One of the things I really enjoyed about ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was the “Professor” Hulk finally making his big screen appearance. I’ve gotta admit I was a bit disappointed that this version of the Hulk really didn’t do any smashing and even more of a let down was that we never got to see Hulk and Thanos get a rematch. Just because the Hulk’s got Banner in the brain doesn’t mean he still can’t kick some major ass! Regardless it brought back memories of the character as a kid when “Banner Hulk” was introduced and for me it was shocking to see the character this way. Incredible Hulk #285 was always a favorite of mine, where we really see Banner Hulk in full effect.
I mean the cover and the first page feature Hulk with his classic Banner attire and even some sweet ass combed hair!! Back in 1983 I was in awe that this could even ever be a thing for Hulk, the character during this period feels a lot like the ‘Endgame’ Banner Hulk, where he was a lot more reserved about doing any serious ass kickin’. Later in the 90’s we got Professor Hulk yet again, though he was much more of a bad ass often using guns instead of fists to fight his enemies. Still this great cover is a total classic from artist Ron Wilson and inker Joe Sinnot and of course who doesn’t love a classic showdown with one of his greatest villains-ZZZAX!!! Check out the first page of this issue, it’s one of my all time favorite depictions of the Professor Banner Hulk! He never looked so damn smart and sophisticated!!
I for some damn reason checked out this shoddy sequel to the 1990 horror flick ‘Mirror Mirror’ the other night & the one surprise greater than anything this film could muster up was Mark “Incredible Hulk” Ruffalo in his first “real” movie appearance! So ‘Mirror Mirror 2: Raven Dance’ came out in 1994, though it really feels much more like a mid 80’s movie with it’s special fx work/plot. It starts off pretty strong actually, showing a lot of cheezy promise, that is if you’re a fan of low budget 80’s horror stuff. We’ve got creepy nuns in a convent along with a “terrifying” giant vintage mirror that’s some sort of portal to another dimension of evil. It emits that 80’s style energy electricity fx I love so much, all over the damn place turning a bunch of nuns into piles of burnt ash, it’s admittedly a pretty sweet opening making me for a second think I’d unearthed some sort of forgotten gem of a horror flick!
Well we then switch to “present day” 1994 where we meet a bad ass alternative rock band on tour, who seem to be channeling the Red Hot Chili Peppers and for some reason they’re rehearsing for a gig in town at the old church. There’s a random teenage girl there hanging out with them, who ends up being the main focus of the movie and of course the douchey band members can’t resist uncovering the giant haunted mirror & are sadly destroyed all too soon by the evil mirror’s supernatural energy blasts. I was hoping these idiots would be present most of the movie but alas…Anyway Roddy Mcdowell also stars in one of his most boring roles and the movie slogs along at a snail’s pace until Mark Rufflo emerges as some sort of “mysterious” character who might be evil but it also some sort of “sexy” love interest. That actually was pretty unexpected!
Throw in a weird crazed handyman, a useless subplot with a greedy stepsister trying to extort some big money from the main character and eventually about 30 seconds of a pretty cool monster, more energy bursts from the mirror and well….ah…ok…who gives a shit, let’s not waste anymore time trying to explain this crappy ass mess, so here’s Mark Ruffalo’s first movie appearance in this boring pile of shit waste of time horror flick!!
So it seems that the Marvel Netflix shows have run into some problems recently with the cancelation of the Iron Fist and Luke Cage shows as well as the low viewership of the third season of Daredevil. The prospect of a second season of ‘The Defenders’ is certainly not in the cards anymore either. So with that being said could it be possible we just might get the classic comic book incarnation of the iconic team sometime in the near future? This new Netflix version of the team kinda bothered me, using the name when indeed, these characters never banded together in the comics (a couple briefly joined the ranks in the comics at different points in time) at least before this series was announced. It seems possible that a movie version of the team could indeed happen as Marvel Comics is reviving the original characters as The Defenders once again next month! A couple of the characters to complete one of the most classic versions of the team already exist in the Marvel cinematic universe, so banding the Defenders for the big screen would be pretty easy and thrilling as well while being able to add some awesome never before seen characters from to Marvel Cinematic Universe onscreen to the team.
We’ve already got some of the classic members in the movies, Doctor Strange & The Hulk/Banner are all ready to go cinematically. The pairing of these two existing core members for an insane cosmic/multi-dimensional adventure would be most excellent to see materialize on the big screen.
So I recently checked out the Wonder Woman movie and to my surprise it was pretty damn good, for a modern day superhero movie. I only really say this because the first time we saw Gal Gadot in the role was in the wretched Batman V Superman. Uggh I tried to erase that horror story from my memory.. BUT It seems to me that DC finally did it right and impressively releasing the, waaaaaay long overdue first fully female fronted superhero movie. Let’s face it, this was a big win and now I’m sure Marvel is thinking even more seriously about the future of the female fronted superhero flick. Sure they have Captain Marvel in the wings for 2019 but I’ve read recently that another female director is hoping she can score a job behind making a She-Hulk movie.
Yep Rachel Talalay who’s directed the likes of Tank Girl, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, episodes of Supergirl, The Flash, Sherlock and most recently Doctor Who has expressed major interest in She-Hulk. She stated: “I have such a strong vision of what She-Hulk should be,” Talalay told Vice. “The difference between She-Hulk and Hulk is that she loved being She-Hulk. She was the Tank Girl of earlier days in terms of being able to say what she wanted, and when she became She-Hulk, it was like an opening of the door to freedom, to be the person that you wish you could be. That you’re stopped from being as a woman. And that’s the version of She-Hulk that I would love to embrace.” Continue reading
Savage Hulk is a series I have been waiting for a long time and finally yesterday it graced the shelves of comic book shops everywhere. I have been seriously missing me some Hulk by way of new comic books lately. The last few Hulk titles have been pretty forgettable. I usually start off buying the first few issues and then well just don’t really end up giving a shit what happens next. That’s a problem I seem to be running into more and more with Marvel titles these days.
So here we have Savage Hulk #1 which is a pretty decent first issue and pretty cool as it ties in directly with an old X-men / Hulk storyline from 1970. So what we have here is a full on old school Hulk story, which is a breath of fresh air. We’ve got some great artwork as well by veteran artist Alan Davis, a favorite of mine in the 1980’s, which make this book even more legit. We’ve also got the X-Men in their old school 70’s costumes and The Leader in his old purple suit and my favorite look for him, his big long ass head! We also have a great alternate cover by Alex Ross which is downright amazing…
I think this series is headed for some fun, I’m not sure if they’re going to follow the old school story types but I’m kinda hoping they do. There’s a ton of fun in an old school Hulk story that’s been missing from a lot of the current stuff. So I’ll be back for issue #2 as it looks like we’re going to get some Abomination action as well. Savage Hulk is a solid start, but it by no means is gonna blow your mind as the story is very simple as we basically have the Hulk on the run from the Hulkbusters, Professor X determined to help free Banner of The Hulk and The Leader determined to screw up everyone’s plan. It’s also nice because we haven’t over the years really seen the X-men and the Hulk cross paths as much as they should. It also made me realize that The Leader and Professor X are perfect arch rivals, I hope we get to see them square off in a battle of the minds! So Hulk fans go check this one out!
It seems that Mark Ruffalo has revealed that a new stand alone Hulk movie may in fact be coming sooner than we’ve all expected. It’s been a fact that Marvel hasn’t been confident that The Hulk has what it takes to be a smash hit on the same levels as Iron Man, Cap or Thor. They’ve already given the green guy two attempts and they’ve left viewers underwhelmed at the results. Personally I can’t say I’m a fan of the first one and the second one was passable, but as the full on Hulk fanatic that I am it didn’t quench my gamma thirst. His third appearance in The Avengers was by far the best, Ruffalo did an excellent job as Banner and finally Hulk looked real enough for me to not talk a bunch of shit here about him.
So what the hell is the problem here? It seems to me The Incredible Hulk should be an easy sell! I’ve been reading the hulk comic books since I was a little kid and it doesn’t seem like rocket science is involved to craft an awesome Hulk storyline! Seriously folks the Hulk and his stories should be simple and fun. There’s really no need to over think things. Perhaps that’s what the problem has been on each outing thus far? I think a great Hulk film should be jam packed with action, some cool villains and a somewhat simplistic plot. There should be equal Banner time/ Hulk time, you can’t really have too much of either or you’ll bore people with too much mindless action or too much screen time for the actor portraying Banner who thinks he deserves more face time.
Another thing that they should stop is trying to string the old 70’s series into the plot. That worked well back in the day because it was an ongoing television series and having Banner on the run was always quite intriguing. Plus Bill Bixby was a pitch perfect Banner and they need to stop trying to recreate his magic. Now if they were going to continue on with the rumored Guillermo Del Toro Hulk tv series that may be a different story altogether. However in a stand alone movie lets bring on a solid adventure for the green guy that’s fresh and not trying to rehash his Ferrigno days.
Another problem I believe with the movies, and I know many will disagree, is that it’s a hard thing for a live action movie to be driven by an entirely computer generated character who merely roars and grunts. Lou Ferrigno’s Hulk worked so well because he was REALLY there on screen acting and interacting with other people in all of his green paint and glory. He was real and you could feel real emotion there. So today trying to get the same results is very difficult with a CG lead character. Even in the Iron Man movies, much of the actual imagery of Iron Man was fully CG, however we always got those close ups of Tony Stark’s face in the armor, reminding us that yes, Iron Man is a real person. No matter how much you love modern CG it’s still poses problems for generating real characters with real emotion.
One solution to some of the Hulk’s big screen problems could be solved with giving the Hulk more intelligence, like he has often times in the comic books. Rather than just having him growl and roar, let Banner gain some control and let The Hulk speak. He can still in the heat of battle lose his cool and go into full on “Hulk Smash” angry toddler tantrum mode. But once a fully raging computer generated Hulk who can’t speak dominates the majority of screen time things the viewer is bound to disconnect a bit . So hopefully the next Hulk will have more going on in the noggin.
Finally pick some good supporting characters from the Hulk’s rich comic history. Let’s see Doc Samson with his green locks, let’s explore She-Hulk and add some Rick Jones into the mix! Most important let’s get some good villains into the mix. The Leader would be amazing and he’d also be a big enough baddie to cross over into an Avengers movie. Or how about The Absorbing Man, The Wrecking Crew, The Gremlin, The U-Foes or better yet Modok!? I’ve been itchin’ to see a big screen Modok for years and this would be the perfect platform to do so! I’m thinking the “Ms. Modok” storyline from the 80’s Incredible Hulk #286-290 would be terrifying on the big screen!
I’m also open to some classic Hulk stories, “Planet Hulk/World War Hulk” has been talked about quite a bit but might require too much set up, “Dogs of War” from 2001 would be a good one, but a good classic storyline could be from The Incredible Hulk mid 1980’s where Banner seemingly controls the Hulk. He even dresses like him for the first time (which was pretty funny) but later loses control and is cast off to a different dimension by Doctor Strange, these issues served as the actual inspiration for the Planet Hulk story many years later.
So my final thoughts are, though it might be difficult to pull of a simple, awesome Hulk adventure on the big screen I’m more than excited for them to give it another go. I felt Ruffalo did such a great job in the Avengers that I think the next Hulk movie is bound to be a hit. People clearly want it and if they don’t over think it, it’ll be the Hulk flick we’ve always dreamed of..
I’ve just read via Ain’t it Cool News that supposedly there are NO plans to bring the Planet Hulk story to the big screen. As much as I enjoyed Planet Hulk, the idea of this being a big Hollywood blockbuster movie really didn’t excite me all that much. First I had wondered how they would pull this off with Ruffalo, as Marvel has recently stated they were concerned that Planet Hulk was missing one key ingredient for big screen success….Bruce Banner!
Yeah as cool as it may have been for this Hulk story to be told if, I remember correctly Banner only appeared in Planet Hulk for a brief moment in a small side story which perhaps showed up in an annual of some sorts during that time. I do wonder why Marvel would have to have a Banner-less Planet Hulk? They’ve changed a lot in the movies from their comic origins so why couldn’t Banner co-exist with The Hulk in the big screen version? Perhaps they just don’t want to waste the time of having to make Hulk a menace to the world on screen? He seems to be working out nicely right now in the books as an Avenger and an agent of SHIELD.
So for a second though let’s imagine Marvel did indeed want to make Planet Hulk a reality, following the comic book storyline strictly. What we would have on our hands would be an entirely CG, animated movie. We all know that the big Hollywood studios rarely use live sets anymore especially for an alien world, we all know that they refuse to use any practical effects or make up to bring The Hulk to life, we all know in big Hollywood movies that aliens are 99.9% of the time entirely CG creations and since we have him teaming up with aliens in the movie there would be no use for any real on screen actors. We would have some big name actors voicing. This really leaves nothing for Ruffalo in that storyline. So to me it would be like a PIXAR flick. That could be cool, but it’s not what Avengers and Hulk fans want at the end of the day. So where does this leave the poor Hulk?
Perhaps he’s better as a team player? Perhaps the Hulk doesn’t work the way he did back in the 70’s when Bixby and Ferrigno brought him to life on TV weekly. If they do bring another Hulk movie it’s going to need a lot of Ruffalo/Banner and smaller doses of the Hulk. I personally would love a simpler classic Hulk approach to a movie. Give me The Leader as the Mastermind, throw in some henchmen like the U-foes, Half-life or the Bi-Beast and give us She-Hulk plus Doc Samson and let’s get down to business of some good smashing the old school way! What do you think should happen with the Hulk on the big screen? Should he just stay a team player? Should he have another shot at a solo film? What story would you like to see brought to life?