and was reprinted (and re-colored) in The Hulk! #19 (December 1979). Enjoy!


  1. Hey Groovy One!
    I loved Roy, Herb & John's stint on the Hulk. As a kid the Hulk was in my top 5 books every month. If not top 3! I forgot how many books Roy wrote! WOW! Was he wearing a cape or what!!??

    You'd think after writting all lose stories. Roy & stan would had heads like the Leader! To contain all those characters & stories without their head's exploding! I can't image how empty my childhood/teen years would had been with out Roy's great tales! All this story needed was a cameo of Rod Sterling! He should had greeted the Hulk in that town in the begining. Roy, Herb & John deserve our many thanks for all those years of hard work, great stories & art!

    I'll forward this link on to Roy & Herb. Maybe, if were lucky they'll leave a comment. Until the Hulk battles Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies. Make Mine Marvel! The Silver & Bronze Age Marvel! Ya Baby! Ya!

  2. Hey Groovster!
    I forgot to add, I forgot this was reprinted. This newer colored version looks Incredible! It makes you really appreciate it even more. Keep up the great work! I'm a HUGE dan of Doc Samson also!

    As much as I later loved Byrne's later short stint on the Hulk. I hated the fact he got rid of his classic costume & gave him a pony tail! YUCK! I did love I believe Hulk annual #7? He did with Iceman, the Angel & Doc vs the sentinels. Love to see that covered here in the near future.

  3. The Hulk #19 (1979)??? Is that date right? The colouring looks too sophisticated for 1979. I still have the original printing, plus it was reprinted in one of the Hulk Treasury Editions. When it was reprinted in The Mighty World of Marvel, the word 'Cadillac' was changed to 'transport' as it was assumed we Brits wouldn't know what a Cadillac was. A lovely little tale.

  4. absolutely beautiful. see, that's the Hulk I love, right there.

    interestingly - & I could well be totally wrong here - the final three panels of the last page seem to have been drawn by David Lloyd, way back in his pre-V days. anyone know any more about that? like I say, I could be wrong, but. . .

  5. Kid, the date's right--it's the Hulk! magazine, the continuation of the b&w Rampaging Hulk mag that started in '76.

    Joe, I'm near positive that the last pages are Herb and John Severin. That's the way they look in my original (coverless) copy, anyway. The coloring in the reprint really slickens stuff up, though!

  6. I agree Joe this is the Hulk I grew upo with & still love. The true Hulk to me! I'm 100% sure this is all Trimpe/severin art as well.

  7. I love Roy Thomas' scripts from the 1970s -- he's more serious and grounded than Stan Lee but not so grim and gritty as more modern comics writers. Along with Steve Gerber, Thomas really is the heart of the Bronze Age for Marvel writers.

    Been looking for some Hulk to preserve in my collection (most of what I have is crap, unfortunately) ... I'll keep an eye out for some Thomas issues.

  8. Ah, that explains it - I never saw the colour mag, only the b&w one. My only (minor) quibble is that I wish they'd left the original hand-lettered credits, instead of deleting them from under the title and adding typed ones to the bottom of the page.

  9. Hey Longbox Graveyard
    I totally agree Roy's writting style is what I miss the most. It was indeed more serious, but yet not like today's gimmicky,dragged out/soap opera, gorey type of junk. I asked Roy what issues of the Hulk he wrote.

    He started with #120 with the Glob. Wrote solo through issue #144 Dr.Doom vs the Hulk. He co-plotted/wrote issues #145 Len Wein & #146 with Gerry Conway.

  10. RIP Herb Trimpe. You will be missed.



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