Marvel Feature #1: The Defenders

defenders1With the new Defenders series hitting Netflix soon I think it’s best to revisit the origins of the group.

The Defenders in Netflix’s show may be more down-to-Earth then their Avenger counterparts. But in the comics The Defenders began with some pretty out of this world members. It originally began with the Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange and the Hulk. This first issue was released in December 1971.

Dr.Strange discovers that a machine of terrible power has been created meant to destroy the world (go figure…). So he enables the help of the Sub-Mariner and Hulk in order to infiltrate the bad guys base and disable the machine.

The machine is technically not disabled, but through some manipulation of time is made mostly harmless.

This book is one of the better stories I have read from an older time period. The inclusion of Strange and the Sub-Mariner also gives a little more to the plot. I also like the art in this issue as well. Hulk of course does not play nice with others and takes some convincing, but ultimately becomes a founding member of The Defenders.

Hulk was also a founding member of The Avengers, but did leave in issue #2. In keeping with that, Hulk pretty much abandons the Defenders the second it’s named. He does become a significant returning member in later issues though.

This issue not only marks the beginning of the Defenders but also the Marvel Feature lineup which lasted 12 issues. It is from this lineup that the Defenders comics splintered off from.

This issue also includes a new Dr.Strange solo story. I believe it was meant to “reboot” or reintroduce him back into the public eye after a short hiatus.

As of this writing the issue is fairly popular. A decent copy goes for around $100-150 to as high as $400. I managed to snag mine for $50, though it is a bit beat up.

In my mind it’s worth it. To own a copy of Avengers #1 is easily in the thousands of dollars. At least with this issue of The Defenders, where Hulk is a founding member, the issue is affordable.

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.

 

Marvel Heroes Omega Coming to PS4

If you are a PC gamer you are most likely aware of the RPG game Marvel Heroes. A top down brawler where you can play as just about any Marvel character and fight along side other players to defeat the bad guys.

I bought the Hulk founders pack when it first launched and I played for awhile but quickly lost interest. Mostly cause I am not a PC gamer and did not like playing with a mouse and keyboard. So it’s been quite some time since I logged into it.

Otherwise though it was a fine Marvel inspired game. Nothing mind blowing in my opinion. Felt like Warcraft with a Marvel skin. But it appears to have kept it’s popularity despite not much fanfare.

So popular in fact that Marvel Heroes will be coming to PS4 (a system I use a lot). Not sure if it will keep my attention any more then before, but I’ll certainly try it out. I mean it will be free and I can play as Hulk for a bit.

My only gripe is that at this time I won’t be able to transfer items from my PC account to PS4. I hope they change that so I can use the stuff I’ve already paid for.

Check out the trailer below!

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 #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)