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.
This cartoon (helmed by Loeb) was a disaster from the start (not a shock). But let’s be really honest – this cartoon was certainly not made for us adult collectors. This was not Avengers… or the many superior DC animated films that come out. Of course a weekly series is not the same as an animated film, so maybe not the best comparison but it still rings true that Marvel seems to be dropping the ball when it comes to the animated series. It did have it’s merits though – like I’ve said many times – my daughter LOVED this series and it made me so happy to watch it with her… even though I cringed my way through a lot of the episodes. All of that being said it should be no wonder or a shock to anyone that the series was axed. Not before a new slew of toys was released into retail. Let’s take a look at a few of them here.
Toys R Us took the hit on being the exclusive holders to releasing the battlers based on this cartoon. They released them at the same time they were having their huge clearance sale, and in a turn of good fortune, I was buying the Hulk Battler at a time when they were charging clearance prices. So all three of these guys were able to be procured for less than $5. Totally worth it when I only pay $1.27 for a Red Hulk. Now either the glitch was fixed or they went back to regular prices but they are a steep $13.99. That’s about $12.00 too much for a Red Hulk or Skaar figure.
These figures being Battlers have a signature move – the Red Hulk has the weak move of just moving his over-sized guns up – but the Hulk’s is the best with his arms swinging and fists ready to land a few gems! Skaar’s figure is actually pretty bad ass with his large sword – but over all, the only one to seek out in this trio is the Hulk. Keep in mind, this is part of a game that your humble narrator doesn’t know how and will never play – so this review is based solely on aesthetics. Grade: C- (on all three)
MU Skaar Figure
The Good: Here is a surprise – not in the sense that this was coming out – but that it looks this good! I still think the price point is off on these figures – but I do like the details they seem to fit into the smaller bodies. This sculpt is leaps and bounds better than the ML figure we were given a few years back – not just the sculpt but the scale to the figures in its respective line.
Still not happy about the price tag - but these figures are looking better
The color is a darker green, which is way better than the teel-esque color that the ML is. I’ve heard there are 2 variants for this figure out there (Yes, it was reported on this site by the ever helpful Gamma-Pup) – not on the figure itself – but the base which you stand the figure on. One stand says “Son of Hulk” while the other says “Skaar” like the package does. That’s the other thing that this figure has over the ML one – this figure actually states his name rather than just “Son of Hulk”.
Skaar - He's a mean green mother from outer space
The Bad: Well, the card art is a pretty unfortunate choice. The art at the top looks like Skaar’s making his “O” face – or even worse – his “I just discovered a dead hooker in my bathroom – and my wife will be home any minute!” face. I still say that these figures should be packed with more than just a simple card and a love letter to Stark – maybe a mini-comic or something.
Hulk's son... still sounds funny to say that
The Ugly (Truth): If you are a Skaar fan – it is a must – I think it captures the brooding adolescent better than the ML figure does. If you are a MU line fan – it’s a must as well – this is a beautiful figure to add into the line and done very well. If you are a Hulk fan… well, make the choice up for yourself here – do you like the character enough to pick it up? I know I did – and I am glad I did. Grade: B+
One of my favorite items is the sword!
Skaar: King of the Savage Land #1
THE POSITIVE: There’s a whole lot of humor in the first issue. That makes comics so much more fun to read. There’s also a bunch of pretty great action – you have to love people beating up Dinosaurs! Also, there are a bunch of intersecting storylines with Ka-Zar trying to connect the Savage Land and the rest of the world, Shanna trying to “welcome” Skaar into the ways of the Savage Land, and of course Skaar fighting humongous robots and unlocking some great ancient evil from an underground prison.
Im sorry - what were you saying Shanna? My thoughts were... elsewhere.
THE NEGATIVE: Amazingly enough, there’s not too much negative to talk about here. I mean, the art is fantastic, the story is funny, interesting and moving at a nice pace. Overall, nothing to complain about here.
Seriously Skaar? Act like a man!
AND THE RELEVANT: I guess we can all admit at this point that Skaar was a great idea. He came off of an amazing Hulk storyline and has continued strongly throughout. Even how he came to be in the Savage Land and stay was a decent enough story… well, HIS part anyways. And I will be the first to admit that he is a perfect fit for the Savage Land! Who wouldn’t want to see a weekly bout with dinosaurs! And, as with the Hulk storyline at the moment, this is the first issue of a mini – so I really can’t give you a definitive answer on whether or not this little series will have an overall impact.
Crap, Skaar - now you are IN for it!
CONCLUSION: You should get this comic and read it a few times. Then read it again!
The Incredible Hulk #606 2nd print
TIH #606 2nd print came out – which is sort of a big deal since it’s the first issue that went into 2nd print for a while – also the HC collecting TIH #601 – 606 + the List came out called: Son of Banner.
Son of Banner HC
Hulk - Dark Reign: The List #1
I told you I’d get these posted by today! I’m so proud of myself! And look at this: Two Pak books in one week?!? I was giddy! Too bad that there’s still no Hulk to speak of. The only let down – of course that’s a huge let down. But this issue does give us hope! Let me begin…
Dr. Wanesboro is being held captive and having the Old Power sucked right out of her by Norman’s lackey, Ms. Hand. Even though they tell her that it’s killing her she says to keep it up. Suddenly, with alarms sounding, they see Banner coming to rescue Wanesboro. Banner easily walks in and takes control over their facility. Hand releases some… wait, this sentence started with “Hand releases…” – tee hee! Anyways, yeah – a bunch of robots ready to kill – but Banner releases his own security – Skaar – swinging his huge sword.
Skaar dealing with his anger issues
We cut to Hand discussing Banner with Osborn – and Osborn sends her back out to take Banner out – but with help – Moonstone! Or Ms. Marvel as some of you have come to know her. As they fly to where Banner is their plane is blown apart. Hand sends 1000 missiles at Bruce and Skaar – Bruce uses some of them at Osborn’s facility, blowing it up. As he’s distracted – Hand comes up from behind and gets the best of Bruce. She seals him in a bubble that slows time down. She tries to kill him – but to no avail – because Bruce is a smarty pants!
Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel has her hands full with Skaar – but even better she lets him in on some secrets. As hand is about to kill Banner again – Skaar comes to the rescue – only to have Ms Marvel grab Bruce. But Skaar threatens to kill Ms. Hand – so Marvel releases Bruce – and Skaar releases Hand – but only after he realizes that the secrets that she spilled are true. Bruce and Skaar leave and Skaar lets Bruce in on the fact that the facility they blew up was also a Gamma Lab – Osborn is trying to turn Bruce back into the Hulk. (Thank goodness!) Everything seems to be going all to Osborn’s plan…
The son carrying the Dad...
Now this issue was a little more exciting! I love the fact that Bruce is still a bad-ass – but Osborn is still smarter, almost anticipating every move Bruce will make. I’m excited to see what happens here By the way – I know there is a Cho variant, I am in the process of looking for a good, affordable copy of one, I’ll post it when I find it.- Grade: A-
The Incredible Hulk #602
Juggy's a flamer!
So on we go with Bruce training Skaar to take on the Hulk… when the Hulk eventually returns. So, in preparation Bruce has the Juggernaut show up. Skaar shows no interest in fighting Juggy at first. Juggy turns his attention to Bruce and starts to pound on him – with only Bruce’s electronic shields to protect him. Skaar finally begins to fight Juggy – and Juggs gets the upper hand pretty quickly – but then, in a shocking turn, Skaar transforms into a child.
Skaar and Juggs clash!
You wouldn't hit a child, would you?
Juggernaut stops fighting – but that gives Skaar the opportunity to use his Old Power to knock Juggs into the air. Skaar transforms back and goes after Juggy. They land deep in the earth – into liquid magma where Juggs can’t use his power. He laughs it off saying he’s going to watch Skaar burn – but Skaar informs him that he was born in fire – right after the Hulk abandoned him. He uses his Old Power again to take the two of them out of the magma (I so like to say “magma” in a Dr. Evil voice – I can’t be the only one, right?) but tricks Juggs and at the last moment he hits Juggy so hard he knocks him right into space.
Old Power - helps when you're in hot water!
Reed Richards and Beast have been talking the whole time – questioning Bruce’s motives. Reed has been supporting Bruce but Beast has called in other help. The issue ends with Skaar and Bruce at a comic shop looking up Conan – to see why Juggy called him that – when Wolverine shows up…
Wolverine - have we not seen enough of him lately?
Not a bad issue – although I can’t say I’m still so happy that these comics are Hulk-less – these issues are really good. I can’t wait to see where they are going with the story. Grade B-
Super Hero Squad Cover... sorry, kind of lame...