Monthly Archives: December 2013

Hulk Mashers (2013)

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Today I bring you fine people the new Avenger’s Hulk Mashers.  This is in a set of figures that have interchangeable parts that can make some funked up looking characters.  The Hulk with Caps’s arms?  Thor’s leg and Iron Man’s… equipment?  I mean you sort of have to ask yourself, “Why?”  I am not so sure this was the way to go when you’re looking for new series to release.

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This figure comes with a few accessories, namely something that looks like a piece of armor attached by a hose and cannon that has a real firing projectile.  I didn’t think they made toys like that anymore – but alas I was proven wrong!  The action cannon makes up for the hokey theme of this series of figures.  Overall, I do like this figure enough to recommend it to any other collector’s out there.

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Grade: C+

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Hulk Room Update

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I was able to snag a glass case from TRU.  A case that otherwise would have ended up in the trash – glad that they were so eager to get rid of it – something this big would have easily cost close to a grand.  While the set-up inside has changed over a few times only the best and my most cherished pieces go inside.

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The top shelf has a nice re-creation of one of the Hulk’s most famous covers – TIH #181 – and all of the CGC and silver age beauties in the collection.  The second shelf has changed over a few times but now includes some of Bowen’s best and brightest statues: Maestro, Doc Samson, the latest Hulk (screaming head variant), and one of the most amazing – Planet Hulk.  The third shelf displays the busts of Hulk and is rogues gallery.

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The final (and bottom) shelf is my pride and joy – a gathering of the Mego pieces I have.  This includes the 12″ Hulk in box, Die Cast Metal Hulk in box, the many card variations of the 8″ Hulk, a pocket Mego Hulk, the Hulk helicopter and van, and the Hulk Utility Belt.

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Catching Up Thursdays…

Let’s catch up on some comic book reading!  I usually only read two comics a month – not because of anything other than the two comics I read are the only ones I am interested in.  So, What has been happening in:

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The Indestructible Hulk Issues #11-15 – Agents of T.I.M.E.

W: Mark Waid
I: Matteo Scalera, Kim Jacinto, Mahmud Asrar,

Wolverine destroyed the timeline in Age of Ultron.  He didn’t just destroy it – he decimated it – and now the heroes are feeling the effects.  Bruce Banner, who is now working for S.H.E.I.L.D., is frustrated with the unfortunate timing of his newest discoveries – things that will help humanity – except he is a bit too late.  Every time!  Stark, Reed and the other intellectual heavyweights keep beating Banner to the punch.  But with the threat of the timestream destroying the universe, and chronarchists using the broken time as their playground, it’s up to Hulk and robot Banner to save the day.  Hulk has to stay furious, though, because traveling through the timestream will rip his fragile alter ego’s fleshy covering apart.  Waid’s handling of this story line is at times hilarious, confusing and exciting – but always a fun read!  Watching the Hulk travel to mid-evil times, chasing the baddies Khotto and Zarko, trying to stop their meandering ways is wonderful.  Hulk battling Abomination on the moon and fighting Fin Fang Foom on the high seas are pretty enthralling – and then back to the beginning… the Hulk’s beginning that is.

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This time jump leaves the Hulk rescuing past Banner as he rescues Rick Jones.  The Hulk takes the brunt of the gamma bomb (again) and is turned into uberHulk… which is a just as silly as it sounds.  I thought it would be fantastic to see Maestro at ground zero again, like we did at the end of the Future Imperfect, but we can’t have everything we want.  Zarrko and Khotto’s motives aren’t exactly clear and the story does get wordy toward the end with Banner trying to explain it all – but still, Waid’s handling of the Hulk thus far has been a fun ride.  I am happy that this particular storyline is over though as it was getting a bit long in the tooth – of course – we have now moved the Hulk’s story into the latest Marvel event “Inhumanity”.  I am not sure if this is part of Waid’s plan or if it is being forced upon him by the higher ups at Marvel to have the Hulk title intertwined in the events – but here’s to hoping this next arc really wraps up better than this one did.

Grade *** out of 5

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Thunderbolts Issues #14-18

W: Charles Soule
I: Jefte Palo, Terry Pallot

I have followed the Red Hulk from his inception.  Every article leading up to the premier of his own title (Even though Marvel really dropped the ball when coming up with a name for this character. Something a little more original would have been better) I read – and bought the title, even under protest upon learning that Loeb was writing this character into the gutter of the Marvel Universe.  As the inconsistencies and continuity issues continued to rise the sales (and people’s interest) began to falter.  By the time the Red Hulk’s identity had been revealed no one cared anymore.  His titled was turned over to his as equally crimson daughter and Red moved to this group title, now sharing the spotlight with The Punisher, Flash Thompson’s Venom, Elektra and Deadpool.  While I can’t stand Deadpool as a character I do like this book.  The art can be hit or miss (IMO mostly miss) but the stories have been worth the ride.

They continue to bring back forgotten Hulk villains, the first was Madman – and lest we forget that a ruby reincarnation of his brother, the Leader, is along for the ride – they also have Mercy, who was released inadvertently by Ross and now keeps her close until he figures out a way to destroy her.  While the original arc began with the “team”  doing Ross’ bidding on a secret mission it is now the other members turns to choose the mission.  Up first is Punisher – who has a simple request – kill the mob family that all the other scum on the streets answer to.  The thing is, with Infinity happening, an alien invasion is occurring just at that moment, making completing Castle’s request a bit more complicated.

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The thing that makes this comic so enjoyable, for me anyways, is that the group never seems to stay together and each member, even if they are working with other teammates, have their own adventures to follow.  This is an unexpected, consistent good read month after month.  I say to pick it up!

Grade: **** out of 5

Bowen Designs Doc Samson (2013)

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This is the latest Bowen Statue I picked up.  If you read my blog at all then you know I am a bargain shopper and I was able to talk the owner of one of my LCS into trading this to me for some unwanted pieces in my own collection – and a little extra.  So, in other words, I got this for a song.

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Bowen has been making Marvel collectibles for over two decades.  His pieces are easily the most accurate and amazing portrayals of the comic characters we all love.  The busts and statues look as though they have just straight off the pages of our favorite funny books and a 3-D version landed right on our shelves.  I proudly have every Hulk related Bowen piece – but could not believe my eyes when he announced that he was creating a FS (that’s Full Statue for the non-collector) of one of Hulk’s oldest frenemies.  Doc Samson started out in the comics in The Incredible Hulk #141 as a man who created a cure for the Hulk – and even helped Banner be rid of the Hulk once and for all.  But Samson’s ego proved too fragile as he had to expose himself to gamma rays to see if he could turn himself into a super-strong version of himself.  Banner could not take the attention that Betty was showing to the new and improved Samson – so after another quick dose of gamma – a battle of the ages was born.  If you’re interested, read the full synopsis here.

The great thing about Bowen Designs is that you really get to see unique and rare characters that most other collectible companies would never take the time to produce.  There are a few other collectors out there that know how this Samson statue came to be.  It started on a forum called the Statue Forum where one of the people on the forum called Al begged and pleaded for a Samson statue.  When things went south on the boards between Bowen and the people in charge (and some of the regulars) Al created a new forum for statue collectors – a site called Statue Marvels.  A while later, maybe even as a thank you (and because there seemed to be a bit of interest from other collectors) Bowen finally announced he would be doing a Samson FS.  I know I was one of the people ecstatic over the news.  I mean, we had a mini-bust – but a full sized statue?  I never thought I’d see the day!

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As usual Bowen didn’t disappoint. Samson, and his long green locks, are on full display on this statue masterpiece.  Every detail, including the lightning bolt shirt, the yellow boots and the tough-guy mugging. As usual, the base is very similar to the other Hulk statues – that way displaying the characters together makes it look better – more aesthetically pleasing.  I feel as though this is one of the things that really sets Bowen Designs apart from the other collectible companies – of which there are many now – and mostly due to Bowen getting the ball rolling.  It seems as though a lot of forethought goes into the design and idea of how these statues may be displayed.  This is certainly one for the ages!  Pick it up today! Grade A-