PH vs SS
This commission, that was done over the summer this year, was somewhat of a controversial piece. First off – I really liked a lot of the art I’ve seen from this artist – so I was excited to get a vs. piece from him. What I wanted was a PH vs Silver Savage match up from him – but, as you can see, PH is facing the “viewer” but we only see the back of Silver Savage. Can this really be considered a two-character piece when we only see the front of one of the characters? I have a Jeff Wamester Hulk vs Thor commission that pretty much has the same issue – but it’s so brilliantly done I have no complaints – this time around… it’s a different story. As much as I like the overall piece it certainly doesn’t have that dynamic feel to it.
Comb-Over Ape Hulk!
Secondly, when the art was finished Robbi had forgotten about the obedience disc. I asked to have it added – and it was – except it was done with a totally different pen. While the rest of the art is done in what looks like India Ink, the obedience disc was added with what looks like a simple black Bic pen. This distressed me the most – in person it’s very noticeable – and the artist was mostly dismissive about my concern.
If you look close you can see the difference
But like I said, the piece as a whole is a fun interpretation of PH – yes, he’s a bit simian looking but that doesn’t bother me – and I love the way he’s standing over SS in a stance that shows just how powerful he is. It’s too bad some artists take shortcuts like the way Robbi did here because it puts a stigma on the commission. One where every time you look at it, it reminds you of the issues you had. Artists have to remember that we are the ones paying for art from them – yes, it’s a supplemental income for artists – but that doesn’t make it okay to put any less effort toward a piece. I’m sure he wouldn’t have done this if it was to appear as a cover or poster. Just because it’s a private piece for a collector doesn’t make it any less important over all.
Let’s just begin with the MU line that had both its ups and downs this year. I have really warmed up to this line – more than I should, probably – mainly due to the vast amount of different figures they have. Here are the positives from 2011:
The Best: From the Avengers Boxed Set, including an amazing looking first appearance Hulk, to the classic, rarer and more unknown characters produced like The Constrictor and Skaar. Marvel and Hasbro released some of the better variants this year related to the Hulk Universe, like the First Appearance Wolverine and, like I mentioned before, the Avengers Boxed Set. I know I’ve mentioned that twice already – but it’s THAT good! Not to mention, the Avengers set has become pretty hard to find these days. We also have one of my favorite repaints of the year – the Compound Hulk. Yes, it’s based off of a terrible story – but let’s face it – the re-paint is just hilarious and spectacular! We were also able to complete complete our classic Defenders displays with the long over due release of Dr. Strange! (yes, I have it but have not posted it – you would not believe how much I have to post – it’s just about finding the time to do it all!) Also getting an Absorbing Man – complete with fully transformed metal variant – gives the MU line one of the best years for figures we’ve had in a long time!
The Worst: That’s not to say that everything was peaches and cream with the line this year… starting with the Avengers Base variant. Everything about that figure was excellent – everything but the price. It’s amazing to watch the TRU exclusive yo-yo in price the way it did. First they were asking $19.99 – but not even a month later the figures went on sale for a much more reasonable $12.99. Once the sale ended the price went back to $19.99 for a bit – then lowered again to $16.99. Basically, these figures were not selling. Collectors may have bought them, like myself, but obviously they weren’t popular enough to keep the price up. Speaking of variants too – the Skaar “name plate” variant is the weakest excuse for a variant to date.
All in all – not too shabby – the MU line has way more positives than it does negatives this year – so kudos to them!