Tag Archives: Savage Hulk

Savage Hulk #5 & 6 (2014) – The Review and Series Overlook

CCF11302014_0000

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.

CCF11302014_0001

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+

Advertisements

Disney’s Exclusive Marvel Select Savage Hulk (2014)

memories1 003

I railed against this thing when I saw the early production pics – and my attitude hasn’t changed.  Of course, faced with a brand new Hulk figure (especially a Marvel Select Hulk figure) it was almost impossible to say no to buying.  I say almost because I actually did leave the store without the first time.  Then, after filling up on Johnny Rocket’s for lunch I turned to my wife and said “I got to go back for the beast.” And I was on my way to the Disney Store.  My earlier complaints of the figure were about the face, the sculpted shirt and bland look of the figure overall.  Those complaints still stand.

Side Box Art

Side Box Art

Of course, we are dealing with Marvel Select and all of their Hulk figures are HUGE and impressive.  Also, the benefit of basing a figure on nthe silver age Hulk lends to not having a “pin head” Hulk.  The head is a decent size for the body.  The packaging is beautiful adorned with the Silver Age Hulk images that we all know and love!

memories1 004

Unfortunately that’s where the positives stop and all I can see is the terribly designed ripped shirt, the ugly mug that does not remind me of the Hulk so much – and the pale color that seems too boring for the Hulk to be stuck with.  I wanted a brighter and more vibrant colored Hulk – that would have helped this figure enough I could even over look the face if the color was correct!  I’m am sad to report that this figure is probably a miss for me.  I can’t recommend picking it up – but know the real Hulk fans will still do so (much like I did)  Grade: D+

Catching Up With…

So… by tomorrow I obviously meant in a few days.  It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed, well, pretty much anything – so this might be a bit long (that’s what she said) buckle up and enjoy the ride here, folks!  There is a lot of ground to cover!  Let’s begin with:

CCF07252014_0001

Hulk #4

W: Mark Waid
A: Mark Bagley

What can I say that hasn’t already been said (by me) with this swan song from the ultimately cut short Hulk saga from the ultra-talented Mark Waid?  Well, he left us with quite the doozy – extremis not only saves Bruce Banner but also gives us a mysterious future with Banner being maybe even more brilliant than before – who knows?  I liked the last issue – the Abomination returning (even a clone) is still a great thing to me – I just wish since the recently launched Savage Hulk also has the Green Goliath battling the age-old foe that we could have had a different baddie.  It almost seemed redundant reading the Savage Hulk.  Over all, I will miss Waid and will forever be bummed we didn’t get to see his ultimate vision come to fruition.  Grade: A-

CCF07252014_0004

Thunderbolts

W: Soule, and then the Bens
A: Diaz Luque and then Barberi

What can I say abou… wait, that’s how I started out the last issue review – nevermind.  I have enjoyed the Thunderbolts and thought it hit its real stride with the Infinity tie-ins.  Bringing back Madman and the Leader (even though he was turned red – big mistake in my opinion) was fun to start things out but when Red turned the deciding missions over to the rest of the group that’s when the real fun began!  Watching these personalities clash with each other and how they never seemed to agree but still made winning a possibility was entertaining as heck.  Too bad it didn’t last.  Soule’s final issues seemed rushed and sloppy.  What began as a haunted ride down a murky swamp in search of a mystical treasure quickly turned into a “Crystal Skull” type ending.  Unsatisfactory and unfair.  Unfair to all the readers who were following this unconventional team of super-mercenaries with questionable morals and even more questionable methods.  This book made me even tolerate Deadpool – which says a lot!  The art was even getting better with each issue!  Overall, I think dwindling sales turned this series on its belly and it will end its run at issue #32.

So far the Punisher vs Thunderbolts story line has delivered some great moments but nothing worth real mention – the magic seems to have been dropped from the book – and they are even recycling earlier events back into the fray.  The Punisher shot the Leader… again.  Haven’t we been here before?  I liked when the Leader allowed Red to berate him all the while plotting to take the entire team down – but even that has become tiresome since nothing ever comes of it.  Soule had a real knack for making these characters interesting – but we’re seeing more clichés of these characters rather than the hilarious “Odd Couple” scenarios that made the earlier issues so much better.  Grade: C-

CCF07252014_0003

Original Sin:

W: Aaron
A: Deodato

Everyone said to read other Aaron works – to just turn a blind eye to his ill-suited Hulk run and read his other stories – and I did.  I read his Wolverine Omnibus – fantastic, I read some of his Punisher – great stuff.  This Marvel event, though, takes the cake. It’s fast paced, exciting and the best part – thus far it actually makes sense.  Every issue delivers a great “What the-?” moment that makes you want to pick up the next issue!  Not to mention, I have not picked up every variant, only the Hulk ones and the “Eye” variants, but there are two sets that actually look really decent together!  The Art Adam’s variants combine to create a huge mural type scene and the “Eye” variants look amazing displayed together!

Grade so far: A-

This mini may fizzle in the end – but with two issues left and the story still going strong – I have high hopes for a “blow me away” kind of ending.  I can’t even tell you how refreshing it is to read an event comic that isn’t making me roll my eyes.  It’s been a while – I loved AvX but even that one had its moments that didn’t keep my attention.  Age of Ultron was a disaster from the get-go – and I didn’t mind Infinity but it really crapped the bed with the “homage” ending.  Even World War Hulk, coming off of one of the greatest Hulk stories of recent memory, was a bit of a let down.  We all knew the ending before it even began.  Original Sin, on the other hand, has even served up a pretty thrilling tie-in series with:

CCF07252014_0002

Original Sin: Hulk vs Iron Man

Let me begin with the idea that I never usually enjoy the idea of going back to origin and changing status quo.  Hell, it usually opens a can of continuity worms that the writers explain by saying “It’s just a fun story – don’t worry about the history” and that never sits well with people.  When this series was announced I was immediately thrown back to the Hulk: Gray moment when Iron Man showed up when everyone knows the first time the two powerhouses met was Avengers #1.  Of course, Loeb has never been one for continuity – it takes a more skilled writer to care about such things (let’s face it, he’s no Jeff Parker) – but I was worried that this was just another Marvel moment.  You know, just write a story and see if people have a god memory or not.

With all of that in mind this new (awkwardly numbered) mini-series promises to serve up an interesting take on what went down that fateful day the green Goliath was created.  So far all we know is that Stark was acting like his pompous self and, thinking he knew best, let his clouded judgement take president over what Banner’s ultimate vision was for the gamma-bomb.  Stark knew how to make it into a more destructive weapon which is exactly what Ross always wanted.  This series still hasn’t let the car out of the bag just yet of what Stark actually did – but it is shaping up nicely.  Grade: B+

CCF07252014_0000

Savage Hulk

W: Alan Davis
A: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer

For all the people who have griping that Waid didn’t bring back the classic Hulk stories that they thought he would – I give you – Alan Davis.  There is only one Hulk guest-spot issue that I had a terrible time finding.  eBay not withstanding, I’ve only seen this issue once – The Uncanny X-Men #66 – and it’s the one in my collection.  With Xaiver is real trouble he needs Banner to help him heal.  The X-Men go to retrieve Banner but have to deal with the Hulk first.  It’s a fun issue with Banner coming out victorious in saving the Professor.

Davis brings us back to that point of time and we re-examine the super-hero battle and it is truly a blast from the past.  The classic Hulk that graced the comics (and television to a lesser extent) is back in full form here.  For everyone hoping for that 80’s child-like Hulk back in action – it’s finally here!  The follow up issue gives us a wild gamma-romp with the real Abomination tearing up the desert in a classic tussle with our favorite Jade Jaws!  This is an entertaining series so far – let’s hope they can keep this train chugging along at a great speed!  Hell, they ended the second issue with the Leader in his original color!  What a refreshing sight!  If only current times were the same!  Grade: B+

I’ve also been asked what my opinion is on the recent news that Thor is being turned into a woman.  Well, it turns out that he isn’t.  Thor isn’t worthy of Mjolnir anymore – and this new chick is.  Thor now battles with an axe.  If you’re wondering what I think about that – well, I haven’t read it.  In fact, no one has – because it’s not out yet – and I remember not too long ago that people were freaking out because Doc Ock was going to inhabit Peter Parker’s body – and look how all of that turned out.  So, let’s be patient – it may turn out kind of cool.  If not, no worries, these are comics – nothing lasts for ever.

Seriously, Marvel Select?

image

I am usually a huge fan of Marvel Select – but what is this?  Is this supposed to be a silver-age Hulk figure? Does anyone think this looks good? Hopefully the final, released product will look better – but for right now I am disappointed in the look of this figure.  Even the ripped shirt looks terrible!  What do you guys think?

image