08
Jul
08

Red Hulk Must-Have #1

Coming out tomorrow is Red Hulk Must-Have #1, it will combine (Red) Hulk #1-3 with a new cover! If you haven’t gotten into the book yet, or missed out on those first few issues (SOLD OUT!) now is your chance. At $4.99 the price is right, and the cover features the Crimson Colossus going at it with A-Bomb, check it out for yourself below.

Also coming out tomorrow is something I haven’t mentioned before, Hulk Chronicles: WWH #1. If you didn’t get to experience the World War Hulk event, or missed out on some of the crossover issues (like me), this is a real treat. I’ve said it before, I like Savage Hulk the most (as far as Green goes at least…), it’s just the image that comes to my mind when I think “Hulk”. However, Greg Pak did an amazing job with the Planet Hulk/WWH event, his writing is extraordinary, and the tale of the Hulk being sent to another world, becoming everything he wasn’t on Earth, losing it all, and then coming back to Earth for revenge was something indescribable. I just never quite understood how the Hulk become what he became (a general, politician, almost Professor like intelligence if you ask me…). Anyway, my opinion certainly isn’t the norm, so I definitely suggest you all check the new WWH #1 out if you didn’t catch it the first time around, don’t let my comments dissuade you, it really is an epic story.

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06
Jul
08

Hulk #6 Preview

Due out September 24th, this is looking to be the final showdown between Red Hulk and Green Hulk. As usual I’ll start with the covers, it will be another 50/50 print, similar to Hulk #4, check it out below. Once again I think EDEX have done a fantastic job here, I tend to like the smaller heads of the McGuiness Hulk, and the facial expressions are great! Aside from the color alone, you can really see the difference between the two characters in their faces.

According to the official Marvel site, in this story “one side wins…FOREVER!!!” – just seeing that is a little bittersweet, I’m really going to miss not having more stories with Rulk after the summer, but what can you do? I’m sure he will turn up in a future “What If?” or similar one-shot if he’s completely taken out of the picture. I have a feeling that if it does turn out to be Samson, he will be depowered somehow in this issue, all we can do is wait and see.

06
Jul
08

Hulk #1 Review (Retro)

As promised, I’ll begin my retro-reviews with Hulk #1 (expect #2 and #3 in the next week… and I will continue current reviews from Hulk #4 where I ended up beginning… eh, confused yet?). Enjoy, and be sure to check out the ‘Comic Reviews’ section to check for updates. Oh, and as always, these reviews contain many SPOILERS, you have been warned!

Rather than beginning in real time, the issue starts with Doc Samson recounting the story of a murder, specifically the murder of the Abomination. First of all, Samson has short hair now, wears a black shirt instead of his trademark red, and has sideburns (his hair is still green)… Playing the role of Sherlock, with She-Hulk as Watson, the two act out the events of the murder, the “story” shows a green hulk, or more accurately the flashbacks are in shades of green. Apparently this Hulk attacked the Abomination head on, beat him to a pulp, and then finished him off with an extra large revolver type weapon! He also leveled the surrounding village (this all take place in a town named Dimitri, Russia, 100 miles from Odessa).

At the end of the flashbacks we go to back to Samson, surrounded by She-Hulk, General Ross, Iron Man, and one Commander Hill from S.H.I.E.L.D. Ross scoffs at the theory at first, but Samson reminds everyone that this creature is also leaving a trail of Gamma radiation, and is so hot his footsteps are turning the sand into glass (!). The decision is made to exhume the remains of the slaughtered Abomination, when…

The Winter Guard shows up! As a fan of Iron Man, especially the Busiek era, I always loved this nationalistic, Avengers-esque team of Russian superheroes. Consisting of (this time around at least), the Russian Captain America copy – Red Guardian (even has the shield!), Ursa Major the giant bear… thing, Darkstar, and my favorite the armor suited Iron Man rival – Crimson Dynamo. By the way, She-Hulk does ask why Darkstar and Red Guardian have come back from the dead, and Iron Says they’ve been replaced (Eh… what?). McGuinness does do an outstanding job depicting the group though. They have come to retrieve the body of the Abomination, Emil Blonsky. Of course the S.H.I.E.L.D. party and the Winter Guard can’t get along, and after Samson get’s into it with Red Guardian, he  starts the ensuing battle with a punch to Red Guardian. Ursa Major and She-Hulk square off, Iron Man is paired with Crimson dynamo, amd Samson takes on the Red Guardian. The fight is about even with, and I say that cautiously… the S.H.I.E.L.D. group does appear to have the advantage but the combat ends abruptly with Ross shooting his gun into the air, and announcing that there is a lone survivor, a witness of the murder, and it is a child. To everyone’s shock, the kid repeatedly says “Red” in Russian!

Flash to Alaska, where a post-transformation (shredded pants, no shirt) Rick Jones is struggling through the snow, only to come across a heavily damaged  oil pipeline, to which he says “Rick Jones… What’ve you gotten yourself into this time?!”

Back to Samson, who is now alone with Ross in a Jeep and entering Gamma Base, (take note that they are both are required to pass several retina/body/etc. security scans to get into the Base).  The checkpoints end at…  the cell of Prisoner #113, Bruce Banner! “I was wondering when you were going to ask for my help…” is the final words of the issue, coming from Banner of course. He looks great, especially the round glasses, and he is in a glass cell, so you can see the reflections of Ross and Samson on the final page. It then ends with a “WHO IS THE RED HULK?” and “To Be Continued”.

Ratings

  • Writing 8/10 (A mystery is a great, even if commonly used by Loeb, idea.. Samson makes a great detective)
  • Art 8/10 (EDEX, or McGuinness and Vines… are just a great team, the perfect collaboration for a new Hulk!)
  • Cover 10/10 (A PLETHORA of variants are available, five at my last count, plus ten originals from an auction at Wizard World, great for collectors, and all the artists do an excellent job with their various interpretations)
04
Jul
08

Hulk #5 Preview

Hulk #5 will be hitting stores July 23rd… it feels like it’s going to take forever (sigh). Anyways, I thought I’d throw up a quick preview of the issue.

Thor missed the whole World War Hulk arc, but he’s back and ready to throw down with the Crimson Colossus. Hulk #4 ended with “to be continudeth” (continudeth? I know your joking Jeph!) so we don’t really know if this will be the Olde English speaking Thor, or the current one, either way though, I’d put money down Mjolnir isn’t enough to stop the Red Hulk. Two covers will go on sale at the same time, one being a Coipel variant cover (very cool). Check them out for yourself below.

There’s been a lot of chatter about this fight on several message boards, one of the leading theories I have to agree with… is that Red Hulk will battle Thor (of course) but it will end abruptly (similar to several other battles in this series) when the Green Hulk wakes up and comes charging back in (possibly in his “raged” up, more powerful state) – ending issue #5 with a good setup for the final showdown between Green and Red in Hulk #6. What do YOU think?

UPDATE: 7-7-2008

Just came across an interview over at IGN featuring Marvel editor Mark Paniccia. The article is a little dated but he did happen to mention this…

“all I have to say about the Thor fight is that it’s going to be brutal. When I first read Jeph’s script my jaw fell to the ground and rolled down the hall. The art is coming in and Ed is drawing the $@#% out of it.”

Sounds good to me!

04
Jul
08

Who is the Red Hulk? The Mystery Continues!

There has been a lot of speculation concerning who the Red Hulk (and rightly so!) really is, I’ve mentioned it before myself. I figured to the best way to go about this is to put together a list of clues, and see where it goes from there… UPDATE: 10 out of the 13 “clues” I put together point to Leonard Samson, most in a not so subtle way, I’ve highlighted the explanations in red and amended the list accordingly. I have to say though, there’s just so $*#&ing much that says it’s Samson, that I still think there is going to be some kind of shocker/twist in the next few issues.

Clue #1 Samson is part of the initial investigation, and he seems to be sure it’s the Green Hulk, he seems to know exactly how it happened. Explanation: Yes he’s a good shrink but he knew exactly how it happened.

Clue #2 Samson has full access to Gamma Base. Explanation: Matches up with clue #8.

Clue #3 S.H.I.E.L.D. designed a gun to fit Hulk/Red Hulk’s hand.

Clue #4 In Hulk #1, Samson leaves Ross and Quartermain because he “thought he heard something”, after which the Red Hulk appears again. Explanation: It would only make sense for Samson to vanish right before the Red Hulk goes crazy.

Clue #5 Red Hulk could have easily killed She-Hulk, but didn’t. Explanation: Doc Samson had She-Hulk as a long time patient.

Clue #6 Banner says this new Hulk must’ve had previous Gamma exposure, he compares him to an overloaded battery. Explanation: Samson was exposed to the same type of radiation that mutated the Hulk (in the past, hence his green hair), although the length of his hair has always determined his strength… I don’t know why it’s short but it does look similar to the Red Hulks cut.

Clue #7 In Hulk #3, after Banner requests the murder weapon (the gun that shot Abomination), he whispers something to Ross, the only world that is partially intelligible is “HULK”. Iron Man is VERY interested to know what Banner said to Ross, although Ross declines to give ANY information.

Clue #8 Red Hulk has full access to Gamma Base. Explanation: Matches with Clue #2.

Clue #9 Red Hulk insists he is not Banner several times, refers to himself as “his own monster”. Explanation: This could be interpretted several ways, so it’s not hard to say this could support a Samson theory.

Clue #10 Red Hulk cleared all files on the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier with a sophisticated virus. Explanation: Doc Samson is a M.D and inventor of several medical devices, I don’t think a virus would be too hard for him to come up with.

Clue #11 Clay Quartermain was killed, he worked for Nick Fury for a long time with Agent Jones.

Clue #12 A coat belonging to Samson is found, shredded and covered in Gamma Radiation, after the Helicarrier attack. Explanation: I refuse to explain this to someone…

Clue #13 Red Hulk stated that he has wanted to kill Green Hulk (not in his Banner form, but Hulk form) for years. Explanation: Doc Samson has been trying to control the Hulk for a long time, sometimes through friendship, more often with combat. Remember at the beginning of Planet Hulk’s run when Samson was on the Illuminati’s side in sending Green Hulk into space?

Got any ideas? Another clue to add on? Leave a comment! I’ll be going back and reading through Hulk 1-4 plus the King-Size again (there’s got to something I’m missing), I’ll update this post some more later.

03
Jul
08

Jeph Loeb on Michael Turner

As a lot of you know already, the world of comics, and to be honest… the world of art itself, have lost a very special person, Michael Turner, who died recently after a long and hard fight with cancer. The image I chose for the banner on this blog is a small tribute to him (It’s a part of his Wizard World variant cover). Jeph Loeb wrote a letter the following day, which was posted on CBR June, 28th 2008 and reads as follows;

Mike Turner died last night. He fought the same cancer my son Sam had for eight years. He was 37 years old. His friends and family were with him.

There was never a nicer guy. There was never a greater pal. He was a friend and mentor to Sam. He’s been a big brother to my daughter Audrey.

In terms of his legacy, in addition to the dozens of covers that he did for Marvel and DC, I’m pretty sure that the only interior work he did outside of Top Cow or Aspen was the 6 issues of “Superman/Batman” that we did.

Bringing Kara back to the DC universe as she was originally intended, as Superman’s cousin, was the story we told.

Supergirl now will always have some of Mike’s joy and spark.

Doing “Soulfire” with Mike and Aspen was a blast. It was so inspiring working with him. Whatever he touched as a creator, writer or artist was the finest.

Did I mention he was the world’s greatest guy? And there is a reason why the people at Aspen, like Frank and Peter and JT, are so loyal and of such fine character. Mike brought that out in everyone.

I know you know all this, but I wanted to write to you and this is what came out.

Supergirl is crying right now.

I know that much.

Jeph

If you’d like to send your condolences to he Turner family, please send them to –

Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

03
Jul
08

Red Hulk Checklist

Well, here it is… I’ll try to keep this list as up to date as possible, and if you see anything missing, please let me know!

  • Hulk #1 (1st Printing)
  • Hulk #1 Variant (Wrap Around Cover, 2nd Printing)
  • Hulk #1 Variant (Wizard World Turner Cover)
  • Hulk #1 Variant (Atomic Comics)
  • Hulk #1 Variant (Dale Keown Cover)
  • Hulk #2 (1st Printing)
  • Hulk #2 Variant (Wrap Around Cover, 2nd Printing)
  • Hulk #2 Variant (Djurdjevic Cover)
  • Hulk #2 Retailer Variant (Black and White Iron Man)
  • Hulk #3
  • Hulk #3 Variant (2nd printing)
  • Hulk #3 Variant (Finch Cover)
  • King Size Hulk #1 (Art Adams Cover)
  • King Size Hulk #1 (Frank Cho Cover)
  • Hulk #4 50/50 Variant (Red)
  • Hulk #4 50/50 Variant (Green)
  • Hulk #4 Variant (Wrap Around Cover, 2nd Printing)

    Side Note: Ten Original Hulk #1 Covers went up for auction at the recent Wizard World Chicago, courtesy of that great organization The Hero Initiative, be sure to check their site out… they make it their job to help the writers, inkers, editors etc. of the comics we all grew up on, and they deserve your support. I included a list of the ten artists who contributed.

    • Chris Bachallo
    • Tom Brevoort
    • Michael Choi
    • Alan Davis
    • Mike Deodato
    • Leonard Kirk
    • Joseph Michael Linsner
    • Whilce Portacio
    • Javier Pulido
    • Arthur Suydam