Ok. Now I’m MAD

Now I might be overdoing it, but this is really going too far. I read recently that Marvel would be doing a new series where they would re-visit the Planet Hulk story line with ‘Return to Planet Hulk’ (as part of the Marvel Legacy lineup). Now I would be fine with re-visiting it…as long as the original Hulk associated was included. totallyawesomehulk-1004378

Nope…we are getting a Planet Hulk story line with Amadeus Cho (AKA the Totally Lame Hulk). And here they are ripping off one of the covers of the old series to sell the new one. Out of sheer sick curiosity I will page through it when it drops. But that’s it. Unless something has changed regarding the character I will not be buying this.

No, Marvel. I will not encourage this farce further by giving you my money.

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Am I over reacting? Feel free to prove me wrong.

Variant Alert: Old Man Logan #25 (Tom Grummett)

Here we go with an homage variant of the classic cover from Incredible Hulk #181. The very issue when Wolverine was introduced to the Marvel universe and his first act was to square off with the Hulk. Lucky guy. I typically enjoy variants that pay tribute to classic covers such as Incredible Hulk #1. But typically the internal story doesn’t reflect the cover. It’s a cash grab like most variants are. But this cover (though it doesn’t quite reflect the internal story) still resonates for me.

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Here we have Wolverine, much older, taking on his new persona as just Logan meeting up with an older Hulk, who is also donning his new persona, as the Maestro. In a sense they are meeting up for the first time all over again. This cover variant actually does make sense.

Maestro and Logan are in my opinion Marvel’s grumpy old men. This cover reflects where they started, as a rivalry, and where they are today (…or in the future).

When I saw this was being made I had to try and grab it. I don’t own Hulk 181, but I hope to some day. I really think having that comic sitting next to this one really shows an interesting character arc going on 43 years! Not to mention I really love the Maestro.

I managed to go to my local comic shop on it’s release date (June 14, 2017) and I was able to snag one for $8! Which was awesome as there were only two in the store at the time. Unfortunately both seemed to have been damaged either during printing or shipping as both had white markings in the top left corner. So I picked the one that seemed to have the least damage. A small issue as the rest of the comic was pristine. I don’t intend on selling it anytime soon, but I hope if I ever do it doesn’t impact the price too much.

Currently, if you were unlucky enough to get one in stores, you can find this variant online. On eBay the prices for this variant go for around $30. Which is still affordable if you really want it. Which, of course you do!

Get SMASHED!

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!

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!

Grumpy Old Men

Don’t you hate it when the elderly get angry about something? Get off my lawn. My food is cold! My back hurts! Well what if they could throw a bus or cut you in half before you could blink? Well that’s what’s happening. Marvel’s grumpiest old men are going to duke it out. And who other could they be then Old Man Logan and the Maestro.

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That’s right. It’s been confirmed that in the future issue of Old Man Logan #25 the scrapper with claws will encounter the green king himself. The Maestro decides to journey back in time to present day and take over the Hulk clan that Logan had decimated in his earlier adventure. This should prove to be a challenge for the retired Wolverine as the Maestro has even given the original Hulk issues on multiple occasions.

This story is also meant to begin the start of a new creative team taking over the title going forward. Being a Maestro fan this is definitely a comic I’ll be picking up when it comes out.

The issue should be released in June 2017.

Incredible Hulk #1 SMASHES Record

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A record smashing event has occurred in the month of September 2016. A vintage comics seller, ComicConnect, sold a copy of Incredible Hulk #1 for an INCREDIBLE $375,000! Created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby this sale sets a new record for this key issue.

This copy was appraised as a CGC 9.2 grade, making it one of only four copies in the world at this grade. Previous sales of copies at this grade reached as high as $320,000 back in 2014 and $326,000 just two months prior to this record breaker.

Only one copy exists at a higher CGC grade of 9.4 and most likely will not be up for sale for quite some time.

Typically a high grade copy of 9.0 to 7.0 sells for about $70,000. If you go to sites like eBay you can locate copies around CGC 4.0 and below for around $10,000 to maybe $4,000.

Is this record sale a sign of the Hulk’s increased popularity? Or simply a rare instance of a bidder war out of control? In any case I wish I had the funds to afford a tore up copy of this book. This book is the holy grail of my collection and most likely I’ll never have it.