Category Archives: The Abomination

Toy vs Toy (vs Toy!) Friday!

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It is a rarity to have variants from two different sets right on top of each other like this but the latest Marvel Legends Abomination figures have been released – so let’s see which figure is worth the bucks!

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There is a Build-A-Figure in the latest Captain America Marvel Legends wave and it is pretty impressive.  This classic inspired sculpt is large, bulky and amazingly well done.  In the same breath Marvel also released a San Diego Comic Con exclusive Abomination in “The Raft” set along with Dreadknight, Enchantress, Purple Man, Sandman and, of course, a Spidey figure as well.  Which one is better?  Well, oddly it is the figure with a less detailed paint scheme.  While the BAF is very cool looking and I appreciate the fact that they tried to give the Abomination a distinct look it isn’t one we’ve ever seen portrayed in the comics.  The lighter paint on the belly, face, hands and feet certainly gives it a more reptilian look – which lends itself to a more obvious presence – but it just doesn’t scream out Abomination!

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The exclusive, which is darker without much paint variation at all, is the better of the two figures.  Even the lighter color on the nails – unlike the black nails on the BAF – looks better!  From there, the toys have very little difference.  I am shocked that both figures are relatively affordable on the secondary market right now.  The better figure of the two, the exclusive, is the less expensive one as well.  If you’re looking to just pick up one of them I throw my hat into the ring for the exclusive all the way!

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Now, the other question is: How do these Abominations compare to Marvel’s earlier releases?  The 2006 Abomination is larger by a hair, which makes the difference of being a bit taller than the Hulk – as he is supposed to be! You also have the option to form his claws into fists – a detail lacking in the most recent offering – not to mention the obvious articulation is far superior.  It also has a variant that cannot compare – a “melted face” version (pictured) that every Hulk fan out there should have on their “must own list”.  While I enjoy the face sculpt a bit more on the recent figure and I feel the old head mold is a bit too small for the humongous hulking body the truth is that the 2006 Abomination is easily the better figure.

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What about the Marvel Select Abomination, you ask – well, as big and heavy and impressive as that figure is the oversight of including a five toed foot rather than the trademark humongous two toed clawed feet.  That ONE reason alone disqualifies the figure from the running of best Abomination figure.  Sad but true because otherwise that would be the tops!

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Marvel 500 A-Bomb and Abomination (2015)

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I’m pretty sure these were released last year and I never got around to showing them.  Marvel 500 has lived up to their name so far by releasing quite a few characters and variants on characters.  I’ve tried to collect them all that are related to the Hulk – that includes the Hulk’s rogues gallery.  I can’t believe of all the characters that have died and came back we still live in a world where Hulk’s 2nd oldest foe is still among the deceased.

We can at least sigh in relief to the fact that A-Bomb is no longer.  Cured during the too short Duggan run A-Bomb was reverted back to Rick Jones.  I only hope Marvel will one day bring back the true Abomination.  That and the real Hulk too…

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Soon to be… BAF Abomination!

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Pics released at the SDCC this year shows plans for an Abomination BAF to be released in an upcoming wave of Marvel Legends.  Some people suspect it may be in the Captain America: Civil War wave – others are pretty sure it’s not.  So, really it’s anybody’s guess right now.  Either way, I’m looking forward to see if they can top the Marvel Legends Abomination from series 13.  I don’t have a lot of confidence – but the production pictures released look pretty good.

Something Special for a Monday

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Savage Hulk #5 & 6 (2014) – The Review and Series Overlook

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Well, that was short-lived.  I really thought we were going to make it past a measly 6 issues.  I know that technically, with the Hulk/Thanos mini-series coming next week, since it was supposed to be part of this title that this series did surpass the Rampaging Hulk series from the 90’s – but it’s still a bummer that a second Hulk title can’t even last a year.  What happened exactly?  If you can remember, the Rampaging Hulk was brought out because there were a lot of fair-weather Hulk fans clamoring for a Hulk series that starred the classic, savage Hulk.  Of course when Marvel responded by releasing the underrated and fun Rampaging Hulk series those said “fans” still didn’t buy it and it was cancelled after 6 issues.  Almost a complete 20 years later they have done it again, releasing a second Hulk title with the classic Hulk – this time keeping within the continuity of the Hulk and having the series cover sort of the “untold” tales of what has happened in the past.  It didn’t exactly go as planned…

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W: Hardman/Bechko
A: Hardman

What I thought was a fantastic and brilliant move, the Savage Hulk started off exploring the classic X-Men #66 – bringing in the Hulk’s greatest villains right out of the gate – he was facing the Leader and the Abomination!  How can you go wrong?  The story was written and beautifully illustrated by Alan Davis and moved in a decent pace with a good amount of action and, like I said, it was good to have the Hulk battling his classic rouges gallery.  Seeing the Leader in all of his original glory was a thrill – and of course having the REAL Abomination back in a new story was real like having an old friend come in the room and smack you across the face… but in a good way.

The Hulk was fighting his foes along side (and sometimes against) the X-Men in trying to save Professor X.  Just like back in the day there was plenty of subconscious battling inside Banner’s head while the real action is taking place in reality.  That and seeing the Leader with his humanoids, the gamma-irradiated desert roamers and even a Hulked out Professor X made the first arc a must read!  Banner fought his others selves for control, the Leader was defeated – but wasn’t – and the Hulk’s allies still didn’t trust him in the end.  It was nothing short of smart and entertaining story-telling with that classic flair.

Issues 5&6 jump ahead to Hulk #300 where the Hulk was sent to the crossroads by Dr. Strange.  A story line that I wasn’t all that entertained by when I first read it and was a little bummed when I saw that this is where they were headed.  The Hulk is sent to different lands where he can be by himself – but the plan goes astray when Hulk lands in a reality where the inhabitants age so quickly that the Hulk is a new threat to a historic destructive force in a matter of hours.  Strange comes to the rescue in the end – and avoids a gamma-catastrophe with the by convincing a mind-less Hulk to dispose of a gamma bomb.

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I’m not sure why this series didn’t catch on more – I mean it didn’t come screeching out of the gate with initial sales but, unfortunately, dropped by half with the 3rd issue.  That, of course, spells certain death with books.  This series seemed to be doing everything right – the only thing I can think of is that people may have been turned off of the timeline jumping – having to know their Hulk history to really enjoy the stories.  Even then, the authors did a fantastic job of catching you up so you weren’t lost and maybe even inspired a few to go back and read the original issues these stories were taken from.  I guess that’s really a pipe dream since issue 6 was the last.  I’m bummed to see this series go.  It was an enjoyable side series for the Hulk fans out there.  As mentioned before, this coming week we will see the continuation of this series as the mini Hulk vs Thanos.  While it looks real fun it comes at a price knowing that this could have given the Savage Hulk the sales bump it needed to get some new readers on board.

I miss the old days where new readers jumped on a title without loyal readers seemingly getting punished with reboots and cancellations.  This series was a perfect title for old and new readers alike – the only set back being that it may never had a chance to get solid footing with a new writer and artist on the book every few issues.  Of course, with the state of comics today that doesn’t seem too far off of what regular series seem to be doing. Grade for issues 5 & 6: B / Series: B+

Marvel Universe Abomination/A-Bomb and Grey Hulk as well as Avengers Assemble Radiation Rocket Leader (2013)

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I promised some better pictures – and here they are.  The Marvel Universe has become one of the more successful figure lines in Marvel history (and I base that statement on nothing, even fact) and it is a shame that the “re-branding” had to happen.  To me it means almost certain backward steps for this 3 3/4″ Marvel figure line.  Here’s why: with every series you have to have the heavy hitters like Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk – we all know this and are aware of the earlier series doing just that – and we wait.  We wait until the line continues and we start to see the more unique and random figures – case in point – “Bag Head Spider-Man” – this was a figure that I loved.  I was ecstatic to find it on the pegs!  But, the point is, we always have to wait for a line to mature until we get some of the great figures!

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I will say that the MU line wasn’t as Hulk friendly as it could have been.  The Marvel Legends line at least gave us a few Hulks every few series, including Maestro!  The MU line, until more recently, served up very little Hulk to anyone.  We had the original releases from Wave 2 in 2009 that were the stand alone Hulks in the whole line until Wave 12 in 2010 (and please don’t give me that “you missed the Red Hulk of Wave 4 in 2009” because that is not the same character – they are two separate characters – just because Marvel wasn’t imaginative enough to give him a new name does not mean he gets lumped in with the actual Hulk) when we were given a World War Hulk.  That sculpt was not used sparingly as it spawned another green, (the red) and then finally another grey.  As far as the Hulk family goes we had to wait for a while but they finally started surfacing and we were given such gems as Skaar, First Appearance Wolverine, Doc Samson, She Hulk, even Constrictor got some love, and now – after all this time – an amazing Abomination figure.  Even the variant A-Bomb is pretty impressive!

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We also had the treat of having some of the better Marvel villains – some I consider Hulk adopted villains – like Juggy, Absorbing Man (with an awesome metal variant), and the classic Rhino.  MU was really soaring high, in my opinion, which is why I am also so dismayed at the sudden re-branding.  The Avengers Assemble line is taking over – and while it already gave us a bad-ass new Hulk figure – it has some of the planned future MU figures tagged onto its early series.  The Leader, for example, was a planned release for the MU and is now coming out as a Avengers Assemble figure.  While this is still great news I wonder what kind of plans are changing here.  The Leader comes with a Gamma Cannon – and if you take a look at the pictures it looks like an accessory geared toward children.  Please, let the sarcastic “these are toys made for children!” backlash begin – but while I know this is an action figure line and that they are toys – not very many MU came with “childish” accessories.  It seems to bring the line down a notch, in my eyes anyways.

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One of the biggest things I will miss is the is the fantastic card art – not to mention, when displaying the figures all together, they look better when they seem uniform.  Unfortunately, those days are coming to a close.  So, let me throw some grades out there – and see who agrees with me:

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MU Abomination:
This is one of the best that MU has offered. Big and bulky and truthfully, a great representation of the Hulk’s most historic villain.  This is a must have for Hulk fans and MU lovers.  It seems to be harder to find than the A-Bomb at the moment – so if you do snag one consider yourself lucky!  Grade: A

MU A-BOMB:
Another home-run from Hasbro.  This bulky figure might just be better than Abomination – but he gets a slightly lower grade because of the horrible character he plays in the new cartoon.  Is that fair?  Probably not – but life is not fair, so deal with it.  Grade: A-

MU Grey Hulk:
The disappointment in this figure is that it is just a simple repaint – with the same card art and everything – that the classic Hulk had.  Nothing more to offer – it’s still a great sculpt though – and the paint application is spot on.  Grade: B-

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AA Leader:
This figure certainly is amazing as I have been waiting for a long time for a new Leader figure.  Here’s to hoping a classic “tall head” variant is going to be released.  The more savvy will recognize the body as the one used for the Skrull Soldier from the Avengers Movie line.  That doesn’t take away from the figure itself though.  Grade: B+ 

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Marvel Universe Abomination & Grey Hulk (2013)

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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.

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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.