Tag Archives: 1998

The Incredible Hulk #461 Pg 18 – Overlay (1998)

Hulk vs Maestro!

Here is another interesting piece of art – it comes from the issue where the Hulk faces off against the Destroyer – and who inhabits the Destroyer?  That would be the one and only – the Maestro!  David Brewer penciled this issue – but I don’t have the whole page – just the patch .  If you remember, I have another page where the artist had to patch a different image on the bottom of the page, of course, with that page I have both the original page AND the overlay – Here I have just the patch – which is still cool in itself – and cost me practically nothing!  I can’t help but think I have had artists do less than this for almost four times the amount on a commission!  Anyways, you can never go wrong with Hulk vs Maestro!

The whole page

Marvel/Fleer Hulk Gold Card (1998)

Here's a hint - the artist is a legend...

This card comes from a set of 4 that included Iron Man, Spiderman, Wolverine and this guy right here!  While I have only this card – I will give a No-Prize to anyone who can tell me who drew this image AND where it’s from…

With 465 back – good luck to anyone who answers this before he gets to – because he already knows the answer and I haven’t finished typing it yet…

Rampaging Hulk #1 Page #23 (1998)

Rampaging Hulk Issue #1 Page #

Rampaging Hulk Issue #1 Page #23

I reviewed the short lived series “The Rampaging Hulk” a little while back – and I talked about Rick Leonardi’s art – well, my wonderful wife was able to find original art from this series. Not only was she able to find original art but she found a page featuring the Hulk and Bruce Banner fighting each other (SWOON!) AND the bottom panel has Thunderbolt Ross and Betty Ross AND General Talbot (TRIPLE SWOON!) So, yes, I have the greatest wife in the world and also one of the coolest pages from this series. Man, life is good!

Banner hitting Hulk

Banner hitting Hulk

Hulk hitting back!

Hulk hitting back!

Also – as an added bonus – Rick Leonadri signed it! I have some beautiful art featuring some of the greatest Hulk artists but this has to one of my all time favorites. No other page I have features so many vital Hulk characters in one page.

The Signature!  Best present ever!

The Signature! Best present ever!

Betty, Talbot, Ross - and a tortured Banner

Betty, Talbot, Ross - and a tortured Banner

Thank you my lovely wife!  And thanks to Rick Leonardi for creating such a great page!  Again, if you don’t have the short lived series it’s really worth picking up.

The Rampaging Hulk (1998) – The Review – Part 3

The Rampaging Hulk #5

The Rampaging Hulk #5

Here are the final two issues – and here’s the thing – they save some of the best for last!  This series was certainly just getting going – man, I wish they kept this going – because the next issue was one of my favorites!  Anyways, let’s finish this up…

Issue 5 has one of the most classic battles in the Comic Book Universe!  The Fantastic Four against the Hulk.  Now, I am currently in pursuit of collecting The Defenders back issues as well as Hulk guest appearances – and the FF has quite a few including #12, 25, 26, 112, 166, 167, 320 – there’s probably more but that’s I can remember off  the top of my head.  This issue starts off with the FF ready to head out to look for the Hulk.  As they are readying the Fantastic-Car they squabble only the way the FF can – then we join Bruce who has stopped for lunch at a Diner in Colorado.  Bruce, with his suave self, actually has a waitress hitting on him.  He tells her his name is Bruce “Bixby” 🙂

As Bruce finishes his meal the waitress gives him her phone number – as he considers asking her to get some dinner – the Fantastic Four show up.  They drop the car and people begin to gather around and admire the team – all but Grim who feels as though the people are looking at him like he is a monster.  Mr. Fantastic tells the people in the town that he they are looking for the Hulk.  Bruce begins to run.  As he starts to run the transformation takes place and the Hulk is released.  But the Hulk is not one for running – in fact, he heads right back to town to confront the FF.  The Human Torch takes the initiative and tries out his new trick – chains of fire – don’t ask me how he made chains of flames, but he did.  The Hulk cracks open a fire hydrant and takes care of that.  Next, the Invisible Woman tosses force fields at the Hulk, making him stumble.  But as he’s falling he catches the Human Torch’s arm and throws him.  Mr. Fantastic catches Johnny and as Sue cuts off the Hulk’s air supply with a force field around his head Reed comes over with an Encephalo-Band – which should allow Bruce to take over Hulk’s mind – but as Reed begins to wrap himself around the Hulk.  The Hulk doesn’t take too kindly to that and tries to tie Reed into a knot.  Out of no where an invisible Thing comes over to knock some sense into the Hulk.

Meanwhile back at Gamma Base Major Reeves is getting tired of Ross and Talbot not giving him the respect he deserves.  He starts planning on making his position at Gamma Base a little more permanent.  So, the Thing continues to beat on the Hulk with the aid of the Invisible Woman – but Hulk throws a car at her and distracts her concentration.  Suddenly the Thing is visible again and that’s where the fun really begins.

Classic Battle - Hulk vs Thing!

Classic Battle - Hulk vs Thing!

As the fight continues the Hulk and the Thing begin to argue – and the Hulk tells him that he should know what its like to have people think he is a monster.  Hulk jumps off saying he wants to find a place where he won’t be feared and hated.  The Thing wishes him luck.  Then Reed and Grim talk over how the Hulk must feel with everyone always hounding him like he’s a monster.

I loved this issue – it was in the classic style of Marvel’s early days where the Hulk would meet the FF.  Issue gets an A 

The Rampaging Hulk #6

The Rampaging Hulk #6

Issue #6 – the final issue – I will tell up front, wasn’t it my favorite.  After a few really promising issues we have the Hulk meeting up with a Native American tribe and a member of the tribe who can transform into a Puma/Man – appropriately named “Puma”.  Hulk runs into Puma and the chief of the tribe – as Puma and the Hulk start to fight – the chief stops them and says that he can help the Hulk get rid of his anger.  The Hulk returns to the tribe’s home and he goes on sort of a spirit walk.  He meets up with Betty and Jarella, Jim Wilson and Rick Jones.  They tell the Hulk that he is loved.  The Hulk reverts back to Banner in reality – which is not good – because Major Reeves has a sniper shoot Banner in the head.  Talbot and Ross are stunned that Reeves would attack Banner but Reeves is please with how he took care of a situation that Ross never seemed to be able to.

But Banner is not dead – hew begins to convulse and transform into… seriously?  You need me to tell you?  What are you even doing on this blog?  Anyways, still in the spirit walk the Hulk tells Bruce that he needs him – especially since Bruce was dead.  The army shows up to take Banner’s body back to the base – except that there is no body – just a pissed off Hulk.  Reeves and Ross have the quote of the series when they say REEVES – “But You’re – you’re – he’s…” ROSS – “A force of nature!”

The army tries to shoot but the Hulk just turns and takes off saying – “Hulk sorry – but Hulk can’t stay…”.  The series ends with a shot of Hulk tearing up a mountain and Ross addressing Talbot saying “We’re back in business!”

A good ending to a good series, Rating this a B-

Rampaging Hulk (1998) – The Review – Part 2

Rampaging Hulk #3

Rampaging Hulk #3

So, I will try to recall as much as I can here… in 1998 there were die-hard Hulk fans who were none to happy with the direction Peter David was taking their beloved hero.  Marvel’s answer to this was to bring back the Savage Hulk persona in a new series called The Rampaging Hulk.  While it didn’t do terrible by today’s standards, in 1998, in the midst of Marvel’s bankruptcy, it wasn’t considered a success and it was cancelled after 6 issues.  Too bad – it was actually pretty darn good.  I have gone back and given each issue a separate rating – so if you’re interested you should go back to Part 1 of the review 🙂  On to Part 2!

We join Ross and Talbot as they survey the damage that was caused from the Hulk / Ravage fight (from issue #2)  They have the freeze ray ready to go.  Elsewhere, we join Bruce Banner searching for Prof. Crawford in a residential area.  He finds him, half naked and unable to walk, and he asks Bruce for help.  Bruce gets him back to his house.  Bruce discusses trying to find a cure before sunset when Crawford will most likely turn back into Ravage.  Crawford lets Bruce know he has no intention of curing himself – he loved and longed for the power that he felt as Ravage.  Ross and Talbot show up looking for Bruce – Crawford gives him up pretty quickly and they shoot Bruce with a tranquilizer dart.  Without Bruce there to stop him Crawford wants to figure out how to be Ravage all the time! (Thrilling, intense music should be played at this part)  Bruce is being held, sedated, by the army.  Betty tries to talk to Bruce but he just asks her to leave.  Next, Thunderbolt Ross shows up and tells Bruce that there is a green monster destroying everything in his path.

Ravage is taking all sorts of pleasure in destroying whatever he can – and then the army shows up and starts to shoot him – but with little effect.  Ravage takes a helicopter down and then takes off.  Meanwhile, Bruce and Thunderbolt Ross are inspecting Crawford’s lab – where Ravage shows up and destroys his teleport pods.  Bruce tells him that he has ruined his chances for a cure – not to mention that he will return to being Crawford at sunrise.  Ravage says that there are prototype pods hidden away – and this pisses Bruce off pretty good.  He Hulks out and they begin to battle again – but this time Ravage is amazed at the Hulk’s strength.  The lab begins to crumble around them and the Hulk takes Ross to safety.  The classic moment comes outside of the lab when Ross and Hulk just stare at each other – Ross realizing that the being that he has hunted to destroy for so many years just saved his life.  As Ravage comes out of the building the army is there and hits him with the freeze ray.  As they are about to hit the Hulk they tell Ross to get out of the way.  Thunderbolt actually hesitates… before stepping aside.  But the Hulk jumps toward the freeze ray and destroys it, then he leaps away.  Talbot tells Ross at least they were able to get Ravage.  Ross continues to wonder if he had let the Hulk get away by hesitating.

This is a pretty decent issue – I actually enjoy the art very much – and the story gets better as it went along.  B-

Rampaging Hulk #4

Rampaging Hulk #4

In issue 4, we have a guest penciler – I really liked Rick Leonardi’s pencils but Dave Ross does the Hulk justice – even though there are certain shots that he makes the Hulk look like a retarded child.  The Hulk sits a top a mountain thinking about how he hates everyone.  Or, more to the point, how he just wants to be left alone.  We join little Danny and his Father as they are cooking dinner.  Danny hears the Hulk’s screaming which his father mistakes for the wind.  Hulk begins to have a tantrum and jump around which causes an avalanche (hence, the cover)  The avalanche covers the cabin that Danny and his father are in, trapping them.  Meanwhile, back at Gamma Base Betty and her father argue about him spending his life searching for the Hulk rather than spending it with his family.  They continue to examine Ravage for clues to how to get the Hulk while Talbot spends time with Col. Reeves, a visitor from the Pentagon.  Reeves is unimpressed with the new cell claiming that no cells have held the Hulk yet – what makes this one different (he is so right!) and tells Talbot how he’d deal with the Hulk once and for all.  He’d wait till the Hulk transformed back into Banner – and then he’d shoot Banner in the head. (Which is actually how Frank Castle handled the Hulk in The Punisher Kills Off the Marvel Universe)

Danny and his Father, whose name, we find out, is Mitch Bennett, have a new visitor – a half naked Bruce Banner comes tumbling into the cabin.  Bruce and Mitch notice the cabin starting to crumble under the weight of all the snow – they decide they need to try and get out – but Bruce also remarks on how much Mitch loves his son – not like his Father, a jealous, rage-filled man who hated Bruce for needing love and attention from his Mother.  As the cabin continues to crumble Bruce, Mitch and Danny start to head up the tunnel that the Hulk left behind.  As they travel higher and higher Bruce gets more and more worried.  They make it to the top – but just as they do Danny slips and falls and knocks Bruce down behind him.  Mitch sees the Police and Rangers looking for them – he calls them over to help.  The Hulk bursts from the snow with Danny safely tucked under his arm.  As the Police are looking through the snow Bruce shows up with Danny – Mitch scoops him up into his arms and thanks Bruce for saving his son.  And then the Police begin to cuff Mitch.  Bruce asks what’s going on – and Mitch confesses that he kidnapped Danny from his Mother because of a custody battle he didn’t think was going to go his way.  Bruce is stunned.  Meanwhile, back at Gamma Base Talbot and Ross have called in a few recruits to help locate the Hulk – The Fantastic Four!

Dave Ross - is this the Hulk or a Green Sloth from Goonies?

Dave Ross - is this the Hulk or a Green Sloth from Goonies?

This is a classic type story complete with a twist ending you don’t see coming – and to throw the FF into the mix?  Pure gold!  A-

Come back tomorrow for… I will give you a hint – he’s green and 3 inches tall…

Rampaging Hulk (1998) – The Review – Part 1

First Fantastic Issue - that wasn't so fantastic...

First Fantastic Issue - that wasn't so fantastic...

Back in 1998 the Hulk’s popularity was experiencing a resurgence so he was rewarded with a second title.  This title was supposed to be a new on-going title, much like how Spider-man had Amazing Spiderman, Spiderman, Peter Parker; Spiderman, etc… well, it didn’t turn out to be such a great idea because the title only lasted a measly 6 issues.  6.  The unfortunate thing is that the series wasn’t so bad.  I will review the entire series in 3 parts – 2 issues in each review.  One of the most interesting things about this series is that the first issue didn’t have a variant – but the second did.  That’s right – the second did.  The variant cover to issue #2 drawn by none other than Mr. Joey Q and Jimmy Palmotti. We’ll talk more about that later… ON TO THE REVIEW!

This series begins with a quick overview of who the Hulk is – a rampaging, wild, uncontrollable monster – or so says Thunderbolt Ross briefing a bunch of soldiers who are preparing to capture the Hulk.  Bruce Banner is posing as a custodian in a research facility in Chicago trying to find a way to destroy the monster within.  The army learns of this and prepares to capture him.  Glenn Talbot, who at this time is still married to Betty, is ready to leave with Thunderbolt Ross and as he says good-bye we learn that not only does Betty still love Bruce – but Glenn knows it.  Bruce continues his experiment to get rid of the Hulk.  But something goes terribly wrong… Bruce begins to change.  As the army converges on the building Bruce comes crashing out and seems to be stuck in-between his transformation.  Talbot is able to stick him with a tranquilizer.  They bring Bruce back to Gamma Base and trow him into a concrete cell.  Stuck in mid-transformation we go inside Banner’s brain and join Bruce and the Hulk fighting over control.  The Hulk wins.  He sees Ross and then smashes his way out of the specially designed cell that is supposed to hold him.  Funny how he is always able to escape the cells that are specifically designed to HOLD the Hulk.  But he escapes in the desert.

A rough beginning for a supposedly new “action packed” series.  It drags on a bit and nothing really happens – but Bruce in mid-transformation was pretty cool.  C+

Issue #2 - Here comes Ravage!

Issue #2 - Here comes Ravage!

Issue 2 is where the series start to really get going, it begins with the freeze ray that we saw Ross use in issue 3 – the first issue was kind of a recap of things we already know – so issue 2 we meet Professor Geoffery Crawford – one of Bruce Banner’s Professor’s from college.  Bruce learns that Crawford has taken ill and has been confined to a wheelchair.  But Crawford has also created a teleport system – two pods that can be transferred between them – kind of like in the Fly.  The one starring Jeff Goldblum.  And by kind of like – I mean exactly like.  He tells Bruce that he can use the pods to erase the Hulk from him.  Bruce trusts him and gets into the pod as Crawford tells him that he is filtering out the Gamma radiation in the first pod and when he re-appears in the second his body will be completely clean of all radiation.  Great plan, right?  It is except that Crawford actually is looking to make himself more like Bruce.  That night he goes back to the lab and gets into the pod himself and had the computer configured to make his body make-up to be exactly like Bruce’s.  Bruce comes to the lab to find this out – but is unable to do anything about it.  As the countdown continues Bruce gets upset and turns into the Hulk just as Crawford comes out as a Hulking monster himself.  The two begin to fight – Crawford renames himself “Ravage” (awesome name by the way, you dork) and they continue to brawl until some of the college kids see the monsters battling and alert the authorities.  Ravage actually snaps the Hulk’s neck in the fight.  They rumble into issue 3!

This issue is pretty good – but another Gamma enemy?  Really?  I knew they wanted to go retro with this new series – but this seemed like a retread.  Not a bad retread – but a retread none the less!  B- 

Part 1 of the review is over – come back next Monday for part 2!  But come back tomorrow to see a Japanese import.  By the way – here is the variant cover to #2.  It’s actually pretty bad ass and reminds you of a time when Joey Q. was doing comics a service and not ruining the Hulk…

Rampaging Hulk #2 variant

Rampaging Hulk #2 variant

Grey Transformation Statue (1998)

Transformation Statue

Transformation Statue

Classic Yellow Shirt?  Check!

Classic Yellow Shirt? Check!

This is more like a diorama rather than just a statue.  Showing Banner slowly turn into Hulk.  I have the green version of this statue – it was actually the very first statue I ever bought… on layaway.  When I actually got to take it home it was already worthless. 🙂  I have no worries though – it’s not like I would try to sell it anyways.  But now, onto this statue.  Sometimes ebay actually has a good deal or two – and this was one of those times. 

3 Profiles - One Statue

3 Profiles - One Statue

I saw this auction starting at $24.99 – and I waited… no one seemed to be bidding.  I waited the auction down to the last few minutes and finally set in my higest bid – at $25.00.  That’s right, I wasn’t going two pennies over the starting price.  Luckily, no one else was either.  Most people wouldn’t bother with this statue – and I agree that there are much better representations of the Hulk, but this staue is unique.  It’s one of the only ones that show the transformation – and it has sentimental value to me 🙂 They made 250 of these and mine is #213.

Green Transformation - Grey Transformation

Green Transformation - Grey Transformation