Wolverine: What it is that he does best.

I recently reread “Incredible Hulk” #181 by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe, an issue notable as the first appearance of Wolverine (Canada’s first superhero!). Like many older comics, “Incredible Hulk” #181 features some kooky moments intermixed with the panels of this historically significant issue. I’m not sure whether my memory has faded or I just noticed a few more interesting tidbits than I did the first time I read this, but here are some of the things that stood out most this time around.
Continue Reading “Wolverine: What it is that he does best.”


[DVD REVIEW] “The Incredible Hulk”

Marvel Studios second big DVD of the year—”The Incredible Hulk”—is definitely a big piece of multimedia worthy of Green Genes legacy, but much like it’s theater outing, it doesn’t quite match up to “Iron Man.”

Where “Iron Man” boasted special features that looked as though they’d received as much love and consideration as the feature presentation, “Hulk’s” special fair feels tagged on and falls short in comparison. Be it the half-length “Making of…” feature (30 minutes as compared to “Iron Man’s” hour) or the lack of an extensive character history in the comics feature with numerous creator interviews (Instead of “Iron Man’s” compelling hour-long look at the history of Iron Man comics, it only features an animatic of a scene from eph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Hulk: Gray), “Hulk” isn’t bad, but just isn’t as good.

What “Hulk’s” DVD does deliver is a plethora of deleted scenes that give fans insight into the Edward Norton/Marvel Studios feud and rumors that surrounded the film’s release. With a brief alternate opening and about 40 minutes of footage that wasn’t seen on the big screen, fans can get a look at Edward Norton’s vision of “Hulk.” Disappointingly, every deleted scene is used for character exploration and none feature any Hulking out (which does make sense, considering effects budgets…but still!). While a few offer fun backstory (Banner’s time spent in Tibet and subtle references to Captain America), the main insight taken away from viewing these scenes is that Marvel Studios made an extremely smart move by removing 40 minutes of non-Hulk footage from the feature. These additional scenes definitely display Ed Norton’s complete understanding of the character and comic, but would have made for a very long and boring film even with all the theatrical release’s amazing Hulk-outs!

The featurettes in this special edition are great, especially seeing how Edward Norton and Tim Roth brought their CG counterparts to life, but the lackluster “Making of…” featurette really made me wish director Louis Letterier or Norton had taken a more vested interest in it like Jon Favreau did on “Iron Man.” Favreau’s cooperation and great enthusiasm for capturing the production and process of the film on tape made for an amazing, hour-long documentary. “Hulk’s” main documentation of this is standard, 30 minute fair and an enjoyable watch, but after seeing what it could have been in “Iron Man,” it left me wanting.

Lastly, the billing of this special edition DVD as a three-disc set is a bit misleading. Sure, it technically has three discs, but one of them is just a digital copy of the film. So, for all intensive purposes it is a two-disc special edition featuring a digital copy. That, and the overly complex DVD menus that focus on looks instead of user-friendliness, are my only real gripes on the technical issues of the package.

Overall, “Incredible Hulk” was a great movie well worth owning on DVD, but it’s special features don’t make much more of a compelling argument to pick it up. There’s definitely plenty worth watching on this three-disc set’s second disc, but DVD enthusiasts will likely be let down by how much more could have been added to sweeten the pot on this special edition.


[Review] ‘The Incredible Hulk’

By now you’ve probably seen staff writer Kevin Mahadeo’s review of “The Incredible Hulk” over on Wizard Universe proper, but what you may not know is that I too—yes, the loudest of monkeys himself—was also in attendance for the screener that Monsieur Mahadeo viewed. However, our plan to run dueling reviews (cue banjos) was foiled by the massive amount of work needed on the War Heroes Cover Competition voting and I was prevented from writing a timely review.

So, because being a “monkey” of a certain vocal distinction means I must voice opinions on certain things, I’ll opt for a later—and more casual—review of Green Genes return to the big screen…in the blogosphere!

And away we go…
And of course, heads up, ’cause there be spoilers ahead!

Straight to the point, “The Incredible Hulk” is a darn good flick that doesn’t just dig the Jade Giant out of the hole Marvel’s first gamma-charged flick dug for it (spoken from a guy who enjoyed Ang Lee’s take), but rockets it a Hulk hamstring-powered leap into the territory successful film franchise. The film kicks off with loads of nerd-nods to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark Industries, followed throughout the film by the original Hulk theme song, cameos from Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee and RDJ as Tony Stark, not to mention teases about Captain America, The Leader and the Avengers. If the movie was simply a preview of the greater Marvel Universe being setup with this summer’s Marvel movie fare, it’d be worth the price of admission, but luckily, the flick delivers some heart and a classic Hulk story as well!

All in all, there really isn’t much to pick at in “The Incredible Hulk.” It’s maybe got a few more gags than harsh critics can go for, but it’s a comic book movie summer blockbuster—some comic book cheese isn’t just nice, it’s necessary! You throw a gag about giant purple pants into a Hulk film and, as a big Hulk fan, I’m going to love it.

And hey—much as I liked it—it wasn’t a perfect film, but if my two main critiques are any indication, this film is going to be a crowd-pleaser.

My critiques?

First: not enough punching. Oh, there’s Hulking out aplenty and, yeah, the Hulk turns a police car into a pair of boxing gloves, but I could have gone for a bit more fist fighting.

Second: Hulk and the Abomination weren’t strong enough. I’m a fan of the Hulk being more like a natural disaster then a wrecking crew, and I wanted to see him and the Abomination tossing around taxis like dodgeballs and toppling towns like they were tidal waves! They’re strong and they do some damage, but I want a Hulk-level event, not just a jumbo-sized streetfight. Ok, I’m splitting hairs, because the final battle is a f—king awesome fight scene, I’m just greedy and wanted more!

Lastly: I got a “Hulk Smash!” but I really wanted this scene…

Abomination: [Hulk in headlock] “You think you’re strong?! You’re nothing!”
Hulk: “No! Hulk is the strongest one there is!” [Three punch combo puts the Abomination down before Hulk grabs him by the legs and slams him repeatedly into the pavement]

…oh, or a “Puny Human…”

In the end, I’d give “Incredible Hulk” a B+ to “Iron Man’s” A. Marvel’s two for two this summer and I can’t wait to see what they roll out next year!