Variant Alert: (She-)Hulk #1 (Ed McGuinness)

I am late in posting on this variant as it has been circulating online since about late 2016/early 2017. I say online cause this variant is made in collaboration with Hall of Comics and sold exclusively online. So you won’t be finding this at your local comic shop. hoc_hulk_cvr_a_1024x1024

This cover is an homage to the classic Incredible Hulk #181 cover which was the first complete appearance of Wolverine and of their first epic meeting. This cover takes that composition and substitutes the new Wolverine (X-23) and the She-Hulk (who is looking a bit different due to emotional/mental factors).

Admittedly I have not been a fan of this new (She-) Hulk series. The overall concept was interesting, but its execution has left a lot to be desired. I bought this issue for the cover and that’s it. I felt it was unique enough to be worthy to join the collection; and to have some female Hulk representation included. Also, I like McGuinness’ work.

I think it’s an attractive piece of art, but I do kind of wish Ed utilized the background a bit more rather then settle on a flat red background.

I would be remiss in mentioning that there are not one, not two, but THREE versions of this cover. One is as seen here. The second version (dubbed the popcorn version) includes Deadpool eating popcorn while riding on the back of the Wendigo. The third version is the popcorn variant, but in black&white (except Deadpool).

The issue originally sold for $65 and is still available as of this writing. Though it does seem to have a limited printing. Looking at Ebay any issues being sold have spiked to $85 or higher.

If you like covers, especially homage covers featuring Wolverine or She-Hulk then this one is for you. Otherwise you might just wanna skip it.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

Marvel Knights: Ultimate Wolverine Versus Hulk DVD review

So after much patience the new Marvel Knights installment of Ultimate Wolverine VS Hulk dropped on DVD yesterday. After checking at least five stores I was able to snatch a copy from Wal-Mart. DVD released September 10, 2013.

The case it comes in is very thin and light. Don’t expect a typical DVD case. 

Anyone familiar with the Marvel Knights series knows that essentially this is an animated comic book with voice overs and music. This is not an animated film like the older HULK VS or Planet Hulk. So some of the animations are a bit weird. However the voiceover work is solid and the music/sound effects really solidify the drawings as a living world.

Hulk is pure-smashing Hulk. Which I truly appreciate after having to deal with Agents of SMASH these past few weeks. Logan is also the tough a$$hole we have all come to love. If you are familiar with the series of comics this is pulled from then you know what the story is about and its emotional tone. The hulk is vicious and a killer. Logan is not much better. However, both characters have their moments of morality. An animal and a monster…but deep down there is a human being in each of them. Hulk rips things apart and keeps some rather erotic company up in the mountains. Logan is ripped to pieces throughout and keeps coming back for more fun.

I do have a few reservations regarding the story…but that’s mostly since I am not familiar with that era of Hulk. When did Betty Ross become a green she-hulk?? Why is Jennifer Walters a doctor?  If anyone can answer these questions I would greatly appreciate it.

Additionally the story unfolds in six 10 minute episodes. Which is kind of annoying if you want to watch all six straight through. So be prepared to fast forward through credits and the intro video six times. Why couldn’t they have simply made a merged option?

The single featurette is kind of nice. Basically exploring a little back story on the making of the comic and animated version. Not much more then that. No other special features are included.

The DVD retails for around $10 so it is well worth the money.

Get SMASHED!!