Real Name: Nimbli
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Myth-Realm) gnome
Occupation: Agent of Saraband
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Hulk (Bruce Banner), Morgaina, Saraband, unidentified centaurs
Enemies: Darkshorn and his demons, dragon, harpies, ogres, trolls, and more.
he was annoyed with Saraband's cats
Known Relatives: Unidentified mother
Base of Operations: Myth-Realm;
last seen to be active around "the floating new land of great keeper Saraband" (Saraband's ship-based castle in an unidentified sea (see comments));
formerly Saraband's high tower
First Appearance: HULK#21 (June, 1980)
Powers/Abilities: Nimbli had some experience with magic, typically running errands for Saraband, such as using magic dust to open a magic mirror's interdimensional portal and summon another being or carrying Saraband's magic potion that could immediately turn Bruce Banner into the Hulk.
Nimbli was under a mystic curse that forced him to speak only in rhyme.
Nimbli has carried a long and a short sword, although he did not seem to be particularly good with either.
Nimbli is able to ride on the back of a saddled centaur, either on land or in the air.
He may well be long-lived or immortal, but we don't know that.
Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 2'2" - 2'6")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 60 lbs,)
Eyes: Possibly blue or gray
Hair: White (bald on top)
Distinguishing Features: Very large ears and nose
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - Nimbli is a gnome native to the dimension known as Myth-Realm, which is apparently associated with imagination and/or dream, or at least accessed via hypnotic trance.
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - The gnome Nimbli's mother cursed him, forcing him to speak in rhyme.
After some time, Nimbli's mother regretted this curse (presumably annoyed by his constant rhyming), and she kicked him out of their cottage at an early age. This addled his pate (left him dim-witted).
(HULK#21 (fb)) - The evil
sorcerer Darkshorn seized the benevolent sorcerer Saraband's high tower
(at the very heart of Myth-Realm), which was also the home of his ward,
(HULK#21 (fb)) - Caught
unaware, Saraband was forced to flee; riding atop a pair of flying (but
not-winged) centaurs, Saraband fled with Nimbli, but they were forced to
leave Saraband's ward, Princess Morgaina, behind.
Darkshorn put Morgaina in a sleep spell of death, to be completed in seven days.
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - Thereafter, Darkshorn seized the surrounding lands, binding them in a spell of darkness. The taint spread outward from the high tower, and with each passing moment, more and more of the realm was engulfed by the widening evil.
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - Darkshorn's spell prevented men from entering the high tower, allowing only Darkshorn and his monsters to safely walk its halls and grounds.
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - As Morgaina was the guardian of Myth-Realm's very essence, and all of legend and heroism drew upon the inspiration of her beauty and innocence, without her, Myth-Realm could not exist.
(HULK#21 (fb)) - Fleeing to a distant sea, Saraband constructed a large ship with a castle on top from which to direct the final struggle for Morgaina's life; as the abode was mobile, he could flee the spread of evil if it reached that far.
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - Saraband gave Nimbli the necessary magic dust to the mirror gateway farthest from the high tower to secure
the aid of a hero. Nimbli apparently brought a pair of centaurs on his
trip, one to carry him and one for the hero whom he would summon.
However, Nimbli barely had time to activate the mystic mirror before
the encroaching pall consumed even that gateway, leaving it in the
dark/haunted wood, and a fire-breathing dragon menaced Nimbli.
(HULK#21) - While under the
influence of a hypnotherapist, Bruce Banner emerged through the mirror
into Myth-Realm where he observed Nimbli under attack from the dragon.
(HULK#21 (fb) - BTS) - The mirror was consumed by evil.
(HULK#21) - Nimbli
swiftly tossed his sword to Banner, who initially protested and was
skeptical of the reality of the situation (believing he was dreaming),
but as the dragon attacked, Banner hurled his sword into the dragon's open mouth, where it continued
through the top of its skull, apparently killing it.
(HULK#21) - After introducing himself and revealing how he had summoned Banner, Nimbli urged Banner to hurry with him back to Sarafand or risk being slain. As a number of winged, hooved, and horned demon-creatures descended on them, Nimbli led Banner to climb atop the backs of a pair of waiting centaurs, who raced out of the woods. At the woods' edge, their pursuers halted, and Nimbli explained that they were unable to cross out of the spellbound realm, at least until the spell spread farther across the land.
After some further journey, they
castle upon a huge ship so it could retreat as needed from the
spell. Aboard Sarafand's ship, Sarafand asked Nimbli why he hadn't taken the
mirror back, and Nimbli explained "Well, you see it seems I forgot -- and, too, we were pressed by demons determined to make us rot."
As Sarafand told Banner of Myth-Realm's nature, history, and predicament, Nimbli greeted Sarafand's cats; however, they went from friendly to playful to overwhelming to nearly violent.When Banner proved uncertain, Sarafand threatened him, but Nimbli then tackled Banner through the mirror, forcing his compliance. Holding a short sword but not apparently doing much, Nimbli stood back as Banner, armed with a sword, fought his way through trolls, harpies, ogres, dragons, and more.
As they reached the high tower,
one of Darkshorn's demons grabbed Nimbli and began flying away, but
Nimbli hurled the vial containing the potion to Banner. Drinking it,
Banner became the Hulk, and he leapt and punched out the demon,
recovering Nimbli and then continuing on to the tower.
(HULK#21 - BTS) - The Hulk
awakened Morgaina, but Darkshorn made it so that if she left the tower
she would die. Ultimately, the Hulk tore the tower free from the castle
carried it to the seaside town beyond the spread of evil where
Saraband's ship resided.
(HULK#21) - Nimbli watched as Darkshorn arrived, grew to giant-size and challenged the Hulk.
(HULK#21 - BTS) - The Hulk destroyed Darkshorn, after which Banner vanished, returning to Earth.
Comments: Created by Doug Moench and Bob McLeod.
The whole journey to Myth-Realm was apparently part of a trance by Banner's hypno-therapist who wanted him to confront the source of his anxiety, which he did, accepting that the Hulk was an aspect of him and was not evil. However, the final panel shows the hypno-therapist to be identical or Morgaina, and she is described as a "mistress of Hypnos." It leaves the question of whether it was truly all imagination or not...and, of course, in the Marvel Multiverse, even dreams are real in the Dream dimension, etc. So, Myth-Realm exists on some level, hence this profile...
It seems likely that following
Darkshorn's defeat and the liberation of Myth-Realm from that dark
spell that Sarafand would have re-established his castle/base instead
of continuing to use the castle on the ship, but that's obviously
Nimbli should be distinguished from:
HULK#21, story pg. 3, panel 2 (hat burnt);
pg. 5, panel 3 (face);
pg. 13, panel 5 (cat attack);
pg. 15, panel 2 (full)
HULK#21 (June, 1980) - Doug Moench (writer), Bob McLeod (penciler/inker/colorer/letterer), Roger Stern (consulting editor), Ralph Macchio (associate editor), Lynn Graeme (editor)
First posted: 09/02/2021
Last updated: 01/03/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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