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.

hulk4

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.

c5cibl_wmaelpld

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.
hulklives
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.)

Tales to Astonish #91

tta91-abom

Writer: Stan Lee / Cover Artist: Gil Kane / Artist: Bill Everett

Released in May 1967 was Tales to Astonish #91. This issue is notable for featuring, for the first time on the cover, the Abomination. However, the Abomination’s first appearance is actually in TTA #90. The Abomination has been a long time foe of the Hulk and one of the most recognized bad guys in the Marvel universe.

As is the structure of Tales to Astonish this comic hold two stories. The first is dedicated to Namor. I am not a fan of Namor so I will not go into detail on his story.

For the Hulk’s story titled “Whomsoever Harms the Hulk…!” we find Abomination has defeated the Hulk and gone into hiding. The Hulk is revived by General Ross and turned back into Banner. Banner then lures Abomination back for a re-match in which the Hulk actually proves victorious. However, the Abomination is abducted by a stranger in hopes of making him any ally. Hulk then runs off to be alone.

The story isn’t amazing and its short. But it is the second encounter between Hulk and Abomination, so its historical if nothing else. Also, you see the Abomination very little. I was kind of surprised by that. Honestly, my only interest was in the the cover. It shows the two giants clashing for the first time ever. For me this was a special event. A rivalry on the same level as Spiderman and Doc Ock.

Good news is this comic is not that expensive right now. You can nab it for $30 or more depending on quality. I think I got mine for less due to the wear and tear on it.

eBay Prices:

  • $30-150 depending on condition (9/13/16)

Incredible Hulk #5

hulk5

Writer & Editor: Stan Lee / Artist: Jack Kirby

Another oldie but goldie, Incredible Hulk #5. This issue was released in January of 1963 as part of the original Hulk run. Featuring two stories this issue features the Hulk facing off against (in his first ever appearance) Tyrannus and General Fang (also his first and only appearance).

In the first story Tyrannus abducts Betty Ross and takes her deep underground. Banner learns of this and of course goes into pursuit as the Hulk .Tyrannus, using Betty as leverage, forces the Hulk to fight as a gladiator for him This doesn’t last long before Hulk smashes everything and saves Betty. It’s a simple story but its one of the better ones told in the original series. I also think the armor he wears is kinda cool. Especially the helmet. Would like to see that brought back.

hulk5-armor

In the second story General Fang is the leader of an eastern army threatening to destroy another nation. A cry for help is broadcast across the world and Bruce hears the transmission. Determining he is the only one who can help he leaps into action as the Hulk and takes him down. He dresses as an abominable snowman in the hopes of scaring Fang’s army and fights a holographic dragon.

Overall a good set of stories and the inclusion of a villain’s first appearance makes this comic something special.  I also really like this cover. It’s been a sort of minor holy grail to me. My issue is more or less in decent shape (at least readable). The panels are a little faded and the cover is a bit raged. The biggest issue is that the comic is yellowed revealing it wasn’t properly stored. But these imperfections made it cheap enough for me to afford. A fresher copy can easily go for three times what I paid. So given my desire and funds available its the best I could do. Maybe one day a better issue will become available. For now I’m quite happy with it.

Average eBay Prices:

  • $175-$400 (based on condition)(8/19/2016)

 

 

Incredible Hulk #6

hulk6

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.

hulk6gun

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.

hulk6end

Average eBay Value:

  • $130-350+ depending on quality (8/2/16)