C2E2 2017: The Green Scar Unleashed

On April 21-23 2017 McCormick Place hosted the annual C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo). I was fortunate to attend on Saturday and Wow was it a day!

hulk-armorIn addition to running around seeing some amazing artists and celebrities I was dressed to impress. I have spent the last few months creating my Gladiator Hulk costume and finished some last minute changes the night before and was ready to smash. Overall I think it came out really well. The response from other people at the Con seemed incredibly positive.

I had originally debated not doing it but with the release of the Thor: Ragnarok trailer I had to represent for the Hulk. Seeing the Hulk at C2E2 is rare. I’m glad I went ahead with it.

 

You can see some other photos of me taking out my aggression on Iron Man and Harry Potter below.

I met Jim Cheung who did the covers for the 3-issue series ‘Hulk: Unchained’ and he signed the second issue for me. Very nice guy. I also was finally able to get my Young variant of Indestructible Hulk #1 signed by Skottie Young. I just love his baby version of Hulk and could not pass up the opportunity.

The highlight of my visit was meeting Carlo Pagulayan, who was the Penciler for many of the Incredible Hulk issues that debuted the original Planet Hulk storyline. The Planet Hulk story is easily one of my, if not most, favorite comics. The art treatment in it was also so vivid and rich. I had to have him sign my copy of Incredible Hulk #92.

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It also so happens I had a blank variant copy of Planet Hulk #1 (Secret Wars) and I was able to request a sketch commission on it. Yes, they were two different story lines with the same name, but to have one of the original artists do a planet hulk cover for me was amazing. As you can see from the photo it turned out incredible *wink*!!

Currently they are all out for CGC and should be back soon. Till then I wait with baited breath.

In non-Hulk news I also met Rob Liefeld (creator of Deadpool) who signed my copy of the Deadpool movie. I met Troy Baker (voice actor from The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite) who signed my old PS3 copy of Last of Us. And of course I snagged a couple cool figures and a few Hulk comics I’ve had on my radar (Wolverine #8 for example).

All in all it was an amazing experience. Can’t wait for next year.

 

In Memory: Bernie Wrightson

This post comes late, but I wanted to dedicate some time to this. On March 18th, 2017 the world lost itself a great artist. The master of the macabre, Bernie (Berni) Wrightson.

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Bernie began his career in 1966 working as an illustrator for The Baltimore Sun and would continue making work pretty much up until his death. His most notable achievement is being the co-creator of Swamp Thing for DC comics. His design for Swamp Thing would help make it one of the most recognized characters to come out of DC and to this day remains a popular character.

In my opinion however I find his greatest work to be the art he contributed to the immortal classic novel Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. In 1983 he created a series of illustrations to go along with the novel. These images are hailed as the defining impressions of the novel. They were printed alongside the novel and have been reprinted at least a few times in the past thirty years. The original images are notoriously hard to collect, much less locate.

His work has inspired so many people including, but not limited to, Guillermo Del Toro, Joss Whedon and Mike Mignola. I personally place Bernie’s work among the great artists such as Gustave Dore and Francisco Goya. His work has also been of personal inspiration to myself.

And since this is a Hulk blog I must also mention he did the art for Marvel’s graphic novel #29 The Incredible Hulk and the Thing in the Big Change. In addition he did the cover for Incredible Hulk #197.

I feel I should also mention one of the last projects he worked on. As a follow up to his work on the Frankenstein novel he produced the art for the comic series Frankenstein Alive, Alive. This series began in 2012 and only made it to three issues. I myself have all three and LOVED the artwork. The story was also quite interesting and was building towards something unique. Unfortunately it was never continued beyond the third issue. I highly recommend you take a look at these if you have the chance.

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As a side note I was fortunate enough to have met him briefly at a convention in Indianapolis in 2016. I am really glad I was able to tell him my appreciation for his work and be graced with his signature upon a handful of items (one of which was a copy of his illustrated Frankenstein edition).

 

I hope if you are reading this (and especially if you are unfamiliar with any of the works mentioned) that you take the time to search out and appreciate his art. He truly found the beauty in horror and gave monsters a soul.

 

An Incredible Resurrection

I must have missed the teaser but it seems Marvel is debuting a new series in the summer titled ‘Generations’. Recent news broke regarding the details of the story and for us Hulk fans it is very exciting news.

This new series will involve 10 one-shot issues. Each issue will be devoted to a particular character and his/her old and new incarnations. For example Wolverine and X-23 or IronMan’s Tony Stark and Riri Williams.And it’s been confirmed that Hulk will not be left out of this event. An issue is promised to team up both Hulks; the incredible Bruce and the awesome Amadeus. Hence the title of ‘Generations’.c4znvg8xuaelh8s-720x506

It has not been revealed how characters like Logan or Bruce will be resurrected for this event except the Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso is quoted mentioning an “ingenious device”. Is this time travel? An alternate dimension?

In any case I am excited to see the old Hulk back (and not just as a samurai zombie). I unfortunately will have to endure the new Hulk being present. But perhaps this issue will help me appreciate him a bit more. We will see.

Keep your ears open for more news in the coming months. The first issue should drop in July 2017 and wrap up the series in September.

 

Batch H: Secrets Revealed

So its been recently announced what the deal is with the teaser image of a supposed Hulk/Wolverine hybrid in the green tank.

Well it seems a new crossover titled “Weapons of Mutant Destruction” will be created and feature casts from Weapon X and Totally Awesome Hulk. Amadeus Cho (the “awesome” Hulk) will team up with characters like Old Man Logan, Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike. They will work together to stop a secret project meant to create hybrid mutants much like the Hulk/Wolverine creature teased in the earlier photo.

Now this does sound pretty cool, but I am TOTALLY not a fan of this new Hulk. So right off the bat I am sadly dismissing this series. If this was the old, more intense rage -filled Hulk you would be having me throw money at you. But alas Marvel…I will keep my money.

What also pisses me off is in reference to IGN’s coverage of this. They mention this is a “natural fit, given the long rivalry between Wolverine and Hulk..” THIS IS NOT THE SAME HULK! The rivalry is not there! At least I am not aware of Amadeus having issues with Logan.In any case it’s not the same thing. Old Man Logan and Amadeus are not in the same ballpark as far as I’m concerned.

But I can see what they are doing by making old and new characters match up. Doesn’t change my mind on this though.

Incredible Hulk #4

This issue was released in November 1962 and is another book from the original series to include two different stories. Them being ‘The Monster and the Machine’ and ‘Mongu! Gladiator from Space!’

I was not a fan of the machine story. Though it did further explore characteristics of the Hulk. Specifically his ability to transform. During this time Banner discovered he was able to control the transformations using controlled doses of gamma rays. This machine he would use to dose himself would be the main reason for his transformations until issue #6. Also Hulk would more or less retain Banner’s mind.

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Writer: Stan Lee / Artist: Jack Kirby / Editor: Stan Lee

The Mongu story at least had a twist, albeit a bit lame, but for the time I’m sure it was clever. A being named Mongu arrives from space and basically challenges the Earth to bring forth its mightiest warrior for him to fight. Should he win, or no one shows up, he will summon his fleet to destroy the Earth. Well Hulk could not resist of course. However, in the course of the battle it is revealed that this Gladiator’s origins are much closer to home…and Soviet.

Overall not a bad book. I did quite enjoy some of the art and Stan Lee really let the Hulk show more of what he was capable of. I dare say the Hulk was actually Incredible.

As you can see from the cover my copy is a bit beat up and has some ink stains. But this is the price you pay for affordable silver age comics of the Hulk. This issue seems to fetch large prices on eBay. So it appears to be a sought after title ranging in prices from $200-400. My copy was around $100 due to its condition.

 

Average eBay Value:

  • $200-400 (2/28/2017)

 

Batch-H: Will Hulk pop some claws?

So its been revealed by Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso that a new character is being cooked up…literally. He tweeted the photo shown below stating ‘Under Construction’. The figure appears big, muscular, and green; but with the inclusion of some very recognizable claws.

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We must first ask if this is indeed a Hulk. Well the green liquid and large size certainly attribute as such. And the fact its referred to as Batch “H” well that can only stand for Hulk right? Unless that’s Hawkeye in there or something.

Which then leads to the next question; which Hulk is this? Is he a NEW Hulk? The Totally Awesome Hulk? Or could this be our beloved INCREDIBLE HULK back from the dead (again) somehow?

If it’s not Bruce Banner then I at least hope this is a new Hulk to help wash the bad taste of the Amadeus Hulk out of my mouth. Imagine a Hulk with the mind and tools of Wolverine…and unleashed! Now that would be awesome.

Yes, Yes, I do recall Wolverage from the Hulked out Heroes storyline. But also what if this Hulk has an Adamantium skeleton? What if he has other powers not revealed here? Is he the first batch of many? Could there be other characters on the horizon with hybrid abilities? Captain America with Spidey sense? Black Panther with lazer eyes?

Things could get very interesting. We will have to wait and see.

The Hulk Lives Again *spoilers*

My Hulk is back and you’re gonna be in trouble.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)
When you see him comin’, better cut out on the double.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it is true. Hulk and Bruce are back from the dead.And after only four months!
This story occurs in this months and next months issue of Uncanny Avengers #15 and #16 (released Oct. 12th and November 9th). Details are somewhat limited on what brought this about. From what I understand the ninja assassin group known as ‘The Hand’ will use their ancient magic to resurrect Bruce and thus the Hulk back to life. This also in effect gives them control of the green beast for their own ends.
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I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand I am very happy he’s back. I mean this is the original green man himself. The incredible Hulk. Not some “totally awesome” poser.
On the other hand though it totally demeans the character’s death in the first place. And by extension weakens the overall impact of any future deaths Marvel has planned. They either should have waited longer (at least a year) or figured out some other way to do it. Like maybe a series where the Hulk’s closest friend reminisce on his past actions or most memorable stories. Maybe give their unique perspective on how they saw him during those times. A highlight reel of sorts. It would have been a great way to introduce the best of the Hulk to new readers before bringing him back officially.
In any case mean green is back and who knows how a recently dead Hulk will react. Pet Cemetery comes to mind….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now he’s back and things will be fine.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)
You’re gonna be sorry you were ever born.
(Hey, la-di-la, my Hulk is back.)