Category Archives: The Leader

I Hope Your Head Catches Up with Your EGO! A Year Worth of Cringe-Worthy Hulk Moments: Week 16

Let’s have a little fun and discuss some of the more graphic, violent, sad, or just plain awkward moments that have plastered the Hulk history.  Be it a passing meeting between spouses of a gruesome scene that nobody saw coming – this year I’ll have you squirming in your seat!

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Let’s look back and notice that no other enemy of Hulk’s rogue gallery have had the transformations that the Leader has.  He went from a sanitation worker to ultra-evil genius to a man with regular intelligence – to super evil genius again!  This time with a bulbous head rather than just a vertically-gifted head.  Years go by and suddenly the Hulk comes face to face with a grotesque, disturbing Samuel Sterns

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Of course, the Hulk arrives just in time for the Leader’s head to expand to the point of explosion.  Nothing like running into a old friend and end up with his brain matter all over you… gross.

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…

Savage Hulk (2014-2014)
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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Avengers Assemble Radiation Rocket Leader (2013)

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Tonight I will posting a full length review on all of the new hulk related figures I have posted – but here is a quick sneak peek at the latest acquisition.  It looks pretty awesome!

Hulk Room Saturday!

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I was lucky enough to get one – ONE – detolf before IKEA took them out of their inventory – and then put them back on at a slightly higher price.  I was given this as a present for my birthday from my sister.  Still one of the best gifts ever!  I figured I would give you a shelf by shelf look… mostly.  This image above is the Hulk foes shelf – Bowen has given us the widest range of characters I think any high end collectible company will give us.  I would drop down from shock to see anyone else give us a Bi-Beast – never mind a mind-blowing fantastic sculpt like the one we were given!  Just to lay it out you see here:

  • Bi-Beast
  • Absorbing Man
  • Wendigo
  • Doc Samson
  • Ring Master
  • Constrictor
  • and Dormammu

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Second self is dedicated to one of the best Bowen statues to be released ever (yeah – I went there).  One of the most underrated pieces for sure – the Abomination is one of the truest representations of the Gamma-Spawned monster ever to be done.  Behind him is the now defunct Blockbuster Video’s exclusive print of the first cover appearance of the Abomination that was released with the 2008 movie.  Also, a reprint of Silver Surfer #12 under the title Fantasy Masterpieces.

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Third shelf is my ode to the best two Hulk villains – the Abomination and the Leader.  You see both character busts from Bowen – and also the Dynamic Forces Leader bust (another underrated piece).  Also a custom Leader Mego figure.  The last piece is the Keown inspired Dynamic Forces Hulk statue – while small is stature a great piece!

Last level just has the Marvel Legos so I didn’t take a shot – but I hope you enjoyed the view!

Avengers Attack Super Hero Squad (2011)

Avengers Attack

The Positive: They have released a couple of these multi-figure SHS packs.  The other HAS  a Hulk in it – but it’s the same Hulk they have now released at least 5 times.  I have made a stand and refuse to pick it up – mainly because they JUST released it in the Thor 3-Pack a month ago.  This pack here has two things going for it – a re-painted Leader AND a first ever Red She Hulk.

Red She Hulk SHS

The Negative: So, here’s the rub.  The original Leader had an Orange/Yellow evil jumpsuit – and they repainted the gloves, boots, belt to silver.  And that’s it.  I would have loved to see a McFarlane inspired Leader instead of a simple re-paint.

Leader Re-paint

The Conclusion: This is a great way to pick up quite a few SHS figures for less than buying those 2-packs.  This pack also delivers the black suit Spidey (which is way cooler than the regular suit, IMO) and a great Cap not to mention Crossbones.  This 7 pack is worth the pick up!  Grade: B

Original Leader Paint Job

Custom Mego Leader (2010)

Custom Mego Leader

I don’t buy a lot of customs – usually I don’t see any that I like for the prices they ask.  The best ones come from a great guy named Sean – but unfortunately he’s on the other side of the globe and shipping is outrageous!  I particularly love his Planet Hulk customs.  His re-paints are HUGE improvements over the originals.

Close Up

I did see this figure on ebay – I have thought many, many times I wish that Mego did more Hulk villains – and this was so cheap I snagged it up.  It’s the perfect representation of the old-school, classic Leader – the only issue I have is that it is actually taller than the actual Hulk figure.

Leader and the Hulk

Leader and Roto Hulk