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 never read the X-Men. I’m just not interested in them – not sure there is a way I can explain my dislike for the group – I have tried to get into reading the exploits of the mutants before but to no avail. I did see that The Amazing X-Men was set to do World War Wendigo and it piqued my interest. I noticed that it spotlit a whole slew of Wendigos and immediately had flashbacks of the horrible Loeb arc where the Wendigo curse just “somehow” miraculously evolved to be able to be spread through bites and scratches. In Loeb’s version it made no sense and, even worse, the Wendigos went to Las Vegas and encountered Mr. Fixit and then the Green Hulk… and then the Wendi-Hulk. Ugh… So, how did this story line end up? Read on!
Amazing X-Men #8-12
The funny thing is that McGuinness actually escaped having to draw the horrid excuse for a storyline that was Loeb’s Wendigo rampage – but he is in top form here drawing this series. The story begins with a man, in a rage, killing a co-worker and then grinds him up in the beef that gets sent out to the masses for consumption. It’s the best way to start a comic story line, maybe ever. And with Wolverine back in Canada searching for an old friend you think “This is going to be real good!” And the first issue is really good! It sets up everything really well and catches anyone who might not have been following the series thus far up pretty quickly.
I liked the idea that Wolverine was without his healing powers. Not sure how or when he lost them – but at some point his healing factor was just out of control – he could survive just about anything. That’s not a hero that’s all that interesting to read to me – I’d like to think there is a chance (no matter how small) that the hero could be hurt – and maybe even lose a battle! So, Wolvie without the chance to heal is actually an interesting idea to delve into. Storm is also worried at the idea of Logan in danger without his healing factor – and for good reason – because the whole team runs into a pack of Wendigos.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the Hulk villain is that there could only be one – and that it was a mystical curse for an atrocious action toward your own kind. If you don’t know what I mean – you ate someone in the Canadian wilderness and you are cursed to be the Wendigo. For the curse to be altered (like in this case) or the curse to evolve (a curse evolves? Ugh – stupid Loeb) makes for an interesting idea – but it doesn’t really have the same charm or devastating sadness that the character does when his origin is in place. A man trapped inside of a beast for a crime that he was driven to out of desperation or pure enraged emotion is a great base line! People being scratched or bitten and turned into the same creature doesn’t have the same weight.
Anyways, the curse, at first only held in the Canadian land – so as soon as they stepped over the US border they transformed back. That is until the curse was expanded and then the population turned once more – this time in the United States – where the Avengers were trying to contain the outbreak. Things went pretty solidly from bad to worse as the series continued. Wolverine is discovered to have been turned himself – and he’s quite the handful of Wendigo to contain – and children looking for their parents tries to pull at your heart strings. All in all though, this isn’t anything new.
We’ve seen all these plot devices before – even a Wendigo breakout has been done before – albeit not well done, but still. The bang of the first issue is quickly stifled with the rest of the story being a retread of former situations we’ve seen heroes in before – right down to the ending where the big bad is beaten and the slew of Wendigos are reverted, leaving a group of confused and naked humans roaming around trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
I will give the series this: I made it through the whole thing without getting bored. So that’s something. I thought a more original take would have been seeing the X-Men have to handle a town full of Wendigos who were turned because of that initial murder where the man was ground up and then sent out for people to eat. Battling those monsters but knowing that they’re innocent people so they would try not to hurt them at the same time as trying to find someone to reverse the curse. That would have been a better direction – in my opinion. The Wendigo is a fierce opponent to battle on his own – there is no need to add in an infectious element as well. Overall, it’s not a huge recommendation – but if you like the X-Men and you like Wendigo it might be worth looking into. Grade: C+
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:
- Absorbing Man
- Doc Samson
- Ring Master
- and Dormammu
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.
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!
Posted in Doc Samson, Hulk Room, Hulk Statue/Bust, The Abomination, The Leader, Wendigo
Tagged Bi-Beast, Bowen Statue, Constrictor, Doc Samson, Mego, The Abomination, The Leader
Wasn't this Hulk Hogan's pose first?
I have to tell you – I was dead set against picking this up – not because I don’t like the character or was disappointed in the way it came out but more because of the sheer size of this mother! True to the character, this massive statue is bigger than any of the Hulk statues that Bowen has released. Even better – it’s obviously Byrne inspired from Uncanny X-Men #140.
ManiPedi? Wendigo deserves the best...
Classic cover and now classic statue! It’s amazing how some sculpts made in 3-D can work so well, and that’s one of the things that Bowen does better than anyone else. You would be hard pressed to find another company who can make statues of our favorite comic characters that look as though they’ve popped off the page!
It's the whole she-bang!
Now, I told you I was pretty much resigned to not picking this up but I walked into Comically Speaking in Reading, MA and I was floored when seeing it in person. Not only did I pick it up but when I got home I instantly got busy making the perfect display. I’ve always thought that Bowen’s 1st appearance action Wolverine went well with the Smack-Down Hulk – but without Wendigo in the mix the display is missing something.
A Mug only a Mother could love... too bad he would probably eat his mother
Just like the Wendigo bust (which has the greatest base ever!) the FS base is scattered with skulls. While the bust was certainly Trimpe inspired – Bowen went another direction this time, as I mentioned before, with a Byrne inspiration. But this time we at least get a peek at that HUGE tail! The tail and the mane (which was Byrne’s real contribution to this character) are probably my favorite parts of this statue.
I am not an animal!
I mentioned how large this piece is – but unless you can see it you will never fully realize what I mean. Factor in the frailty of the tail and claws – you are seeing a very rare piece. I know Bowen only released 450 of these (and when I say 450 I don’t mean 450 regular with another 450 exclusive – for all of you math illiterate people out there it means there are actually 900 statues out there, yeah – BD doesn’t play that way) and if that seems low to you – it is. If you have a chance to snatch one of these up – DO IT!
Who thinks these two should be a comic team?
So, in closing, we are very lucky to have a company like BD doing comic statues like these and for as long as he has – because we are getting characters that I never dreamed of seeing as busts and FS. Who else thought we’d see a Ring Master bust? Not I! And a Wendigo FS!?!? So, let’s support BD – if this is not you’re cup of tea – that’s fine, you’re nuts, but that’s fine – BD has something for everyone. Check it out for yourself!
Together - they still don't stand a chance!
Now for a shot of the display:
My Desk - how do I ever get any work done?
The Mighty World of Marvel #197
Speaking of Wolverine… overseas they released what they called the Mighty World of Marvel – and what that was were black and white reprints. I have not been able to track down #198 – the reprint of Wolvie’s first (really second) appearance. I did get this one though – #197, Wolverine’s cameo (first real appearance). The cover is absolutely bad ass! Wendigo is one of the best Hulk villains ever – and this is true Trimpe style!
Wendigo vs Hulk - one of the best fights ever!
While #198 is basically the same as the cover to #181 – #197 looks nothing like #180. That’s because #196 does! That’s right – the trilogy is actually spread out between 4 different issues in this series. #196-#199. I have every issue on its way… except #198. Damn Wolverine.
The Money Shot!
The art inside is all the same – just no color – and there are some pin ups, like the one below. This is a pretty great series to have – if you want to -but if you HAVE to choose to get the US series and this – absolutely get the US series!
Hulk/Leader pin up!
DF Limited Edition Trimpe Poster
Herb Trimpe is far and away my favorite Hulk artist. I bought this in Reading a while back – at the same time I bought a few rare Hulk goodies including the Maquette re-paint and the Macaluso kit. He had a few framed posters including this classic image. But I went with this one – mainly because it has the Hulk in battle with two great foes. Since I read the Wendigo’s first appearance in Hulk #162 with his mythical origin of cannibalism and misunderstood “monsters” I’ve loved the character more and more. His latest Loeb incarnation aside, every part of the Wendigo’s story is sadder and more tragic even more than the Hulk’s. A story of isolation, desperation, lost loves and a curse that transforms a man into a monster.
The best part of this limited Dynamic Forces poster is in the upper left corner Herb himself signed it. This features the classic battle from #181 where Wolverine had to interfere. I’m going to just say this – I still can’t believe how much Wolverine cought on after his first appearance in this issue. I mean, who else’s first appearance is marked by being called into action only to get his ass handed to him by the better hero. Artist’s style certainly change over the years – but Herb’s is still great. Only 500 of these posters has been released – this one is #37.
I have this theory about statues and busts that sometimes, just sometimes, a base makes a piece. This is one of those statues. Don’t get me wrong – the sculpt on this bad boy is outstanding – but the sculptor, Tim Bruckner, really hit it home with the base! My word – Wendigo is sitting on top of a mound of human skulls! The best bases help tell the story of the character – and that’s exactly what this does – Wendigo, whose first appearance in Incredible Hulk #162 launched a popular new Hulk foe, but his most defining story and reality of his depressing origin is in the trilogy of #180-#182, also known for the first appearance of Wolverine.
360 Wendigo #1
360 Wendigo #2
360 Wendigo #3
360 Wendigo #4
This run is still pretty available on ebay and other sites and prices vary – but I was lucky enough to snag this through a great friend – but you should snag this when you can because it has a small run of 1000 (my bust is #462). Maybe 1000 isn’t too small – and actually might be too big because he is a pretty obscure villain. Thanks to Loeb the great history of Wendigo has now been altered and thrown away – because now there is Wendigo hybrids!
I think I knew one of those guys on the right...
So, all in all, this is one of those busts that made me smile when I opened it. If you don’t know the origin of this great character do yourself a favor and pick up the back story. They have collected it in enough trades by now it’s easy to find. I don’t want to give away how Wendigos are created but let’s just say it’s a curse – and a Canadian curse at that – so it’s doubly scary!