Tag Archives: 1996

Heroes Reborn Promo Poster (1997)

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There are recent event comics that were put together better than Heroes Reborn – but that’s not saying much.  The Heroes Reborn catalogue was handled by 90’s superstars Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld.  This was about the time when people realized just how untalented and what a hack Rob Liefeld truly is.  While this poster is actually quite cool looking upon closer inspection you have a to ask what the hell is wrong with Thor’s arm?  His shoulder is bigger than his whole freakin’ head!  What’s with the pose?  Thor is going to double fist Mjolnir’s handle and stand there holding it just above his head?  Humans don’t do that!

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If you’ve ever read the stories you know that Iron Man and FF read better than Cap and Avengers but the entire experiment goes down as an embarrassment to not only Marvel but the artists who were involved.  I think we should all be thankful that they used this Cap rather than the appalling Big Boob Cap that has become infamous across the internet!

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Hulk Gives Himself a Facial: A Year of Cringe- Worthy Hulk Moments – Week 1

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!

We’ll begin with one of the more unexpectedly grotesque moments that should stick in every Hulk reader’s minds.   In Incredible Hulk #446, with Onslaught tearing through the MU and Hulk’s mind especially, the Hulk finally can’t take anymore.  His body twists and contorts in such pain that he can no longer take it.  He grabs the side of his face and tears it right from his skull!

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If that’s not enough he’s also radiating so much heat, so much power, he singes the air so fierce that it burns the skin of a soldier named Webster watching from the sidelines.  As he was aiming to take the Hulk out, he saw the horrific sight before him and was so nauseated he made the worst mistake of his life.  He took off his helmet – and that was that.

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While the artist was not my favorite, the over-exaggerating pencils of Angel Medina compliments this shocking scene so well it’s hard to forget after having seen it.

“Ghosts of the Future” (1996) – The Review

The Incredible Hulk #436

This storyline starts off with a bang… almost literally.  The army comes looking for the Hulk and finds Betty… Oh boy, do they find Betty!  She gets back into the house only with enough time to tell Bruce not to come get her – that they won’t hurt her.  That’s when Talbot walks in – not Glen Talbot but his nephew – Matt Talbot.  And he’s just a little angry with Betty… and he’s out to prove he can take the Hulk down.  He wastes only just a bit of time before he pulls Betty out of the house and shoots her right in the leg. 

Matt Talbot isn't messing around!

This, of course send Bruce off to her rescue.  Bruce is met with all new Hulkbuster units.  They are holding Hulk at bay – but mostly just pissing him off and getting destroyed.  That’s when Matt Talbot shoots Betty in her other leg.  Hulk goes all “flying fury” toward Talbot – only to turn into “Savage Banner” by the time he reaches him – and a solider knocks him out with one hit.

Incredible Hulk #437

They take Bruce to a government facility where, if they keep him awake and mad – then they don’t have to worry about the Hulk!  Betty, on the other hand, wakes up in the hospital.  She runs into the police officer that tried to help her before – and he says he wants to help break her husband out.  He introduces Betty to – one of the worse named groups ever – The Head Shop.  Yes, the Head Shop.  They are a groups of people created by the Leader – and they want to help release the Hulk so that he may help them find the Leader.  They’re a group of 5 – but were once a group of 6 – the last member being Frost – you might remember Frost – Hulk ran into him back in Vegas back in issues #395-396. 

Now, the current leader of Freehold is a green man by the name of Omnibus – and even though he has strikingly similar features of the Leader – he is not the Leader – except he thinks he is sort of possessed by the Leader.  Omnibus is getting control over certain men, and with the Alliance ready to make terrorist attacks, he is thrilled thinking that his plan is going over so well…

Bruce - not as strong as he thinks...

The Head Shop helps Bruce escape – but the issue is still that he THINKS he is the Hulk and he is not – Bruce has no enhanced abilities and is actually worse than the Hulk as he is vulnerable in almost every way!  This becomes a real problem when Bruce, thinking he is Hulk, goes to stop a grenade and it goes off.

Incredible Hulk #438

The Head Shop brings the practically dead Banner out to the waiting helicopter that Betty is flying.  She sees Bruce’s condition and freaks – but they tell her they need to take off.  Once in the air though, Betty goes to check on the lifeless Bruce, only for the Hulk t emerge – except the Hulk doesn’t exactly look like himself.  His skin color is darker and he’s a bit nastier to… well, everyone – but especially Betty.  The Hulk is informed that the shrapnel from the grenade is still in his body – that his organs have healed around all the bits of metal – and the ones in his brain may be a problem.  When the Head Shop asks for Hulk’s help to find the Leader he tells them that the Leader is dead.  The Hulk remembers that the Leader once took a bullet out of his brain – maybe he can use his machines to take the remaining metal out of him as well.

Hulk... getting snippy

Matt Talbot wants to find who is responsible for freeing the Hulk and he wants the Hulk found again – but Gyrich tells him that the Alliance is more important at this time and that they have to stop them.  Talbot begrudgingly agrees.

Hulk is leaping through the air near Mt Rushmore when a huge explosion happens – Hulk wonders what that’s all about – and we see the Great Wall of China also get blown up – and Omnibus watching it all go down – laughing away that his plan is working perfectly!  Soon everyone will be blaming each other and it will be Omibus to have to pick up the pieces – and we watch as Omnibus changes into the Leader!

Incredible Hulk #439

The Hulk stands outside of Freehold and gets attacked by Ogress and Hot Shot – seeing as the last time Hulk was in Freehold you really can’t blame them for going on the defensive.  All across the country things are amiss – a man finds one of the Leader’s Humanoids sitting in the parking garage of the World Trade Center – a man taking the tour in the White House hears the President is not there and he suddenly stops and sits in a chair as the tour goes on without him.  Meanwhile, Jailbait is back in the lab where Omnibus came in before and freaked out on her and Hot Shot, so when Omnibus comes in this time – Jailbait hides and overhears the big headed maniac say he is the leader of the Alliance!

A Humanoid... in the never forgotten WTC

Rick Jones and Marlo are visited by a lawyer saying that her clients would like to have a reality show of them named “Keeping up with the Jones” (Holy Crap!  Keeping up with the Jones?!!  Are you kidding me?  I hope PD is getting royalty rights to the name from that horrible Kardashian show!)  But then we see that the whole world is going crazy as explosions are happening everywhere.  The President wants it taken care of – he wants answers – and Gyrich turns back to his advisors and wants the same from them.  Talbot, spoken like a true army man, simply asks for a target.  But now we join Hulk back in Freehold where he and Omnibus talk over how they can take the shards of metal out of his body.  But then Omnibus shows the Hulk all the destruction happening all over the world.  The Hulk freaks out – starts talking to himself – knows that this is the future that Maestro talked about.  And back at Mt Rushmore we see only half of it was destroyed – until something hits it and destroys the other half.  When the dust clears we see the Hulk – now with a beard and long hair – and most importantly, calling himself the Maestro!

Incredible Hulk #440

And who better to take down one of the strongest incarnations of the Hulk ever?  That’s right – only a God would stand a chance against him – Mr. Goldilocks himself – Thor!  Problem is – as the Avengers learn about the Maestro’s appearance (who they think looks amazingly like Hulk) Thor is de-powered and depressed.  But soon – things change – Thor is not only back – but he’s mad.  He says to beat the Hulk he needs to really cut loose – the way the Hulk seems to – not restrained in any way.  Well, as the battle rages on there are distinct eyes upon the beat down – Betty being one, Talbot being another.  Matt Talbot has an atomic bomb ready to be dropped on the Hulk at a mention – but as everyone else watches thinking the Hulk has lost his mind – only Betty knows the truth.  Hulk visited Betty before he went to Rushmore, saying that the world needs a scapegoat – needs someone to blame – so that they don’t all blame each other.  He is that scapegoat – the perfect patsy.

The Hulk knows what te world needs... and it's someone to blame.

Back in Freehold – thanks to Jailbait’s earlier discovery – and her loose lips on the matter – the citizens of Freehold learn that Omnibus – their leader – IS the Alliance.  They storm the lab where Omnibus is and… well, they take care of business.  But that leaves the Hulk and Thor – still battling – Thor out for blood.  He’s in a berserker rage like never before.  Suddenly Samson shows up to overlook the fight and give Talbot a professional opinion about the Hulk – is he out of control or not.  But Talbot hardly needs convincing and sends the signal to drop the bomb.  Hulk sees the bomb  – and with some parting words punches Thor as hard as he can and sends Thor to the stratosphere.  The bomb touches down and in a firey explosion the Hulk is gone.  Samson can’t believe it – Talbot is celebrating – until Samson back hands him – and the Head Shop asks Betty – who was still watching – they ask if she’s okay.  She’s starts laughing deliriously. 

I know I am missing an issue in this storyline – and the sad thing is my computer is down and getting cleaned out – so  I wasn’t able to add it in – I will make sure to add it in later.  It’s the Cutting Edge issue and I remembered it too late. Also, when I get my computer back I will review the latest issues – the end of the Chaos War.  Now, back to these issues –  The storyline had it’s up and downs for sure – beginning with the art of Angel Medina.  It is so inconsistent – there are some freakin’ fantastic shots – but most of his panels are really awkward looking.  And then there is the storyline itself – we begin with a bang – the introduction of Matt Talbot was awesome – and how die hard is he – and shooting Betty?  Bad-ass! But he turns out to be another Army wacko just wanting blow things up…  Also, the Leader coming back was fantastic – except David himself has gone on record as saying that the Leader appearance was left open-ended as maybe in Omnibus’ head.  Eve the Thor vs Hulk fight was questionable.  There are some die hard Thor fans that claim he wasn’t up to full strength – but this was one of the best Hulk vs. Thor fights ever and to me showed just who the real powerhouse is.  So pretty much everything in these issues were left with highs and lows.  I was looking to see if this was ever collected into a trade – but did not come across anything – and with it so deep in the David run I think we’ll have to wait to see if they even make it into the Visionaries trades.  If they do it will surely be up to Volume 20. Grade: C

Hulk Prototype (1996)

Hulk Prototype

This insanley cool piece is a prototype of a Hulk figure that was supposed to come out in the 1996 era of Hulk toys.  You can pump his head and then press the buttons on his back and each button controls a different part.  This sweet-ass piece also comes with a little nerf gun – the Hulk can shoot his way out any jam!  Wait a cotton pickin’ minute – the Hulk doesn’t need a gun!

Love the Look of this Hulk face!

One of the best parts about this prototype toy is the Hulk Head mold.  But you can take the head and pump it up and down – then press one of the 4 buttons on his back to either flex his muscles, raise his arms, or shoot the gun.  Steve from the best website ever tried to get a hold of Toy Biz and ask them about this piece for me. As of yet though – we haven’t heard anything.

The 4 buttons on Hulk's back

Prototypes are an interesting collectibles, mainly because they are one of the rarest things you can collect.  I’m only interested in unreleased prototypes.  A little while back person emailed me asking if I had interest in buying some prototypes.  He showed me 2 unreleased piece including a Wolverine vs Hulk diorama and an animated Hulk figure (both made my mouth drool!).  He also showed me the prototypes of the Hulk Icon figures and a few Hulk prototype movie figures.  He said he was willing to sell some pieces.

The Pump is in the Hulk's neck

ET Phone Home!

I asked about prices and he said sent me back prices like $600 for the Hulk Icon prototype… each.  I can’t see paying that much for figures that I already have – they are just made out of different material = and most of the time they are put together a little worse since they aren’t meant for release – just to showcase the figure to the Marvel big-wigs!  He then ended the email by saying he wasn’t looking to sell the unreleased pieces…

The Rare Hulk Prototype!

That’s where things ended with this seller – since that’s what I wanted – and the ONLY thing I wanted.  So, when I saw this piece on ebay (alright, Steve, from the best website, told me about the auction) I had to bid – the price was right and I scooped up an amazingly rare Hulk piece!

Cable #34 (1996)

Cable #34 - Written by Loeb!

Cable #34 - Written by Loeb!

I found something very interesting this past weekend – as searching some of my back issues I happened along Cable #34 written by none other than… drum roll… Jeph Loeb!  Here’s the amazing thing – it’s actually pretty good!  But there are some odd similarities to this issue and the current storyline.  See, back in 1996 the big, epic tale sweeping through the Marvel books was Onslaught – a villain unlike anything the MU had seen before – this character was so powerful that he actually took control of the Hulk’s mind.

There’s a great review of this issue right here

The issue has similarities, like I said, for instance, the Hulk actually switches between his different personalities – although here they actually seem to have a reason – and the fight with Cable is pretty badass.  But you have to wonder if PD and Loeb were on the same page with this idea – because the continuing issue was TIH #444 – and the Hulk doesn’t change personalities there.  Although, sadly, the Loeb written issue is much better than the PD one.  Anyways, go out and find this issue – it’s worth the read.  Something by Loeb that won’t make you want to tear your hair out.

Heavy Hitters Raging Hulk (1996)

Heavy Hitter's Rampaging Hulk!

Heavy Hitter's Rampaging Hulk!

Remember those Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots?  Well, in the later 90’s Marvel brought out their own version of those with the Heavy Hitters.  Basically, you take the action figure provided and snap it into place on the joy stick.  There are buttons that will make the Hulk punch, kick and give intimidating, dirty looks to your opponent.  All of that is true… except the dirty looks part.  When you are defeated the figure slumps over, like he just got kicked in the nuts or he’s had too much to drink and is praying to the porcelain gods.  I had this figure glued to my dash board when I was younger.  It made the girls go crazy.  Or one girl.  The one girl who would talk to me.  Also known as my sister.

Hulk Kite (1996)

Hulk Kite

I’ve never flown this kite, mainly because I’ve never had enough spare time to stand in one spot holding string and look stupid.  But maybe someday!  (You can’t see this, but I am crossing my fingers and my legs and squeezing my eyes shut REAL tight!)