Walt Simonson on Hulk? Count me in!



It’s no secret how much I enjoy Walt Simonson’s projects. This spring he is adding something to his expansive portfolio that he has never done before: been the lead artist on the Hulk series!

iFanboy shared this news item by posting a promo picture/teaser earlier today. Starting this April, Walt is picking up the pencil for Mark Waid’s Hulk series. And with the Hulk trying to lift Mjolnir to little success, it seems that Thor will be playing a big role in this.

There is really so much to be excited on for this project, but I’ll keep it short and  give you two reasons why this is ridiculously awesome:

  1. Mark Waid is an awesome writer and his name on the credits pretty much solidifies it being a fun read.
  2. Walt Simonson is drawing this, which is always a great thing but only gets better being that Thor is involved. How freaking cool is that?

It’s like Marvel is just trying to think of new things to make me spend my money on! I’m really debating on whether I’ll follow this as an issue or wait to get it in a collected form. Either way it’s going to be awesome, and knowing me I’ll probably willingly buy it in both formats!

Incredible Hulk 1-2:

incredible-hulk-2The Hulk is one of those characters that I rarely wind up reading. But the 2011 series by Jason Aaron featured art from Marc Silvestri. That got my attention. Having the 1990s be part of my formative years, I have a soft spot for his art and checked out the first two issues of Incredible Hulk.

Most of my Hulk reading these days have been of Red Hulk, so I jumped into this not knowing much of what the character has been up to since the World War Hulk story line finished. Apparently Doctor Doom was able to split the Hulk and Bruce Banner into two separate people. And to think we all thought he was a villain.

Hulk has been living pretty happily under the earth’s surface with the Moloids. They have a pretty sweet living arrangement; he protects them and their village from subterranean monsters. They cook the monster for him and treat him like a hero. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Hulk grows a pretty sweet beard and dresses like a caveman now. It must be hard to find purple pants under the earth’s crust.

This happy living arrangement gets interrupted by Amanda Von Doom (Aaron takes the time to make the “no relation” joke and it is very well played) who is part of a government agency that stops rogue mad scientist types. Apparently since they’ve been separated  Banner has gone nuts, and they need someone to stop him.

While this is going on, Banner has been working on finding a way to recreate the original gamma ray incident that caused him to turn into the monster. He’s pulled one of the worst boyfriend moves ever; he tricked on-again/off-again girlfriend Betty Ross to vacation with him on a nearly deserted island, only because it had been exposed to gamma radiation. Once Betty finds that out, she rightfully becomes jealous, transforms herself into the Red She Hulk and leaps away. This scene was almost comical, as to how little of her swimsuit was left after she changed into her hulk form.

Hulk, Amanda and her forces are en route to the album where we get one of the most ridiculously awesome things I’ve ever seen in comics:  the incredible Hulk fighting mutant sharks! I’m very sure I was smiling the whole time during this part of the story.

Unfortunately, that smile was turned to a frown. Issue #2 ends with Banner getting ready to send a brigade of his own mutant animal pals to attack Subterranea and kill all of Hulk’s Moloid buddies. Sadface.

These two issues were a lot of fun to read, and I’ll be checking out what happens next. Is it because I’m a Silvestri fan? Kinda. Is it because I like books that have giant sharks? Sorta. Fear of what will inevitably happy to the Moloids and wanting to see Hulk get his revenge? Definitely.


Planet Hulk Movie: Great Space Epic With 99% Less Bruce Banner

There are two complaints that film snobs always have:

  1. The source material was infinitely better.
  2. Direct to video films always suck.
Lionsgate and Marvel refute these claims in the 2010 direct to video release Planet Hulk, which adapts Greg Pak’s epic story of Hulk’s new life on the planet Sakaar.
The plot is fairly simple and you don’t need any current comics knowledge go follow. Hulk has been launched into space by the other heroes, as they’ve had it with him not being able to control his anger and being a huge problem (I would’ve said major pain, but I wanted this post to be free of any Damon Wayans references). Unfortunately for Hulk, instead of taking him to the happy planet where he could spend the rest of his life, he landed on the war-torn, wasteland of a rock called Sakaar.
Hulk gets imprisoned by the planet’s evil dictator the Red King and forced to fight in an arena, something straight out of Gladiator. By leading his new group of warbound gladiators in a rebellion, he finds himself fulfilling the an old Sakaaran prophecy of a “worldbreaker” coming to unify the population and start a new golden age.
There is more to the story, but I think I’m going to save that for a piece on the original comics. I will say that this is a very straight up adaptation of Pak’s story, save for Beta Ray Bill being substituting for Silver Surfer as a captive in the Red King’s coliseum. It turns out that this wasn’t as much of an editorial decision as a legal one, as the Surfer’s animation rights were held by someone else.
Throughout the film, there’s a bunch of cameo appearances by Marvel’s cosmic characters in the coliseum, including Gamora, Adam Warlock and Star-Lord. It was a nice nod to super fans.
I really enjoyed Planet Hulk. The visuals were great, and the animation was smooth. This is definitely recommended. Get it from your Red Box or local library today.

New York Comic Con 2011 Sketch Book: Hulk Matt by Whilce Portacio

Hulk by Whilce Portacio I think one of my highlights from New York Comic Con was getting a chance to meet and speak with Whilce Portacio. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and I consider him to be one of the best comic artists from the 1990s. His runs on the various X-books and his own Wetworks projects are some of my favorite stuff from that era.

I got to talk with Whilce at the Marvel booth about a bunch of things, including his favorite projects, some ideas he would like to pitch and even his upcoming run on Incredible Hulk. After such a great pitch, I’m sold. That said, I was super excited to get this Hulk sketch from him. I love that it was a quick sketch and his style permeates it.

Check out Whilce’s website to see some of the current stuff he’s working on. His run on Hulk starts in January.

30 Things I Like About Comics—#13 Mike Deodato

Mike Deodato sketching at New York Comic-Con 2009

Mike Deodato sketching at New York Comic-Con 2009 (courtesy http://www.flickr.com/excalipoor)

Brazil can lay claim to being the home to the samba dance, the capoeira fighting style, Max Cavalera and his thrash metal bands Sepultura and Soulfly, and Mike Deodato, who happens to be one of my favorite comic book artists.

One of the things that separates him from his peers and puts him closer to artists like Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock is that Deodao has distinct phases of his career.

If you look at his work from the 1990s, it really fits the Image Comics style that was all the rage. There is a strong influence of Jim Lee, especially in the way he constructs his figures. On the clothing side, he takes some fashion tips from Rob Liefeld in his designs. Some people think that this part of his carer, although good, is dated. I don’t agree with that. There is a certain amount of motion and detail in his work from this period that will always stand out. Some of his best work from this period is the “Worldengine” story in Thor with Warren Ellis. His versions of the Asgardians and their world were breathtaking. He also had a really good run on Wonder Woman with William Mesner-Loebs.

Deodato seemed to have disappeared from the comics world for a while and came back to Marvel with a vengeance in the mid 2000s. His new/current style involves a lot of negative space and shadows, creating a dark and moody environment for the characters. Even the way he draws people has changed, going to a much more photo-realistic style reminiscent of Brian Hitch. Primarily he has been working on Avengers related books, like New Avengers, Secret Avengers and Thunderbolts, and even had a really good run on Amazing Spider-Man as well. This new style debuted on a run of Incredible Hulk with Bruce Jones, which was more espionage than action/adventure. This new look was perfect.

For more information, pictures of some of his recent work and art sales, visit Glass House Graphics.