Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hulk Diving Stick (2014)

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This comes in a 3-pack with Cap and Iron Man – but the little Hulk figure is actually so awesome!  They produced a Hulk in a stance we have never had before but is a very famous Hulk pose – one that is pretty impossible to do with any action figure!

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Not that it needs to – but it still has a pretty sweet sculpt – even the face looks pretty impressive!  We’ve needed a Hulk in the vicious screaming, jumping pose that he has used against so many gamma foes!  I love this little thing!  It’s worth seeking out – especially if you have a pool… which I have.

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My Thoughts On Waid…

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This is it – I will not harp on the subject any longer after I say my peace with this post.  I am also not going to say that if you hated the Waid Hulk run that you are wrong – I am not going to give you reasons that you should have liked it – because I agree that it could have been better.  Here’s what I will say, it started with a strong premise – a NEW premise – one that had great possibilities.  Banner is allowing SHIELD to use the Hulk as a weapon.  Banner gets to exploit his genius to help the world… finally.  He’s wanted to do something good for the world since The Incredible Hulk #1 when he created the Gamma Bomb.  He despised the fact that his creation could possibly be used to harm people – it was always about protection, about keeping people safe, with Banner.  But that’s not how things turned out.  Sadly.  Now was the time for Banner to use his brain to do what he always set out to do.  The new series was off to a great start when Waid not only had Banner address Tony about the trick that sent Hulk into space.  Then he brought back the Quintronic Man, had the Hulk deal with Atumma (a wasted opportunity when he could have brought back AQUON!) and even better – had Simonson come for a timetraveling Thor arc.  Things were going swell.

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Where the fun ride ended – and keep in mind this may have not been entirely Waid’s fault – was where the Indestructible Hulk had to tie in with the big events.  First, after the Age of Ultron story line (and the Marvel timeline was broken) Hulk dealt with it in the pretty stagnant “Agents of TIME”.  An arc that could have been amazing had the finale led to a Maestro appearance instead of the forgettable UberHulk.  Think about it – Maestro was created by the Hulk’s over exposure to gamma radiation – or hell, they went back to the original gamma bomb detonation… where the Maestro WAS at the final scene of Future Imperfect.  Either way, wasted opportunity.  Then came the even worse tie in with Inhumanity.  A story arc that completely went off the rails with Banner creating a bomb to combat the effects of the mist triggering the dormant Inhuman genes in unsuspecting citizens.  It wasn’t just a tangent in the soild story line that Waid created prior but it was a tough read in general.

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We were served with a harder pill to swallow when Marvel announced yet another re-numbering in the Hulk series.  A 5th re-start in 7 years.  Amazingly upsetting to any Hulk purists who just want to read good stories rather than Marvel focusing on the short boost in sales by slapping a #1 on the cover.  That being said, reading the first three issues of the recently re-titled “Hulk” I have to report that Waid seemed to get back into form and the issues have been stellar!  I love having Abomination back (even if it is a clone with a mysterious “driver”) but I think it was a step in the right direction.  A cool addition into the history of one of Hulk’s oldest enemies.  Could this have been what was supposed to happen next had Waid not tied into Age of Ultron or Infinity?  Maybe – would this have been the better step into this new “Indestructible Hulk”?  I think so – yes.  This would have had fans singing Waid’s praises, I think.  To me, Waid has always been sort of “slow burn” kind of writer.  He doesn’t pack every issue with action but he does set something up to have a nice pay-off in the end.  The problem, as usual it seems, is that Marvel has certain agendas of their own to keep and that includes tying into main events or returning Peter Parker back into his own body because a movie is coming out – whether you want to or not.

This has been the case for years – I know PD was constantly battling with editors who would tell him that he’d have to have a tie-in with whatever they wanted Hulk being part of.  The real problem is – it’s their character!  You sort of have no choice, as a writer, to do what you want with these characters because they aren’t yours to keep.  They are on loan from the owner, sort of speak.  You can only do what you’ve always tried to do… your best.  What was presented in the Indestructible Hulk was not Waid’s best but he didn’t become a legend in the business for nothing.  This is why I tend to believe he didn’t have full reign on what he was looking to do with the Hulk.  Of course, this is all speculated and I have no insider knowledge – except what Waid decides to tweet out.  First he said that Hulk fans were worse than Legion fans (I am paraphrasing as he never actually used the word “worse”) and then he said he was leaving the Hulk for no other reason than he wanted to focus on Daredevil.  I find that a bit hard to believe though… are you saying that if Hulk was being praised then you’d still be leaving?  I doubt it.  He then tweeted that he was making a lot of people happy by leaving the Hulk.  That last bit is interesting for sure…

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We live in an age where information is spread so quickly.  Before the internet Marvel had to wait for letters to pour in to see the fans reaction to whatever was happening with their characters.  Not to mention, if you wanted your letter published you had to be diplomatic about any of your grievances and word it appropriately.  Now, reactionary fans go onto message boards, facebook, twitter and other social media sites to voice their opinions… most of the time more crudely than they ever would to someone’s face.  I’ve always hated that.  Ever hear the saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”?  Well, it seems that the squeaky wheels were the complainers this time around because they were heard loud and clear.  Granted, I am not talking about the posters from this site – the people here always seem respectful even when they don’t have anything nice to say.  I thank everyone for that.  Truly.

So here we are, and almost like a karmic bitch slap for how much complaining about Deadpool I do, the writer of Deadpool will be helming the Hulk series with issue #5.  I can nothing but hope for the best.  As always I will keep you updated.

– Ratch

McFarlane Speaks!

I don’t hear McFarlane talk about his days drawing the Hulk – here is a small story he told on Facebook:

I told my editor ” The Incredible Hulk should be…um…HULKISH!” It seemed fairly obvious to me.

Years ago when I was working/drawing for Marvel Comics, i was given the job of penciling the INCREDIBLE HULK comic. It was really my first regular gig on a book that my mom had heard of, so she thought I had final made something of myself. But as I began to draw the book over the next few months, I began to be aware of the fact that the writer on the book was, to me anyway, putting way too much story content into his plot outlines he gave me each month.

What this meant, was that to get everything on to the pages, I was constantly drawing pages that had 6 to 8 panels (or more) on most of the interior pages (part of the problem too was that I was still trying to learn things as an artist, so I am sure another skilled drawer might have been able to problem solve better than me at that time). But the problem was, that if each page had all of these smaller panels squeezed on each page, that meant nothing was BIG, which seems wrong for a book with the work HULK on it.

So, one day after getting my latest plot outline to draw, I phoned my editor (this was before I started drawing The Amazing Spider-Man comic) and said something like “Hey, boss, this latest plot is so crowded, I think this story might be better served if we made it into TWO ISSUES instead of just one. If we do that, then I can let some of the pages breathe a little…but more importantly I can finally make the Hulk BIG! I haven’t had the chance to do that yet.” My editor agreed and I was able to open up the pages to give more of a scope as to how HUGE this creature called the Hulk was.

The page you see below is the original art from one of those issues (Idid the pencils and someone else inked it) and you can see how much bigger the Hulk is compared to Betty Ross. That was all I ever wanted to show. Finally I had the opportunity. As a side note, the Hulk was colored gray at this time for reasons I have forgotten, but my interpretation of him was that he would be 1) HUGE, 2) With wrinked skin, like and elephant and that 3) he would be so massive that he could barely stand upright (*see the second photo I’ve posted*). Think of a giant Hunch back of Notre Dame, if you will. Later in the books run, he would be turned back to green and become much more handsome, thanks to the skilled drawing of Dale Keown and John Byrne.

I was just trying to make this character something that would visually be it’s own look, since there were many large heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe at the time.

TODD

New Video Up!

Click the image to be brought to the video – I talk about the new Comic Book Movies gracing the screen right now.  It’s all sorts of fun.  Also, you should subscribe.  You know, if you want.  If you’re a fan of awesomeness!

Waid is OUT!

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The writing was on the wall… Or at least on your twitter feed.  Waid let his frustrations be known a while back about the passion of Hulk fans and their response to his story arcs on Indestructible Hulk.  I, for one, championed his take… before is seemed side tracked and bogged down with tie ins to the latest “event” Marvel was rolling out.  This new re-launch seemed especially exciting… But alas, Waid is stepping aside in August.  Click the image to see the article.  Let me know what you guys think!

Large Hulk Figure (2014)

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Obviously, this thing is just a larger version of the dollar store Hulk figure that was released this year.  I do like the idea of these figures – most of the regular lines are geared towards collectors and have adult prices to boot.  I know I have gone on this rant before so I won’t get into it again – but good on Marvel for bringing out cheaper figures for the younger crowd!  The 3″ figure is decent enough as it is – but this 6″ figure is the absolute bomb!  It doesn’t have the articulation that any Marvel Legends did but it does look pretty nice.  It tops out at 4 joints (neck, waist and shoulders) but the sculpt is really fun.

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It feels very hollow so it doesn’t have the weight that the Marvel Selects do – but I think that’s a smart move as well.  Listen, kids get angry and a lot of times they use whatever they have in their tiny hands to express that anger.  What do you want them throwing at you?  A 5 pound solid hunk of Marvel Selects plastic – or this thing that barley weighs a pound? Exactly.  Anyways, my LCS had these for a very reasonable $6 (compare that with $20-$30 for a ML) so I say to pick one up.  It’s worthy of taking up space in your man (comic) caves. Grade: B+

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Who wants to Listen to Some Tunes?

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You have the chance to have your very own Hulk sound system – or at least one that will sound better than just listening to your phone speaker.  I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s at a time when it was all about bigger was better.  People had these huge sound system set-ups with 6 foot speakers, a sub-woofer and a control center.  Now, all you need is a sweet little Hulk pod like the one above and you can rock out to whatever makes you happy.  For me, depending on my mood, could be Journey, R.E.M., or a loud session of Neil Diamond.  Most of the time I have Alice in Chains, Madlib or Radiohead screaming from this little guy.

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The sound is really decent – not perfect, of course, but still it does the job when you want music out in the yard while you weed the garden – or doing something more manly… like chopping wood.  Yeah, that’s what I do!  I chop wood – with my bare hands, even!  and when I mow the lawn and the speaker will not do – I have a pair of Hulk headphones that drown out the loud motor.  Check these out!

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