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Frye's Creature (Incredible Hulk TV series enemy) in the woods

Dell Frye and Frye’s Creature


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

An older writeups.org mission statement said, “It tends to be about somewhat obscure characters, because we do very detailed research. With this methodology, major characters are very long to research.” Well, you could get more obscure than this character but it would not be easy.

As he has only two appearances and it’s in a two-part episode of the same story at that, I can get ridiculously detailed and even speculate about his history although I will always make it clear when I am speculating.

I really liked the series and this was the kind of episode that fans in those days dreamed about. As was typical in super hero shows of that era, the hero seldom if ever went up against an opponent with equivalent powers.

This was the first, last and only episode where David Banner’s Hulk faced an opponent that had a real chance against him (not counting ordinary people with guns who could potentially get in a lucky shot to an eye or something). So this was a truly “special” episode when it aired.

Have you ever cheered for the villain in a story? Maybe there’s something likeable about the actor’s portrayal. Maybe there’s something about the hero you don’t like (I remember wanting “Jaws” to win in the James Bond movies). Maybe there’s just something about the villain’s motives that you sympathize with even if he takes revenge way too far.

It was probably the latter for me in this case. The guy he killed in the bar was the very definition of a bully who acted like he was still in Junior High. Plus there was just something secretly fun, within the context of fantasy, about a character similar to David and the Hulk but one who cuts loose and revels in being the Creature.

It’s a testament to Bill Bixby that his acting pulled me back to totally sympathizing with his plight at the end.


Background

Dell Frye

  • Real Name: Dell Frye
  • Other Aliases: None
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Vissaria
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 140 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Grey (formerly black)

Frye’s Creature

  • Real Name: None but designated as “Frye’s Creature”
  • Other Aliases: Dr. Clive’s Green Creature
  • Marital Status: NA
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Vissaria
  • Height: 7’2” Weight: 280 lbs
  • Eyes: White Hair: Green


Powers & Abilities

As an elderly human being, Dell Frye possesses no superhuman abilities and is on the low side of his physical attributes. But when angered (and he angers easily), he transforms into a powerful creature with superhuman strength enabling him to lift about three tons normally, more with exertion.

His body becomes durable enough to be resistant to the impacts of bullets though not completely invulnerable to them. He also gains the capacity to heal rapidly and even regenerate from injuries that normally could never heal.


Video

Very short segments showing bits of this episode.

 


History

Nothing is known for sure about the early life of Dell Frye. Everything said about it is speculation though plausible.

It is likely that he was a sickly child and that one or both of his parents had little sympathy and perhaps resented that their child was not “perfect”. He may have had a poor father figure who was possibly abusive. He was probably born in or around 1914 in the small, isolated town of Vissaria.

While it is never specifically said what state the town is in, we may surmise it to be somewhere in California. We know that, by 1950, he was working as a groundskeeper and laboratory assistant for a medical doctor and scientist named Jeffery Clive. Clive had a fiancé, Elizabeth Collins, whom Dell was secretly infatuated with.

Clive was also working on a radiation treatment to increase strength and productivity.

Dell had no scientific skills nor any sort of professional skills. He was a barely competent gardener. His “lab assistant” job seemed to consist of cleaning the equipment while possessing enough common sense to not start pushing buttons or flipping switches. But he had always been in poor health.

It is possible that Clive’s entire reason for hiring him was for eventual use as a test subject in his experiment.

Dell Frye (Harry Townes) and Bruce Banner (Bill Bixby)

The opportunity presented itself in 1951 when Dell, along with so many other health issues, was diagnosed as having a rare blood disease that would soon kill him. Clive did genuinely want to help him. He believed his experiment would increase Dell’s strength and his general health as well as curing the disease.

The experiment consisted of having Dell lie on a lab table and exposing him to a specific concentration of gamma rays for several seconds. At first, there did not seem to be any results, positive or negative. Clive suspected the healing process would be gradual.

Two days later, Dell was doing yard work at Dr. Clive’s house, which was also where the lab was located, about 20 miles outside of town. He tried to lift a heavy object without asking Clive to come out and help him. It caused him to “throw out” his back, wracking him with severe lower back pain.

This made him mad, furiously angry. He felt a strange surge of strength and power- and then nothing. He awoke sitting in the woods. But he quickly realized the back pain was gone. In fact, all of the little aches and pains and the feelings of weakness and feeling sick that he had lived with for his entire life were gone.

When Clive examined him, he discovered the blood disease had also vanished.

I have a handicap – I’m psychotic

Unknown to Dell, Clive had heard the cursing and looked out a window in time to see the transformation. He was horrified not only because of what had happened but because of the person it had happened to.

As he wrote in his notes, the Creature Dell became was extremely dangerous not only because of his primitive nature and his anger but because, in essence, he was still Dell Frye and Dell Frye was a potential psychopath given the proper circumstances.

Clive immediately went to work, trying to discover a way to “cure” Dell of what had happened albeit the blood disease would still be gone. Having a base from which to work, he managed to make a cure within weeks.

A bank of old computers in the Incredible Hulk

A few weeks later, just about the time Clive was perfecting the cure, Dell got involved in a bar fight in town. There was a farmer named Frank Townsend, a bully who frequently pushed Dell around and made fun of him. Exactly how it started is unknown and Dell, at this time, did not understand what had happened to him other than that he felt better.

During the bar brawl, Dell was knocked down and was overwhelmed with anger. The Creature appeared. The Creature either went straight for Townsend and Townsend managed to shoot him or Townsend shot him first and then the Creature went for him. Either way, the Creature literally ripped Townsend apart, rending him limb from limb.

Someone got a photograph of the monster and it appeared in the local newspaper the next day under the heading, “Dr. Clive’s Green Creature”.

A young deputy sheriff named Carl Decker saw the creature as it ran away. From the townspeople immediately jumping to such a conclusion, it can be surmised that there was an extremely insular mentality combined with the knowledge that Clive was conducting some sorts of experiments.

Dell felt better than ever after this second transformation. He loved having the strength. When Clive explained to him what was going on, Dell pretended shock and remorse but he secretly reveled in the power and in the fact that he had finally gotten revenge for all the abuse he had endured.

But still, he was afraid of what would happen if people figured it out. Clive talked him into taking the injection he had prepared and going back on the table for another dose of gamma radiation to reverse the process. Dell was unconscious for 2 days but there were no negative effects and he was “cured”.

It’s not alive, it’s not alive anymore

But people had suspected a connection between Dr. Clive and the Creature. Some of them went to his house to confront him and things got out of control. Clive fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head.

Someone called an ambulance but he went into a coma and died 2 days later. Having had time to think about it, Dell was going to try to convince Clive to recreate the experiment and give him back the power. But now, his hopes were dashed.

Clive’s fiancé, Elizabeth, had inherited the house but could not bring herself to live there as it would be a constant reminder of Clive’s death. She continued employing Dell to maintain the place. He did so and not just the house and grounds but specifically the lab.

He kept it completely clean and in as good a working order as possible in the hopes that, someday, someone would come along that would understand how to use the equipment so that he could regain the power.

The Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) and Dell Frye (Harry Townes)

In 1980, a group of teenagers were out joyriding when they ran their car into a fallen tree near the Clive residence. They went to the house to see if they could use the phone. Because of the reputation the house had, which had only grown in the telling, only one of them was brave enough to go in.

The others heard screams and his brother, Case, ran in, only to find his brother murdered, stabbed to death. Unknown to him, Dell was the murderer. The first boy had started messing with the lab equipment and Dell would not risk it being damaged.

Even after almost 30 years, he still was obsessed with becoming the creature again. This was only months before Dell’s arthritis started to get really bad. He had stabbed the boy to death and then left before his brother got there.

In 1981, Dr. David Banner arrived in Vissaria. He had heard rumors about this creature so much like his own that had appeared thirty years earlier. He went to the library first where he found an old newspaper article about it and spoke to a janitor who recounted the events.

He was told to talk to Elizabeth Collins, who had been Clive’s fiancé. He explained that he had a rare medical condition and hoped Clive’s research could help him. She gave him a key to the house and told him to speak to Dell Frye, the groundskeeper.

When he spoke to her in the park, Case and another boy harassed him when they realized it was about Clive’s research but, just before it turned physical, the Sheriff, Carl Decker, showed up and broke it up.

The house the Hulk built

David spent hours hiking out to the house. Dell was very belligerent at first, having no idea who he was. David looked over Clive’s notes which were divided into separate notebooks by the year. But the most relevant notes, for 1950 and 1951, were missing.

He questioned Dell again as Dell was outside tending the garden. Case and another boy had gone out to the house, knowing David was headed there. They stepped out into the open when David and Dell started talking about Clive’s notes rather loudly. Dell was slow on the uptake when it came to realizing David may have been exactly the person he was looking for.

He accused David of harassing him and Case attacked him. David ran but Case tackled him. As they stumbled and went down, David fell into a water-well, the fall triggering the transformation.

The Hulk emerged but the boys were too terrified to make the connection to David. Battered by the Hulk but not seriously harmed, they ran away. But Dell suddenly comprehended that, after all those decades, his day was at hand. He befriended the Hulk, leading him back to the house.

Once inside, he got the Hulk to calm down so he changed back to David. Discovering that David was a scientist and medical doctor like Clive had been, he revealed the notes for the missing years which he had hidden in a secret passage that led through a tunnel to the woods near the house.

Dell's creature (Dick Durock) making a rictus

The problem was that the cure required a special medication that Clive had developed but Dell had kept the remains of that as well. David realized he could cure himself now. But Dell wanted something in return, to be given back the power.

David had already made all the preparations to use the machinery. He intended to then inject himself with the cure and expose himself to the radiation. Dell begged David to also give him back the power. David refused to help him that way. He offered medical help but not turning him back into a murdering monster.

Enraged, Dell asked if David was referring to the farmer, Frank Townsend, from 30 years earlier.

When David said that he was, Dell screamed that Townsend was nothing but a bully and got exactly what he deserved. Forgetting himself in his rage, he said something clearly implying he had been responsible for the murder of the teenage boy a year earlier. As David walked away in shock, Dell grabbed something and hit him, knocking him out.

As Dell pushed the lever to start the equipment, Case and another boy, who had been regularly watching the house, threw fire bombs in through a window. That distracted Dell with putting out the fire long enough for David to start recovering. But Dell still got on the table and exposed himself to the dose he needed.

When David tried to shut down the equipment, the outraged Dell started changing into the Creature.

David watched in amazement, having never seen this transformation from the outside before. Dell exulted as he felt the change, laughing in pleasure as the strength flooded him. Then Frye’s Creature grabbed David and threw him across the room. He moved in for the kill but, because of the fire, the Sheriff had been called and the Creature was distracted by the police sirens.

He ran out through the hidden passage that had been left open. David recovered before the Sheriff got into the lab, grabbed the bottle with the antidote and got through the passage, closing it behind him.

Outside, he saw Frye’s Creature roaring and running off into the woods. He started running after him.

The boy who was bullied

Frye’s Creature exulted in his power. Seeing a deer in the distance, he grabbed a boulder and threw it at the animal from no motive but sheer malice. It dodged away but he then uprooted a tree not so much because he could not have gone around it but because it was something to destroy. But he finally started tiring.

When David caught up, Frye was transforming back to human form. David heard his laughter almost as if coming down from a drug high. Dell opened and closed his hands and told David that, from just one change into the creature, his arthritis was gone.

In fact, all of the little aches and pains, feelings of weakness and sickness, that had always plagued him were gone just as they had been three decades earlier when he first transformed.

Once he had lost the ability to become the creature, it had taken months before the problems returned. This time, he would not allow anything or anybody to take away this ability. He thanked David for returning it to him but made it clear that he would do absolutely anything to keep it.

Newspaper with a photo of Frye's creature

Not knowing who else to turn to, David went to Elizabeth Collins and explained the situation to her. Though not completely believing the part about the creature, she allowed him to move some of the lab equipment into her house to try to determine what went into the cure and how to synthesize it.

Meanwhile, almost the first thing Dell did was to go into the town’s only bar where he knew the local bullies hung out. He knew they would start mocking him. There was no doubt that they were jerks who never grew up and that David’s Hulk would have taught them a lesson they richly deserved.

But Dell wanted far more than that. He wanted them to suffer in agony and then die for the torments they had put him through. Considering their temperaments, it did not take much and he knew it would not. All he had to do was talk back and fight back.

It was not long before one of the bullies, Brad Wheeler, punched him. Rather than fighting back, Dell kept goading him. Finally, Wheeler punched hard enough that it knocked Dell through a door into a storage closet. It finally made him mad enough to trigger the change and Brad Wheeler paid for his bullying with his life.

Don’t make me angry. I’ll kill you when I’m angry

After finding out about this, David knew time was of the essence. Asked by Elizabeth why he did not just inject himself with the cure and give himself the radiation treatment to end his transformations, he explained that it would knock him out for about two days and there was no guarantee that Dell would not kill again by then.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Decker, suspecting Dell was behind the killing though he could not prove it, told Dell to leave town or, if Dell chose not to, he would do everything he could to make his life a living hell. Dell chose to back off this time and prepared to leave.

Meanwhile, David convinced Elizabeth to call Dell and invite him over although she had just previously rejected Dell’s advances even when he bragged about how powerful he was now.

Dell's creature (Dick Durock) towers over the Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno)

Dell apparently lived in a room in a boarding house though it was only shown once. He was packing to leave when the reporter, Jack McGee, arrived. McGee had already talked to the Sheriff, who explained how the Creature had appeared in the town thirty years earlier.

The stunned McGee explained to the Sheriff that it was a man who became the creature. The Sheriff admitted he had thought of that possibility, as bizarre as it seemed. His most likely suspect for that man would once have been Dr. Clive but, what with the creature reappearing in the present, the most likely suspect was Dell Frye.

And so McGee confronted Dell. While they spoke, Dell answered the phone and it was Elizabeth saying she had reconsidered and wanted to see him. But when Dell tried to leave, McGee drew a dart-gun filled with curare.

Dell feigned cooperation, even saying he was McGee’s “John Doe” and that he was finally ready to give the reporter the full story. That caused McGee to drop his guard enough that Dell was able to hit him with the suitcase he was packing and then with a vase.

One man’s hell is another man’s heaven

At her home, Elizabeth expressed guilt at deceiving Dell and that she felt sorry for him, a sentiment David agreed with but not enough to condone murder. When Dell arrived and started talking with Elizabeth, David snuck up and injected him with a sedative.

Unfortunately, Dell quickly realized this could only be a prelude to taking the power to become the creature away from him. In a berserk rage, he attacked David, clawing at his face, smashing his head into the wall and the two of them falling to the floor. When Dell grabbed a fireplace poker to hit David with, Elizabeth grabbed another heavy object and knocked Dell out.

[Note: Considering that this went on for about thirty seconds, they should have both transformed but dramatic license dictated the finale take place at the lab].

As David and Elizabeth drove to the lab with Dell, McGee had regained consciousness and headed for the Sheriff’s office. He quickly explained the situation. McGee recalled that Dell had spoken on the phone to a woman named Elizabeth.

They headed to Elizabeth’s house but found everyone gone and the damage from a fight having taken place. Then they headed for the next logical place: the Clive House and the Lab.

Frye's creature vs. the Hulk

David and Elizabeth had already arrived and had gotten Dell onto the lab table and strapped down. There was enough of the antidote that David had managed to prepare two syringes. He injected Dell with one of them. While he waited the couple of minutes needed for the antidote to start taking effect, he powered up the machinery.

But Dell awoke and begged Elizabeth to not go through with this, to not take this away from him again. As the machinery started and he began to be bombarded by gamma rays, his rage triggered the transformation before the cure could take effect. He laughed in triumph as he changed.

Frye’s Creature tore loose from the straps and stood up. David cautioned Elizabeth to move slowly towards him and they tried to edge out the door. As Frye’s Creature moved towards them, David tried to grab the other syringe and get Elizabeth out the door but the creature grabbed David and threw him across the room.

Then it picked up the syringe. David yelled in horror as it drew back its arm and threw the syringe with the antidote, smashing it against a wall. David cried in inconsolable loss as his chance to be free of the Hulk was literally dashed. Then his rage overcame him and the transformation began.

The fight

As Frye’s Creature moved in for the kill, it stopped and looked on in amazement as David changed. Then the two creatures confronted one another. Frye’s Creature was the aggressor as the Hulk seemed more concerned that it might have found someone like himself to befriend. But as Frye’s Creature attacked again and again, the Hulk was finally overcome with rage, throwing him off.

Frye’s Creature pulled back and drove a forearm all-out into the Hulk’s chest. The Hulk shrugged it off as it did not even phase him. Then he began to pound Frye’s Creature from pillar to post. Finally, Frye’s Creature cautiously moved away, getting the lab table between them. It grabbed one end of it and the Hulk grabbed the other. They snapped it in two.

Frye’s Creature lifted a chunk of the table to throw it at the Hulk when Sheriff Decker and McGee ran into the lab. Seeing them, it turned and pulled back to throw the debris at them. The Sheriff had already been aiming his gun before Frye’s Creature saw him and, at point-blank range, fired three shots, aiming all of them at the eyes.

One shot missed altogether and one flattened on the cheek bone but one went through the left eye into the brain and killed him.

(Those last 2 sentences are my own creation, not precisely what really happened in the story. In the story, the Sheriff shot him in the chest and torso 3 times. He bounced off the wall and fell dead. But, as mentioned in “Reasons”, the idea that any schmuck with a handgun could have killed even a toned down television version of the Hulk, without it at least being an extremely lucky shot, was just too much.)

Dell's creature (Dick Durock) vs. the Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno)

Elizabeth, the Sheriff and McGee watched in amazement as the body of the creature transformed for the last time back into that of Dell Frye. Then the Sheriff turned and aimed his gun at the Hulk though the Hulk tended to be smart enough to raise his hands before his face when confronted by guns and another lucky shot was very unlikely.

Not knowing that shots to the body would be very unlikely to kill the Hulk, Elizabeth stepped between the Sheriff and the Hulk. As the Sheriff ordered her to get out of the way and McGee yelled for him not to shoot, also uncertain if it could potentially kill him, Elizabeth edged over to the secret passage waving the Hulk to stay with her.

She insisted that the Hulk had not killed anyone and blocked the way as the Hulk ran into the passage and got away.

Back in her home the next day, with the Sheriff and McGee present, Elizabeth asked that Dell be buried in a nice grave because there was no true villain here. He was ridiculed and abused all of his life and did not deserve it. He would never have murdered had it not been as the Creature or to protect the possibility of becoming the Creature again.

McGee asked her to reveal the true identity of the other man but she insisted he was a kind and gentle man and that McGee should stop hounding him so he would have time to settle in one place and find a cure for himself. Justifying his need to capture the Hulk to get his big story, McGee insisted the Hulk was dangerous and he would not stop pursuing him.

Somewhere out on the highway, David Banner walked away, continuing his endless quest.


Description

Dell Frye was a man in his late sixties, a bit shorter and lighter than average, with grey hair (formerly black) and brown eyes. He generally wore shirts that were buttoned all the way up, even the collar button, often blue shirts. He tended to wear work pants, often brown. He also frequently wore a coat for extra warmth and usually wore a cap when outside.

As the Creature, he wore the tattered remains of whatever Dell was wearing. Green-skinned as the Creature, he looked immensely tall but somewhat thin for his height. He looked old and hollow in the cheeks.


Personality

Dell Frye is the epitome of the grumpy old man. He is angry and feels a sense of entitlement. This is somewhat justified as, prior to becoming the Creature, he was in constant pain. While often bullied, he tended to seek out rather than avoid places like the local bar where he knew he would be bullied.

Many of his problems stem from his inherent personality and the people he associates with. As the Creature, he is Dell’s resentment and suppressed anger personified.


Quotes

Dell Frye: “With this arthritis, the work comes harder every year. Forgetting comes easier.”

Hulk: “Grooooowl.”
Dell Frye (to the Hulk): “That’s all right. That’s all right. I won’t hurt you.”

Dell Frye: “Clive, he fixed it, you know ? This thing. He stopped it. He cured it.”
David Banner: “But how can you be sure ? Clive’s dead.”
Dell Frye: “I can be sure. It wasn’t Clive who was the thing. It was me. He did it to me. I was just like you.”

Dell Frye: “I can’t tell you how good it was to feel strong. First time in my life not to hurt.”

Dr. Jeffrey Clive (voice-over as David reads from Dr. Clive’s journal): “This creature could be particularly dangerous, I fear, due to the test subject’s inherent personality.”

Dell Frye: “Oh, how good it was. I haven’t forgotten, and I want it back… I want the strength again.”
David Banner: “And you want to live always afraid ? Always afraid of being hunted, of hurting other people ?”
Dell Frye: “Like who ? That bully Townsend ?”
David Banner: “Yeah.”
Dell Frye: “He had it coming ! Or that kid ? That damn kid !”

Frye’s Creature: “Grooooowl.”

Dell's creature (Dick Durock) and Bruce Banner (Bill Bixby)

Dell Frye: “Thirty years of feeling sick and weak and hurting. I’m not going back, Doctor… I’m not looking for trouble. But you better not do anything against me. ‘Cause you know when I get mad what I can do.”

Brad Wheeler (Redneck in bar): “You know, I think this town has waited too long to do something. We should have burned that Clive house down 30 years ago. Run his friends out of town. Elizabeth Collins and what was his name ? The… the cripple. You know, the one with the twisted hands. Say there, you think I’m right ?” [Addressing himself to Dell Frye] “Well, what do you think ?”
Dell Frye: “I think you better leave me alone, Brad.”
Brad (continuing to goad him): “Well, now. Now, now. Now, what’s this ?”
Dell Frye: “You heard me.”
Brad: “Yeah, I surely did. I just don’t believe it. You know, Dell, I’ve been thinking. Now, you’ve had a thing for Elizabeth for a long time. Why don’t you get married ? Make an honest woman of her ? Then you two could go on a honeymoon, and just stay there. Oh, and then, I’d be willing to give you a few pointers. You know, on how to make a woman happy. I don’t imagine you’ve had much experience with things like that. I bet Elizabeth knows what’s what. Nice-looking woman like her.”

David Banner: “He’s very dangerous. The creature that Dell becomes is guided by his personality. And Dell Frye is a murderer.”

Dell Frye (to Brad the Bully after getting punched): “So many years I took it. The last time, Brad. The last time.” (Brad punches him, knocking him into the next room. Dell laughs as he feels the transformation begin. His creature rips Brad apart, killing him – off-screen, of course).

Jack McGee (confronting Dell Frye): “I was expecting a younger man.”

Dell Frye: “Mr. McGee, this… This thing, it’s very strong, isn’t it ? Unpredictable. Dangerous. Aren’t you afraid ?”

Elizabeth Collins (referring to Dell Frye): “This thing is so important, he’d do anything to keep it.”


DC Universe History

It is often said that “The First” was the television show’s version of “the Abomination” but only in the basic idea of an “Evil Hulk”. There is no reason that this story could not have happened in the DCU although there would be differences.

Jack McGee’s motive is to prove himself as a reporter by proving the Hulk exists, that it’s not just supermarket tabloid stuff he made up. But in the DCU, he would not have to. People would accept that the Hulk exists. McGee’s goal would be just to be the first to get an interview and the whole story.

Dell Frye (Harry Townes)

Also, by this time in his adventures, it would be unlikely that the Hulk would not have encountered other super beings, many far more powerful if we assume he is on the same power level in the DCU as in his setting.

However, for purposes of this specific adventure, I would place the town of Vissaria in Louisiana or Florida near the swamps if it were in the DCU, making it a very isolated place where strange and mystical things are known to happen. Whatever happened there would be over with before any other super beings knew about it.

For the long term, Frye’s Creature would survive at the end, choosing to retreat when shot at rather than being killed. Dell Frye might make the mistake of wandering into Metropolis on his journeys where he would be easily captured by Lex Luthor.

This might result in experiments that would power him up to be a threat even in the DCU and a pawn of Luthor’s against Superman.

Or he might end up in Gotham City. Dell Frye isn’t smart enough to be directly a challenge to Batman and, as is, his creature is no match for the arsenal of technology he can bring to bear, even just from his Utility belt.

But someone like Scarface or Two-Face might take Dell on as part of his gang because they know he will transform when endangered and either be a help in battle or a distraction to others. Of course, a powered up version of Frye’s Creature might be a serious threat.


Marvel Universe History

This is unlikely as the Hulk and many offshoots such as the Abomination already have a complex history in the MU.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Dell Frye

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Psychopathic
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Groundskeeper/ former Lab Assistant
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 004 HP: 005

Advantages
Area Knowledge (Town of Vissaria and surroundings)

Drawbacks:
Age (Elderly), Dark Secret (he is “Dr. Clive’s Green Creature”), Minor Rage


Frye’s Creature

Dex: 03 Str: 07 Bod: 06 Motivation: Psychopathic
Int: 01 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Raging Creature
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: NA
Init: 007 HP: 025

Powers:
Density Increase: 01, Jumping: 01, Regeneration: 05, Systemic Antidote*: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Density Increase adds to Strength and is already factored into his Strength attribute (FC +3) and is Always On (FC -1)
  • Regeneration: can recover from permanent injuries other than death (No FC as it is unclear whether or not the power already works that way)

Drawbacks:
Age (Elderly), Alter Ego (Uncontrollable), Catastrophic Rage, Serious Physical Restriction (Mute), Strange Appearance


Notes about game stats and trivia

David was a little taller than Dell Frye but Frye’s Creature towered over Banner’s Hulk. This can easily be explained by gamma rays not effecting everyone exactly the same.

The TV Hulk was described as 7-8 feet tall but Lou Ferrigno is 6’5”. When he stood next to normal people, you could see he was not more than a few inches taller than some of them. Bil and Jay Myers compromised in their write-up by making the Hulk 6’8”.

I was surprised that Dick Durock was 6’6”, only an inch taller than Lou. He must have stood on a platform when he faced off with Lou. Perhaps because Lou was so much more massive, they wanted to emphasize Durock’s height to create more of an illusion that they were equally matched. I compromise by making Frye’s Creature 6 inches taller than the Hulk.

In the show, bullets ripped through the Hulk’s shoulders again and again, often described as going clean through. But that wears thin. Somebody with a gun would have killed him early on minus extreme dramatic license. He also shrugged off things that should have been worse than bullets.

So the Myers gave him enough durability that bullets would seldom do more than superficial damage. But as Dell Frye was an old man, his resistance was not as good though I still could not bring myself to make him easily killable by ordinary handgun bullets.

Back in 1951, Dell’s attributes are the same as in 1981 despite his age as physical attributes in the game system are very broad. However, in 1981, before his first transformation, Dell has Dex:01 due to arthritis in the hands. He also has STR 01 due to the arthritis and lower back pain preventing him from exerting his full strength.

Once he makes the first transformation, his attributes rise to the listed levels.

Dell's creature (Dick Durock)

In-jokes abounded in this story. The scientist in the 1950s was Dr. Jeffery Clive and his crippled assistant was Dell Frye. In the original movie version of “Frankenstein”, Dr. Frankenstein was played by Colin Clive and his crippled assistant by Dwight Frye.

Dr. Clive’s fiancé was Elizabeth Collins. ”Elizabeth” was Dr. Frankenstein’s fiancé in both the original novel by Mary Shelley and in the movie version of “Frankenstein”. ”Elizabeth Collins” was the Matriarch of the Collins family in the 1960s Horror/ soap opera, “Dark Shadows”.

The small town of Vissaria, where this story takes place, was also the name of the small Romanian town where one of the “Frankenstein” sequels, “The Ghost of Frankenstein”, took place.

Dick Durock, who played Frye’s Creature, went on to play an even more famous green creature when he portrayed Swamp Thing in the movies and the short-lived television series.

Finally, the very title, “The First”, is a misnomer. In the second season episode, “Kindred Spirits”, David discovered evidence of a prehistoric man of thirty thousand years ago who transformed into a Hulk-like creature. But they might mean “The First” in the modern world using technology.

But, more likely, “The Second” just would not have been a catchy title.

By Doug Mertaugh

Source of Character: The Television series The Incredible Hulk adapted for television by Kenneth Johnson based upon characters created by Stan “the Man” Lee and Jack “King” Kirby. Starring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner, Jack Colvin as Jack McGee and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. The specific source of the character is the fourth season 2-part episode The First written by Andrew Schneider and directed by Frank Orsatti. Harry Townes played the role of Dell Frye and Dick Durock portrayed Frye’s Creature.

Helper(s): I found the write-up on Dr. David Banner and the television Hulk by Bil and Jay Myers very helpful. As the Hulk was clearly more powerful than Dell Frye’s creature, it helped me gauge the abilities of Frye’s Creature though I am also working on my own “David Banner/ Hulk” write up for the sheer fun of it whether it ever gets onto the site or not.

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