Category Archives: Hulk News

Catching Up With… Thor: Ragnarok!

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I usually just review the comics I’m reading but why not share my thoughts on the latest Marvel blockbuster gracing the screens right now?  A little setting of the scene here: I refused to watch any trailers (other than anything shown in a theater before a movie), I did not read any articles or click on updates and leaked news or scenes – I like to go into movies like this completely fresh.  I have found it makes my viewing sessions a lot more pleasurable.  So, other than knowing that the Hulk fights Thor is an arena battle scene (a la Planet Hulk), and that Hela is the big bad, I knew nothing of the story.

I also learned a little too late that my theater was 1 of 2 theaters in MA that was having a Hulk premiere event, handing out collectible Ragnarok cups and coins.  I was bummed I did not learn this earlier as I would have gone to the earlier show… as it was I ended going to the 10:00pm show – the last show of the evening.  Just my luck though, when walking through the doors I asked the man behind the counter if there was anything left over from the premiere event and he smiled and said “You want some free stuff?  I’ll get you from free stuff!”  He came back with a coin – one that I will post tomorrow – but you’ve most likely seen on the web already.  It features a Thor helmet on one side and a Hulk helmet on the other.  I was glad to get anything – even if the cups were all gone I still had the coin I could go home with!

Now, I’m probably going to speak freely about the movie so if you don’t want to know anything about it or have yet to see it you should probably not read any further.  I will say this – I’m not going to give any real plot points away or the ending – just my thoughts on the character portrayals themselves.  Let’s start with Thor.

Thor: I really liked how they handled Thor in this movie!  They made him a lot more powerful and finally gave the character some depth – something two solo movies and two group Avenger movies had yet to do.  Hemsworth really seemed to enjoy playing Thor this time around and I think it effected the movie in a positive way.  That being said:

Humor: Something that has been said over and over on the various chat rooms is that Thor: Ragnarok has a lot more humor in it than earlier installments.  While that is true the debate is really on if it makes the movie more enjoyable or not.  Now, I have seen the movie twice already.  My first viewing I felt all the laughs were more of a distraction than adding to the movie’s overall experience.  A second viewing had me feeling a bit differently though… it really did not bother me too much at all.  I was looking forward to certain scenes

Hela: She pretty much makes this whole movie!  Cate Blanchett is both sexy and scary as hell and poses a real threat that makes you wonder how the heroes will defeat.

Valkyrie: I did not like the actor chosen for the part nor did I like the way she portrayed the Valkyrie.  A warrior turned slave trader?  That was too much of a stretch for me.  Especially when she learns who Thor is – how she could go from fighting on the side of Asgard to imprisoning and selling beings to be killed for sport is absolutely beyond me.

Hulk: Speaking of characters that Thor: Ragnarok got wrong – Hulk was a HUGE disappointment!  All they needed to do was add in one little piece of the Planet Hulk lore to make things right – but the neglect to add it in pretty much ruined the Hulk inclusion for me.  That piece?  The obedience disc.  In the movie the Hulk doesn’t have one!  That means Hulk has been on Sakaar, beating and killing alien beings for sport – and doing so of his own free will.  That certainly contrasts the image they have been portraying in the movies and in the comics for years.  That they Hulk would take innocent lives – and do so happily – was too much of an insult for me to ignore.  Otherwise, the Hulk/Thor dynamic was played off fantastically.

Korg: Ugh.  Talk about missing the mark on another Planet Hulk character.  Korg might’ve been a bigger disappointment than the lack of an obedience disc!  Korg is treated as a clueless buffoon of sorts.  A simple prop for comedic effect and therefore not to be taken seriously at all.  His “matter of fact” delivery gets old real quick and his aloofness is grating at best.

With all of that being said believe it or not I really did like the movie.  I didn’t love it – but I did like it.  I would recommend seeing it – it’s really good.  But it’s not great and it misses the mark on some essential and even not essential characters.  Other great additions I didn’t mention was Skurge, Loki and Miek.  All which were just fine.  I was a but bummed that the Warrior’s Three were dispatched so easily but hey, at least Heimdall was back kicking ass!

So, what did you guys think?  Anyone feel the way I did?  Anyone look past it and just enjoy the ride – or did you hate it?  Let me know in the comments!

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Aquon Forever!

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My good friend Dave sent me a link a while back to an ebay action for the art pictured above.  If you are a fan of this blog at all than you know my fondness for the Hulk foe Aquon and his premiere issue The Incredible Hulk #165.  This page features the work of the celebrated artist Herb Trimpe – whose recent passing has made his original art even more expensive.  This was a curious page as I was interested but knew it would reach, at the very least, a grand.  Amazingly enough, this is the second time he posted this page as the first time the auction ended just south of $1,600.  Apparenty, the auction winner has second thoughts and did not pay.  With that the owner of the art has to relist it and this time the auction ended just over $1,000.

That’s still just slightly over what I would have paid for it – so congrats to the new owner – but the price is still pretty impressive if you consider this: The art doesn’t feature any heroes!  Well, sure, that’s the back of the Hulk’s head – but you can’t see much of the jade giant at all – and that’s the very cool Captain Omen – but again, his presence in the MU these days is negligible.  Still, you can’t deny owning Hulk art from Trimpe is amazing in itself.  As for me, don’t feel too bad about me missing out on this art.  Truth is, I already own a original Trimpe Aquon drawing.  You can see it here: 165 Review

Newstand “Variants”

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A few years ago I walked into a comic shop – one of the worst shops I visit (and with that glowing review I’ll just leave that statement there without identifying the place) where the whole place smells like smoke and the books are severely over-priced.  Why do I visit there?  Well, they usually have a better selection that the other stores in that particular area.  What can you do?  Well, I was looking for a certain issue and the man asked back “Do you want the direct edition or are you looking for the newsstand variant?”

I was taken aback a bit as I had yet to hear this description used.  When I asked what the “newsstand variant” was he said “It’s the same cover but instead of the little box on the bottom having a superhero it has a barcode”  This also left me shook as I had seen many, many of these kind of issues that, for years, were not looked at as any different than the other kind.  I decided to do a little digging (on ebay) and sure enough I saw a few sellers listing books as “Newsstand Variant” and asking for a slightly higher price than the direct edition.  This left me completely baffled because, well, let’s be real honest.  It’s all bullshit.

Yeah, you heard that right, it’s all bullshit.  It’s ridiculous!  This is collectors trying desperately to cling to something that is abundant but fooling themselves into thinking that it is a rare gem.  You want to know how I can claim that it is all bullshit?  Well, easy.  See, people are looking for these issues because they (wrongly) believe they are rarer – but they look EXACTLY the same as the regular cover except one small difference  – the “stoopid” barcode on the bottom.  Well, there’s also another thing you will see these days – on the new release rack, in fact: Second Printings.

Second printings used to have completely new covers – sometimes they were the best panel in the book used for the new cover which I loved – but these days second printings look no different then the first printing covers – except one little thing.  The color of the title is changed and it says “second printing” somewhere on the cover.  I like these issues and I usually snag one when I see it.  I’m not sure why but I just like them.  These “variants” are actually rarer than the regular covers – we know this because they keep really good records these days of what is selling so we know how many have been produced.

Keep in mind, we have no idea how many newsstand “variants” exist because they didn’t keep great records of how many were sold and then returned.  Because of this mystery people have now decided these issues are worth more – even though they are easily obtainable and practically everywhere.  People are paying higher prices for these covers because they BELIEVE they are rare – yet when I went into a comic shop one week and asked about a second printing that was supposed to be released that day the owner responded with “I didn’t order any of those.  They aren’t very popular”

That’s right.  Second printings don’t sell very well – even though we KNOW they are extremely rare.  The man behind the counter said it’s because the covers are practically identical to the first printings.  Yet, newsstand variants are EXACTLY the same except for the pesky little barcode.  So in essence, people are paying top prices for the tiny little barcode on the bottom of the cover.  If that sounds silly to you, well then you’re not part of the problem and I congratulate you.  If you’re reading this just after paying a premium price for a little barcode on a cover of a comic then, well… nice job wasting your money.  Keep on trucking!

Marvel is the Cow, Right?

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Some of you might remember my friend Dave from back in the.  Well he and I were talking about comics the other day.  I mentioned about the upcoming return to original numbering and the return to Planet Hulk in the MU.  He went on to have this very NSFW rant which I had to literally grab a pen and start writing down because it was hilarious.  It went as follows:

“Marvel is like a fucking family with a cow.  A cow that gives the best friggin milk you’ve ever had, right?  But they milk the shit out of this cow for years and years, they realize one morning the milk isn’t as good as it once was – but they want the good shit that they had when this cow first gave them milk.  So they go to this cow and say ‘we’re going to milk the shit out of you again but we want you to give us that good milk – the stuff you gave us when we originally started drinking out of you.’

The cow’s all ‘Dude, I’m fucking tired!  Try milking one of those other cows, fresh cows that you ain’t even tried yet!  Their shit might be delicious too!  And the family is all, ‘nah, fuck that noise, we’re going to milk the shit out of you and we expect it to be the best shit you’ve ever produced.’

The cow tries to tell them over and over, try something new, fresh – but the family never listens.  They keep milking the same cow until it is so tired and half dead.  And then they try to tell everyone the cow is just as good as it’s always been – but people can see the fucking cow, man!  They see it all dying and gasping for air.  They know it ain’t right.”

After he was done I sarcastically said to him “Marvel is the cow, right?”

From the Good – to the Bad and Ugly

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Sideshow has released teasers of the Life-Sized Bust Hulk they will release.  This monstrosity is an absolute disaster – they facial expression screams “What smells bad?” More than scary anger.  Ugh – SS, how do you manage to screw up almost EVERY Hulk release?  There are three SS pieces every Hulk collector should own – I’ll let you guys guess at which I’m talking about – but this botched piece is not one of them.  Thank you SS for saving me some bucks!

Here is the Obvious

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Rumors have been swirling for months about a BAF Gladiator Hulk for the Thor Ragnarok Marvel Legends line. Well, Marvel finally announced what everyone already knew:

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That’s right!  Marvel’s worst kept secret is finally out – Gladiator Hulk will be the BAF for the line!  Totally didn’t see that coming!  It does look awesome though!

Planet Hulk Pop!

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I can’t believe we’re getting a Planet Hulk inspired Pop Hulk before we even get a grey – or Mr. Fixit – Pop, but here we are!  I’m not complaining though!