Hulk is a God???

So a recent posting from SDCC 2015 revealed an updated cover of the future mean green. And as you can see his new “helmet” is distinctly Asgardian-like. Could this new Hulk also be the new Odinson? Is this new Hulk a God? Not sure if I hate this idea…or if it could be an interesting direction to take. Hulk as a God I certainly like…but if he goes around speaking in ‘thou arts’ and stuff….hmmm I don’t know. I am very concerned about the future of my Hulk.

Or could this all be a joke to lead readers off the scent?…

A “Totally” New “Awesome” Hulk…..???

So today Marvel released a small peak of what to expect of the Marvel Universe for the forseeable future. And quite frankly…I’m scared. I see many positives…but also potential negatives. And this may just be my reaction to dealing with change. I only hope that’s all it is.

Currently Secret Wars is raging and has basically put the entire Marvel universe into a blender and hit ‘Frappe’. But come October 2015 Secret Wars should be over and we will be introduced to a new universe eight months after the end of Secret Wars. What comes out of the Blender will resemble the previous universe in some respects…but be radically different in others. This also applies to our green friend, Hulk.

Shown here is, I’m assuming, a cover for the first issue of this new Hulk and his series. This series will be titled “Totally Awesome Hulk”. Now…if this title indicates the tone of the new series…I shudder to think of surfer dudes or something similar to the Ninja Turtles. If that is the case..I don’t know if I can continue this blog. If this is true…then Marvel will have destroyed what I love about the character. I enjoy the pathos, the connection to the old literature like Frankenstein and Jekyll/Hyde. I love the Hulk because I identify with him. If he becomes some musclebound surfer dude…then I will most likely end my love for the character there.

However, I am only guessing and I will need more information before I judge. The writer of Planet Hulk and World War Hulks, Greg Pak, is returning to write the story. Now he did a great job in my opinion, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In addition if you notice from the cover his face and, interestingly enough, his left arm are blacked out. Now the face is obvious…don’t want to give up the true identity of the Hulk (we already know it won’t be Banner and who it is will be revealed in the first issue right away). But at the same time they were able to hide the fact red Hulk was Ross. Could it be this new Hulk is wearing a mask or some other kind of face decoration that identifies him? And his arm his hidden just enough to make me wonder if he’s wearing some kind of gauntlet.

In any case we can gather from his pants (now apparently yellow and blue) he is probably not the rage monster we are used to. He might be part of a larger team (like the Avengers) or he’s simply a Hulk with fashion sense (that last one I hope is not the case). Not sure I can forgive throwing out the purple pants, but we will see.

All-in-all it will be interesting to see what they do…but I am upset he was among the few characters to get such a huge overhaul in his looks and personality. Spiderman is pretty much the same…he’s black both in and out of the suit, but still basically Spiderman. Ironman is still Tony Stark in a suit, but with different motivations. Doctor Strange is still…Strange.

I guess we will see if this blog remains in business come October…

Transformations: Hulk 2099 (1997)

hulk 2099With the advent of the Secret Wars wiping out all current universes in favor of a single unified world I think we should explore this Hulk version.

If you are unfamiliar with the 2099 universe then your immediate reaction is that, this isn’t the Hulk. But I assure you this is, well…sort of. I have yet to read the 2099 arc, but I plan to. From what I understand in the future Bruce Banner and the Hulk are worshiped by an underground cult. Somehow an innocent bystander gets wrapped up in this cult and somehow becomes the green creature you see pictured here. If anyone wishes to elaborate I welcome it in the comments. So this isn’t Bruce or the “true” Hulk. But this is the Hulk of that universe or time frame.

This figure was released by Toybiz in 1997 as part of the Hulk Transformations line-up. Actually in the same line-up as The Maestro figure. This figure has some decent sculpting in comparison to the other figures. The paint job isn’t stellar but it at least enhances his muscles. The inclusion of his signature long tongue and real hair for the green mane are some nice added details. My only gripe is the lack of articulation, especially in his long fingers,hands and ankles. He is very statuesque, like the others in this line-up. The figure comes with a type of chainsaw and gatling gun. However, I feel those extras were stupid, and don’t really add to the figure, so I choose to ignore them.

I purchased the figure online for around $15. He came with some of the packaging and the guns, but he was removed from the card.

Current eBay Prices:

  • $22-60 loose or in-package (varies)

The Avengers: Age of Ultron SMASHING Review

So the new Avengers movie is out in theaters. People have been waiting with bated breath for three years and what are they saying about it? Well its a mix of “WOW!!” and “Pretty Good”. The movie was a wild ride and for most it was enjoyable. However, it didn’t quite hold onto the magic of the first one. Since there are so many reviews of the movie already out there I will not add to the bulk with another. My review is specific to one detail, a big detail…Hulk.

**SPOILER ALERT** you have been warned…

Hulk in this film definitely had more screen time and for the first time in cinema history he actually appeared on screen within the first ten minutes of the film. In all previous Hulk films one would need to wait at least 30-45 minutes before seeing any green skin (the credit sequence at the beginning of Norton’s Hulk doesn’t count). So this was a pleasant surprise. Though his time on screen was still considerably less then all the other Avengers (Tony Stark still in the lead) it was a vast improvement from the first. Though of course being as this is the only time I get to see Hulk on screen I wanted more. Most Hulk appearances happen so quickly you barely have time to absorb all the details of the performance and the grandeur that is Hulk. This film actually gave a few special moments where you could actually take in the performance and not worry about blinking.

The performance of Hulk was also improved. Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and Planet of the Apes) assisted Ruffalo with his mo-cap performance. For a couple of scenes I could see a bit more “ape” in the acting, most likely a carry over from Andy’s previous work. Hulk was more primitive, more scary, and of course more angry. But there was also a tenderness given, especially in the scenes with Black Widow.

Now most people have complained about this ham fisted attempt at romance between Black Widow and Hulk. And for the most part I tend to agree…it totally appeared out of nowhere and really didn’t lead anywhere. It was more a plot convenience then anything. It gave a mechanic for easily calming Hulk back into Bruce whenever needed. Hulk has always had a weakness for the ladies. Also it did help bring out the pain/suffering of both these characters and assisted in exploring their characters depth. Banner was definitely shown grappling with his own personal demons, in this case a big green one. Widow also opened up emotionally in response.  This was good for the Hulk/Banner in the sense it reflected the comics and the turmoil between the two. However, it kind of sapped the fun out of the Hulk. The Hulk was fun in the first film. Though attempts were made in this second film, I don’t think anything topped that “Puny god” moment.

The Hulkbuster scene definitely was a wild ride for the Hulk and easily the most epic Hulk battle on screen with the Abomination battle a close second. I am also happy they decided to keep him green for the sake of the audience and fans. Though rumor is he was going to be grey for that scene…it would have not added much to the Hulk on-screen. The true grey hulk was a bit smarter and could even talk a bunch. So unless this grey version was going to live up to its roots, it’s better he stayed green. My only other gripe with the scene is once again the prevalence of Iron Man dominating screen time during the fight. Tony Stark and his weapons took up most of the scenes with Hulk peppered seemingly in-between. Also I plainly do not agree or believe a punch from the Hulkbuster would have knocked the Hulk out cold. I more easily would have accepted him being drugged or maybe running off, after seeing the destruction he caused, and reverting to Banner somewhere quiet.

And finally we reach the end…the Hulk flying away into hiding. Many think the jet took him into space. However, the jet was supposedly reported to have crashed in the ocean. The evidence supports Hulk is still on Earth and in hiding on a tropical island. My dreams for a Planet Hulk movie have been continually dashed upon the rocks of Hollywood. I cannot see a studio picking up the tab on such a film and be expected to do the comic justice. I will cling to the hope of it happening someday…but not anytime soon. Hulk is most likely on Earth and he’s hiding (though with Marvel anything can happen). What will bring him back? The Civil War? Ruffalo is supposedly slated to be in the film. Will Banner/Hulk accept registration or oppose it? But then again Hulk was never part of Civil War in the comics. Could he team up with the Guardians? Or will he remain hidden until Thanos comes calling? I hope we see Hulk again long before Thanos shows up. But if that’s the way it has to be…Hulk better put a green fist into that Mad Titan’s purple jaw.

Transformations: The Maestro w/ Fallen Hero Armor (1997)

maestro old

This is another figure of the mighty Maestro released by Toybiz in 1997 as part of the Hulk Transformations line-up. Feel free to compare and contrast the figure with that of his newer iteration here. This version does not include the trademark helmet, much less any article of clothing. The skin is an off-green color and the beard is a bright white. Overall not much effort has gone into the paint job of this figure. Also the articulation of limbs is minimal; just enough to raise/lower the arms, turn the head, and allow him to sit.

The only real notable element of this figure is the fallen hero armor that is included. He is equipped with a broken Captain America Shield, the Hammer of Thor, Dr. Strange’s cape and a chest belt displaying the helmets of a myriad of heroes/villains (Juggernaut, Ultron, Iron Man, Dr. Doom, and Nova).  This has to be one of the coolest accessories I’ve ever seen come with a toy. Honestly if he were loose I’d probably just put the armor on the newer Maestro figure and call it a day (which some have already). But due to his low availability I have decided to keep him packaged up. I was lucky enough to snag him from a collectible shop for about $20.

Current eBay prices:

$10-20 loose / $50 in package (5/13/15)

Titanium Micro Hulk (2007)

metal hulk

So this little fella stands at about 2-3 inches tall. However, being he is a die cast figure he has some weight to him. Whereas the large titanium Hulk I think is partially made of plastic, this figure is entirely solid metal. And despite the size and material is actually really well sculpted. The paint job on the skin could be better (at least in comparison to the treatment of other characters in this figure release). There is no articulation, which honestly is fine given the nature of this product. This is more of a small statuette then anything else.

This figure was released in 2007 from Hasbro and the lineup bears the same name as the larger versions from 2006. So it’s easy to confuse the two when looking for them. Also when buying online they seem to come in two flavors (in box or in a bag). I say this because I currently own two of this figure. The first I was able to snag in its box. However, I liked this figure so much I wanted to actually display it. So I was able to find a loose one, but it arrived sealed in a plastic bag with a Hulk bio pamphlet. As if this item was being given out as a Happy Meal toy or something. Perhaps it was re-sealed and sent to me, or there were extras on the assembly lines not worth properly packaging. Not sure. In any case the one in the box comes with a small dirt colored stand bearing the name ‘MARVEL’.

It’s a neat little Hulk collectible, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular (at least online). So snagging one for relatively cheap should be easy as of this writing. Its a no thrills die cast figure of the Hulk in classic pose and look. A nice addition to the collection, but not very suitable for playtime.

UPDATE: Apparently this figure has become popular if eBay is any consequence. The figure is selling much higher then when I bought it about a year ago. I spent no more then $20-25 for both figures I have. The price seems to have raised much higher.

Current eBay Prices:

$70 (5/7/15)

Hulk Runs Errands

Yep…this is pretty much every Saturday for me.

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