Real Name: Passing Cloud
Identity/Class: Human magic user (?)
Occupation: Medicine Man
Affiliations: Susquatch (friend); The Hulk
Enemies: The white men who killed his people
Known Relatives: None (he is the last of his tribe)
Aliases: Old man (the Hulk's name for him)
Base of Operations: A cabin on Beaver Mountain, located somewhere in one of the wilderness areas of America.
First Appearance: Hulk Comic#12/1 (May 23rd 1979)
Powers/Abilities: Passing Cloud can play music on his flute of such soothing qualities that it will calm even the most savage beast - it can pacify wild animals, summon the elusive Susquatch and even still the Hulk until he begins to transform back into Bruce Banner. While the cover of HC#13 describes this as a spell, there is no certainty of any magic involved - it may just be very serene music. A limitation, rather than an ability: Passing Cloud is blind, although whether he has always been thus, was involved in an accident, or has become thus due to his great age, is unclear.
History: (Hulk Comic#12/1) The Hulk is in "the high mountain areas of America" and being chased by trappers who believe he is the legendary Bigfoot. Having briefly shaken his pursuers, he hears a soft, lilting music which draws him almost hypnotically to a snow covered cabin. Smashing through the cabin door, he finds an aged indian (Native American) sitting cross legged on the bottom half of a bunk bed, playing a flute. Although the Hulk does not know it, this is Passing Cloud, a man whose gentle music is said to be able to draw even Susquatch, the local version of Bigfoot, out from the trees. Feeling his anger draining away with each soothing note, the Hulk panics that he might turn back into Banner. He lifts the blind old man into the air and threatens to smash him because "Old Man try to kill Hulk with music!". Then a noise outside causes the Hulk to drop Passing Cloud to the cabin floor, just before the Susquatch, likewise drawn by the music, far from just a myth and angry at the Hulk's attack on it's friend, attacks!
(HC #13/1) The fight rages between the two behemoths out into the snow beyond the cabin, with Susquatch eventually gaining a temporary upper hand. However he does not follow through his attack, because he is suddenly mesmerised once more by Passing Cloud's music. The old man has recovered his breath after the Hulk's assault on him, and followed the pair. Now he uses his flute to calm both of the combatants down. The Hulk is confused as to why Passing Cloud has not tried to hurt him as other men do, and the elderly medicine man explains that he too knows what it is liked to be hunted and hounded. He is the last of his tribe, as is the Susquatch. Many years past, when white men fought Passing Cloud's people, they called on Susquatch to help. The giant creature (or other's of it's kind perhaps) would kill the white men, and in return Passing Cloud's people would save Susquatch from white man's traps.
Hearing this sad tale, the Hulk empathises, and vows to stay and help both "old man" and "animal-man", little knowing that one of the trappers who was hunting him earlier has called for help from the Forest Rangers, who are on their way.
(HC#14/1) Passing Cloud continues to pay his flute, keeping both Hulk and Susquatch calm, but the arrival of the Ranger's helicopter disrupts the spell. Susquatch also senses danger, as hunters approach, and knowing he cannot face their guns, he tries to flee, only to be shot down. Passing Cloud drops to his knees next to his dead friend, and cries out in anguish, wishing he had died instead, that he too were dead. The Hulk meanwhile makes short work of the attackers, in particular knocking the helicopter out the sky with a large rock, only to have it smash into and destroy Passing Cloud's cabin. Feeling guilty, the emerald giant returns to his new friend's side, to discover Passing Cloud has passed away. The Hulk lifts up the old man's flute, only to have the fragile instrument shatter in his hand. With a hardened heart, the Hulk rejects the peace it briefly brought him, then turns and strides away from Beaver Mountain.
Comments: Created by Steve Parkhouse and Paul Neary.
It's unclear from Passing Cloud's tale of the demise of his people whether or not he was himself present during their battles with the White Man. If he was, this implies he is very, very old, since the last time I'm aware of such active conflict occuring between Native American's and the European interlopers who took their continent was the 19th century.
CLARIFICATIONS: Passing Cloud should not be confused with
Last updated: 09/25/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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