Sunday, June 08, 2008

June 13 marks the release of Incredible Hulk in cinemas and to coincide with the release we're taking a look back at the many Hulk battles featured previously in the Infinite Wars!

The success of Batman Begins gave license to filmmakers desperate to reinvigorate lagging franchises. After the financial catastrophe of Ang Lee's 2003, Hulk, this was the tact to be taken by Marvel Studios in pushing forward with one of their most recognised icons.

It's intriguing to observe the very quiet promotion of 2008 film; starring Edward Norton, William Hurt, and Liv Tyler.
In stark contrast to the engrossing viral leak of details for The Dark Knight, or even the tour of armor props from Iron Man; Hulk has quietly built up to trailers that frankly leave a lot to be desired. Very little about the promised action vehicle, which features Tim Roth's transformation into the Abomination, seems particularly exciting or enticing.

Despite it's flaws; Ang Lee's film offered the chance to have cake and eat it too, offering a cinematic experience I've never had before, whilst also delivering on expected scenes like the dogfights between Hulk and Thunderbolt Ross' Military. The cast felt much less like a heavyhanded list from an early nineties manufactured drama, and more like a vibrant, fluid interpretation of the characters comics fans have come to love. Eric Bana's Banner was much less outwardly mousy than Norton's, but was well tailored to the psycho-drama that provided the emotional grounding of the transformation from Banner to Hulk.

I'm not sure if this particular line-up of comics supports one film of the other, but it's a little bit of commentary for thought as you flick back through the pages!

Incredible Hulk #335 (September 1987)
"The Evil that Men do!" David/Ridgway

In this moody horror tale; the Hulk finds himself confronted by his dark shadow in a creature called The Stalker.

The phantasm arises by night from a troubled horror film fan much like Bruce Banner's Hulk during this period. The Stalker acts out the hidden desires and malice of it's young host, pursuing the affections of the woman Gil Jeffers admires anonymously from afar.

As the Stalker confronts the Hulk with a proposal to eliminate the presence of Bruce Banner's balancing consciousness; the Hulk finds himself confronted with the question of his true nature, and the decision to fullfil the expectations of the monster, or to walk a purer path.

What if...? #4 (October 1989)
"What if the Alien Costume had Posessed Spider-man?" Fingeroth/Bagley

A one tonne green machine of destruction is bad enough, but when Spider-man bonds with the alien costume, their split proves more costly than ever before, giving birth to a brand new Hulk.

Such is the premise of this universe where Spider-man was initially unable to free himself of the bond with the alien symbiote eventually called Venom! Eventually he is successful, but not before the symbiote drains Peter Parker of life, leaving him an aged husk of a man intent on saving the world from the menace he couriered.

If you thought the Scorpion was a scary upgrade from Eddie Brock, wait until you see what happens when the symbiote gets a hold of the incredible Hulk -- or worse -- a god of thunder!

Incredible Hulk #374 (October 1990)
"No Autographs" David/Keown

If you thought the Skrulls were new to disguised infiltration, then you have a lot to learn, friend!

Watch as the Hulk, Rick Jones, and Betty Ross come face to face with an incursion led by none other than Kl'rt; the Super-Skrull champion granted the powers of the Skrull's most hated Earthbound enemies -- the Fantastic Four!

Typical human compassion not found in the warrior-born Skrull elite... is on full show, as Rick Jones endures the psychological torture, while, as Bruce Banner; the Hulk walks helplessly into the alien invader's trap, lured by the helplessness of a lost little girl. It's clobberin' time!

Marvel Zombies #5 (June 2006)
"Marvel Zombies Conclusion" Kirkman/Phillips

When you're slowly decaying, are apparently immortal, and have an insatiable hunger for human flesh, friendships have a way of going out the window. Such is the situation when the greatest heroes and villains of an alternate Marvel universe succumb to a weird zombie plague!

Having chewed their way through Earth's population, the marvel zombies face the daunting prospect of a food shortage, at least until a giant-size slice of cosmic irony descends upon their unsuspecting planet. The Silver Surfer is but the foil wrapping, to be peeled and chewed aside in anticipation of the coming of the main meal - Galactus, the great devoured!

Hulk gnash puny humans!!!

Marvel Adventures: Avengers #9 (March 2007)
"A Not-So-Beautiful Mind" Parker/Santacruz

Typically the Hulk is a mindless, childlike monster, but what would happen if you increased his intelligence to impossible lengths?...

Step aside Leader! MODOK and the sinister technologies of Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) have turned the Avengers into a pack of big heads, so devestatingly brilliant they now regard the dregs of humanity without compassion or empathy!

As the MODvengers; Hulk, Iron Man, Captain Ameirca, and the gang are designed only for conquest! When the armies of Atlantis make their latest march to the surface, this fact becomes all too evident, as the Avengers turn the tides of war back on the undersea kingdom, using their sardonic brilliance to strike with supreme efficiency!

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