The Fallen: Review (spoilers)

5787b1240ec18The Hulk is Dead. Bruce is Dead. Hawkeye is off the hook as people claim the murder to be “morally justified”. So what now? How do the friends and family of Hulk/Banner deal with this? Well these are just some of the questions answered in this one-shot issue titled ‘The Fallen’.

First off, I appreciate this is a one shot issue. I’m not a big fan of spin-off comics and prefer not to invest my money. But in this case I had too. I feel it handled the material it needed to within one issue. Any further details can be explored in other story arcs.

This comic basically handles the scenario I imagined should the Hulk be killed. There are those who are sad…and those who are happy. Obviously many people were affected by the damage brought by the Hulk. Their opinions are heard loud and clear. The most notable is General Ross. It becomes a father/daughter issue, but I think it only scratched the surface of how Betty and her Father should react. It’s a fairly quiet response.

The funeral is handled as expected, only the most devout friends show up. It was actually touching to see his Warbound in attendance. But the most surprising and heartfelt moment was the hearing of his Last Will and Testament. Banner leaves his friends, and the world, with the best gifts anyone in his position could give. Knowledge, money, restitution for the Hulk’s chaos, and, most importantly, a way to cope.

The Will and how it was handled was brilliantly written. It truly wanted to let Bruce’s life end on a high note. To begin to heal the wounds he had caused as the Hulk .

I hope this is not the last we see of Banner and Hulk, but if it is this a decent send off. Though I might have preferred if the Hulk died as the Hulk. The Hulk was born out of war. I would have liked it if he died creating peace. That would have been more poetic.

That being said this story clearly handles the death of Hulk from Bruce’s perspective. Meaning you never see the Hulk in this issue. Now I know he died in a previous issue, but I feel some visual reference to Hulk would have helped. Maybe a flashback sequence detailing the Hulk’s most heroic moments as well as Banner’s scientific contributions. But I do understand why they did it this way.

If you are a Hulk fan you should pick up this copy. I might even recommend you try finding the variant covers. This may be cash grab to sell issues, but in the story of the Hulk this is one worth reading and owning.

Incredible Hulk #5

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Writer & Editor: Stan Lee / Artist: Jack Kirby

Another oldie but goldie, Incredible Hulk #5. This issue was released in January of 1963 as part of the original Hulk run. Featuring two stories this issue features the Hulk facing off against (in his first ever appearance) Tyrannus and General Fang (also his first and only appearance).

In the first story Tyrannus abducts Betty Ross and takes her deep underground. Banner learns of this and of course goes into pursuit as the Hulk .Tyrannus, using Betty as leverage, forces the Hulk to fight as a gladiator for him This doesn’t last long before Hulk smashes everything and saves Betty. It’s a simple story but its one of the better ones told in the original series. I also think the armor he wears is kinda cool. Especially the helmet. Would like to see that brought back.

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In the second story General Fang is the leader of an eastern army threatening to destroy another nation. A cry for help is broadcast across the world and Bruce hears the transmission. Determining he is the only one who can help he leaps into action as the Hulk and takes him down. He dresses as an abominable snowman in the hopes of scaring Fang’s army and fights a holographic dragon.

Overall a good set of stories and the inclusion of a villain’s first appearance makes this comic something special.  I also really like this cover. It’s been a sort of minor holy grail to me. My issue is more or less in decent shape (at least readable). The panels are a little faded and the cover is a bit raged. The biggest issue is that the comic is yellowed revealing it wasn’t properly stored. But these imperfections made it cheap enough for me to afford. A fresher copy can easily go for three times what I paid. So given my desire and funds available its the best I could do. Maybe one day a better issue will become available. For now I’m quite happy with it.

Average eBay Prices:

  • $175-$400 (based on condition)(8/19/2016)

 

 

Incredible Hulk Classics War Hulk (2004)

warhulk1This is by far one of my, if not most, favorite Hulk action figure. I love the armor on this guy, especially the mask. He is definitely rocking that ‘Predator’ vibe. For a full run down of the background on why Hulk looks like this you can check out my posts on Hulk issues #456457 which feature him. But basically Hulk is recruited to be the newest Horsemen of War by Apocalypse.

The figure has a lot of armor. The mask can be taken off to reveal a grimacing Hulk underneath. The shoulder pads and arm gauntlets can also be removed. The armor is meticulously painted and even has battle damage! His skin is shaded and the veins are even colored in. And no that is not discoloration on his feet, they were actually painted that way. He also comes with a sword and whip (unfortunately the whip is not bendable). Articulation has also not been spared on this figure allowing for plenty of posing. However, with the loose armor it can be difficult.

My only real gripe with this figure is the push button on his back making the arms go up and down in a “Hulk Smash” action. Not a fan of that as it seems gimmicky for such a well constructed figure and doesn’t help in posing.

Given this level of quality this figure is fairly expensive and highly sought after. A loose one is the cheapest option as a packaged one can fetch twice as much. Hard to find too. I have only ever seen one other aside from the one I own and it was in package. I managed to nab this one for $80 bucks at a comic convention. Expensive, but I don’t regret it. You don’t see too many Hulk figures like this. Easily this Hulk lineup released in 2004 is the best made to date.

Average eBay pricing:

  • $80-100 loose / $150-200 in-package (8/12/16)

 

Incredible Hulk #6

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Writer: Stan Lee / Cover: Steve Ditko / Artist: Steve Ditko

 

Here is one of the prize gems in my comic collection, Incredible Hulk #6. Released in March 1963, this was the last issue in the original run of the Incredible Hulk. Mean green would continue to exist in the Avengers or in Tales to Astonish until 1968 when Incredible Hulk #102 would reintroduce him. Yes, my issue is bit beat up but to own any of these old issues costs a small fortune. A beat up copy is sometimes the only way to have them all.

Sadly this comic has the weakest story of the run and some of the strangest moments I think most Hulk fans would rather forget. This issue proves that Stan Lee was really trying everything with this character and seeing what stuck.This is also the first issue where Ditko takes over the art direction from Kirby.

 

hulk maskFor example in these early issues Banner can only change to Hulk with the aide of a Gamma Machine (or the Moon). However, during one transformation, it isn’t completed. He is changed, except for having Banner’s physical head and face. So the Hulk has to wear a mask to disguise himself completely so no one knows he’s Banner. An interesting twist. I had never considered a disguise being an issue for someone who changed his body at the molecular level.

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In addition the Hulk is much smarter and outsmarts the metal master using a gun. A gun! I won’t spoil how. But its a pretty low-tech solution.

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And finally we get to see another moment that does influence the future of the character and become canon…but in reverse. In this issue Hulk becomes so mad that he actually reverts back to Banner without the use of the Gamma machine. In future issues it would be anger that would bring out the Hulk. I’m sure this moment would inspire future Hulk writer Peter David to bring this idea back and give us the ‘Savage Banner’ .

The comic ends with Metal Master defeated with the help of the Teen Brigade (First appearance) and Banner hoping to leave the Hulk behind him.

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Average eBay Value:

  • $130-350+ depending on quality (8/2/16)

‘Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell’ Movie Announced!

UntitledSan Diego Comic Con is over but it has left us with plenty to be excited about. In addition to the super sweet Gladiator armor for the Hulk (to be featured in Thor: Ragnarok) seems a new animated Hulk movie has been announced.

Due to arrive in Fall of this year, ‘Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell’ is to feature our green goliath co-starring alongside Dr. Strange. No doubt in order to drum up excitement for the new Dr. Strange movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Given the film is releasing in November I am going to predict ‘Monsters Dwell’ will release in October to coincide with the Halloween season.

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The Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

To further support my prediction, Strange and Hulk will be joined by the Howling Commandos. This name is attributed to a few military groups within the Marvel Universe. Most notably they were featured more or less in the first Captain America movie. However,the report given on this film details the words “monster team”. So I am assuming its the more ferocious team shown here.

If this wasn’t exciting enough it’s been promised this film will be more “adult-oriented”. In such the way it is being compared to DC’s soon to be released “Batman: The Killing Joke” movie. This alone is great because after having to deal with the absurdity that was the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. I am so ready for Hulk to go nuts!

With all this said I think we Hulk fans have something to look forward to. I know I’m excited and I’m ready to get SMASHED!

To see the full report go here. http://www.newsarama.com/30366-marvel-s-secret-wars-gets-animated.html

 

Incredible Hulk #457

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Writer: Peter David / Artist: David Brewer / Cover: Adam Kubert

This post is a continuation of another post on Incredible Hulk #456. During the previous issue Hulk is recruited by Apocalypse to be his new Horsemen of War.

This comic features the Absorbing Man and Juggernaut. Both are no match for this new and improved Hulk. It will take the intervention of friends in order to bring the green beast back to reality. This issue was released in October 1997.

This War Hulk ends in this issue, which is a shame since (as I’ve stated before) I love this new look. And I must not be alone in thinking this as it became a featured armor in the popular MMO game, Marvel Heroes.

I would love it if this armor made a comeback.

Average eBay Price:

  • $4-8 (7/21/16)

Incredible Hulk #456

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Writer: Peter David / Artist:Adam & Joe Kubert

This is a comic I’ve been excited to post on. Especially in light of the recently released X-Men: Apocalypse movie. This is issue #456 released in September 1997.

In this issue Apocalypse (the first and most powerful mutant) has set his sights on a new horseman. In the past Apocalypse has always sought out the most powerful mutants to be transformed into one of his four horsemen in order to conquer the world. Well for the first time he has chosen a non-mutant; the Hulk.

Hulk is plagued by thoughts of Banner’s abusive father, Brian Banner. His father continually yells hateful things from within his mind. Apocalypse offers Hulk a chance to finally remove this torture from his mind. So, along with new armor and a whip, the Hulk is given a helmet that suppresses these thoughts giving the Hulk peace. Which is ironic seeing as Apocalypse has dubbed Hulk the newest Horsemen of War.

The story of this new War Hulk continues into issue #457 which I’ll post on at another time. Given that the story is so short it doesn’t get much room to breathe. Which is a shame since I absolutely love the armor the Hulk wears. There was even an action figure based on this Hulk which I own. You can see the figure I own here.

Average eBay Price:

  • $4-8 (7/19/16)