Avengers – No surrender # 684 Review

Hulk is back, baby! And he is kicking A$$ (bubblegum and taking names not required).

detailThis issue wastes no time in re-establishing the Hulk for a new generation…while also dipping into some history for the long time fans. In the last issue Hulk has emerged from a dark cave. This issue continues with a brief synopsis of the Hulk’s creation and bullet-points the handful of times Banner has seemingly died. Some of which I knew.

But I was surprised by how often Banner has been killed. I’m sure they stretched the word “dead” in some scenarios and I’m sure many other comic characters have died that many times and came back. So this “immortal” schtick is a bit weak…but nonetheless a cool premise in my mind for the Hulk.

For current readers who have followed along I’m sure most of it made sense. But for me, a guy who only reads Hulk, I was both somewhat confused by the story (but I got the gist) and had little to no clue who these new Avengers were. So basically for me it was just fun watching as everyone freaked out to see the original Hulk back from the dead and making a beeline for them.

It became even better to see each hero try to take down the Hulk only to be smacked down with little effort by mean green. Some might criticize the lack of Hulk gaining strength as he became angrier, but I loved this no holds barred return of the Incredible Hulk.

Happy was I to get back the old Hulk who had no quips or banter. Just hard action and seriousness. Sure there are other parts of the Hulks personality and mythos I hope to see explored again, but for now this satisfies.

In addition I have also read the follow up of issue #685 and truly this ferocity of the Hulk continues. I am so excited for Immortal Hulk and can’t wait to see more of this resurrected Hulk. Thank you Marvel….THANK YOU!

Hulk fans…he is back…and we are gonna be in trouble.

GET SMASHED!!

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Marvel Disk Wars: Hulk (2014)

Before we even begin talking about this figure we need to briefly address the background on it. If you are not aware, Toei Animation and Disney have partnered in Japan to produce a Marvel anime titled ‘Marvel: Disk Wars’. The basic premise is that a bunch of supervillains in addition to some heroes have become trapped in these special “disks’. The supervillain disks have been shuffled around to some bad people on the planet wanting to use them. In turn a handful of kids have the superhero disks and travel the world stopping the bad guys by releasing the superheroes from their disks for a short time.

diskhulkTLDR: basically imagine Marvel superheroes as Pokemon. Except instead of poke’balls, they are stuck in disks.

With that in mind, lets continue. The packaging is mostly in Japanese as this is mainly geared towards Japanese boys. The art reflects the Hulk as shown in the Anime and the figure seems to follow suit pretty closely. Bushy eyebrows and crew cut included. The sculpting of the figure is smooth with minimal detail. It’s best feature is the articulation. You can pose this guy pretty much any way you want.

In many ways it is like the Marvel universe Hulk in terms of articulation and basic shape. But it is smaller then the Marvel universe version with much less detail. This is very much a stylized Hulk, even down to his belt. This figure also includes a Hulk Disk sitting in a green holder. The disk can be removed.

That being said I find this interpretation interesting, but definitely not a favorite of mine. Though I do find the disk kinda cool to have as part of the collection. If you can grab it cheap then go for it, but I wouldn’t consider it a MUST HAVE.

Average eBay Prices:

  • $10-20 (3/16/17)

 

 

Reassemble (New game teaser?)

Dropping today (1/27/17) a new trailer teasing a new Marvel Avengers game featuring Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and Hulk!The theme of the trailer was reassembly and needing heroes. For a brief moment you see a pair of broken glasses and hear the Hulk’s distant roar.

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What’s exciting about this is the game developers involved. We are talking the talents of studios behind Final Fantasy and Deus Ex making this game. Could it be we are getting a fully fleshed out Avengers game and not just some Lego kiddy adventure?

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If so I am so pumped to play as the Hulk! I would love another stand alone Hulk game but I’ll certainly take this in the meantime. Check out the trailer below. Hopefully we get more details soon.

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.

hulk6angry

 

 

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)

Tales to Astonish #60

 

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Writer: Stan Lee / Cover: Jack Kirby / Artist: Dick Ayres

When the Hulk’s series ended in 1963 he got shuffled around a bit. Initially he showed up in the Avengers. Later in 1964 he would be injected into the Tales to Astonish series. His first appearance would be in Tales to Astonish #59 in which he would battle Giant Man. However, it is with this issue that he would begin to be a main character in the series until #101. Issue 102 would then become ‘The Incredible Hulk’.

This issue basically gives Hulk at least half his own book. It’s strange this comic isn’t more valued then it is. #59 is valued since it’s his first OFFICIAL appearance, but this issue begins the ‘Big Change’ for both TTA and for the Hulk to eventually stand on his own again.

Given that the Hulk has fewer pages the story is bit sparse and quick. Basically Banner builds super robot. Hulk fights super robot. Hulk loses. Robot gets away. It seems to be a common theme that despite the comic’s boast as to him being the strongest mortal, he gets defeated an awful lot. I wonder if this armor helped inspire the Hulkbuster armor Ironman would eventually make. It looks very similar. TTA60-intro1

I would honestly say my favorite part about this issue is the little blurb they put on the intro page next to Banner’s hand. “Can a man with green skin and a petulant personality find true happiness in today’s status seeking society?” I think we all know the answer to that one.

Average eBay Price:

  • $45 +/- depending on condition (6/17/16)

Hulk’s hidden Movie

So I think it’s easy to say us Gamma Bros and Gamma Girls have been vindicated in our love for the Green giant. Since the first Avengers movie he has exploded in popularity. I have seen more toys, blankets, clothing, animated shows, etc in recent years then in any year previously.

And still we have yet to receive a new solo Hulk film. And I can understand, the previous Hulk films did not receive enough love (at least when compared to Iron Man or Thor). I feel this is mostly due to the fact of budget and story malleability. It cost’s a lot to put the Hulk on screen in comparison to having Robert Downing Jr walk around in a costume. And it is difficult to adapt Hulk to various situations. As a purely action character he does amazingly, but its the quiet moments Hollywood is only beginning to show effectively.

Lets not also forget the Hulk is still tied up with Universal. They still hold rights to the character and I can see them not wanting to let him go just yet. But fear not, Marvel has found a loophole in this. Marvel may not have exclusive rights to Hulk…but they do have rights to the Avengers…which includes Hulk. So a solo Hulk film may not be in the works…but an Avengers film that features Hulk and another Avenger is possible (And this indeed seems to be where things are heading).

Recent news has come out stating the next Thor film will feature Hulk in a very specific way. In addition this story that begins in Thor’s film will continue into other Marvel’s film equating to a solo Hulk story. If you aren’t geeking out yet I certainly am doing it for you.

What kind of story could this be? Well there has been much clamor for a Planet Hulk and/or World War Hulk film. Since Thor tends to deal with issues outside the Earth…maybe he will meet up with Hulk in space? Maybe elements of Planet Hulk will be incorporated 86280-14791-planet-hulkinto Thor’s new film. And maybe…just maybe this could lead into a World War Hulk scenario. It’s mostly conjecture at this point. Honestly, I would be soooo happy to just see Hulk in full gladiator armor battle once in a full arena on some alien world.

 

Even if World War Hulk doesn’t happen, a gladiator Hulk would make the wait we have all experienced worth it. So we may not be seeing a Hulk title on the big screen anytime soon…but that doesn’t mean we can’t get angry with a smile.