We’ve all had tumultuous relationships – times when we were with someone who we just shouldn’t be with. You never had conversations – you had shouting matches. You didn’t have fight – you had all out brawls. These toxic relationships are a curse without a clear way out. We were privy to this kind of relationship in the pages of the Hulk when Joe Fixit was dating Marlo. She loved him, she hated him, he didn’t care for her… until he finally did and by then… it was too late.
When Fixit fights off Werewolf by Night and saves Marlo’s life he also realizes that she loves him. But not him.She loves the him who he is not. Does that make sense? Read it again and get back to me.
She loves the humanity of Fixit – the Banner side of Hulk. The side that Fixit hates. He realizes can’t depend on anyone or anything – it reminds me of the end of Heat with Robert DeNiro where he walks away from his girl because that’s what he HAD to do.
It’s almost impossible to talk about these things without sounding like a little girl so I’m not going to even try to make them sound manly. In the craze of little, useless, plastic figures to collect, ie: Shopkins and Uggly Dogs, Disney has thrown their hat in the ring with their Tsum Tsums. What started with plush figures that ranged from cute and tiny to large and ridiculous they have now premiered these oblong pill figures that are hard and plastic and come in three sizes. They are labelled as “Common”, “Lucky” and just to get the blood really boiling, the exciting “Super Lucky”.
They have only released the Grey Hulk even though the package features the Green Hulk but it’s the medium sized Grey Hulk that is the “chase” figure. The tiny and large sizes are pretty easy to find even though the large is considered “lucky”. To tell the truth, these are darn cute – and my daughter loves them. There are blind bags of them but we all know how much I hate those pesky blind bags!
I have to admit I was shocked to see a new AoU Hulk figure – even if it is from the cheaper line sporting less articulation, duller sculpting and more. But hey, there is another figure! It it looks like a Grey Hulk! Even though the Hulk didn’t display the grey hue in the movie I always like seeing a new Grey Hulk released! I found this at TRU this past week but had no prior knowledge that this figure was even being made!
Obviously inspired by the Scarlet Witch scene where the Hulk is brain washed and goes on a rampage. The screaming, red eyed, angry Hulk is very cool – although I wish we had a variant for the ML AoU instead of the 3 3/4 figures – but since we don’t have a choice.
As with every figure in this line the articulation is just in the neck, the arms and legs. The flat paint application doesn’t impress mush – but there are details that we didn’t see in the earlier figures – such as the redness around the eyes. Overall, this figure isn’t going to win any awards but since the pegs have been pretty barren with new Hulk figures for a while this was a nice surprise!
That’s right – there is yet another “blind package” Marvel set to get. These blind packages seem to be taking over the entire market – and I get the appeal to some degree – but they really aren’t for me. I usually find what I need on eBay or even at some LCS that opens the a few of these boxes or packages and happens to have a Hulk. That’s how I ended up with the Grey Hulk. All the others were found on the ‘bay.
I usually enjoy the “hunt” for treasures – but with blind packages there is always so much waste that it becomes more of a chore than an enjoyable game. That being said, I do like these simple little figures. They remind me of the Handful of Heroes that were released a few years ago – except they are slightly bigger and painted.
Most of the Hulks are the same mold they just yield different color schemes. The Hulk, Grey Hulk, Red Hulk and the clear Gamma Hulk are identical in pose the only slightly different Hulk is the World War Hulk with a hand raised to attack. If you’re looking to pick up the Classic Hulk, Red Hulk and Gamma Hulk they are from series 1 – as the Grey Hulk and World War Hulk come from season 2.
A lot the best reasons for keeping this blog going is the friends that I have been able to “meet” over the years. Hulk fanatics like myself who not only like to collect but converse with like-minded fellows who share an affinity for the green goliath. All stemming from the people who come here to post, and comment about all things Hulk I’ve become what I consider friends – albeit “online friends” – with at least a handful of people out there. There’s joefixit, and Fiddy, 465, JG, Dave, Hulk Smashing, Zeno. These are the people I have had the pleasure of talking to and even some have helped each other out when looking for a Hulk item – there’s been too many times to recall when Steve sent me Hulk goodness through the mail or when he was looking for a figure I was able to locate one and sent it to him. I remember sharing my good fortune with Fiddy when I came in possession of two display boxes for the Superhero Squad Hulk figures. Each of these times we did not ask for anything in return, we just helped each other out because we wanted to.
Well, there is another Hulk fan on this site that I consider a friend. Someone who had already given me one of the biggest pieces of the collection – this Hulk wall plaque – and it was already a very generous addition which I was super excited to get. Now, Gammapup, aka: Mike has outdone himself. Before I delve into what transpired this weekend I have to take a little aside here.
About a year ago I had to sell off a chunk of the collection to finance a few renovations that needed to be done to my house. As you know, if you follow this blog, I had a son about that time. Before he was due I needed to replace a dilapidated carpet and the vintage washer and dryer we had in the house. The money we needed for both exceeded the total we had in savings. My only choice, with Antone William Banner on the way in a short time, was to let go some of the pieces in the Hulk collection. I hated to and I had to mentally prepare to do it – which wasn’t easy – but when all was said and done I had released the Hulk Classics and Marvel Legends Hulk line. I had made peace with the decision but everyone once in a while still mourned the loss of those beautiful figures. Some of my favorites. I knew they would be impossible to replace as they have now become expensive and pretty rare.
Like I said, it was a hard choice but did so willingly for the betterment of my family (if you saw this carpet you would understand – you can’t have an infant crawling around on that!) Well, on a trip to NJ and a visit to one of the greatest comic shops known to man, Zapp Comics, Gammapup came in. He walked over and we struck up a conversation. We had met before, of course, but never had the time to really have a decent back and forth. As we were discussing life and what we were up to he mentioned he was turning in some figures to see what he could get for them. He said he had some Hulk figures if I wanted to take a look. Always interested in seeing what green pieces fans have I headed out to his car and saw that he had the entire Marvel Legends Hulk line – as well as almost every Hulk Classics figure – just missing War Hulk and Smart Hulk. Excitedly I asked what he was looking for them. He then said something that I will never forget.
Very rarely in this life are you presented with an opportunity to see true selflessness. Mike said that they were mine if I wanted them. I couldn’t believe my ears. A true generous move by a Gammabro I consider a friend he gave me something I never thought I would have the chance to own again. When I originally picked up the set I paid retail – and now quite a few of them are insanely priced – to the point that I didn’t think I could spend the money to replace the figures and justify it. Also, what Mike did was give me a feeling, an excitement about collecting I haven’t had since I sold off the chunk I did. It really gave me a rejuvenation of sorts about my collection. I couldn’t stop taking about it the rest of the weekend. My wife must have heard me mention what an amazing moment this was about a thousand times!
If I didn’t convey it properly at the time, Mike, I want to thank you again. Thank you so much for giving me back a piece of the collection I never thought I would have again. You truly did a nice thing for me and I will be forever grateful. Hopefully, one day I can do something for you that is just as nice.
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.
The truly amazing thing about the Marvel Universe figures is that they were coming off a historic run with Marvel Legends. Hasbro needed to make a bigger profit margin and I was disappointed with this line in the beginning but really grew to love, even look forward, to new series from this line. The first serving of the Hulk wasn’t fantastic – but later molds proved to be brilliant. A few years ago, with the release of King Hulk, people asked for a classic Hulk in the sculpt. Hasbro was quick to make good on that and even served up a Red Hulk of the same in the “Heroic Age” boxed set. With the death of the MU line fast approaching people are certainly clamoring to get these last few figures, including the new Grey Hulk. I was excited about getting this as well – only, when it arrived I realized the seller I bought from didn’t package the figures securely enough. The packaging of the Grey Hulk was busted open.
Busted package of the Grey Hulk
As much as a downer as that was I was also elated at how amazing the Abomination figure looks. I am waiting to find the A-Bomb figure (and a new Grey Hulk) but for now I am happy to have the figures that I do. There will be plenty of time to find the missing pieces. Most of you know I have stream-lined my collection anyways, but the MU figures have made it. Better pictures are on the way.