The Incredible Hulk in Museum Piece

The Literary Hulk part 3

Marvel Super Heroes Novel No. 9

By Mark Ricard

MarvelSuperheroes9This review is a bit different from the last two. First,the Hulk only appears in a single novella. This is a story collection and a full length novel. Second,this is a adaption of a two part story written by a one time regular Hulk writer Len Wein. The story “Museum Piece” is based on Incredible Hulk issues 197-198. This is was during the early part of Sal Bucesma’s long run as artist on title. As a Hulk it is interesting because it involved a team up with The Man Thing. This was one of if not the very first time these heroes had ever met it also involved the villain known as the Collector. In it the Hulk and Man-Thing are taken to the Collector’s ship as prisoner’s for his collection. To tell more would spoil the story. There are small changes. Any reference to continuity are taken out. The connections to the Gerber Man-Thing story are understandably removed and the Glob becomes the Golem of European folklore. At it’s basic level it is the same story. There are even appearances of other races including a Skrull and a Badoon.

Why Len Wein chose this story is hard to understand. While it is certainly not overly action oriented it is not one of his more introspective works. It is a decent story but if it was going to be translated into prose you would expect Wein to take the opportunity to go farther into depth with the characters or the situation. But he never does this. We get the same dialogue and characters as before. This is disappointing. He could have taken the opportunity to develop the characters of the human prisoners to a greater degree than the comic. The story’s early pages involving a fight between the Hulk and could have eliminated to spend more time for us to learn about the Collector his motivations.

There are other stories may have made a better fit to prose. Unlike few other writers on the title Len Wein understand the child like nature of the “Savage” Hulk. If he could have translated that some of those stories that showed that side of the character we could have had a great instead of okay story. Still I recommend this to Hulk fans. It is entertaining and is still the first non novel length prose for the character. Perhaps it is just a matter of the reviewer’s expectations.

The other Stories

Here is a brief review of the other stories.

Children of the Atom By Mary Jo Duffy.

This is another story written by a then current Marvel Comic book writer. Mary Jo Duffy does a good job of showing the personalities of each of the X-men. Though this was written in the Claremont/Byrne era some of the regular cast is missing. Wolverine getting into a bar fight is the most entertaining part of the story.

The Evil Undying By Jim Shooter

This is an Avengers verses Ultron story. I found this the weakest of the stories. Jim Shooter tried to push the envelope in making things more “adult” with some parts. It does not really come off. Iron Man seems just slightly off in this story. Mostly in the parts that are try to be more mature. Still it was thought of highly be David Michellene to become translated into a Avengers comic book two part story in Avengers 201 and 202. The reverse situation of the books Hulk story.

Blind Justice By Kyle Christropher

This is arguably the best story in the book. Kyle Christopher is pseudonym of Comic book writer Martin Pasko. Unlike the other writers in this collection Pasko was working mostly for DC Comics at the time this was written. What Pasko did that the other writers did not was to use prose effectively. He describes how Daredevil experiences his powers and what it feels like to be inside his head. Some of the background about the origin is slightly different. But this is not a big deal. We get a Pre-Miller Daredevil story that involves Organized Crime and one of his then current comic book villains. Pasko story is one of the main influences on Mark Waid’s current Daredevil run. Waid himself lists it in this article. The Five Most Underrated DAREDEVIL Stories You Must Read, by MARK WAID | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture

Though it is not perfect I can easily recommend this collection to any Marvel Comics fan.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK IN Cry of the Beast

THE LITERARY HULK PART 2

by Mark Ricard

Cry of the Beast

Before a discussion of the novel let me share something I noticed about the late 70s Marvel Novels. The tv show must have made the Hulk a very popular character for Marvel. After book 2 in the Marvel Novel Series the very next novel was another Hulk adventure.

Including the last marvel novel Mudermoon, where he teams up with Spider-Man,he also appeared in one of the four series in book 9 Marvel Superheroes. That makes 3 1/4 appearances over 11 novels. More than 25 percent of the output. Even Spider-Man,who has always been Marvel’s flagship character only made it to the 3 novels. Hence thanks to Len Wein’s short novella he appeared in novel 9. And no other character had two full novels released in a row.

Hulk_CryoftheBeast

Cry of the Beast in many ways owes more to the Bill Bixby tv series than it does the comic book being written at the time. One only has to look at the acknowledgment page. The second person on the list Kenneth Johnson who developed and produced the Hulk tv show. Nick Corea is also mentioned. Corea wrote many scripts for the show and and would go on to write and produce the first tv movie, The Incredible Hulk Returns.

What we get is a strange blend of continuity. This is Bruce Banner but many places he is mentioned as a physician not a physicist. Also the Hulk is non verbal,much like his tv counterpart. He does however speak one word. Hulk. if you are able to get these idiosyncrasies you might enjoy the book.
The story itself bears once again revolves around the attempt to find another scientist who might be able cure Dr Banner of the curse that is the Incredible Hulk. However in sync with the television this i a slightly more realistic story. Instead of science fiction/horror of the H.P. Lovecraft what we have is a plot about small African dictation who plans to use the power of gamma radiation to create super army soldiers to take over the world. It is more of a Mission Impossible style story.

We have Banner searching New York City for Dr Max Wittenborn. Of course things are far more complicated than that. Wittenborn is kidnapped and Banner meets the daughter and son of Wittenborn and that becomes the focus of the story. The daughter serves as a possible romantic interest. Much of the story revolves around the attempts of capture and escape. These usually lead to action sequences with Banner transforming into the Hulk.Since nearly half of the book involves trekking through the jungles more should be said. Meyers sometimes makes it work but other times however the actions sequences are lacking a certain smoothness. Fight scenes are hard to work.One of the best scences in the book is the Hulk fighting a herd of Rhinos. We also get a added subplot about Curtis a CIA agent This is a interesting subplot that should have payed off more.

This of course eventually leads to a confrontation with the mad dictator.At this part the plot threads merge. Perhaps it is the end where the decent story starts falling apart. We have yet another climatic scene on a airplane like the last book And then the story just ends. The problem everything is wrapped very quickly with the plot threads left dangling. What happened to the Slaves? Where is Banner going after this? One gets the impression Mr Meyers wanted to go farther with the story but the editors and publishers limited the pages space he could write. A extra 20 pages may have helped make this story better. Still it is a decent enough story until it nears the end.

Richard S. Meyers is the author of a number of books. Most of which are about film and television. He does have a small resume of comic book writing under the name Ric Meyers according to comic book database.

The Incredible Hulk in Stalker from the Stars

The Literary Hulk Part 1

by Mark Ricard

Introduction. This is a new series of articles about the Hulk’s prose adventures. Considering the fact that the Hulk the is one of Marvel’s most recognized characters it may not be surprising to find out the he has appeared in eight prose novels and one short story collection by Marvel Comics. This series of articles is only covering the prose novels that are original stories or based on those of comic books. The novel adaptations of Marve’sl movies are not included on this list.

The first group of prose appearances for the Hulk were in the late 70s for the Marvel Novel Series.This series was edited by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman. The books were published between 1978 and 1979. The Hulk appeared in the novels 2,3,9,and 11. Books two and three are full length solo tales of the Hulk,nine contains a novella writer by Len Wein,and eleven is a Spider-Man Hulk team up that was written by comic book writer and artist Paul Kupperburg. That book was the last book in the series. The Hulk would appear in a series of books in the 1990s when Marvel once again ventured into publishing prose fiction. Those will be covered in future reviews. For more information on the making of the series please follow this link Bookgasm

Stalker From The StarsHulk_stalker

The first novel is Stalker From The Stars it is credited to Len Wein, Marv Wolfman,and Joseph Silva. Silva was a pen name of science fiction writer Ron Goulart. Why he chose not to you is real name is uncertain. How the writing was divided is also something that is unclear. What they did produce however is something best described as the Hulk meets H.P. Lovecraft. The story involves a ancient alien who has lied dormant in a small town and the eventual fight between the Hulk and the creature.

The story takes place in outside of continuity. The only regular supporting cast members are Rick Jones,Clay Quartermain,and General Ross. Betty Ross,Glen Talbolt,and Doc Samson are not in the story. Nor is Jim Wilson who was a more recent companion for Banner and the Hulk. For the characters who are used Jones and Quartenmain are in character but Ross is slightly off. Ross was never this unsympathetic towards others as he is this book. In particular,at this time in the comics Ross had mellowed out in his views about Dr Banner if not the Hulk himself. Here is he at most ruthless. This makes me wonder how much a part Len Wein had in writing this book. Wein had ended his run on the Hulk only within the last year of the time it is was written. Since this takes place out of continuity these issues may not bother some readers but long term fans of the comic are certain to notice these points. This uses the child like version of the Hulk called the Savage Hulk. This was the version of the character being used at the time the comics were written.

The plot itself starts out interesting enough. Rick Jones,who still feels guilty for Doctor Banner becoming the Hulk is searching for a scientist who might be able to cure him. That scientist’s name is Rudolf Stern. This was probably meant as in- reference. At the time Roger Stern had taken over from Len Wein as the writer on the Hulk’s comic. Little does he know that Dr Stern and the town itself are in the power of ancient alien who crashed underground long before. After the early chapters we are given a modified version of the comic book character’s origin. From there the story goes toward the eventual confrontation we know it is coming. That does not make it a dull novel. This is a fast paced if simple story. The ending may not be totally satisfying but it is brief and enjoyable read at less than 180 pages. Recommended as long your expectations are not too high.

Here are a list of references that the authors put in the text explaining who they refer to.

Rudolf Stern-Writer Roger Stern
Busecma’s Cafe- artist Sal Busecma
Harlansville,Missouri-Writer Harlan Ellison who wrote the Incredible Hulk 140.
Lee’s Airfield-Hulk co-creator Stan Lee.
Lieber’s store- Stan Lee’s real name and his brother Larry Lieber.

(many thanks to Mark Ricard for this excellent guest post)

Hulk 3 movie rumors

hulk-lancer1According to LatinoReview (an excellent source for comic book news), there is a grand scheme to capitalize and harness the magic that the Hulk enjoyed in the Avengers movie. The modern Jekyll and Hyde story of a mild-mannered scientist’s id obtaining physical form as a raging green behemoth, the Hulk is one of Marvel Comics’ most recognizable characters (and one of my personal faves). The Hulk has had a monumental TV series and two rather lackluster motion pictures (I enjoyed both, personally, but Marvel Studios was unconvinced by the returns on Incredible Hulk).

Since he appeared in the Avengers, however, the story has changed and fans want more of the green Goliath. Actor Mark Ruffalo signed a multi-picture deal, but there are as of yet no official stand-alone Hulk pictures into 2015.

That may change…

Spoilers
(Select the text below to reveal the secret rumor)

Story goes that the Avengers 2 film will see the Hulk declared a threat so great that he gets tricked into a rocket and flown off-planet… which will spin off into a stand alone Planet Hulk movie leading to World War Hulk in Avengers 3 when he returns… 

Thoughts?

Marvel Now! Indestructible Hulk #1

Indestructible Hulk #1

By Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu

A frustrated gifted scientist, Bruce Banner brain-stormed a new way to harness gamma radiation at the cost of his own humanity. His gamma bomb brought out a dark side of his psyche, an indestructible monster of rage called the Hulk by the military who hunted him. The Hulk has been going through a very hard time creatively. The only really strong period that the Hulk has enjoyed in recent years has been thanks to Greg Pak starting with his ‘Planet Hulk’ story and into the explosive conclusion. Even within that run there were moments when the series lagged or faltered in its search for an identity.

However, the thankfully brief Incredible Hulk series by Jason Aaron and a cadre of guest artists marked a new low for the Hulk. The weird black humor and garishly broad out of character distortions of the Hulk and Banner were not helped by an overly convoluted plot and a wildly different array of art styles.

You’d think that since Hulk is one of Marvel’s most high profile heroes and one that any adult who saw the Avengers or child who owns a pair of Hulk hands can easily identify him he would have a kick ass monthly comic book but in truth it has been a mess. Despite promising preview images and the proven high quality Mark Waid’s scripts, the Marvel Now! relaunch did not fill me with high hopes. Boy was I wrong.

This is finally the great Hulk book that fans have been waiting for.

Finally accepting that he and the Hulk must work together, Bruce Banner approaches Director Maria Hill for a job as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. His logic is simple. The Hulk has traditionally been thought of as a bomb when he could be a cannon instead, aimed at a target defined by S.H.I.E.L.D. The trade off is that Banner could develop new technological marvels for the world while giving his alter ego an outlet for its anger.

It’s so simple that I wonder why this was never thought of before, unless I am missing something. In his trial outing, Hulk faces the Mad Thinker who has constructed a killer robot using discarded Ultron maintenance tools designed to manipulate adamantium. The Mad Thinker believes that any problem is made up of quantifiable data, information that can be processed. That theory proves false when he points a laser capable of slicing the most durable material in existence at the Hulk… and the monster keeps coming.

Mark Waid is known for his gift at grasping characters and clever plots (among many other noteworthy qualities). His version of the Hulk is inspired and smart but also very dynamic. The edgy line work of Leinil Francis Yu adds a suitable amount of character and energy to the series that makes it stand out. The Hulk deserves to have a high profile knock-out comic that readers and critics talk up on line and in the shops. The Indestructible Hulk could very well be that series.

Hulk returns in indestructible new series

Any fan of the not-so jolly green Goliath will tell you that being a fan of the Hulk entails disappointment and frustration as Marvel editorial struggles to discern just what they want to do with him. The pasty few years have been rife with good and bad attempts to find a new direction for the character with the most recent series receiving somer damning criticism (and rightly so).

But it seems that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now that Marvel has revealed their master plan for the Hulk in their relaunched universe. The incomparable Mark Waid and the stunning Leinil Francis Yu have been announced as the creative team behind The Indestructible Hulk, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I could not be happier. Waid has a lifetime of accomplishments behind him from both Marvel and DC Comics with his most recent run on Daredevil being one of my all-time favorite comics today. Yu has embellished every hero from Superman to Wolverine with remarkable skill. Together, they are sure to make the Hulk shine.

Click your heels and get happy because this could be a sign that Hulk will finally be stepping into the limelight once again as one of Marvel’s superstars.

Writer Mark Waid and artist Leinil Yu are the announced creative team for “Indestructible Hulk,” which kicks off in November as part of the “Marvel NOW!” initiative.

Here’s how Marvel describes the series:

Through his entire history, the Hulk has always been an indomitable force, more weapon than man. His alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, is one of the most intelligent men on the planet. NOW! combined, they have become the strongest, smartest weapon alive – INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

“Banner’s a changed man. No more stooping under the weight of ‘woe is me,’ no longer bespectacled, no longer a fashion victim in purple,” said Mark Waid in an interview with Marvel.com. “For decades, Banner’s felt like he’s no more than the Hulk’s helpless puppet. Now Banner’s USING Hulk to his own mysterious ends”

Marvel describes “Indestructible” as a new perspective on the character of the Hulk.

“Mark and Leinil’s spin on the Hulk mythos will have fans — new and old – exclaiming, ‘Why didn’t I think of that!?’” said Marvel Editor In Chief Axel Alonso in a news release. “It’s the brute force of the Hulk and the brainpower of Bruce Banner, together at last — but not the way you think. And with S.H.I.E.L.D. in the wings, readers can expect a globe-hopping adventure with an unlimited special effects budget.”

Each issue of Indestructible Hulk will include a code for a free digital copy; additionally each issue will feature additional content through the Marvel AR app.

Via Nerdage

Quick review: Incredible Hulk #8 – ‘Stay Angry’

The Incredible Hulk- ‘Stay Angry’

Story by Jason Aaron, Art by Steve Dillon

Marvel is proud to present your first look at, Incredible Hulk #8, from the fan-favorite team of Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon! Dive right into the Green Goliath’s next epic as Stay Angry erupts pushing the Incredible Hulk and his raged-induced fury to its limits! The criminally insane Bruce Banner has thrown Hulk into the middle of a murderous drug war and Hulk is forced into action; but with villainous mob of this stature- Frank Castle is never far behind! Its all-out war, as the Jade Giant faces off against The Punisher who faces off against a cartel in a brawl that no fan will forget!

-that’s the description from Marvel and it reads pretty much as a spot on description of the actual end product… except that it omits the dog people and their human dog drug lord.

The Jason Aaron run on the Incredible Hulk has been a massive shock to the system for long time Hulk readers. After the cerebral Greg Pak run and the dubious run by Jeph Loeb, it was nearly impossible to figure out just how Marvel was viewing the character. Was the Hulk a light-hearted/goofy action comic? Was it an emotionally charged tragic monthly series about human monsters? Who knows?

I have deeply enjoyed Aaron’s Wolverine and The X-Men for all of its wackiness and his Ghost Rider run was superb… but both have one thing in common and that is humor. Aaron is a great writer of absurd comical action that is extreme in its explosive ‘grindhouse-style’ story lines.. and that is apparently the new direction of the Incredible Hulk. Finally separated from Banner, Hulk has attempted to find a life of his own only to discover that he and his alter ego are inevitably linked.

Left to his own devices and without the outlet of the Hulk’s rage, Banner is apparently a mad scientist of Frankenstein proportions while the Hulk is kinda dull, to be honest. On a deserted radioactive island, Banner experimented with the local animal life in standard Dr. Moreau style only to be hunted down by the mad scientist hunter (yes, that’s a ‘thing) Amanda Von Doom and her hunchback assistant. The artwork for the series, along with the story, has been awkward and clunky. Starting rather strongly with Mark Silvestri, it took a fast downward turn as a mob of fill-in inkers were thrown at the book until finally Wilce Portacio stepped in and the book careened headfirst into a morass of scratchy ink.

Even after destroying Banner in a gamma explosion, Hulk hoped he was free, but somehow the two have become merged again. Merged, but separate as Banner has retained his mad scientist schtick. It’s actually a decent idea and allows Aaron to play a new trick with the Hulk that I don’t think anyone had tried before. Previously Banner dreaded a transformation into the Hulk because it would mean that he would lose control and cause untold amounts of damage. Now, however, the Hulk dreads relaxing because it will mean that Banner takes over and pits the Hulk into one horrible situation after another.

The joke is very lurid and opens with the Hulk waking up in shackles only to battle dog men and finally encounter the Punisher… who just happens to be hunting the dog men (for some reason). The two team up and track the trail of drugs and death to the big boss, a humanized dog in a vintage car. The crime boss had apparently made a deal with Banner in the past, one which interests Hulk very much.

Unfortunately, the Hulk gets pumped full of drugs and eventually passes out only to awaken in yet another terrible situation… and an operation scar on his chest.

Art-wise, the latest issue is a step in a different direction as Steve Dillon takes the reigns and the humorous angle that Aaron has been shooting for finally finds its voice. Aaron and Dillon had of course collaborated on the Punisher MAX series where characters had their eyes yanked out of their sockets and wandered around as if they had escaped from a Three Stooges routine from Hell. It’s not to everyone’s taste and Dillon’s Hulk is very flimsy, but at least it’s more fitting to Aaron’s writing style thank Silvestri or Portacio.

The Incredible Hulk is one of the most awkward comic books I have ever read. For its campy silliness and over the top violence, it kinda works… but it’s like turning a work of classic literature into a parody of itself. If there’s one thing the past ten years have taught us it’s that there’s so much untapped potential in the Hulk. Transforming the series into a kind of Garth Ennis-like comic may be a bit of fun, but it is also selling it short.


Quick review- The Incredible Hulk #7.1

The Incredible Hulk #7.1

By Jason Aaron and Jefte Paolo

Gamma radiation brought out one man’s inner monster, a green-skinned Goliath known as the Hulk. Misunderstood and hunted, he is perpetually on the run from the military… no wait, that’s the Red Hulk. The Incredible Hulk is the green-skinned guy, the one everyone knows and loves (especially thanks to his outstanding appearance in the Avengers movie). No, the green Hulk is a character tossed about from writer to writer as Marvel Comics editorial struggles to find a way to make their most recognizable hero work.

Part of the Point One initiative put forth by Marvel to attract new readers with an ideal jumping on point (who exactly are these ‘new readers’ that comic book publishers are so eager to win over? why not concentrate on making the existing readers happy?), Incredible Hulk 7.1 doesn’t really work at all. It’s  the next step in the narrative between 7 and 8 and Stan help the person who picked this up on a whim. That’s not a knock against this book alone as there are many such examples in the Point One line that make no sense at all… most of them only make sense to dedicated readers rather than operating as a jumping on point.

I cannot honestly identify myself as a die-hard Hulk fan. I like him sure enough and have collected the title on and off over the years, through the Byrne material and the early McFarlane stuff, into the Ron Garney and Kyle Holtz issues, etc. Even so there are those out there far more dedicated to the Hulk than I am, and they have endured pains that would make One More Day a walk in the park by comparison.

The arrival of Greg Pak was a big deal as it struck gold with the Planet Hulk storyline. An excellent adventure that really let the character grow and develop, it also inadvertently started a weird spiral of confusion as far as what to do with the Hulk. That’s no mark on Pak, it’s just a strange coincidence that after he took a break and Jeph Loeb arrived, the Hulk became a very very odd comic book.

The introduction of several gamma-powered monsters made the Hulk not all that unique. It was also just a wacky thing to do. It started with the Red Hulk (revealed to be General Ross, the very same man charged with catching the Hulk with all of the military’s resources), but then the Red She-Hulk (the sometimes deceased Betty Banner, daughter of Ross), A-Bomb (an irradiated Rick Jones), Skaar (Hulk’s son from another world) made their debuts. It was lots of fun, but it soon became clear that this was going to blow up in someone’s face and it ended up being the Hulk fans who ended up being the butt of the joke.

What is so hard for me to believe is that the Hulk series by Jeff Parker is consistently excellent. It is also a very traditional Hulk book only he’s red… and General Ross. The villains are bizarre and new, the plots are clever and full of melodrama and the action is big. So… what happened to the other Hulk? Why is a book that is essentially a spin-off better than the main series? And why is it purer to the concept as well? Imagine if the Red Hulk starred in a series as goofy as Incredible Hulk and it becomes much easier to handle.

Maybe I should just mentally photoshop the Red Hulk series so that he’s green.

I quite enjoy Jason Arron’s writing in Wolverine and the X-Men. Quirky and weird, the series is very charismatic and lots of fun. However, the same technique tried on the Hulk is… an awkward fit. The Point One issue starts with the burial at sea of Bruce Banner’s ashes as Hulk along with Amanda von Doom and her monkey watch. Yes, they are two individuals somehow. There’s some odd jokes about Amanda von Doom wanting to get it on with old jade jaws… but that’s just the beginning and the biggest stumbling block that this issue has.

You would think that the massive amount of back-story and the fact that Banner was somehow not only separated from the Hulk but also dead would be the pain points of this issue, but in my opinion it’s the humor that is so off-putting. Aaron is a very funny writer and his material is decent… but it’s so very out of place with this title.

No longer weighed down by Banner, the Hulk has a montage of happiness before he ends up at a bar drinking all the beer that sunken treasure can buy. That is, until the Red She-Hulk stops by and fights him until they start rutting in the street.

… yes, that happens.

In the midst of all this a third-rate villain from Ghost Rider called the Orb is robbing a bank, but not of money… no! … he’s stealing their eyes. Why? Because he’s crrrrRRRrrrrRRaaaaAAAaaZZzzzzZZZzYYYyyy! He even tries to steal Hulk’s eyes but gets pummeled.

The conclusion sees Hulk revert into Banner, somehow, and that’s apparently a very bad (and hard to explain) thing, leading to the next storyline ‘Stay Angry’ which sounds a lot like a Nic Cage movie.

So… a weird book that is just so off the wall that I honestly don’t know what to make of it. It has gotten some good reception online as being hilarious and smile-inducing (esp. the montage) but I just find it puzzling. The artwork, by Jefte Paolo who worked with Aaron on the outstanding three issue Black Panther Secret Invasion tie-in is good, but just as out of place as the jokes.

The Hulk is possibly as popular today as he was back when Lou Ferrigno painted himself green and assaulted balsa wood in slow motion. I want a good Hulk comic book, many people do. I’m just not convinced that this is it. With news of ever-dwindling sales, I don’t think that I’m alone.

In conclusion, I offer you this image of the Hulk scaring a bear.

Hulk’s 50… and no one cares


As pointed out both at Ratchet’s Hulk site and Bleeding Cool, the Incredible Hulk celebrates his 50th year in print this March… and there has been little to no ballyhoo from Marvel.

Currently, the character is being published in two ongoing monthly books, but they strangely have nothing to do with each other.

Back when Pak was writing Incredible Hulk and Loeb was scripting Hulk, there was overlap that led to the massive crossovers that rocked the green Goliath’s world, even drafting in the other Marvel heroes. Say what you will about World War Hulks, but it was a major event and made the Hulk a high-profile hero again.

The newly minted Incredible Hulk has received dire reviews and a rotating regular artist post that has prevented the comic from maintaining any real identity. Meanwhile the (Red) Hulk has gone from strength to strength thanks to the stellar skills of Jeff Parker, Gabriel Hardman and Patrick Zircher. A new rogue’s gallery, a strong ongoing story line and well developed characters make this series a stand out hit… but it’s not the ‘real’ Hulk.

You can praise the (Red) Hulk comic all you like, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is not the Banner Hulk and for many readers that’s all that matters.

Meanwhile the new Incredible Hulk series seems to be floundering despite the obvious talents of Jason Aaron. So… what can be done? The character is turning 50 and is more or less separated from the Marvel Universe at large, replaced by a ruby-skinned pretender. Reviews have been harsh and there is a major ‘change’ coming in issue 7, but will it be enough to save the readership?

The Avengers feature film prominently features the Hulk in many of its previews and sure it’s the third actor to take on the part of Banner since 2003, but maybe it’ll stick this time and we’ll get a Hulk for a new generation. Even so, what happens when anyone drawn in with this new Hulk decides to stop by a comic shop and finds that the Hulk is red, not green?

It seems obvious to me that the (Red) Hulk should be retired (despite how great it is) and Parker should be given the direction of the proper Incredible Hulk comic.

What do you think?


What’s the deal with the Hulk?

The many faces of the green Goliath have challenged fans of the comic book hero and the movie-going public unfamiliar with the man-monster known as the Hulk. Each time he has appeared on screen, the Hulk’s face has been modeled after the actor playing Bruce Banner. The latest model seen in the 2012 Avengers trailer is based on Mark Ruffalo and appears brutish.

Each time the Hulk appears, the audience has to re-evaluate his look. Is he a brutish primitive, a gentle giant, a muscle-bound ogre or something entirely different? It sounds like I’m splitting hairs here, but look at the images in this post and you’ll how different the Hulk can look.

2012 Hulk in The Avengers

Mark Ruffalo

The previous Hulk from 2008’s film bore a resemblance to Edward Norton’s intense facial expressions.

2008 Incredible Hulk

Edward Norton

The most controversial Hulk could be the soft-faced model based on Eric Bana, star of the divisive 2003 Hulk movie.

2003 Hulk

Eric Bana

Perhaps most damning of the Ang Lee film is this footage of an abandoned animatronic Hulk… Ah, what could have been.

Of course the most familiar face of the Hulk for ages was seen in the TV series starring Lou Ferrigno. Green body paint, a wig and prosthetic brow made the actor into the popular creature.

1978-1982 Incredible Hulk

The common complaint in these live action Hulks is that it bares no resemblance to the ‘real Hulk’ seen in the printed page. With so many artists’ interptretations of the Hulk, that’s impossible to realize… but here are a few that may show just how different the Hulk can appear.

2009 Modern Hulk by Djurdjevic

2005 Modern Hulk by Lee Weeks

Hulk by Sal Buscema

Hulk by John Byrne

Hulk by Paul Pelletier

Hulk by Todd McFarlane

Hulk by Ed McGuinness

Hulk by Gabriel Hardman

Hulk by Dale Keown

1963 era Hulk by Jack Kirby

One more from the King