Posts Tagged ‘Hulk’

Posted Friday, October 20th, 2023 by Barry

IMMORTAL HULK (2017) 38

Marvel’s Hulk began as a grey monster, turned green, went grey and settled back into his green motif. He has been simple minded, brilliant, a gangster and many other things, but in 2020 he became a cosplayer.

Hulk’s horror homage was N’Kantu, the Living Mummy for Marvel’s 2020 series of variant Halloween covers.

IMMORTAL HULK (2017) 38 variant cover by Del Mundo

Plumbing the depths of the monster pantheon Marvel had Dracula, a werewolf and the Frankenstein monster filling comic pages in the early 1970s; all that remained to resurrect was a mummy.

Beginning in Supernatural Thrillers (1972) issue five, Steve Gerber and Rich Buckler unleashed the 3,000-year-old living mummy, N’Kantu.

Initially intended as a one-and-done, N’Kantu’s story proved popular enough to return in Supernatural Thrillers seven. From there, it ran till issue 15 when the title was cancelled.

N’Kantu was laid to rest until 1983 when he joined Ben Grimm in the Thing’s team-up title Marvel Two-in-One issue 95.

Since then, N’Kantu has been silent on the comic book front, but has earned appearances on The Super Hero Squad, This Man-Thing, This Monster!

He also guested in two Ultimate Spider-Man episodes, Blade and The Howling Commandos. In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., the Living Mummy guest starred in Hulking Commandos, Days of Future Smash, Part 3: Dracula and Planet Monster: Part 2.

The Mummy was introduced to mass audiences in 1932 during the Golden Age of monster movies under Universal’s imprint.

Boris Karloff appeared as Ardeth Bey/Imhotep/The Mummy. Others would portray the antagonist in subsequent non-direct sequels.

The Mummy’s Hand was released in 1940 starring Tom Tyler.

Lon Chaney, Jr., became the mummy in 1944’s The Mummy’s Ghost and The Mummy’s Curse.

Abbott and Costello met the Mummy in 1955 with Eddie Parker playing the title monster.

British Hammer Film Productions picked up the torch in 1959 with The Mummy. The Mummy’s Tomb followed in 1964, The Mummy’s Shroud in 1966, and Blood from The Mummy’s Tomb in 1971.

Universal tried to remake the series beginning in 1999 with The Mummy. A sequel, The Mummy Returns was released in 2001 and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in 2008.

Posted Monday, January 9th, 2023 by Barry

The Incredible Hulk (1968) 183

For the Four Color Holiday faithful – if there are any – January 9 may sound familiar. We’ve been here before, first with Electro. Then, the following year we returned with Electro. And, again, in 2022 with Black Lightning.

To clarify, follow the links and see what we mean.

For the non-initiated, January 9 is National Static Electricity Day.

Spidey’s original and ultimate villains served their purpose to inaugurate today on the site. Now we’re ready to turn up the juice and showcase a new emcee, Zzzax.

Zzzax is an accident of pure electricity who can absorb and discharge powerful currents of electricity. His size and strength are determined by the amount of electrical current he currently has absorbed.

The Incredible Hulk (1968) 183

Since the brain is composed of electrical impulses – and creators Steve Englehart and Herb Trimpe wanted a dues ex machina of sorts – Zzzax can drain brain energy and claim the personality of the victim for a short period of time.

While originally a one-and-done character, Zzzax would return periodically in not only the Hulk’s titles, but to battle Luke Cage in his book, the West Coast Avengers and guest in Secret Wars II.

Zzzax would not remain rooted to the comic book universe, but appear on The Incredible Hulk animated series in the 1990s with a return in The Super Hero Squad Show series episode A Brat Walks Among Us. He would also appear on The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Avengers Assemble.

With the master of ceremonies introduced, its time to deal with the mechanics of the day. Static electricity is an imbalance of electrical charges on or within a material. The charge remains until one of two things happens; it’s able to move in the form of a current, or it’s able to be electrically discharged. This is different from current electricity that flows from one place to another through conductors or wiring.

To keep the shocking effects of the season to a minimum, use a humidifier in the winter and treat your carpet and use dryer sheets for upholstery.

While doing so, remember, static electricity can be used to temporarily power a light bulb. Vigorously rub a balloon on your hair for two minutes then hold a light bulb to the balloon.

Repeat until finished with Hulk 183. Or, your hair starts to fall out.

Posted Saturday, November 26th, 2022 by Barry

Spider-Man Drakes Cakes Mini Comics Series 1 (1993)

So many holidays, so much food.

Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving and just in time for the confectionary crush of Christmas time is National Cake Day.

Cake originates from the Viking kake. While the word has remained relatively the same, the end result has differed. Originally, cake was a flat bread with a regular shape flipped to ensure both sides were baked evenly.

The first ever birthday cake dates back before 1785. The term referred to a cake gifted for a birthday.

It wasn’t until the 19th century cake became what we know it as today. Cakes could then be baked with extra refined white flour and baking powder instead of yeast. Buttercream frostings began replacing boiled icings with fruit toppings.

A history of National Cake Day is not as easy to find. All we know is its as good a (non) holiday as any. Better than others in that National Cake Day allows celebrants an excuse to enjoy a sweet pleasure they may have avoided that day.

Our comic book representation for the day is the four-issue mini offered by Drakes Cakes in 1993 starring a line up Marvels’ finest – and most popular at the time.

Drake’s Cakes are named after founder Newman E. Drake who started the company in 1896 in New York.

The National Biscuit Company, better known now as Nobisco, bought out the Drake bakery and referred to the bakery as the N.E. Drake Baking Co. The Drake’s Famous Loaf Cakes continued to sell under the brand name until 1902. The Drake Baking Company was dissolved in 1903.

Drake reestablished his business as the Drake Brothers Company in 1903 and had expanded to a five-story bakery in 1913.

The company remained a family business until 1998 when Interstate Bakeries Corporation purchased the brand. Drakes became part of a Bakeries line that included Hostess.

Hostess Brands Inc., formerly Interstate Bakeries, filed for bankruptcy in 2012. In April of 2013, McKee Foods purchased the Drake’s brand for $27.5 million, reintroducing the company’s top selling items the same year.

Amid the shuffling of ownership, Drake partnered with Marvel Comics to publish four mini-comic books (3”x5” and 16-pages long) featuring Spider-Man, Hulk, Silver Surfer, Jubilee and Wolverine. Together they faced off against the Rhino, Sabretooth, Juggernaut and Doctor Doom.

Titles included Spider-Man: Carnage on Campus, Wolverine: Danger on the Docks, Hulk: Mayhem at the Mount and Silver Surfer: Lunacy in Latveria.

Unlike many of the other promotional giveaways, these were free of product placement. Only the last page touted the remaining comic books in the series, courtesy of Drakes Snack Cakes! A one-page add for the product was featured on the back cover.

Posted Wednesday, October 26th, 2022 by Barry

Marvel Super Hero Squad (2011) 10

Halloween is meant to be fun.

A little scary, but fun.

And, fun is what Marvel Super Hero Squad issue 10 is all about.

Marvel Super Hero Squad began as a toy line for the younger Marvelite. It branched into an animated series and various comic book lines over the years, all designed to sell the licensed likenesses.

Marvel Super Hero Squad (2011) 10

But, enough about the commercial side.

Marvel Super Hero Squad issue 10 celebrates Halloween with a majority of the Marvel U population. In the first part of the book, Whomsoever Knows Fear…!      Dr. Doom sends M.O.D.O.K, Crimson Dynamo, the Toad, Whirlwind and the Abomination after a meteor fractal – whatever that is – on Halloween eve.

To combat the evil doers, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Thor, Hulk, Reptil and Falcon, all representing Marvel’s 1970s horror serials, Tomb of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Living Mummy (Supernatural Thrillers), Werewolf by Night and Brother Voodoo (Strange Tales), respectively; set off the thwart the evil doers.

The Man-Thing rounds out the creepy comics representatives of years gone past by helping the heroes. His aid does not go unrewarded as a bag of candy is currency enough for the exchange of the fallen fractal – whatever that is.

Next up is Halloween Party at the Baxter Building!

Host Reed Richards discovers a party crasher amidst the invited guests, but doesn’t know which costumed reveler it could be. The quartet make their rounds talking to the party goers trying to discover the imposter.

Attendees include Thor as Little Red Riding Hood, a carryover from the previous story; Tigra and She-Hulk celebrating some of the Alice in Wonderland cast; Ant-Man and Wasp as salt and pepper shakers, Captain America as Uncle Sam, various X-Men as members of the Wizard of Oz, etc.

Finally, the FF discover M.O.D.O.K to be the floating jack-O-lantern who is literally booted from the party.

Back at Castle Doom, the deed holder is having his fun scaring the kids knocking on his door seeking candy. Until, he finds a mini-version of himself. Delighted with the adoration, he gives the trick-or-treater the rest of his candy and invites him to return next year.

Mini-Doom is reveled to be the Mole Man.

Yeah, Marvel Super Hero Squad is designed for ages seven to 14, but this seasonal story is too cute not to recognize. The plot is simplistic, but there are a few cookies tossed to the Marvel faithful of all ages.

Posted Monday, July 11th, 2022 by Barry

Marvel’s Collector’s Edition The Secret of the Power Crown! (1981)

It’s that time of year again, one of my favorite non-holidays. Today is July 11, aka 7-Eleven Day.

Today is the day we celebrate with a free brain freeze courtesy of their signature Slurpee.

Any longtime reader of this page will know my passion for those summer slushies sucked down on a hot mid-year day. We’ve discussed 7-Eleven’s history and partnership with DC and Marvel Comics at length in 2019, 2020 and last year.

This year we continue by looking at their relationship with Marvel Comics and the 1981 The Secret of The Power Crown! Featuring Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk and Spider-Woman for the good guys.

Marvel’s Collector’s Edition The Secret of the Power Crown! (1981)

The Enchantress, Wizard Rhino and Trapster make up the opposition.

This 36-page, full-size free comic book was a promotional collector’s item jam packed with punches, passion and product placement.

Peter Parker and Sue’s idyllic afternoon at the local 7-Eleven is interrupted by someone hijacking the Empire State Building in chapter one’s Mission of Gravity! The Wingless Wizard proves to be the unwitting dupe of the Enchantress who leaves him groveling for continued attention following the deed.

Paste Pot Pete, aka the Trapster, stars in Peril on the Potomac! in chapter two.

Captain America greets fans in front of a 7-Eleven near the Washington Monument. The Trapster as been entrusted to dig up a relic for the Enchantress. Like the previous chapter, Pete is left lonesome as the Asgardian turns her affections to the Rhino and the next chapter.

Spider-Woman stars in Shakedown! Set in sleepy San Francisco, the Rhino goes after artifact number two hidden in Alcatraz. The Hulk leaps in to help, ushering in chapter five, Beauty and the Beast!

As the name suggests, the Hulk falls under Enchantress’ spell, serves up the secret power crown now constructed of the resurfaced pieces and defends his mistress from both the heroes and villains who take umbrage for having been played fools.

After a heated battle, the Enchantress escapes while the bad guys are taken into custody. The heroes rendezvous at, where else, a 7-Eleven before going their separate ways.

To cool down after that red hot review, head down to your local 7-Eleven for that free Slurpee. Remember, things are little different now. To prevent people from taking advantage of the offer, participants will receive one, free coupon for a small Slurpee courtesy of their 7Rewards ap.

So, take it easy on the 95-year-old franchise that started convenience stores.

Posted Friday, February 4th, 2022 by Barry

Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) 25

With the 2022 Winter Olympics starting today, hosted by Beijing, China; it’s only appropriate we present Spider-Man vs. the Hulk at the 1980 Winter Olympics held at Lake Placid, NY, 42 years ago.

The Olympic games can be traced back to competitions held in 776 in Olympia, Greece. Representatives from city-states and kingdoms were selected to participate in athletic and combat sports.

As the Romans came to power, the Greek-sponsored event fell out of favor. It wasn’t until 1821 interest was renewed after the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire. Greek-Romanian philanthropist Evangelos Zappas sponsored the first Olympic Games in 1859, held in Athens.

He also funded restoration on Panathenaic Stadium. It housed the 1870 and 1875 Olympics. No attendance records exist for the 1875 event, but 30,000 are said to have attended the 1870 contests.

The International Olympic Committee was formed and the first Olympics under their auspices was held in 1896. The success of the games became the foundation for the current popularity of both the summer and winter Olympics.

The Olympics currently feature over 21,000 competitors representing 207 nations.

Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) 25

Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) 25

The most expensive Summer Games were hosted by Beijing in 2008, costing an estimated $40-$44 billion. The most expensive Winter Games were held by Sochi in 2014 costing an estimated $51 billion.

How much Marvel’s 25th Treasury Edition cost or recouped is unknown. Probably less than the created carnage caused by the Mole Man and Kala who unleash the “outcasts” at the 1980 Olympics. Olympians team with Spider-Man and the Hulk to stop the chaos.

What makes the book even more than a novelty – in addition to its size, a monstrous 10”x14” worthy of hosting the Olympics and Marvel’s two power houses – is it presents a new story. Most Treasury editions, beyond Howard the Duck and Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles, consisted of reprint material. Even the Howard the Duck had just one original story.

Marvel’s 1976 Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag used new framing material provided by Roger Stern to set up reprints of Marvel Team-Up issue six, The Avengers 58, Tales to Astonish 93 and Daredevil 86.

Maybe the most memorable piece of Olympic lore from the 1980 Winter Olympics was U.S.A.’s upset of the Soviet Union in the hockey competition.

Posted Monday, December 6th, 2021 by Barry

Marvel’s Merry Christmas Present to You!

Marvel Comics trumpeted its Marvel Value Stamps in the debut of the latest in-house promotional machine, the Bullpen in comic books covered dated March 1974.

Touted as an early holiday present the now (in)famous Marvel Value Stamps, an off-beat promotion mirroring the main stream’s Green Stamps or other bartering badges, readers were regaled with the wonders to come.

The article went on, in true Marvel idiom, “…one of these glitzy mini-posters—each featuring a different Marvel star or starlet—will appear in virtually every one of our mixed-up original-material mags—and in many of our collectors’-item reprints, to boot!”

Marvel Value Stamps ran in two series. The first offered renderings of readers favorite heroes and villains. The second, series B, were smaller pieces of a larger image to make up 10 different posters. Each were spread through various Marvel Comic Book titles.

Both series consisted of 100 pieces. The first could be pasted in an official 16-page Marvel stamp album offered in-house for 50 cents, to cover postage and handling. Included was a free, full-color poster.

What made the promotion so sinister was the fact anyone wishing to participate would need to cut up their comic books. Maybe the most infamous instance is Incredible Hulk 181. Philatelists traded the grade of their Hulk 181 to clip a Shanna stamp. Basically, the choice cost collectors an estimated 80-percent of what the unscathed book would be worth normally.

When all 100 stamps were collected, the album could be returned to Marvel Comics for a discount for entry to various comic book shows around the country. In addition, completists could take 10-percent off official Marvel merchandise sold by the company. This could be done in perpetuity.

And, in theory.

The two promotions ran from 1974 to 1976.

Visit Marvel Value Stamps The Unofficial Index for more information.

Marvel Stamp Album

Posted Saturday, September 18th, 2021 by Barry

Incredible Hulk (1968) 420

This is a day most people don’t want to recognize. Today reminds people they should still be afraid. Afraid and careful.

Today, Sept. 18, is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. Today is a day to focus on the number of persons infected who are living longer lives with HIV/AIDs. An estimated 1.2 million persons are HIV infected in the United States. Of those, around 24 percent are 55-years of age or older.

 

Incredible Hulk (1968) 420

The day is designed to focus on a dark reality, too. The campaign hopes to make others aware of the growing number of grandparents who are primary caregivers of children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS.

Incredible Hulk issue 420 was casually released to readers with little warning. Just a red ribbon and grim cover belied Peter David’s Lest Darkness Come inside.

Making his final appearance is long-time Hulk friend Jim Wilson. He had been revealed as HIV positive in Incredible Hulk 388. Issue 420 is his swan song, dying from complications arising from AIDS.

Betty Banner plays in a separate scenario as she works to stop a suicide attempt by a young man diagnosed as being HIV positive. Her attempts are met with tragedy as the man ends his life while selfishly keeping his secret from his girlfriend.

The letter’s page is forgone for the issue allowing comic industry pros: Michael Kraiger, Nicholas J. Vance, Barbara Slate, Jeph Loeb, Joe Rubinstein, Mindy Newell, Chris Cooper, Gary Guzzo, Don H. DeBrandt, Tom A Tenney and Kelly Corvesse a chance to voice their stories and feelings about the ongoing battle.

An estimated 74.9-million people have been infected with HIV since the disease first began taking victims in 1981. Since then, 32 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses. In 2018 alone, 770,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

The National Institutes of Health launched National HIV/AIDs And Aging Awareness Day in 2008. To become more involved, visit The AIDS Institute.

Posted Thursday, July 8th, 2021 by Barry

Video Game Day

Need we say more?

Well, we’re gonna.

There’s no real history for the day, but there are a plethora of games that can be sampled. Rather than bore you with a lengthy dissertation, we’ll let Nixian’s YouTube offering on the Evolution of Superhero games give you a sampling.

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Posted Saturday, May 1st, 2021 by Barry

Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book (1976)

Obesity is a chronic disease affecting 100-million adults in America. Seeing the need for awareness, Kim Bielak founded National Fitness Day in 2017 to encourage healthier lifestyles. It is observed the first Saturday in May every year.

So dire is the current obesity rate, it ranks above smoking has a health hazard. About 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States have been associated with excessive weight. People with obesity in the US have higher heath care costs than those of normal weight; 27-percent more for physician visits and outpatient costs, 46-percent more for inpatient costs and 80-percent more for prescription drugs.

Common causes for obesity include genetics, physiological influences, food intake and eating disorders, sedentary lifestyle, weight history, pregnancy, drugs like steroid hormones and drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions.

Long before obesity became an epidemic, Fireside Books, coupled with Marvel, published The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book. Agile Ann Picardo authored the tome while Jumpin’ Joe Giella illustrated the book.

Basically, it was just a fun book filled with normal exercises, most isometric, to help youngsters feel like they were training like a super hero. Or, training to be a super hero.

Marvel’s stable of heroes provided their own recommendations to help tone.

Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book (1976)

Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book (1976)

Included was Peter’s Perpendicular Leg Extensions. Instructions were as follows:  1. Lie on the floor leaning on your right elbow, feet straight out. 2. Bend the knee of your left and grab the heel of your left foot with your left hand. 3. Extend your leg straight up. Hold for a few seconds and return to your starting position. Repeat with your right leg.

Bashful’s Brutish Bottom Basher, from the Thing, instructed participants to 1. Sit on floor with your knees bent and grab your ankles 2. Rock back and forth, until you start to feel seasick.

The (J. Jonah) Jameson Roar went something like this: 1. Kneel on the floor with your bottom resting on your heels and your hands on your thighs, palms down. 2. Bend forward, open your eyes as wide as you can, and tense up every muscle in your body 3. Stick your tongue out as far as you can, spread your fingers wide apart and hold tense for a count of 12. 4. Slowly relax, bring your tongue back where it belongs and return to your starting position.

Not sure what good this one did, other than to contribute to premature balding, but Medussa’s instructions for Firey’s Furious Follicle Flourisher: 1. Sit cross legged on the floor and take hold of as much as near the scalp as you can. 2. Pull your hair forward so you can actually feel your scalp move, and then pull backward.

Other heroes contributing were Ghost Rider with his Bizarre Bicycles, the Hulk with Jade-Jaws’ Just-So Sit Ups and Banner’s Bellicose Bench Presses (without a bench), Thor with Goldilocks’ Greatest Isometric Arm Invigorators, Luke Cage’s Super Dude’s Free Squats and Luke’s Lying Down Limb Lifter, Sue Storm – when she was still the Invisible Girl – with The Fantastic One-Two-Three-Four, Captain America and the Falcon’s All-American Give and Take, Human Torch’s The Torchie Twist, Spider-Man’s Little Miss Muffet and Spread-Legged Foot Pull among others.

Some of the above worked in the fight against obesity, but other alternatives include healthy recipes, substituting fries for a salad, walking the stairs rather than taking the elevator, taking the dog for a walk, ordering from the light side of the menu, setting the alarm 20-minutes earlier to allow for some light exercising prior to beginning the day, etc.