Incredible Hulk #197

If I am not mistaken this is the first time Hulk encounters the swamp creature known as Man-Thing. I personally am not a huge fan of Man-Thing as I feel he is kind of a rip-off of Swamp Thing (but who ripped off who I can’t be sure. Seems both characters debuted in 1971…hmmm).

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Writer: Len Wein / Artist: Sal Buscema / Cover: Bernie Wrightson

Any way, this issue was released in March 1976. The most notable detail (and reason why I own it) in my opinion is the cover. It is the only Incredible Hulk cover ever created by Bernie Wrightson. The only other Hulk story he did was for a graphic novel of Hulk and the Thing. If you don’t know who Wrightson is, be sure to check out my post in memory of him.

I had hoped to get him to sign this but at the time this was a hard issue to find and had to resort to an online auction. With Wrightson’s passing that dream died with him (unless I buy a signed copy).

The issue in general is not a bad story. In addition to Man-Thing it includes a host of characters such as The Glob, “Doc” Samson, and The Collector. The two monsters in this story battle the Hulk and actually give Jade Jaws a hard time.

At the time of this writing this book is not expensive. Ebay prices typically have it around $10 – 20 at best, but of course there are exceptions. However, it is hard to find. At least it has for me. I’ve only ever seen one issue in all my searching and it was the one I own.

So this one won’t break the bank, but I’d plan to get it online. RIP Wrightson.

GET SMASHED!

Where Anger Sleeps – Hulk’s Bed

Continually I am blown away by Marvel’s reveals from the new Thor movie. And this reveal is no exception. Feast your eyes on Hulk’s BED!

He sleeps in a freaking skull!! So B.A. I so badly want this to be something I can get from IKEA.

This item was put on display with a bunch of other MCU props at a Museum exhibit in Australia.
 

Once again I wait patiently (fists clenched) for November 3rd.

Variant Alert: Future Imperfect #2 -Secret Wars (Rafa Garres)

detailThis cover has been out for awhile so I doubt you’ll find one just sitting on the shelf at your local comic shop. This variant was released in July 2015 and created by Rafa Garres. Your opinion on this cover may vary, but I am a big fan of the Maestro version of the Hulk and this cover certainly captures a unique look for the character.

In the comics the fallen hero armor and weapons belong to Rick Jones, not Maestro. But he does use Captain America’s shield briefly. There are statues and toys that show the Maestro wearing the costumes of heroes as armor, but that isn’t quite cannon. In any case it is a very cool image that I myself have used in my cosplay.

Admittedly this version of Maestro does remind me of an Orc from Warcraft. Despite this it is still a visage of the Maestro that is clearly barbaric and intense. Despite the Maestro not ever wearing the heroes items as armor in the comics this cover brings it closer to reality for me. I wish they would use this design in one of his stories.

Despite it being off shelves for some time this can be good news for you! I bought my copy in 2015 by luck from a comic shop for around $20. On Ebay you can probably snag this guy for around $5. That is the problem with variants. They are even more of a gamble.

Nevertheless I still find this cover awesome and I hope you do to.

Variant Alert: Old Man Logan #22 (Chris Stevens)

This shall be the first of a new series I dub ‘Variant Alert’. As a collector I prefer to get my comics with their original covers (and I believe most variants are mere cash grabs). But on rare occasions a cover comes along that catches my eye and I must have it. Thus we begin…

With special thanks to Ratchet who alerted me to this cover I was able to grab one online for a reasonable price. I suggest you check out his site (it is Super Green 🙂 ). This is the Chris Steven’s Old Man Logan #22 cover. o2qs2h2kzxoy

This issue continues a story arc where Wolverine (Logan) is reliving certain key past moments of his life. In this issue it is his first encounter with both the Hulk and Wendigo (established in Incredible Hulk #181).

This cover just has so much going on with it. Not only does it subtly reference the fight scene on the cover of Hulk #181 (created by Herb Trimpe & John Romita), but also references the iconic cover design from Incredible Hulk #340 (created by Todd McFarlane).

The inclusion of a wild-looking Old Man Logan, a furious Hulk, and a more beastly Wendigo makes this all the more intense. I could not pass it up.

The comic is a 1:25 chance of being at your local comic store and was released April 26, 2017. So grab it if you can, otherwise you’ll have to go online. Prices online as of this writing are around $25.

Get Smashed!

Marvel Feature #1: The Defenders

defenders1With the new Defenders series hitting Netflix soon I think it’s best to revisit the origins of the group.

The Defenders in Netflix’s show may be more down-to-Earth then their Avenger counterparts. But in the comics The Defenders began with some pretty out of this world members. It originally began with the Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange and the Hulk. This first issue was released in December 1971.

Dr.Strange discovers that a machine of terrible power has been created meant to destroy the world (go figure…). So he enables the help of the Sub-Mariner and Hulk in order to infiltrate the bad guys base and disable the machine.

The machine is technically not disabled, but through some manipulation of time is made mostly harmless.

This book is one of the better stories I have read from an older time period. The inclusion of Strange and the Sub-Mariner also gives a little more to the plot. I also like the art in this issue as well. Hulk of course does not play nice with others and takes some convincing, but ultimately becomes a founding member of The Defenders.

Hulk was also a founding member of The Avengers, but did leave in issue #2. In keeping with that, Hulk pretty much abandons the Defenders the second it’s named. He does become a significant returning member in later issues though.

This issue not only marks the beginning of the Defenders but also the Marvel Feature lineup which lasted 12 issues. It is from this lineup that the Defenders comics splintered off from.

This issue also includes a new Dr.Strange solo story. I believe it was meant to “reboot” or reintroduce him back into the public eye after a short hiatus.

As of this writing the issue is fairly popular. A decent copy goes for around $100-150 to as high as $400. I managed to snag mine for $50, though it is a bit beat up.

In my mind it’s worth it. To own a copy of Avengers #1 is easily in the thousands of dollars. At least with this issue of The Defenders, where Hulk is a founding member, the issue is affordable.