The Immortal Hulk - Issue One - Marvel Comics

The Hulk Gets An Incredible New Direction With The Immortal Hulk

A couple of days ago, just as my shift down here in the Vault was about to end, the Retroist popped in and asked if I had checked out The Immortal Hulk yet. Honestly I had not the foggiest idea what he was talking about. With the arching of one of his eyebrows, he slid the first issue of The Immortal Hulk to me. A scant fifteen minutes later I was on the phone having my local comic shop add it to my pull list.

I am willing to bet that like many of you, my first encounter with Marvel Comics’ The Hulk was thanks to the 1978 NBC television series. Of course I had seen the jolly green giant featured on the covers of comics stocked up in the spinner rack of my local gas station. But as I have mentioned before on this site – in my youth I was pretty much an out and out DC Comics fan.

[Via] Philo 1978

Having said that I became quite the fan of the Hulk thanks to the 1982 animated series, which naturally was also on NBC.

[Via] Jedi Juggernaut

As I am about to discuss what makes The Immortal Hulk so different, consider this your SPOILER warning. While I do not regularly keep up with the current events of comics, most of my pull list are independents, it appears that at this time the World believes the Hulk as well as Bruce Banner are dead. Obviously that isn’t the case but one of the key mysteries of the book is why this is true – something has changed in Banner as well as the Hulk.

The Immortal Hulk - Bruce Banner - Marvel Comics

All The Immortal Hulk images are courtesy of Marvel Comics.

We see how much of a change has taken place after a hold up at a gas station goes horribly wrong. A nervous assailant ends up killing innocent people…which includes Bruce Banner. However when night falls it is the Hulk that wakes up on the slab at the local morgue. He is angry and monstrous and is seeking out the one responsible for the killings.
The Immortal Hulk - Marvel Comics - Hulk Smash

Much like Ghost Rider it appears he is drawn to deliver some kind of vengeance or perhaps I should say retribution? Judging by this first issue, the days of the Hulk being ‘noble’ and working alongside the Avengers is over. Furthermore the Green Behemoth acts more like Edward Hyde – egging on his assailant and taking no small amount of satisfaction at being the strongest one there is.
The Immortal Hulk - Marvel Comics - Hulk Is Angry

An interesting point about the new The Immortal Hulk series is a nod to the 1978 television series. Bruce Banner can be seen reading an issue of the Nation Investigator in a couple of panels.
The Immortal Hulk - Marvel Comics - Bruce Banner - National Investigatoral

As well as the fact we have a journalist on the case after the tragedy at the gas station and her name happens to be Jackie McGee. While it is of course true that in the 1978 TV series, Jack McGee who was played by Jack Colvin, works at the National Register – trust me on this, friends – this is most certainly a tip of the hat to the series by Al Ewing.
The Immortal Hulk - Marvel Comics - Jackie McGee

The artwork for The Immortal Hulk is handled wonderfully by Joe Bennett, who you might know from his work on Black Panther: World of Wakanda and Teen Titans to name a few books he has provided art on. Although the covers so far are done by the legendary Alex Ross!
The Immortal Hulk - Marvel Comics - Issue 4 - Alex Ross

Obviously this new Hulk comic isn’t going to be for younger readers. On the other hand if you are ready to see the character in a much different light – one that leans heavily on horror…a little like Swamp Thing – you need to be picking the book up. Where it will go from here is anyone’s guess but I think this new direction is much needed for the character and I look forward to seeing where it will lead.

Now that hopefully I’ve piqued your interest in The Immortal Hulk – let’s watch a scene from the 1978 show that you won’t probably see in the comic series.

[Via] Anis 9876

Steve Ditko - Title

Rest In Peace: Comic Book Legend Steve Ditko (1927 – 2018)

Friends, writing these types of posts is never fun. We lost Ellison last week and yesterday it was confirmed that Steve Ditko has passed away. An interesting figure in the comic book industry to say the least. Even more so for his self-imposed exile from the public spotlight during his heyday of popularity. We must all remember that Steve Ditko no matter what helped create some iconic comic book characters. Such as Spider-Man, Dr. Strange as well as the Question!

[Via] Ax11 Boondocks

Ditko’s Early Years.

Ditko upon graduating High School, served in the U.S. Army. Where he worked as a comics illustrator, thanks to his love of the newspaper strip titles of his youth. Prince Valiant as well as comic book heroes like Batman. In fact upon his discharge in the Army he learned that artist Jerry Robinson was teaching at School of Visual Arts in New York City. Thanks to the G.I. Bill he was enrolled and learned to further his artistic skills from the artist he very much admired.
Steve Ditko - Jerry Robinson - Batman

That lasted, according to Robinson about two years. In the 2010 The Art of Ditko book by IDW, Jerry said:
“He was in my class for two years, four or five days a week, five hours a night. It was very intense.”

That most certainly sounds like Steve Ditko had the urge to entertain with his art. As well as of course wanting to break into the comic book industry. Supposedly one of the guest speakers during Robinson’s class was none other than Stan Lee. Although it is rightfully assumed this is where Lee first was able to check out the young artist’s talent. It wouldn’t be until 1956 when Steve first worked on a Marvel Comic. Although at the time it was still Atlas Comics, he did a four page story for Journey Into Mystery #33.
Steve Ditko - There'll Be Some Changes

Ditko would work on many titles of the day such as Tales to Astonish and Strange Tales. I feel it’s worth mentioning that with Ant-Man and The Wasp hitting theaters this weekend. The first appearance of Ant-Man was in the pages of Tales to Astonish #35. To be clear however that character was created by Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber and Stan Lee.
Steve Ditko - Tales to Astonish - Jack Kirby - Ant Man

A Hero Is Born!

It was of course at Marvel that Steve co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee. Although it’s been pointed out that Lee originally approached Jack Kirby with the character. Stan felt that the character should be more teenager than hero so he let Ditko take a crack at it. As published in Robin Snyder’s History of Comics #5 in 1990. The first element the artist felt needed to be tackled was the costume:

“One of the first things I did was to work up a costume. A vital, visual part of the character. I had to know how he looked … before I did any breakdowns. For example: A clinging power so he wouldn’t have hard shoes or boots, a hidden wrist-shooter versus a web gun and holster, etc. … I wasn’t sure Stan would like the idea of covering the character’s face but I did it because it hid an obviously boyish face. It would also add mystery to the character…”
Steve Ditko - Spider Man

The Lee and Ditko partnership really paid off. At least for a while. For 38 issues the duo laid the groundwork for what makes Spider-Man tick. As well as introducing nearly all of the iconic villains that Peter Parker would oppose over the years. During this time the artist would also co-create Dr. Strange…who I have talked about once or twice on the site.
Steve Ditko - Dr. Strange

Having said that though, Ditko left Marvel Comics after four years of success. It’s been said that Lee and Ditko stopped speaking to each other before that. In addition their have been many reasons given to the cause. Almost all of them contradictory. It’s sad that such a thing occurred but it did allow Steve Ditko to return to Charlton Comics. There he would create the Question, work on the Blue Beetle, and co-create Captain Atom.
Steve Ditko - Captain Atom - Charlton Comics

Ditko Heads To The Home of Batman…

In 1968 he would jump to DC Comics. Co-creating the likes of the Creeper and Hawk and Dove. Returning from Charlton Comics in 1975, he would work at DC once again. Creating Shade, the Changing Man and working on a Man-Bat mini-series. Ditko also revamped his Creeper character and provided work for the Demon series as well as The Legion of Super-Heroes. Furthermore Ditko while not being seen publicly or having any desire to be interviewed for the press in later years, still kept working. Whether that be providing artwork for coloring books for The Transformers or his own zines.
Steve Ditko - Mr. A

As always when speaking of those who can be considered legends. They stood apart from the rest. Many times, just like with Ellison and Ditko, we may not agree with their viewpoints. But we can appreciate their artistry. While we are sorry for their passing we are left with their art. Something that future generations will be able to enjoy for many, many years to come.

While I gave a few highlights of Steve Ditko’s career. You might want to watch this video by Jog Mack on the artist, that was uploaded back in February.

Captain America, Spider-Man and Doctor Doom at CES 1989

Captain America, Spider-Man and Doctor Doom at CES 1989

In 1989, Summer CES took place in Chicago. Marvel was sent three of their biggest characters, Captain America, Spider-Man and Doctor Doom to promote some of the games in which their characters would appear.

As we moved into 1990, we reached a turning point with Marvel Games. Sure the Questprobe games and Spider-Man for the Atari 2600 were great, but Atari had released less than 10 games before 1990. Before the end of the nineties, they would triple that number.

While some of those games would make appearances on computers, in this new decade, they were the minority. Instead, these games would make it to the big show. Appearing on next generation consoles, portables and full-sized arcade games.

So what were they there to promote that year? Well, Marvel released a raft of games in 1990 and 1991 including:

  • X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • Silver Surfer
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin
  • The Punisher
  • The Punisher: The Ultimate Payback!
  • Wolverine
  • Captain America and The Avengers
  • Spider-Man: The Video Game

An impressive lineup, and for many people who did not grow up in the eighties, their introduction to Marvel’s characters in gaming.

I was a big fan of Marvel comics. So I greedily bought, borrowed or rented any game featuring their characters. So for me the timing was great.

Here is a news segment that talks about the video games at the show that year. They do not mention Marvel, but it is great background and demonstrates just how much video games were evolving.

News Segment about Summer CES 1989

Nowadays we take it for granted that anything Marvel does will make a lot of money. For most of Marvel’s history though, this was not the case. This photo offers a glimpse into a turning point in Marvel gaming. A small victory for them, but one that would be writ on a much larger scale in our local movie theaters during the new millennium.

Star Trek And Transformers Crossover - IDW

Animated Star Trek And Transformers Crossover!

There is certainly a lot to love about both the 1973 animated Star Trek as well as 1984’s The Transformers. The fact that now IDW is giving us a Star Trek and Transformers crossover set in those universes. Well, that is indeed an amazing bit of news and has to be shared. I also want to add that we need to thank io9 for the news about this upcoming Star Trek and Transformers crossover event.

When I was growing up I was lucky enough to catch the Star Trek animated series on local television. Every Sunday after Church, I was able to plop down on my Grandparent’s living room floor and watch it. I had of course already been introduced to the original television series. While I was thrilled to see the animated versions of Kirk, Spock, and Scotty. It was absolutely the addition though of crew members Arex and M’Ress I loved most.

[Via] CBS

I have spoken quite a bit before on my love of The Transformers. There are many times after closing the arcade down for the night. I will just pull up a chair at the snack bar and pop in one of the 1984 to 1987 series. Although I will certainly admit that nothing beats that very first afternoon when I was introduced to The Transformers.

[Via] Hasbro

Now officially the name of the upcoming comic book series is Star Trek Vs. Transformers. Also of note is of course this isn’t the first time the crew of a Star Trek series has participated in a comic book crossover. X-Men, Planet of the Apes, Green Lantern and more.
Star Trek And Transformers Crossover - Legion of Super Heroes

Having said that though, an Star Trek and Transformers crossover by way of the animated series is incredibly exciting.
Star Trek And Transformers Crossover - IDW - Enterprise

The series which debuts in September, is written by Mike Johnson as well as John Barber. With art being handled by Philip Murphy and colorist Leonardo Ito. Thanks to that exclusive to io9 a couple of days ago. We also have this press release:

“This is a crossover several decades in the making, and we could not be more thrilled to bring it to fans,” Johnson said in a press release provided to io9. “John and I are having a blast writing the first meeting of Starfleet and Cybertronians, and Phil is the perfect artist to bring these two franchises together on the page.”

It is only a couple of months away until the release of the miniseries. Just enough time to decide on whether they will include the obvious catch phrase.
Star Trek and Transformers Crossover - Beam Me Up
“Beam me up and roll out!

I feel with sharing this news about the animated Star Trek and Transformers crossover. We also have to share Doug Simpson’s excellent article concerning Transformers: The Movie!

Optimus Prime - Transformers the Movie