Monthly Archives: July 2010

Peter Parker: Spider-Man #14 (2000) – The Review

Peter Parker: Spider-Man #14

Wow!  What drama did I miss?  I love Ratchet drama!  About 5 years ago I saw the guy get into a fight with an 11 year old on a go-kart track!  Not a fist fight mind you, just a shouting match, but it was still pretty hilarious.  From what I can remember the kid cut Ratchet off at the last minute and almost made him ram another person.  Then the kid climbed out of the go-kart and said “You’re racing a pro!”  From there all I remember is Ratchet telling the kid off and finding the kid’s Father where he volunteered “with the Father’s blessing” to teach the kid some manners.  It was pretty classic.

Remember the clone saga! HA!

Anyways, I take it he hasn’t heard from King Hulk, so let’s move on to the review.  Another Spider-Man issue where he faces off against the Hulk.  This is the issue with Peter trying to deal with the fact that Mary Jane is dead.  All of her loved ones gather to grieve but Peter is out taking on every one’s favorite green giant!  I know John Romita Jr. is going through a lot of criticism as of late and I think it’s a bit justified.  His recent work isn’t really up to his older work, but this issue features a knock down, drag out fight.  The thing Spider-Man has on his side is speed and his never say die attitude!

Hulk gets the Spider!

The Hulk even captures him a few times but Spider-Man finds a way out of the mess!  He even blinds the Hulk with some webbing and while the Hulk flails about he gets in a shot on Spider-Man which send him flying into a newsstand.  Papers litter the street and Peter sees an article that says Mary Jane “Feared Dead”.  Enraged, Peter heads back out to finish the battle with the Hulk!

One of the most memorable parts of the issue is where J. Jonah Jameson actually puts business aside for once in favor of letting his staff  and himself stay with Aunt May at the “wake”.  Meanwhile, Peter and the Hulk is tearing up the train tracks  in their battle!  Peter pounds and pounds and pounds until his fists are bloody and bruised screaming about finding his wife.  When he can’t hit any longer he looks up to see the Hulk starting down at him.  The savage Hulk commiserates with Spider-Man, saying that his wife is dead too.

Did you get into a fight with a brick wall? Worse... the Hulk!

That’s when Peter sees the train coming.  He tires to put the broken tracks back together and can’t, until the Hulk helps too.  The Hulk does the heavy lifting while Peter mends the track and the train passes safely.  When Peter goes to thank the Hulk… he is gone.  Peter heads home and as he sits on his bedroom floor, the phone rings.  The voice on the other end tells Peter “She’s alive.”

Hulk and Spider-Man make nice!

Overall, I think Romita Jr. did a spectacular job in drawing a brutal fight between to superheroes.  I love the end of the battle where the Hulk finally connects with Spider-Man.  This is a fun, affordable issue worth picking up is you like splash pages of the Hulk smashing things up! – Later, David

The King Returns?

 

Just a quick post – Zeno has asked if I have heard from King Hulk Marco – a fan who used to post here all the time – until I told him not to lambaste people here.  So, here for your pleasure is the emails (First his, then my response).  Hope everyone is enjoying David’s reviews – I have been talking to him quite often – he seems to enjoy doing it – but I told him I will begin posting again in September.  I am going to take the rest of the summer to spend with my family.  Cheers!

King Hulk Marco’s Email:
“Hello Ryan,
 
I know that I am last person you’d thought you would be hearing from. After I left your site in March/April 2010, my career as a blogger as exploded.
 
The main reason why I left was the constant negativity aimed at Jeph Loeb’s writing and the lack of support from you and the others to get behind the campaign that I started on your website to reinstate a better writer once Jeph Loeb went.  Everyone on your site said it was a good idea yet nobody wanted to help me do the work to make it happen (except for one person). 
 
Me?  I am a doer.  If something is wrong I will try and improve the situation.  I don’t see the point of just sitting there and constantly moaning and complaining about the same thing over and over again.  It is better to try and change a situation if for no other other reason than for your own personal physical and mental wellbeing.  Hence, the reason I mentioned the Spider-Girl fans who have continously fought Marvel and won!  If they could do it, why not us?
 
For me there was only one choice Jeff Parker.  The sterling work he did on the Hulk tie-ins convinced me.  That is not to say he did everything perfect, especially when you consider he was asked to fill in the backstory to another writer’s work and to write some throw away material so that both Greg Pak and Jeph Loeb could write the lead in to World War Hulks. Anyway all that aside, Jeff is now taking over the title in September, hopefully for a long run. It looks like I got my wish (touch wood!). 
 
I also know that you have said some negative things about me since I left. You are entitled to your opinion and to me it isn’t really important. We are both adults. I don’t take it personally. After everything that as happened between us I am offering my hand (again) in friendship to you.  It is up to you whether or not you wish to take it.  
 
I think I know what personal tragedy as befallen you (I do hope that I am wrong).
 
Take care and look after yourself and your family.
 
Kindest regards
 
 
Marco De Jesus aka King Hulk Marco”
My response:
“Marco – first let me say, thanks for the email and even though I do not wish to get into details, I will say that my family is doing fine now.
 
Now, I will go through your email point by point –
 
“I know that I am last person you’d thought you would be hearing from. After I left your site in March/April 2010, my career as a blogger as exploded.”
 
I did not know you were a blogger yourself – that’s great.  I only know a select few who can make an actual career as a blogger – most do it as a hobby (like myself) – but if you can make it your career then great and I wish you success.  What is your blog?  Let me know and I will add a link to my site.
 
“The main reason why I left was the constant negativity aimed at Jeph Loeb’s writing and the lack of support from you and the others to get behind the campaign that I started on your website to reinstate a better writer once Jeph Loeb went.  Everyone on your site said it was a good idea yet nobody wanted to help me do the work to make it happen (except for one person).” 
 
Now, first off – Loeb earned the negative criticism, in my opinion, which is what my blog is – my opinion.  If you don’t like it, well I don’t make any apologies – I simply say, maybe my blog isn’t for you.  As far as your campaign goes… I only saw your insistence that other people do things – but didn’t see you doing much yourself.
 
“Me?  I am a doer.  If something is wrong I will try and improve the situation.  I don’t see the point of just sitting there and constantly moaning and complaining about the same thing over and over again.  It is better to try and change a situation if for no other other reason than for your own personal physical and mental wellbeing.  Hence, the reason I mentioned the Spider-Girl fans who have continously fought Marvel and won!  If they could do it, why not us?”
 
And here is where we differ – I didn’t really see you being a doer – I saw you asking other people to do things.  A “doer” to me actually does things – not just complains when other people don’t do things.  I thought the comment you left after you found out Jeph was writing Fall of the Hulk was in extremely bad taste and out of left field.
 
My blog is, very simply put, a release for me.  It’s a stress reliever.  I like talking about the Hulk and the things in my collection.  When you started insisting that I make petitions and such – it became something else.  I felt like I was supposed to be doing a job – when in reality – I write a blog.  I have fans of that blog – but I don’t feel those fans should expect me to do things that go outside the realm of the blog itself.  And to be honest – things are set in motion WAY before Marvel announces them – so, your outburst was a bit off kilter.
 
“For me there was only one choice Jeff Parker.  The sterling work he did on the Hulk tie-ins convinced me.  That is not to say he did everything perfect, especially when you consider he was asked to fill in the backstory to another writer’s work and to write some throw away material so that both Greg Pak and Jeph Loeb could write the lead in to World War Hulks. Anyway all that aside, Jeff is now taking over the title in September, hopefully for a long run. It looks like I got my wish (touch wood!).”
 
Again – another area where we differ – I think Parker is a decent writer.  He is hit and miss.  His first 2 parts of Red Hulk – they were great – but the third… not so much.  I was also not a fan of the first Hulked Out Heroes.  You were campaining for him after just 2 issues of the Red Hulk – which, to me, was premature.  I wasn’t as convinced that he was the best man for the job.  I am somewhat interested in seeing where he takes the Hulk series – but as I am not a fan of the character who knows if I will like it?  Again – that’s not to say Parker will do a bad job – that’s more a shot at the Red Hulk – who at this point I don’t feel has had a great run.  I know you like the story – but I and a few other bloggers feel differently.  Gary Miller, who I know you like, is also not a fan – and he and I both feel that the writing was spotty and at best.
 
“I also know that you have said some negative things about me since I left. You are entitled to your opinion and to me it isn’t really important. We are both adults. I don’t take it personally. After everything that as happened between us I am offering my hand (again) in friendship to you.  It is up to you whether or not you wish to take it.”
 
I don’t feel like I have said ANYTHING negative about you.  If you can find anything I will apologize – but again, I don’t think there is anything.  What you will find are these:
 
“I know Marco was hoping for Parker to take over Hulk – but there are certainly cracks showing in his foundation as a solid, “go to guy” for writing spectacular issues. If he ever comes back here to comment maybe he can apologize for trying to lambaste people for not getting behind him. Maybe he can admit he was a bit hasty – after reading these issues in particular!”
 
This is what I said after Hulked out Heroes #1 was released.  A terrible mini – that Parker wrote.  And I don’t think my comment is out of line – or really negative in any way.
 
the other comment I can recall is this:
 
“I try not to look at previews – I’d much rather wait until I can read the full issue – but no, haven’t heard from KH after his meltdown.
I just don’t need people on this blog who are going to blame and berate the readers for things that they aren’t even in control of…
If he comes back, great – if not – Oh well, I say. His loss”
 
And again – there is not anything negative but instead how I feel about what happened.
 
In closing, I will say this.  I think you are a very passionate, knowledgeable person.  That is good.  I also think you are a bit pushy and sometimes arrogant – but hey, who isn’t about things they want? 😉  I want to be honest with you – so that is why I am responding like this.  I miss seeing your conversations with Zeno on my site – they were extremely interesting and fun.  But, I mean it when I say I don’t want people on the blog who is going to blame people for things that transpire that they aren’t happy about.  I did like your constant comments on my site – but if it’s going to turn into another angry rant then I would rather you not come back.
 
Difference of opinions are fine – and I like having a debates on subjects – lord knows Gary and I have got into a few – and I would love to debate the Hulk series with you – especially issue #23 which I’ve heard you liked… I don’t know why!  But hey, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
 
If you feel like coming back to the blog, please feel free – but if not, then I wish you the best.  Have a great life, bro.  Right now I am not blogging – I’m spending time with my wife and daughter right now.  I have a friend filling in – you might find some of his reviews interesting.  I am still checking in time to time and will be back soon – but for now it’s David.  Like I said, if you decide to come back – great – I will see you there.  If not, that’s okay too.  
 
– Ryan”
I would also like to thank the countless other people who have sent messages my way – either thanking me for the blog as a resource – and other’s wishing me and my family well.  We are doing fantastic now – and I will see everyone after the summer – Ratchet

Web of Spiderman #7 (1985) – The Review

Web of Spider-man #7

Hey. David again. I am humbled to be able to go through Ratchet’s extensive library of reader copies and trades. I came across a reader copy of TTA #60, sure it was sort of beat up but it was TTA #60! He has almost double of everything! I decided to look through and find issues I never read before. I found Web of Spiderman #7. Ratchet said it’s one of his favorite covers. I like it but I’ve also seen better.

Buscema and David paired together!

The great thing about this issue is that it fits in perfectly with Hulk continuity and follows the events of Hulk #299.  Peter Parker is dreaming.  You know this because he is at work naked and all the other superheroes are there.  Even the Hulk is there.  He comes out swinging and Spiderman (who is constantly now changing costumes) is avoiding every blow.  The Hulk brings down the Daily Bugle but that doesn’t stop him!  As Spiderman keeps running he hears a cry for help.  And then out of nowhere he wakes up.  But he still hears the cries for help!  He sees an inturder taking out his Uncle Ben, Aunt May, The Stacy’s and MJ and Betty.

Taking out everyone!

He tracks the intruder down only to realize that it is in fact himself.  He killed everyone he loves.  He waxes cathartic for a moment but gets interuppted by the Hulk.  He comes smashing back in and as Peter avoids being killed he runs into Nightmare.  Nightmare is still on the run from the Hulk knowing that if he gets a hold of him that it will be the end! 

Spiderman decides to try and protect Nightmare and they keep on tumbling through Spiderman’s version of Nightmare’s realm.  Finally they reach the end.  They can’t go any further or they will stumble into madness.  The Hulk is there ready to land a crushing blow when Spiderman, who refuses to give up, knocks him beyond Nightmare’s realm.  As they somewhat celebrate the win Nightmare then tells Spiderman that he thinks he will keep him there as sort of a protector.  But as Nightmare gloats the Hulk’s hand snatches him from the other side and drags him down.  He pleads with Spiderman to help him, but Spiderman lets him go.  Then, Peter wakes up in his apartment with the Police and the landlady and other tenants all looking at him.  Do they just let other people follow the Police into what could be a crime scene?  Apparently in the Marvel Universe they do!

Nightmare never learns!

This was a thrilling issue and extremely fun to read.  I’ve always liked when Marvel had side issues like this fit into continuity with out having to make a huge deal out of it.  But also, anyone just reading Web of Spiderman could read this as a stand alone issue.  It helps that it is penciled by the man Buscema, the regular Hulk artist at the time.  Sal was coming close to the end of his run which is sort of funny when you look at who wrote the issue.  Peter David himself!  Years before he began his 12 year stint on the Hulk!  Pretty interesting if you ask me.

   

A Conversation with Ratchet

This is an actual conversation I had with Ratchet the other day.  I thought it was interesting enough to recount here for you guys.

Me:
How come you hate Loeb so much?

Ratchet:
Hate Loeb? I don’t hate Loeb. I hate his writing on the Hulk. It’s like he has taken years of continuity and just threw it right out the window. I hate writers who don’t seem to do the simpilest of research to find out about the character they are writing for. Granted, the Hulk isn’t as easy as, say, Spiderman. The Hulk’s history is filled with a variety of intricate personalities all with their own little distinct traits. One of the things that bothered me the most is when he brought Fixit back for no reason. It was an obvious attempt to sell more books to people who remember that persona fondly but Loeb didn’t even bother reading up on that character. Fixit says “Vegas”. He never said Vegas, it was always Las Vegas to him. Little things like that count to real fans.

Me:
Did he do anything right?

Ratchet:
Sadly, very little. This is all my opinion, of course, but if you read any of those stories in the series, especially the Defenders vs Offenders storyline it’s apparent he was making the Red Hulk’s power up as he was going. Not to mention the whole storyline! The Red Hulk thought he killed the Hulk in those issues, but later MODOK yelled at him when he absorbed all of the Hulk’s energy. It’s just that every issue there was something new to question and we never got any real answers. The Red Hulk was a really cool idea, I will admit it, but man was the execution poor. It sold a lot so they thought that they were doing a great thing when in reality the best way to measure success is to see if it stands the test of time. The Red Hulk series reminds me a lot of the Bruce Jones run. Nothing there stood the test of time.

Me:
What was wrong with the Bruce Jones run? I loved that whole run!

Ratchet:
As far as the stories go, they are fine, but as Hulk stories… not so much. As you’ve noticed, everything in the Jones run has been forgotten out of continuity. It sold like crazy but now when people talk about it, it’s hardly ever positive.

Me:
Has it really all been left out of continuity?

Ratchet:
Has Samson ever mentioned his son again? And even this most recent revival of Betty, it started when the she was poisoned with no mention of anything from her scenes in the Jones run. I’ll admit I haven’t read it in a while, but what I do remember is thinking “Has this guy ever read a Hulk comic before?” And then I got my answer. In an article he admitted that he took the job not knowing how to even write the Hulk. So, then he just left him out of the book. That’s ridiculous to me! As a whole, the mystery angle was cool but honestly, it wasn’t a Hulk book anymore. Do you know that Peter David’s “Tempest Fugit” was basically a quick fix to the Jones mess that he made of the book? In a way it served to get rid of the years of comics that Jones wrote. I mean, as a writer, how does it feel to write a comic and then have everything you wrote erased and gone from history? It must suck. But, I hope that it happens to the Red Hulk. I hope it’s all a bad dream and Ross wakes up and there is no Red Hulk anymore. Or at least I hope Parker (the new writer at issue #25) will make some worthwhile stories and the character worth every one’s time.

Me:
Well, (As I was about to ask a question Ratchet started up again)

Ratchet:
You know what really gets me? I hated reading the interviews the the 3 Hulk writers, Pak, Loeb, Parker, where they all kissed each other’s butts. I wanted to hear Pak admit that he could write those two under the table, at least when it comes to the Hulk, that he knows more about the Hulk and therefore is a better writer because of that. But, whatever, they all worked for Marvel so I understand. Man, Loeb gets a promotion for writing crap. He writes so many of the Marvel books they should really consider renaming the company. Maybe “Quesad-oeb”. It hardly resembles Marvel anymore. The Hulk stories are so far out of whack these days.

Me:
You don’t like Pak’s new stuff?

Ratchet:
I think Pak’s new stuff is as best as it can be when it’s constrained by having to match it up with Loeb’s plotting on the other Hulk book. There should be one Hulk book, or at least one Hulk. One. They don’t even have a good name for this character. Marvel calls him the Red Hulk, the stupid call him”Rulk”, cause that name sounds real good (said with a healthy dose of sarcasm) and I refer to him lovingly as the Crimson Idiot. He doesn’t even have a real name! At this point I guess they can now call him Ross but at least that’s better than Rulk.

Me:
I am totally going to post this on your site

Ratchet:
What?

Me:
This whole conversation.

Ratchet:
Go for it.

Me:
Unless you want to?

Ratchet:
No, not yet. My first post back will be that! (He said this pointing at one of the coolest items in his Hulk room) You’ve only done one post! Are you already done?

Me:
No! No, I even have the next issue all ready to post! I’m having fun!

Ratchet:
Post whatever you’d like. It’s your blog right now.

Me:
Can I review a Deadpool comic?

Ratchet:
Is the Hulk in it?

Me:
No.

Ratchet:
Then no!

Me:
I know, I’m just kidding! But I am going to take this and review it (I say this taking the second volume of Jones’ Hard Covers)

Ratchet:
Go for it.

With that I left the Hulk room and Ratchet’s house. Off to do some reading. I have a great issue up next. I’ll post it Friday. Later – David.

The Incredible Hulk #8 (1999) – The Review

Hulk #8

Hey.  My name is David.  Ratchet’s kind of taking a break from the blog for a bit, he’s dealing with some family stuff.  He’s not sure when he’ll be coming back.  Hope it’s not too long.  I am a Hulk fan.  Not as big as Ratchet, that’s hard to beat!  But I do read comics on a regular basis and enjoy the Hulk stuff.  I asked him if he wanted me to post some reviews while he took his break and he agreed.  He really feels for the fans of this blog and didn’t want to completely ignore it.  I probably won’t post as much as Ratchet does.  Probably just once a week.  And only reviews.  Sorry in advance if they are not as good as Ratchet’s. These will still be pictures of Ratchet’s comics in his collection just not his writing.  Leave a comment if you’d like a certain issue reviewed. I’ll try to get to it.  But I’m not too sure how long I will be needed to post either, so I’m not sure if I will get to it. 

It's like the old 3-Stooges move - but nastier!

I wanted to start with a controversial but favorite issue.  Hulk #8 which shows off a classic match-up of Hulk vs. Wolverine.  Eric Larsen writes this issue.  Wolverine still has his bone claws from when Magneto ripped the adamantium out of his body.  Does anyone else remember that?  It was awesome but Magneto should have done it way before.  Not sure what took him so long to figure out that he should do it but it lasted some years and gave Wolverine a new vulnerability that was interesting to explore.  This is the second time Wolverine faced the Hulk with his bone claws, the first being The Incredible Hulk #454.  This time Wolverine fares a little better as an opponent.  There may be a reason but more on that later…

This should have been followed by "Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!"

From the get go this issue has smashing action.  Wolverine immediately levels the playing field by taking out the Hulk’s eyes.  It’s a pretty brutal move and some might argue shouldn’t have happened.  With Wolverine’s bone claws, I mean.  But I for one thought it was a brilliant move!  Larsen has had a interesting writing career when it comes to the Hulk, he was also the one who wrote the terrible “Return of the Sinister Six” in the Spiderman title.  It was pretty pathetic having Doc Ock beat the Hulk but Peter David took care of that in #396.  Larsen has said he’s a fan of the Hulk, but that fight was just ridiculous! 

And... no more pig stickers!

I will say this, Larsen is a master at writing old school style comics.  He adds humor and jaw dropping action into his issues.  But it never seems to add up to anything.  No one talks about his issues, which is sort of too bad, because his action scenes are pretty stellar.  A few pages into this issue where the Hulk and Wolverine battle the Hulk grabs a hold of Wolverine and snaps his claws off!  While that battle continues we also see Tyrannus in his lair about to use his machine that controls the Hulk.  And in a very uncharacteristically cruel moment the Hulk snatches a 15 year old girl to lure Wolverine out from hiding.

Amidst all the fighting we are also shown Death, one of Apocalypse horsemen, who is shown the Hulk’s very unsuccessful attempt at being a horsemen called “War”.  Death’s charge is to take the Hulk out but let’s get back to the action here: Wolverine tricks the Hulk into a river bed under a bridge and with one fell swoop drops the bridge on Hulk.  Tyrannus takes over the Hulk at this moment and finds him drowning.  As much as Tyrannus want the Hulk to die he instead decides to save him and jump away.  Wolverine goes after him but doesn’t realize he’s actually fighting Tyrannus now.  He knows something is amiss seeing as the Hulk is just growling at him.  Then Tyrannus actually knocks himself out by hitting a gas pocket.  Tyrannus link is broken and the Hulk turns back to Banner.  Wolverine helps him out of the mine and let’s Banner go on his merry way.

Brokeback moment with Wolverine and Bruce...

The most controversial part of this whole issue is that we learn later the Wolverine Hulk was fighting this whole time was a simple Skrull.  That’s right, it wasn’t even the actual Wolverine!  Are we to believe that the Skrull Wolverine is a better fighter against the Hulk than the actual Wolverine?  Wolverine actually fought the Hulk many times before so he could have learned how to fight him more effectively over time.  But the Skrulls have very rarely taken on the Hulk and never fared well when they did.  But, I like this issue though enough to have it be my first review.  I know Ratchet gives grades so to distinguish myself a little I will give… check marks!  Best possible would be 5 and this gets:

  

More CGC Comics!

Gotta love the Speedfreek!

I know I promised more posts- AND a full week and a doozy – but this week has been a bit… unexpected.  And not in a good way.  The truth is – I have a ton of new Hulk items – but I have to find the time to take pics and post them.  I have been using pics I have in my hard drive of stuff I’ve had for a while and just haven’t gotten around to posting.  Summer is a tough time.

To tell the absolute truth – something has happened that makes posting items on a blog seem… not so important.  It’s one of those things that takes a bit to sink in and then you learn to deal with.  Heavy stuff that really doesn’t belong on a Hulk blog – but it feels kind of good to let out… even if I haven’t really said anything.  Anyways, here are a couple of CGC comics I picked up off the ‘bay for pretty cheap.  I’m trying to keep any CGC I purchase to 9.6 or higher – and I know I should be concentrating more on picking up older comics – but these were so affordable I couldn’t say no…

The Last Keown Cover... The Leader and his Porn-stache

Marvel Legends Planet Hulk Variant (2007)

Planet Hulk - Silver Arm Variant!

So, I finally broke down and picked this figure up off the bay – for a little more then retail – but not too much to aggravate me!  I of course would have wanted this figure out of the 2 choices – this one makes more sense!  The silver arm is a must!  One of the thing I look for in anything – commission, figure, statue – is that it is comic accurate!

A mug only a mother can love... or, as it turns out - an Oldstrong!

Take a look at my ART page – and at the Chris Stevens commissions – I wanted PH – and at first he gave me a WWH, but then he gave me a planet Hulk figure – it was just missing one thing… and interestingly enough – it’s the same thing that’s missing here – the obedience disc!  I know that the Hulk destroyed it halfway through the storyline – but while he was wearing this armor – he certainly had it on!  Things like this bum me out a bit – but that’s because I am a big nerd and need to get a life…

The 2 variants together!