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.

6-14-2017-3

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!

Advertisements

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.

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.

old-man-logan-25-235345

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.

The Maestro of Art

m1In my area a group has been setting up an event know as a Drink n’ Draw. People come to a local bar and drink while drawing life models of people in cosplay. Each month is a different theme. Well this month was Marvel Vs DC. But unfortunately (or fortunately) no one came out as anyone DC. So it was all Marvel characters: Captain America, Psylocke, The Wasp, Jean Grey, and me as The Maestro.

I have an image of me in costume from C2E2 last year but I have since upgraded certain parts of it. Namely the head and arms. I think it’s much better. Below I have posted some of the photos taken along with an amazing drawing from a local artist, Mario Tokarzewski. Check out his other work HERE and HERE. He made me look really good.

m2

mdrawing

Art by Mario Tokarzewski

Book Review: What Savage Beast

Though the Hulk was born of the comics and continues to rampage within the Marvel cinematic universe, he does on occasion make it into the world of novels.

103078One such novel is ‘What Savage Beast’ by Peter David. In case you don’t recognize that name Peter David is an award winning writer who worked on the Incredible Hulk over the course of 13 years. Many would argue his stories infused the Hulk with new life and breadth. There is probably not a single Hulk fan who doesn’t have at least one favorite comic written by this man. Much of what the Hulk is today is influenced by Peter David.

That being said it’s not a surprise that Marvel commissioned him to write a novel based on the Hulk. More specifically a story based around arguably Peter David’s lasting contribution to the Hulk, his future. I won’t go into too much detail except to say a fair bit of the story revolves around the events that occurred during the ‘Future Imperfect’ story line. This includes an old nemesis with a beard. I’m sure you can guess who at this point.

The story tackles a number of subjects including family relationships, friendships, and doing what is right in the face of cold logic and deep hate. David brings is many various incarnations of the Hulk so don’t be surprised to see some old favorites. Not to mention Hulk will re-visit some iconic locations. The ending was a bit anti-climatic for me, but of course it couldn’t exactly end on a happy ending. This is the Hulk we are talking about.

Don’t think this story is for kids. The story does explore some deep issues and in some cases very disturbing ones. David is an amazing writer and he doesn’t hold back here. This book is in many ways his love letter to the Hulk, and to the fans. If you are a Hulk fan I truly doubt you will go away from this disappointed. However, if you are a newer fan you may find yourself a bit lost in what is occurring. If you are in this situation I suggest you at least read ‘Future Imperfect’ beforehand.

Another little treat is that despite the book’s cover (which I really hate) each chapter is prefaced by an illustration by George Perez. Perez is a legendary Marvel and DC artist who also just so happened to do the art for ‘Future Imperfect’ along with David. I truly believe the book would have done better had Perez done the cover. The one used makes Hulk look kinda goofy.

Overall I truly enjoyed this book and I think any Hulk fan will as well. New fans may have to brush up a bit, but it’s still a fun ride. The ending is a bit weak, but the rest of the story is strong. Very strong. And green.

Get Smashed!

Transformations: The Maestro w/ Fallen Hero Armor (1997)

maestro old

This is another figure of the mighty Maestro released by Toybiz in 1997 as part of the Hulk Transformations line-up. Feel free to compare and contrast the figure with that of his newer iteration here. This version does not include the trademark helmet, much less any article of clothing. The skin is an off-green color and the beard is a bright white. Overall not much effort has gone into the paint job of this figure. Also the articulation of limbs is minimal; just enough to raise/lower the arms, turn the head, and allow him to sit.

The only real notable element of this figure is the fallen hero armor that is included. He is equipped with a broken Captain America Shield, the Hammer of Thor, Dr. Strange’s cape and a chest belt displaying the helmets of a myriad of heroes/villains (Juggernaut, Ultron, Iron Man, Dr. Doom, and Nova).  This has to be one of the coolest accessories I’ve ever seen come with a toy. Honestly if he were loose I’d probably just put the armor on the newer Maestro figure and call it a day (which some have already). But due to his low availability I have decided to keep him packaged up. I was lucky enough to snag him from a collectible shop for about $20.

Avg. eBay prices:

  • Loose price unknown / $45-50 in-package (7/19/17)
  • $20 loose / $30-40 in package (5/9/16)
  • $10-20 loose / $50 in package (5/13/15)

C2E2 2015: The Maestro’s Visit

Hello! Hello!

So this past weekend I attended C2E2 on Saturday and had an awesome time. This year I decided to dress up as one of favorite characters…The Maestro. Most people were not aware of him so I answered a lot of questions regarding my outfit. Those who did know of The Maestro really enjoyed seeing him walk the aisles of C2E2 this year. It was a real blast being not only the Hulk…but the Hulk wearing Iron Man’s head as armor. I think I’m one of only two or three people ever to attempt this costume. So I’m quite proud.  FullSizeRender-2  FullSizeRender-1

Aside from taking photos with people all day I scoured the floors for any new Hulk items. I managed to collect a couple new Hulk posters, the new Fabrications Hulk soft sculpture, a new Avengers Hulk heroclix, and number of other random items. I’ll be sure to do reviews as time allows. Posted below are also some images of new Hulk items to be released in the coming months. A new mini-mates Hulk and Hulkbuster in addition to a Hulk face jello mold.

IMG_3251IMG_3250

All in all it was a great time and already I am excited for next year!

Get Smashed!!