‘Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell’ Review

The Hulk’s latest animated outing falls flat, but makes up for it with character development that hints at the Hulk’s big screen future.

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**Warning – slight spoilers ahead***

While we Hulk fans wait patiently for Thor:Ragnarok to hit theatres, we hoped to satisfy ourselves with this newest animated feature made under the Marvel/Disney umbrella. And in some ways it did, but mostly it showed how differently Disney is pulling the strings now.

Since the earliest reports this was being made I was put under the impression this film would be “more adult” and even had it compared to Batman’s ‘The Killing Joke’ animated film. The final product barely sneezed in that direction. This film could easily be described as a Halloween gimmick meant to promote both the new Dr.Strange film and keep kids interested in the Hulk until Ragnarok releases.

The animation was passable and the story was cliche. This basically felt like something that could fit into the Hulk and Agents of SMASH series. Which may be what they wanted. The Hulk in this is a chatterbox and seems more annoyed then angry most of the time. Strange reminded me of his character from the 90’s Hulk cartoon series, so no complaints there. The Howling Commandos were slightly interesting, but we received very little back story on them. The zombie guy was probably the creepiest (and I’m stretching that term) and is most likely the closest to a ‘mature theme’ in this story.

I won’t delve into the stories details; I found it boring for the most part. The main villain in this is Nightmare who offers very little to the plot.

Now I will give it credit where credit is due. At times the Hulk’s fighting scenes are fun to watch. I always enjoy seeing him smash things. But what caught my attention is how they are transitioning and changing the rules slightly on how Banner and Hulk work together. It seems Banner has control of Hulk and can change at will. Hulk is still no fan of Banner though. But near the end it does seem like the two are beginning to work as a team more. Also the stories ability to incorporate Banner into more of it hints at ways Marvel might utilize Mark Ruffalo on screen for future Hulk films.

This was obviously a film with influence from Disney, as previous animated films like ‘Planet Hulk’ or ‘Hulk Vs.’ were much, much better in my opinion.

My final thoughts are as follows. This film is great for kids and young children as a Halloween family film. For adults it is definitely lacking. I would recommend this as a rent not a buy (Which Marvel seems aware of since its only available for digital download at the time of this writing). This is a perfect film to watch while counting candy on Halloween night.

Get SMASHED!

 

The Hulk Lives Again *spoilers*

My Hulk is back and you’re gonna be in trouble.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)
When you see him comin’, better cut out on the double.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it is true. Hulk and Bruce are back from the dead.And after only four months!
This story occurs in this months and next months issue of Uncanny Avengers #15 and #16 (released Oct. 12th and November 9th). Details are somewhat limited on what brought this about. From what I understand the ninja assassin group known as ‘The Hand’ will use their ancient magic to resurrect Bruce and thus the Hulk back to life. This also in effect gives them control of the green beast for their own ends.
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I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand I am very happy he’s back. I mean this is the original green man himself. The incredible Hulk. Not some “totally awesome” poser.
On the other hand though it totally demeans the character’s death in the first place. And by extension weakens the overall impact of any future deaths Marvel has planned. They either should have waited longer (at least a year) or figured out some other way to do it. Like maybe a series where the Hulk’s closest friend reminisce on his past actions or most memorable stories. Maybe give their unique perspective on how they saw him during those times. A highlight reel of sorts. It would have been a great way to introduce the best of the Hulk to new readers before bringing him back officially.
In any case mean green is back and who knows how a recently dead Hulk will react. Pet Cemetery comes to mind….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now he’s back and things will be fine.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)
You’re gonna be sorry you were ever born.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)

‘Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell’ COMING SOON! **sneak peek**

Hulk’s newest animated film is arriving this month on October 21st for Digital HD. Blu-Ray/DVD release not confirmed at this time.

Nightmare is manipulating Hulk while Dr. Strange fights to contain the Hulk’s rampage. Be prepared for a dream dimension full of people captured by Nightmare and transformed into monsters. With the aide of the Howling Commandos, Dr.Strange will attempt to thwart Nightmare’s plan to cross to the waking side and bring a host of creatures borne of darkness.

The film will run 70-75 minutes long. Marvel has even released a clip of the new movie. Check it out below. Sadly though the animation reminds me more of a television show then a feature length animated film. Clearly that while Marvel may rule the roost in terms of films, DC is still king of animated features. Which is a shame. But we Hulk fans will take what we can get.

In any case I am excited for a new Hulk movie, even if it’s animated. And a Halloween themed story makes it even better. Hulk versus a bunch of monsters? Yes please!

Incredible Hulk #92 (Planet Hulk Exile 1)

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Writer: Greg Pak / Artist: Carlo Pagulayan / Cover Artist: Jose Ladronn and Bryan Hitch

During the Hulk’s long run he has had many stories. Most become your normal monthly fair, some memorable, some forgotten. But back in 2006 Marvel introduced us to a new and exciting vision of the Hulk. They gave Hulk his own world.

Now of course it wasn’t his world to begin with. Hulk was tricked onto a shuttle and jettisoned into space with the hopes he could live the rest of his life in peace on a quiet planet.

Well as is custom with Hulk and Banner things didn’t go as planned and Hulk’s shuttle would crash land on a planet full of chaos and corruption. A planet of death ruled by a tyrant.

This first issue would detail Hulk’s fist steps on this new planet, called Sakaar, and introduce new characters such as Miek, Korg and Caiera. Characters that would influence the Hulk and follow him at least a decade later. Basically take the movie ‘Gladiator’ and replace Russel Crowe with the Hulk. You then have the basic idea for this book, but so much better in my opinion.

I own the hardbound collection of the entire story and it is a big book. But given my love for the story, having read it many times, and now hearing of Planet Hulk concepts being used in the Thor: Ragnarok film I had to own a copy of the first issue. The art is amazing. The story is engrossing. Pacing is a bit fast, but it’s a lot of story to cover.

This issue was valued at about $35-$50 prior to news of the Ragnarok film. Afterwards, the value for it has risen from $50 to as high as $150. Thankfully I was able to win one in an auction for $45. So I didn’t pay much more then I wanted to. Will this price increase remain or eventually settle down? Who knows? But if you want a copy its a gamble either way for buying now or waiting.

In any case I loved the Planet Hulk story line and its influenced much of the Marvel universe and even inspired a Red Hulk version (which I have not read but looks shorter and less interesting). It was so popular in fact that Marvel re-used the title ‘Planet Hulk’ for a later release of a Hulk title occurring during the recent BattleWorlds events.

All in all a great read and with the new movie having the Hulk in armor, this may be the best time to own a copy. HULK SLASH!