on October 7, 2009
...but Marvel has finally decided to release the MM series in softcover formats at half the price. Here's hoping that stick with it.
Nothing spectacular in this set, it's the original six issues of the Hulk's 1962 run. Unlike the previous HC set, however,the color restoration process is based off of the original issues. Meaning, the Hulk's hair and skin are all one bland yellow-green, and Banner is shown with black hair.
on September 28, 2012
This volume collects The Incredible Hulk #1-6. The Hulk came quickly on the heels of Fantastic Four #1, and should have been a hit due to the popularity of the Atlas/Marvel monster stories. Unlike the FF, however, the Hulk failed miserably. Marvel gave it their best shot -- six bimonthly issues over a one year period, but it was no soap. This may be the reason why Spider-Man was first introduced in Amazing Fantasy #15. He stood a much better chance of being received in a magazine that already had a circulation, even if it wasn't that healthy. If it bombed, at least it would not be in his own title like The Hulk, sparing the publisher and creative team more embarrassment and possibly killing the FF along with it. After all, a comic book publisher cannot exist on the success of one magazine alone, and their older anthology books were starting to wane in popularity. Even the romance comics were doing better. Everyone knew that the revival of superhero stories was the way to go, due to DC's successful revamping of their Golden Age superheroes. Fortunately, the Amazing Spider-Man was an overwhelming success. Already 14 issues into the FF, the release of the Amazing Spider-Man #1 really helped propel Marvel into the Silver Age of superheroes, and by 1963, with the release of X-Men #1 and The Avengers #1 (not to mention Iron Man and Ant Man in Marvel's monster/sci-fi/fantasy anthology mags), the execs at DC were no longer laughing at the little mouse that roared. Of course, as most of you already know, Marvel eventually toppled that giant publisher a few years later, and this period in comic book history became known as "the Marvel Age of Comics."
The only complaint I have about this collection (and all of the Marvel Masterpieces) is that it was not printed on Baxter paper. Instead, Marvel used glossy stock, which is not the best medium for early four-color comics to be printed on. Great for the computer-generated stuff that has come out since the '90s, but not for these stories. Original comic book newsprint and Baxter paper, a thicker version of newsprint that ages nicely, was perfect for Silver Age comics and reprints like The Life of Captain Marvel, because they both have that ability to soak up, mix, tone-down, and soften the colors that look so garish on glossy stock. When DC reprinted their classics like Showcase #4 (1st appearance of the Silver Age Flash), they used the original comic book newsprint. Consequently, the reading experience was nearly identical to the original. That's very important to the Baby Boomers who were the target audience for these reprints. Because of Marvel's decision to use glossy stock, I can only give this product four stars.
on December 6, 2013
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby continue making new myths with superheroes that struggle with their inner demons. Hulk is about a young scientist who gets bathed by Gamma Rays, and survives to become a grey (and later green) monster at night. Later, Dr. Bruce Banner creates a machine that controls when he can become a monster. The danger is always that the monster doesn't like becoming the "weakling" and "puny" Bruce Banner. Hulk has his sidekick, Rick Jones, and a girl who loves Bruce. It's interesting that his girl's name is Betty Ross, the same name that Simon and Kirby used for the Captain America of the 40s. Although the plots are simple, they are enjoyable, and they represent good comic book samples of the sixties. And the inner conflict, plus being he anti-hero makes these stories even more interesting. Kirby's art at times seems sloppy in the action scenes, but most of it reveals promises to come in the seventies.
on October 14, 2011
I love the masteworks series. the hardcover looks better than this one though. Still even this looks better than the original comics which were printed on cheap paper. At least it doesn't look like the awful dc archives series in which the they just copy yellowing comics. YEUCK. This is the birth of a legend. And as the six issues progress you see a change in the hulk. He starts out as a grey monster, this version was revived in the 80's and it was a good one. He starts out smart and gets less so as the series goes on. He learns to jump high in issue three, he becomes green in issue two by the way. He then begins to change at night only, this eventually changes to him changing by use of a gamma ray gun with rick jones (his teenage sidekick) help. In spite of all this it still makes sense that the hulk would change alot due to his nature of creation. And some of these early changes return in much later story lines. but for the midsixties to the mid80's hulk would not have most of these early traits. They would return later though and that's pretty cool. They only did the first six issues here and then volume two comes along to give you alot more. Jack kirby's art is featured in five of these issues, dick ayers and paul reinman do a fine job of inking and were two of the king's better inkers back then. And of course Steve Ditko does a great job with issue six and he inks issue two as well. whenever he inks something it becomes very ditkoesque to be sure , so you may think he penciled that one but he didn't. The softcvers are a great deal and I hope marvel keeps this up because the hardcovers ,while better are much more expensive. The book has some extras too, like original art and various cover reprints to marvel collector item classics. (that title reprinted marvel stories and later became marvels greatest comics) .