Thor Vs. Hulk: Champions of the Universe – Review

Thor Vs. Hulk: CoU is a six issue series released in 2017 exclusively through Comixology (a digital comicbook store). Though I have heard it plans to release as a complete physical version at a later date.

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The premise is simple…pit Thor and Hulk against each other in a series of tests to find the strongest. This series actually has some fun with this and explores many facets of both characters and seeks to dig into what makes them tick. However, the way in which it’s done alongside some mediocre art lends itself to a somewhat less then impressive series.

Following on the heels of Thor: Ragnarok its a fun comic, but not nearly serious enough to gain my full attention. Something the movie did slightly better but had similar issues.

The story however is forgivable. My issue was primarily with the art style which seemed to change with each issue and go from pretty good to “meh”. In other words it was a bit too Saturday morning cartoon for me.

Also, I found the main bad “guy(s)” to be boring and trying too hard to be funny or self-aware. They never really made me feel like what Hulk and Thor were doing was really worth there’s or my time.

Overall, a fun comic but not much more then that.

 

 

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Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

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Easily this is Thor and Hulk at their best on screen to date. The film is never boring, and it is very funny…almost to a fault.

I went out to the Thursday night early showing of Thor: Ragnarok (my custom made Hulk helmet atop my head and face painted green with the white tattoo from the film).

After nearly two years I was pumped and ready to see this film that had my expectations incredibly high…and for the most part they were met.

The film moved quickly and did a decent job of juggling so many characters, including a few fun cameos and such. Most characters were also presented very well. Though I still have reservations about Korg’s voice. Miek should also have had a bigger role.

The humor pervaded the entire film. In most cases the humor was on point and got a chuckle out of me. However, I felt there were times it could had held back a little. The humor might have been more effective had it been better balanced with the seriousness of such a topic as the end of Thor’s world. Certain characters introduced in previous Thor films died in this movie…but were quickly passed over for the next joke or were just handled very poorly. The impact of these had very little resonance, even if they were bit characters.

That being said the humor definitely livened things up and it is clear the makers of this film wanted to hit on the same beats as Guardians of the Galaxy. But even in GotG there were serious moments that were better handled.

Thor is amazing in this. Especially in the first scene where he still has his hammer. THIS was the Thor we have all been waiting for. He was incredibly badass. Later in the film his lightning powers become more apparent and he certainly uses them to his advantage leading to even more awesome scenes.

Hulk very nearly steals the stage in my opinion, but fails to do so due to his second-banana role. Many scenes have him conveniently operating off screen or he is blurred out as we are focused on Thor. That being said the Hulk has his time to shine. We get a better idea of his personality. We get to see him have more range in how he thinks and we get to see him do more then just SMASH. He becomes a more fully fleshed character. His scene in the gladiator arena will probably be burned into my brain for the rest of my life. However, I cam kind of angry how the battle with Thor ended….didn’t seem like something the Hulk would be ok with to me. But overall I really enjoyed Hulk in this film!

However, my major gripe is that the movie essentially uses the Planet Hulk storyline but replaces Hulk with Thor. Hulk then basically becomes his Korg (or Silver Savage). Many of the major plot points of Planet Hulk are in Ragnarok…even including how it ends. It just upset me that arguably the best Hulk story in decades was used to make Thor a better movie.

Oh well, we Hulk fans must take what we can get as long as Universal still holds the rights to him. At least we know Hulk will continue to play a big role in future films.

Also, despite Hulk becoming a second place characters and a side story (though it was the better story in my opinion when competing with the main Ragnarok story) many advertisements placed Hulk at the center. Most of the Hulk’s best scenes were leaked in the trailers. It was a disappointment to be marketed so heavily under Hulk, but then we end up seeing mostly Thor in the film.

I could go on and on with what I loved and hated about the film. So I will just say that as a film this was definitely entertaining. Everyone in it was at their best. Thor and Hulk were at their best. I hope Marvel hears the criticisms and fixes things in the future. But overall I recommend this film…two fists up!

Get Smashed!

 

Orange is the New Green: The Tremendous Trump

This is not specifically a Hulk thing and it is not my intention to ruffle any political feathers. But I felt I just had to make mention of this political parody comic.

I give you ‘The Tremendous Trump’ one-shot issue. Released October 11, 2017. For obvious reasons I think it can be seen why I wanted to feature this in a Hulk blog. To be quite frank this comic is not that funny, the story is flimsy and the art is random. STL050207

That being said it did give me a couple of chuckles. Mostly I just liked the homage cover and the blatant Hulk references throughout.

Despite your opinions on the current POTUS this comic does capture a certain point of view. I have always found political cartoons fascinating for their ability, in most cases, to capture the feelings of the public. I think this comic at least does that by incorporating some current perceptions on the media, social issues and political happenings.

Its almost like a time capsule of all the craziness going on nowadays. And whether you agree or not with it’s views you have to admit it is a perception going around.

A similar item came out awhile ago (from the same publisher actually) and I regret not buying it when I saw it. The item was a Trump vs Clinton adult coloring book which included a flip cover of Trump and Clinton fighting as Hulk and Wolverine from Incredible Hulk #181. It’s currently being sold on eBay around $40-90. So it obviously caught enough people’s attention.

So if you enjoy political satire or just like homage covers this comic may just be for you. Currently its in comic stores for about $5.00. And it might look good on the shelf next to Trump’s book ‘The Art of the Deal”.  🙂

“My comic is the best comic. Totally. A real win for the US of A. Period” – Trump

Thor: Ragnarok Clip: Thor and Korg

Another clip from Thor: Ragnarok has been released onto Youtube. This time it features Korg, the Kronan, who would be one of Hulk’s warbound in the comics and animated feature.

At first I was excited…but then I watched the clip and I thought “this has to be a joke?” Korg sounds like nothing you would expect. I always imagined him with this low, gravelly voice (pun intended). The reason this worked is cause Miek was supposed to have the weaker, high pitched voice. It was a balance of character persona’s.

But this Korg sounds like a smaller, normal guy. I guess it’s supposed to be funny. His voice not matching his body…but come on! I have been extremely excited for this film, but the more I see of the comedy I feel like they turned what could possibly be Hulk’s shining moment…into a big joke.

I’m really not happy or impressed with this choice. Now maybe I am seeing this out of context. Perhaps there is more then what I am seeing. But at this moment…I am starting to have some doubts about the directing choices for this film.

I hope I’m wrong. See the clip below and you be the judge.

Variant Alert: (She-)Hulk #1 (Ed McGuinness)

I am late in posting on this variant as it has been circulating online since about late 2016/early 2017. I say online cause this variant is made in collaboration with Hall of Comics and sold exclusively online. So you won’t be finding this at your local comic shop. hoc_hulk_cvr_a_1024x1024

This cover is an homage to the classic Incredible Hulk #181 cover which was the first complete appearance of Wolverine and of their first epic meeting. This cover takes that composition and substitutes the new Wolverine (X-23) and the She-Hulk (who is looking a bit different due to emotional/mental factors).

Admittedly I have not been a fan of this new (She-) Hulk series. The overall concept was interesting, but its execution has left a lot to be desired. I bought this issue for the cover and that’s it. I felt it was unique enough to be worthy to join the collection; and to have some female Hulk representation included. Also, I like McGuinness’ work.

I think it’s an attractive piece of art, but I do kind of wish Ed utilized the background a bit more rather then settle on a flat red background.

I would be remiss in mentioning that there are not one, not two, but THREE versions of this cover. One is as seen here. The second version (dubbed the popcorn version) includes Deadpool eating popcorn while riding on the back of the Wendigo. The third version is the popcorn variant, but in black&white (except Deadpool).

The issue originally sold for $65 and is still available as of this writing. Though it does seem to have a limited printing. Looking at Ebay any issues being sold have spiked to $85 or higher.

If you like covers, especially homage covers featuring Wolverine or She-Hulk then this one is for you. Otherwise you might just wanna skip it.

Hot Toys Gladiator Hulk Revealed

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Gladiator Hulk Revealed at SDCC 2017

Isn’t this just glorious? This…is a thing of beauty. I have always wanted a Hot Toys Hulk. I may skip ALL the rest of the Gladiator Hulk figures and get just this ONE.

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Honestly it’s a toss up between this one and the Mezco Hulk announced. Basically it will depend on final cost, the final “real-world” product (cause the street item doesn’t always match the show item), and of course my budget 😦 .

Figure seems to come with an interchangeable head without helmet and a couple pairs of hands. Most likely the figure will sit in the $400 range.

But come on…look at that skin. Look at that glorious armor! The weapons! The real-hair mohawk on the helmet.

This is something incredible.

 

UPDATE (7/27/17): Pre-orders for this figure are now live on Sideshow’s site. Grab him while you can!