cygnetians-greens-holyhier-front.jpgK'REL

Real Name:  K'rel

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Green sect of Cygnet VII natives/"Cygnetians") leader

Occupation: High Priestess, head of the Holy Hierarchy

Group Membership: Greens sect/sub-species/race of Cygnet VII, Holy Hierarchy

Affiliations: Hulk (Bruce Banner)

Enemies: Draggoths (see comments), Reds sect/sub-species/race of the "Cygnetians" race

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Presumably a Greens cathedral or something on planet Cygnet VII, presumably the 7th planet in the Cygnet solar system, unspecified galaxy

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (1983)

Powers/Abilities: K'rel has no superhuman abilities. krel-cygnetians-green-face.jpg

    She has access to technology that transported her from Cygnet VII to Earth via a gamma radiation beam. It is uncertain under what circumstances she survived the gamma ray beam that transported her to Earth; possibly this radiation tolerance is native to her race, but it would seem to be more likely that technology somehow protected her from the radiation.

    She is an experienced priestess and leader, and is also reasonably skilled in hand-to-hand combat; she is brave, willing to fight when outnumbered (and against others armed with energy weapons).

    As Priestess of the Holy Hierarchy, she likely had access to staffs and/or hand-weapons that fired energy blasts. She commanded an unspecified number of presumably similarly armed priests.

    Charismatic and capable, she inspired others to revolt; however, once being liberated and gaining power, she treated her former oppressors every bit as inhumanely as they had treated her people.

Height: Approximately 5'8"
Weight:  Approximately 135 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Green
Skin: Green
Other Distinguishing Features:


krel-cygnetians-greens-beam.jpgkrel-cygnetians-greens-full.jpgHistory:
(
Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - K'rel was priestess of the Greens, a sect/sub-species on Cygnet VII who were dominated, oppressed by the Red sect/sub-species/race (aka the Proselytes); the Greens could only practice their religion in secret.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (fb)) - BTS) - K'rel prophesied that her people could not remain persecuted forever and that a champion would come to liberate them from the Reds' oppression. The prophecy allowed the Greens to hope, and it angered (and/or frightened) the Red, who tried to silence K'rel.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (fb) - BTS / World War Hulk: Gamma Files: Proselytes entry) - Seeking to locate the Greens' champion, K'rel fled Cygnet VII by riding gamma rays through space to Earth.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12) - Via a gamma ray beam, K'rel transported to Earth, arriving in upstate New York, in the vicinity of Northwind Observatory (where Bruce Banner was working; see comments). She took off running as soon as the beam ceased, but seconds later she was discovered and targeted by a crimson beam from the Reds' Holy Huntsmen / Prophet Priests' Cathedral-Ship, after which the ship transported the Huntsmen down to Earth. When K'rel grabbed a stick to defend herself, a Huntsman used his weapon to incinerate her stick, after which a number of Huntsmen engaged her. With one holding her arms, she kicked at another, but a third leveled a hand blaster at her; meanwhile, however, having observed the arrivals and confrontation from his observatory, the Hulk (then having recently gained Bruce Banner's mind and emotions) intervened, battling the Huntsmen. Distracting the Huntsmen so K'rel could get free, the Hulk tolerated their energy blasts and knocked them about repeatedly while K'rel joined the fight as well until a Huntsman provided an order to capture both K'rel and the Hulk with their tractor beam device. 

    As soon as the captives were within the ship, the Huntsmen were beamed up as well, after which the ship took off. 

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (fb)) - BTS) - The Hulk and K'rel were restrained and/or pacified upon their entry into the ship.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (fb)) - BTS) - Traveling via hyperspace, the Cathedral Ship returned to Cyget VII in less than a day. During that time, the ship's educator imparted to the Hulk a comprehensive portrait of Cygnet VII. 

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12) - As K'rel and the Hulk were lowered in a shuttle, the Huntsmen instructed the population to behold the blasphemers in bondage. K'rel answered the Hulk's questions about the two races of Cygnet VII, denouncing the Reds/Proselytes as a fanatical, fundamentalistic sect and telling him that while their world was big enough to harbor two races and/or faiths, it was the people's minds were too small.

    The Prophet-Priests led the Hulk and K'rel through a taunting, jeering crowd; the Hulk feared endangering K'rel if he broke free, and she told him that the Prophet-Priests were aware of and feared his might; this was what kept the Reds from killing her. She explained that she was the Greens' priestess and her prophecy of a coming savior/liberator had inspired her people and had caused the Reds to try to silence her, which is why she had fled off-world. 

    The Priests then silenced the prisoners as they approached the Temple of Judgment. They were brought before a trio of Proselyte Cardinals, aka the Holy Hierachy, and after K'rel explained that they were the ones who held power on the planet, the Hulk broke his bonds in preparation to confront and speak with these leaders. The Hierarchy, however, noting their concerns over the prophecy of a champion being fulfilled, blasted the Hulk and K'rel into unconsciousness, noting their intent to diffuse the situation by publicly displaying the inadequacy of both priestess and champion.

    K'rel and the Hulk were judged and sent to imrpisonment in the Pit, where the Priests warned the masked "Faceless Ones" guards  of the Hulk's power and that their threats against the priestess were all that held him in check. Seeing K'rel, Green prisoners asked her if she had found a champion to end their persecution, but the Priests told them that their persecution would end once they sampled the pleasures of the pit. K'rel remarked that not even the Reds could be so callous and cruel, explaining the Pit to be a brutal arena for slaughter and sacrifice. Hearing this and angered by the Priests taunts about their beasts being hungry, the Hulk tore the bars off the cages and swatted back the Priests. Acknowledging the Hulk as mighty, K'rel warned that the odds were against him, but the Hulk asked what she would have him do, and if praying would keep her people from becoming animal fodder. Eventually, however, the Hulk was caught off-guard and incapacitated by a Priest's anesthetic gas weapon. 

    Noting that their religion taught them to be peaceful and passive, a fact the Reds had capitalized on, K'rel praised the Hulk's treasuring peace yet fighting for survival. She tackled one of the Priests from behind, though she was swiftly captured, and caged in chains alongside the Hulk.

    The next day, K'rel, a group of Greens imprisoned in the Pit, and the Hulk were herded into the Pit's arena. When the Hulk subdued an onrushing Proselyte cavalry while espousing the Greens' right to share their world, K'rel noted that he was indeed their Champion. After the Hulk subdued the Draggoths sent against them, the Hierarchy halted the games to prevent further inspiration even of the Greens; as the Huntsmen took K'rel and the Hulk out of the arena, K'rel noted her fear that even greater trials awaited them.

    The Priests took K'rel and the Hulk to their torture chamber, where they told the Hulk he would submit to torture on the laser-rack and then confess his plans to foment a revolution, to overthrow the Holy Hierarchy; if he refused, they would put K'rel on the rack in his place. The Hulk submitted, but after the lasers began blasting his head, the Hulk realized that if he died, the Greens would be even worse off for having their hopes dashed. Breaking free, he then smashed the rack, overpowered the supervising priests, and then  broke into and shattered the Greens' prisons. The Greens, armed only with their faith and fury, revolted.

cygnetians-red-holyhier-defeated.jpg   The Hulk power allowed the unarmed and combat-inexperienced Greens to defeat the Reds' Priests on the streets. Inspired, the Greens rushed a stationary Cathedral (the Reds' sacred sanctuary), with K'rel calling for the Hierarchy's deaths. The Hulk shattered the cathedral's doors, took down the priests within, and led K'rel and the other Greens to confront the Holy Hierarchy. Though they cursed the Greens as defilers and blasphemers, K'rel told them that those they had persecuted had risen up to destroy them; the Hulk countered that the Hierarchy need not be harmed, but that their oppression of the Greens must stop now and forever. Te Hulk took down the Hierarchy, and K'rel announced that the rule of the Proselytes had ended.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (fb)) - BTS) - The Green rose up all over Cygnet VII and ended their oppression. Those who worshipped in fear for ages now prayed freely for the first time.

    Seeing his job as done, the Hulk sought to return to Earth.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12) - As the Hulk prepared to enter the ship to return to Earth, K'rel asked him if he wouldn't accept the Greens' faith and become one of them, noting that her people regarded him as their savior. He explained that he was no messiah, just a mighty man who disliked oppression and possessed the power to oppose it. Admitting he might like to learn the faith K'rel offered to teach, he felt he needed to return to his life, even once K'rel explained that the ship only had enough fuel to make the journey to Earth and that it could never return. As he departed, the Hulk advised K'rel to use her role as her race's spiritual advisor to guide their destiny wisely, to cultivate charity in their hearts, and to teach them the way of mercy. However, as soon as the Hulk's ship had departed, K'rel's gentle countenance underwent a harsh change, and she spoke the word "mercy" with disgust.krel-cygnetians-greens-face-mask.jpg

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 - BTS) - Alongside a pair of male Greens, K'rel formed a new Holy Hierarchy.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12) - As another of the Holy Hierarchy announced that the Proselytes were rounded up in the town square, K'rel told him that the Reds should be called Proselytes no more; they had fallen from power, and the Greens were now the Proselytes, and it was their religion that would be proclaimed on Cygnet VII...and let those without faith perish!

    On the streets, another of her priests struck one of the Reds, warning the dog to avert his eyes from the priestess so that his vile gaze would not pollute the persons of the Holy Hierarchy; the Greens subsequently stones the gathered Reds.

    Another of the Holy Hierarchy told K'rel how some of the people were murmuring about the last words of their savior to be merciful, but she reminded him that their savior had departed and that only she could rightly interpret his words; she insisted that the punishment of the Reds persist.

    The Reds served as slaves, prisoners, and sport to the Greens, very similar to how the Reds had formerly treated them.

(Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 - BTS) - Having glimpsed back at Cygnet VII via the Educator, the Hulk wept to see what he had wrought.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo and Herb Trimpe.

    It is an interesting coincidence that K'rel arrived on Earth in the vicinity of the Hulk...there is no information to support that she was seeking him out specifically, but it would seem likely; however, if so, that leaves the question of how she would have learned of him in the first place. I suppose she could have first traveled to another world and, in the process of seeking a champion, somehow learned of the Hulk and thus traveled to Earth.

    When the Greens sentences the Reds to the Pit's arena, they used a completely different type of creature. One might speculate that the Greens may have vengefully slaughtered the Draggoths, but they could just as easily have used the Draggoths against the Reds, meaning there were multiple beasts used against the victims in the arena....

    The overall message of the story was good, but the story itself left me with a few questions:

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
K'rel should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II Annual#12, pg. 3, panel 5 (K'rel beaming down to Earth);
        pg. 5 (K'rel beneath Cathedral Ship);
        pg. 6, panel 1 (K'rel defiantly grabbing stick);

        pg. 30, panel 4 (Holy Hierarchy defeated);
        pg. 32, panel 6 (K'rel face, denouncing mercy);
        pg. 37, panel 2 (Green Holy Hierarchy - front);


Appearances:
Incredible Hulk II Annual#12 (1983) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Herb Trimpe (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)


First posted: 7/1/2018
Last updated7/04/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know+.

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