I’ve been thinking about this issue – the fact that Marvel stays in the top tier of best selling comics by continuing to re-number books and giving us big events that all the fan boys complain about but buy anyways. Fanboys say all they want are great stories and enough with this variant garbage – yet that’s what sells. It makes me wonder… where are all these collections that have the first few issues of every series and variants galore? If you ever came over to look at my collection you would see a complete run of my favorite character (variants and all) and the many, many guest appearances he’s had. You would also see Invincible issues #6-current and the complete run of The Maxx and a few other Sam Kieth series. Up until recently you would have also found a run of the Walking Dead #7-current. But those have been long sold off. (My free advice of the day: If you have any Walking Dead issues – sell now – it’s like printing money! Pick them up later when the hype dies down and the prices come back down.) What you would not see is the beginning of every new re-boot and big event that has come our way.
I do not get why people think re-starting a series will make you want to read this character all of a sudden. If you didn’t read Thor before, chances are, you’re not going to like reading him just because it says #1 on the cover! Now, if a new writer or artist is what makes you want to pick up the book – that’s fine, I get THAT, but this is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the thousands of people who pick up a new series JUST because it says #1 on the cover. The number does not affect the content of the book – but if you look at the sales – it sure seems like it does! So, why? Why do people KEEP on making the same mistakes and keep buying into hype and re-numbering?
I am seriously asking here – I have no idea. It seems the completest and loyalist of yesteryear is dead. I miss THOSE guys. When you were upset with the direction of a book – or an artist even – back in the day you could write a letter. Enough letters would make our voices heard – but nowadays people are always saying “vote with your wallet” But for that to work you would have to speak to the thousands of people who don’t already buy the book – who will all of a sudden buy it because of that nice, shiny #1 on the cover. And you could try to talk to Marvel about it – but all they seem to see is that nice, superficial bump in sales.
Last week I was to be on the Cape for a show – at a Library I had never been to – and across the street was a used book store. Taped to the window was a Wolverine comic – I can’t even tell you what number – so I went in and asked if he had any other comics.
He had a small box – so I picked up these:
FF, Thor, and Avengers!
There are a few Absorbing Man appearances and a U-Foes – but what I was most surprised to see was that the Grey Hulk was throughout the entire FF #330! I have yet to read it so I can’t tell you what it’s about – but it does include this bad-ass moment where Hulk hands the Beetle a brutal asphalt sandwich.
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.
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.
There was a time – not too long ago – when Peter David was writing the book that Marvel didn’t want Hulk to have a child. Now he has a whole bunch of illegitimate bastards running around causing havok! Thanks to Will for reminding me to tell you guys about this – click on the image for more info – even though it comes out Thursday!
I read this Wednesday night – so let’s see how my memory is… This one-shot is a lot of fun. It has 4 stories that feature the Hulk and some of the classic movie monsters. The first story guest stars Frankenstein. The story begins with Bruce avoiding the army in the streets of London. He is approached by a man who drugs the Dr. and brings him to Frankenstein’s great granddaughter. She asks Dr. Banner to help her keep her family’s legacy alive. The monster is just barely alive but with the help of Bruce he begins to show signs of life. It isn’t until Banner is knocked out again and strapped to gurney that he realizes that he’s being used for his inner beast’s power. The monster gets a dose of Hulk blood which helps rejuvenate him. The Hulk and the monster trade some blows but as they fight the army approaches. The army starts firing on the Hulk. Frankenstein’s great Granddaughter tells the monster to get away but the monster sees the Hulk being attacked. He goes to help the Hulk and the army re-directs their attention to the monster. This story was fun – some pretty decent artwork – so I give this part a B-
The next story is from Steve Niles (the writer of 30 Days of Night) who brings us a Wolfman story. I was a little surprised to see him writing the Wolfman – I naturally assumed it was going to be a vampire story – but that’s what I get for assuming. Anyways, the Wolfman, pre-full moon, hires Banner to watch him until the morning comes. Things go awry when the night falls and Banner is still too close to the cage. The Wolman scratches Bruce and he Hulks out. Hulk rips open the cage and starts to fight the Wolfman. Surprisingly, the Wolfman gives the Hulk an actual good fight. It’s a little silly – but eventually the Wolfman runs to try to kill a couple of teenage lovers (a nice little homage to the original stories) but Hulk catches up to him and saves the kids. Wolfman somehow gets the Hulk in a sleeper hold and knocks him out just in time for the sun to come up. Both the Hulk and the Wolfman transform back. Bruce awakens to find money and a note saying thanks… Wolfman knocks out the Hulk? Gay! C
The next story is about 2 pages long with a classic Marvel monster named Gonk or Zoom or something like that. I told you I didn’t have the book in front of me. It was a little throw away, joke story that was funny enough… C+
Last up is the story that I was looking forward to the most – Peter David takes on Hulk vs. Dracula. Unfortunately it is not written in comic form and I didn’t get to read it all yet. I may get back to you with the review – unless someone else wants to give their opinion. But that’s about it! A read that may get you into the mood of the upcoming holiday!
I’m all for artists showing homage to the masters before them – but these 2 Hulk cover look way too similar. One is Herb Trimpe – the other is Buscema. The funny thing is – the machine on this cover also appeared on a Jack Kirby poster. Marvel wanted to have a more current look to the Hulk so they had current artist Herb Trimpe re-draw it. The controversary is covered in the KIRBY coffee table book that I posted some time ago.