Promotional art for “The Incredible Hulk” vol. 3, #92
(April 2006) by Bryan Hitch
I have had several dreams lately take place in the Civil War era in some scenes.
This one starts out where I am with several other men in the Union Cavalry being chased by Confederate cavalry. They were chasing us down a stream that ran through trees along the bank of the stream. Further down the stream we turned into just regular cowboys and somehow we talked with the Confederates and convinced them we are really cowboys and not soldiers. They wanted some cattle for food and we made some kind of deal.
After that we rode up this hill and came to this old granite church. It was an enormous beautiful church several stories high and had twin towers that were massive. The Reverend’s wife came to the door, it was a carved crystal door and I think one of our group was wounded and she saw to that and she took us in. Then she made us something to eat and she took care of us. Then I recall leaving the church and went out the rear entrance into a beautiful terraced garden with trees and trimmed shrubs that formed spaces for small groups to meet and have discussions. I really liked this area and looked around as we passed through. It appeared to be more like a palace garden than a church from that vantage point.
We headed toward a town, when we got there it was a modern beach town. We were no longer cowboys and we were in beach or sport attire. It appeared that this big guy was causing trouble and beating people up outside of this Beach Café, a hotdog stand type place and we could see the commotion outside. There was this huge bully, he looked kind of like the ‘Hulk’ (from TV and comic books) was causing a disturbance outside and hurting people. I thought we were safe inside because I figured enough people were between us and the commotion to be safe from this bully.
He would have to go through a lot of people before he would get to us. However, the next thing I know he’s breaking into this café and then I realize he’s not a large person but is a huge monster and he starts picking fights with people and knocking things around. Then everyone starts running away from him and I think we realize he can’t be stopped. There is nobody that can take him down or get him under control, so everyone starts running. The level of intensity switches and beast becomes more dangerous, his intent is to kill and destroy.
We run back up the hill and take shelter in the church from the beginning of the dream and I think we warned the pastor and his wife that the monster was coming and I know we have to lock all the doors. For some reason we don’t get the doors locked fast enough or he breaks in somewhere and he’s chasing us around. He caught somebody and beat them up and then we all ran out of the church and headed towards the town.
The local authorities had finally had him trapped in this older apartment building – it had an old Western look, but they were condominiums/townhouses and it was surrounded by police standing side-by-side, there must’ve been 50 policemen covering the front of the building and they had another 50 officers in the back. There were no side doors so he can’t get out that way so I’m standing by one of the sides of the building where I feel safe. Then all of a sudden he just starts breaking through the side of the building from the upper story with just his body – breaking through the window frames, wood and bricks. Then I realize the police are not going to be able to stop him. They were shooting at him point blank but he wasn’t being stopped by the bullets. The beast’s body absorbed the bullets.
Then the scene shifts to this large facility and it has a huge swimming pool and I thought we’d be safe in the water but the monster jumped in the water and started swimming after us. I think he might’ve drowned someone or hurt a few people there and then all of a sudden we have guns and are trying to shoot him. But once again the bullets are getting stopped by his skin but are embedded in the epidermal layer without bleeding. We are hitting the beast, but it just doesn’t stop him. Now, I am standing on the pool deck and I have a pistol and when he comes up out of the water’s surface by me I put a bullet right in the middle of his forehead and assume he’s going to be dead. The bullet penetrates his forehead and blood comes out but he doesn’t stop completely, he keeps coming but has been slowed down and I think we all started shooting him some more and I can’t remember what happened but I don’t think he ever died, he was in a deep slumber or hibernation state.
END of PHASE I of DREAM
– (Then I woke up and was out of the dream, went to the kitchen to take some aspirins and decide to go back and lay down for a bit longer and fell asleep again)
Then, I have a dream related to this one. I was a kid again, 9 or 10, and was with my brother and some old family friends – the daughters of the drummer in my father’s swing band, Pam and Nancy, and we were in this bedroom in a beach house on vacation and we had to put our stuff in these drawers. One of the things I was putting in these drawers were explosives, C4 plastique, and the explosives were for in the event that the monster came back (same monster). Now, the monster had a name. I remember telling my brother that I was hiding the explosives in the back of the drawers because I was afraid Zoltar would come in and steal the explosives, making him even more dangerous. The dresser was kind of like a cheap white particleboard. My brother tells me that he’s written my name on my drawer so he knows my stuff is in the drawer with my name (He was always more organized than I was). We do not want the girls to find out about the explosives, we are afraid they might get hurt or be scared that we have them.
Psychoanalytic Dream Interpretation:
As a Union cavalry soldier – I am in the role of the old warrior-self, but I am being chased – perhaps being run out of this defensive/attacking warrior role – the hate and revenge part of myself is now on the run or starting to dissipate. Converted to Cowboy – giving old ways up – letting go of resentments and defensive posture into a more peaceful role, but not completely – still a cowboy but not necessarily a violent role. This cowboy represents the “true spirit” side of the subconscious – making a peace with the confederate cavalry – willing to negotiate rather than fight or being assertive rather than aggressive.
The church is a spiritual, peaceful place. We went in for shelter, wounded and hungry. The preacher’s wife probably is a combination of my therapists (Kristy and Rhonda), also sister/mother figure, and in Jungian terms, the Amina. I have always depended on women to understand me and take care of me. Also, women give me that lift or energy to pursue and achieve something. Without this female figure, the “spark of life” is not there in a strong sense.
Going out the back door – seeing things I never saw in a church before – beauty and creativity that can come from letting go the violent past that forced the cowboy (me) into the church. There were a lot of trees and manicured bushes that formed communal spots that drew my focus where I could imagine little groups could meet peacefully. This could represent the comfort I get in therapy or at AA meetings where I can escape my isolation. Letting other people in – just starting to realize connections with other people is a positive experience that I want. I want more of that feeling of belongingness that has been missing in my life. I don’t want to be isolated which my old behavior drove me toward; that false sense that I’ve got to be a rock/island mentality where I don’t need people, just my books (history and psychology – no poetry) to protect me.
The beach café – supposed to be a peaceful, restful place until the beast shows up – the beast represents my diabolic side that has not yet extolled his revenge, I want to make them pay – make them suffer. But the “true spirit” side is waking up to the fact that instead of the offenders doing the suffering – it is myself – because this holding onto anger, resentments and seeking revenge only slows my life down – actually makes life sterile – one cannot truly live when holding onto this huge weight. It does not hurt those that have committed the injustices against us. The beast was hostile and wanted to destroy – cause mayhem – maim anybody who got in his way or that had harmed him. This is what goes on in my head. I very rarely act out the anger, but in my head I am raging in a fantasy life – killing and maiming the offenders.
The church is a spiritual connection. I am getting back in touch with the spiritual side of life. Another aspect which gives force to the “spark of life” energy force. There is a reconnection from the split of my body and my spirit taking place. This split took place when I was 5 and 6 years old and I am 61 now. This is a long process, but I would not wanted to have finished the rest of my years in isolation with a disconnected spirit which has already crippled my life for 50+ years.
At the beach café – the monster is originally just a tough guy – but then he morphs into this hulking monster (The Hulk character) – a huge raging beast. Rage escalates very quickly.
Monster destroying the church – maybe this rage is at the injustices committed against me, blaming god early on in my life, led to my criticism of religions and eventual lack of belief in a god – ergo the church is destroyed because my spirit was split off from my body. Additionally, my grandmother had MS and I couldn’t understand why a god would do this to a good person.
The beautiful, creative, numinous spiritual part of life was split off and denied. Rage at home and rage of a nun in a Catholic school – Sister Eugene Mary in 2nd grade may have been the underlying causes. This nun raged at me because I said my S’s with a lisp. About eight years after this, someone finally figured out I had a speech impediment. It was really frightening to have a woman who is a few feet taller than you, dressed in black with a pointed head, pushing you around the class room in front of all the other kids. Her face was blood red and her vein was popped out at her neck. She had totally lost it and I had no idea why I couldn’t say “street” the correct way. I always wanted to run into her and just kick the shit out her – I don’t care if she is 90. I never told anyone about this because I was afraid I would get in trouble at home – double jeopardy didn’t apply to kids growing up in the 1950’s, especially in Catholic school. I was six years old at the time.
The Monster is trapped by the authorities – police – I have my sights locked in on the beast in therapy and dreams – but he is not under control yet – he can still break out – where you don’t expect him to – like through the side of a building without any doors. When he is breaking out of the side of the building – he starts out the window – but he is too large and just crashes through the wood and brick frame. Once a little of the anger starts to seep out, the force is like the water bursting out of a damn- the pressure behind the damn. It begins with a small crack or fracture, but the pressure makes the crack larger and larger until the pressure overwhelms the structure and the damn bursts. The window was the weak point – maybe seeing out the window that he was surrounded by police – people in our lives that try to constrain us, imprison our spirit, or cause us harm – the beast went into the rage starting at the weak point. Then total control over one’s behavior is lost.
The beast absorbs the bullets – the fact that people criticize me and are afraid of me doesn’t slow me down – I can justify my anger – they deserve it – therefore I don’t or can’t be stopped by disapproval. It doesn’t faze me. I absorb the assaults. I feel I am right and justified.
The beast shows up in the swimming pool – I swim. Although swimming is one of the ways of keeping my energy and stress level from building up inside. Wearing myself out physically is a way to dissipate the tension built up by my anger. I put bullet in the beast’s forehead – but know he is not dead. – I have exposed him (this side of myself) in dreams and therapy – therefore he has been slowed down and is contained at times. However, he is still there, just a bit dazed from the exposure.
I woke up at this point and took some aspirin and then went back to bed when the 2nd phase of the dream occurs.
Phase 2 of dream:
The dreams switches to another location and time period. I am myself as a boy of 8 or 9 and my brother and I are with the daughters of my dad’s swing band. This was in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s – (the girls represent my younger daughters that are close to these ages now.) I am dealing / handling packs of a white C4 explosives – to kill the beast (Zoltar). He has now been given a name.
By brother assigns me a drawer in the bedroom in a beach house where we are staying (in real life we shared a beach house one summer with the drummer’s family) My brother has labeled my drawer with my name so I wouldn’t get my things all over the place (explosives) My brother’s emotions are nice and tightly contained – mine are all over the place – in an explosive manner. Also, the cheap particle board dresser doesn’t sound like something that can contain an explosion very well – probably suggesting not to stop working on this issue – it is far from being under control.
We didn’t want the girls to know about the explosives – I do not want my daughters to see this side of myself – I don’t want them to see I can be a scary beast full of rage. The attack they saw a year ago when I released my rage at my ex-father-in-law (or should I say my ex-asshole-in-law) was something I don’t want them to see again. In that state, I am out of control and could probably really hurt someone.
And where did the name, Zoltar, come from – I thought I had heard the name before – like he was the bad guy in Conan the Barbarian, He-Man or some other kids show in the past 30 years. But no, he is the fortune teller in the glass box located in amusement parks and game arcades. Zoltar had his movie debut in “Big” with Tom Hanks – although I believe he had bit parts in older movies throughout the years.
Why a fortune teller? Perhaps, the beast is my future if I do not get him under control – and seriously reign him in and place him under control of the conscious mind rather than roaming around the subconscious where he can break through on a moment’s notice. And, I have to get something stronger than a piece of cheap furniture to contain the explosions.
If not acting out externally, like having the rage attack on my father-in-law – then raging inside my own head, destroying my own thoughts and ego-image. This is not who I want to be seen as, especially by my children or someone who I would like to admire me. (The raging beast that is King Kong)
No matter how many troops my head sends after the beast – there is no controlling the beast – there is no constraining him when he is in a full rage – he can break out of the side of a building without doors, right through the bricks and wooden frame – the rage has to run its course. Then when he slows down enough to where I can take good aim and put a bullet in his head – which does not kill him, but just makes him go into hiding until he regains that trust and confidence – but then he isn’t watched that closely and can strike again when the circumstances are right – but as more time and processing takes place – more control is gained over the beast and as the beast learns to become more assertive, the less compressed the anger becomes which should lead to less explosive behavior.
This parallels my sleeping problem also. I cannot turn my head off at night. I have to take sleeping pills to turn whatever it is off. The constant spinning, the inability to relax and go to sleep like a normal person. I have to put a bullet in my head nightly to literally turn it off. Perhaps this is why my dreams are so vivid – because the brain goes back on as the medications wear off and goes back into high gear again before I wake up.
Interest in Civil War – ancestors fought at the second Battle of Manassas in July 1862 and were faced off against Stonewall Jackson’s brigade. Therefore, I always had a fascination with that time period when I was young and still like to visit the battlefields when I get the chance.
End of Interpretation
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