Tag Archives: Hulk

Being Geeky and Gifted

I want to talk about scifif/fantasy and disability.  Unlike Jake, who wrote a great article on this topic, I want to focus specifically on the disabilities that aren’t usually seen on the outside–mental illness and social/emotional disorders.  And also, unlike Jake, I’m coming from the perspective of someone who has it.

When I was in eighth grade, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.  And when I was a college sophomore, I went through a period of severe depression and found out that I also had OCD.  I have always been labeled as a creative, intelligent person, and I am an unabashed geek.  A lot of the friends that I had in high school and college (mostly college) fall into the same category.  In my own struggles with depression and OCD, I’ve found out that some of those same friends have struggled with some form of mental illness, mostly depression but also ADD. And maybe there’s stuff we don’t talk about.

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A St. Patrick’s Day List of 10 Comic Book Characters

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone. This is the holiday if you like the color green. You will see it everywhere today, of course, from shirts to tie to hats to a river, if you happen to be in Chicago. So, in honor of this annual obsession with green, I thought I would compile a list of 10 comic book characters who are famously green. It’s not a “top ten” where I am  counting them down, but simply a list of 10 characters, in no particular order.

Brainiac

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Brainiac is one of Superman’s big bad guys- right up there with Darkseid and Lex Luthor (who is obsessed with green too, but didn’t make the list). He is most commonly depicted with green skin, and an unpleasant demeanor. Not a happy way to start our list, but he is also not the last baddy on the list either.

Beast Boy

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The quirky, lovable shape shifter from the Teen Titans, both in comics and animated TV. What’s not to like about Beast Boy? I know I used to enjoy watching him on Teen Titans because he reminded me of myself as a teenager, and every other teenage boy I have ever met.

Martian Manhunter

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The stoic, ultra powerful psychic from the Justice League, the Martian Manhunter is a personal favorite of mine.  I know, he fits the stereotypical picture of a martian with green skin tone, and that almost seems racist and unoriginal, but he is still pretty awesome. And, obviously, he was the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion on Mars in his former life. I mean look at the guy’s outfit. It’s like he came straight from the ring.

The Riddler

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Riddle me this: Who is the Bat Villain who is always dressed appropriately for St. Patrick’s Day? Easy, it’s the Riddler. He also wins the prize for being the character on this list that most resembles a leprechaun. Congratulations, Mr. Nigma.

The Swamp Thing

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Made famous by Alan Moore, Swamp Thing has been around for a while. He may look like a creature from some black lagoon, but he is the good guy. I mean, as long as you’re not attacking nature. He first appeared in 1971, which makes sense, he seems to be a character that only makes sense in the 70s and 80s, but somehow he has endured all this time.

The Vision

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The original android (sorry Data). The Vision was created by Ultron to infiltrate the Avengers and get at Hank Pym, who created Ultron. Eventually, the Avengers turn Vision to their side, and he becomes a member of the team. Eventually he falls in love with Scarlet Witch, and they get married. How much of this will play out in the Age of Ultron movie? Probably just the Vision showing up, the rest will happen with time in the MCU. Unfortunately, Vision is dropping his green attire in favor of grey in the new movie.

Doctor Doom

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Doctor Doom is one of the most feared villains in the Marvel Universe. He’s right up there with Thanos or Ultron or Galactus. One of the biggest tragedies with the whole split of Marvel characters amongst studios is that Doctor Doom is in with the Fantastic Four deal with Fox, and they have totally ruined him on film. I have always thought of him as the classic, essential Marvel Villain and would love to see him square off against the Avengers on the big screen someday.

Hulk

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What list of green comic book characters would be complete without everyone’s favorite giant green rage monster? He is a fan favorite for sure. He hasn’t always been green and there is now a red Hulk as well, but the most famous version of the Hulk is by far the green version. I can’t wait to see this guy smashing stuff up again on the big screen.

Green Lantern

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Green Lantern is probably the most well-known “green” superhero. There’s not just one green lantern, though. This is an intergalactic police force, each member wielding a ring that harnesses the green light of will power. With that ring they can form constructs out of the green light. The limit is only their imagination. Hal Jordan was the first in the DC universe to wield this power (I know Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, but his was a different power), but he has been followed by Guy Gardner and Jon Stewart.

Green Arrow

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Green Arrow was originally conceived as an answer to Batman. He was wealthy, just like Batman, and he used that wealth to turn himself into the Green Arrow. He obviously may have been influenced a little bit by Robin Hood as well. Now, Oliver Queen exists in the same world as Batman. With the CW series Arrow, Green Arrow has never been more popular or more mainstream. And now he is on my list. Who knows how much that will boost his popularity. I mean, the sky’s the limit there.

Well, there you have it. My list of green comic book characters. What characters would you include in a list like this? Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments. We love hearing from you.

Grey Hulk in Age of Ultron?- This Week in Geek, January 24, 2015

If you haven’t heard the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron rumor yet, then where have you been? Basically, reports have been circulating all over the inter net that the Hulk is probably, at some point in the film, end up being grey instead of his typical green self. This has caused quite the stir all over the social media, so it’s what’s happening this week in geek.

Who is the Grey Hulk?

Hulk_1_coverThe first thing you should know about this whole Grey Hulk thing is that it isn’t unprecedented or unheard of. In fact, when the Hulk premiered in comics, he was grey. That was the original color Stan Lee and Jack Kirby intended for him to be. Issues arose, however, when the books went to print.  The printer had a hard time with the grey ink, and it just didn’t work well. As a result, the original grey colored Hulk only lasted a few issues, before he was changed to the green toned, purple panted monster we know and love today. If it were any other medium, that would have been the end of it. It was a manufacturing issue, let’s just pretend the whole thing never happened. That only works if you are not dealing with a medium dominated by geeks who obsess about this kind of stuff. We need to know why the Hulk started out as grey and then became green.  We want a reason for it in the story.

the-grey-hulk-by-dale-keown-321-e1406894717736Fast Forward to the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and we get the return of the grey Hulk. Banner and the green Hulk had been separated, and this opened the door for the grey Hulk to reemerge. The grey Hulk was smarter than the green Hulk, and kind of dodgy. Eventually, he moved to Las Vegas and took on the alias of Joe Fixit, an enforcer.  Besides intelligence, one other key difference between the grey Hulk and the green Hulk is that Banner changed into the grey Hulk at night instead of when he lost control. Eventually, the grey Hulk and the green Hulk and Banner were all merged together into a new form of the Hulk that kind of took on the best of all three personalities. I remember the grey Hulk. This was the version that joined Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Ghost Rider as a member of the new Fantastic Four (it was the 90’s, a lot of weird stuff was happening in comics).

Why do we think he might be in Age of Ultron?

So, that’s who the grey Hulk is, but why, all of a sudden, do so many people believe he might make an appearance in the new Avengers flick? Well, it comes down to this:

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That is an image of the upcoming line of Funko Pop! figures for Avengers: Age of Ultron. This popped up on a website called PopVinyls.com. Of course the figure that jumps out the most is the big guy in the middle. The hulk, and you’ll notice that he is grey, not green. This led to an article on Cinemablend.com, which then led to multiple articles all over the web. That combined with the image going viral, and now everyone is totally bought into the idea that this is happening.  The interesting thing is everyone is connecting it to the Scarlet Witch, and that it may not really happen, but be a hallucination.  Maybe. Since we’re talking colors here, color me skeptical.

Don’t get me wrong, it could totally happen, but I just have my doubts. What we are basing all of this speculation on is this one image of one exclusive toy. That’s it. From there it has blossomed into a full-blown theory and from there, into a fact (not really, but maybe in some fans’ minds). Different stores will carry different versions of different toys and slap that exclusive label on it, and bam! instant collectible. I fear that this is more a ploy to make money than an actual spoiler. Marvel and Funko know that their fans will flock to Hot Topic to buy this one item, and it will be huge success. Fans of the classic Marvel Comics will instantly tie this figure to the grey Hulk of old, and will want it, regardless of whether this guy is actually in the film.

My biggest concern, or reason for doubt is the name of the figure. According to the above image, it is a “Hot Topic Exclusive Savage Hulk.” But he’s grey. As I mentioned in my intro to the grey Hulk above, he was smarter than the green Hulk. In fact, most fans of the comics refer to him as the grey Hulk, and the green guy, they call him the savage Hulk. Yet here we have a grey Hulk that is the savage Hulk. Unless they are ironically changing the character, it doesn’t fit. I think the Hulk we will see on film will be the green guy, and he is going to go ballistic for some reason, and be more savage than he already was. The grey Hulk won’t make an appearance, at least not in this film. That would be a great story line for a stand alone Hulk film, which would be a great thing to have. In the future, maybe phase 4 (hint, him, Marvel).

What do you think? Will we see the grey Hulk show up in Avengers 2? Or is it going to be just the plain old green one again? Let us know in the comments. We love hearing from you.

Can the New DCCU be Better Than the MCU?

In case you missed it because A. You’re not really a geek, or B. You have been living under a rock somewhere, DC made a major announcement involving 12 films between now and 2020.  They even managed to one up Marvel by not just revealing the dates they have marked and set aside for the movies, they have also told us which titles will be released on which dates.  It is clear, they are stepping up to go toe to toe with Marvel.  This leads me to ask the question: Which is going to be better in the long run, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) or the DCCU (The DC Cinematic Universe)?  First of all, I don’t even know if the new DC movie world will be called the DCCU.  I just did that because of MCU.  I saw it called the DCCC or the DC Cinematic Continuum. That’s a lot of C’s, so I like the DCCU better, but of course they will need to be different from Marvel, so maybe the DCCM-The DC Cinematic Multiverse.  Or maybe the DC C52-The DC Cinematic 52, because we all know how much DC loves the number 52.  In any case, the question remains, will DC be able to compete with the Marvel on the big screen? Or is it too late?  Marvel has been doing this for a few years now, and it seems like they can do now wrong, with Guardians of the Galaxy blowing up the box office this summer, after being a title that no one had ever heard of over the last 30 years.  The truth is, I don’t think that is going to happen with every random title Marvel might try to ram down our throats, and I think DC really has an advantage to be more successful in the long run.  It may not seem like it now, but trust me, it’s going to happen.  Let me tell you why, I think, DC is going to outlast and eventually take down Marvel at the box office.

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It might seem like Marvel has some amazing stuff coming our way, especially with the announcement that Captain America 3 is bringing us the Civil War story line. And that is probably true, but this announcement brings up what I believe are the two biggest issues facing the MCU right now.  Let’s look at issue number one.  Civil War is going to be massive and huge and change everything, and then what?  Cap will be dead, it looks like Robert Downey, Jr. is planning on playing Tony Stark forever, we don’t know if Hemsworth will be back as Thor, and for whatever reason, Marvel has zero plans to do a really good Hulk movie.  The four biggest names and most marketable characters Marvel has in the MCU will be gone.  The Iron Man movies were all huge hits, and Cap and Thor did alright on their own, leading to the massively successful Avengers movie, leading to more successful sequels, that will be followed by another huge Avengers movie, which will lead to another round of successful movies for the big four (minus Hulk, sorry big guy) that will lead to a huge, epic Avengers 3, followed by nothing.  Talk about a let down.  The good news is that Marvel has plans to expand their universe with the likes of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage.  These characters are popular with hard-core comics fans because their titles typically had some of the premiere writing and stories, but they are not that marketable.  Marvel led with the biggest names they had, and like it or not, they will be on their way out, just as DC is hitting their stride.

The lack of back ups for the big four brings us to issue number two.  Quick think of your favorite Marvel super hero not named Thor, Iron Man, Cap, or Hulk.  Did you think of this guy?

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Or maybe this guy?

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Or maybe these folks?

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Or maybe even this guy?

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Well forget about all of them.  While each of the above referenced characters will be appearing in movies, none of them will be appearing in the MCU.  Way back in the day, in the time before RDJ became Iron Man, the idea of a combined cinematic universe for Marvel’s characters just didn’t exist.  Marvel believed their characters were marketable, and could draw in big crowds, but they didn’t have any way to put it out there.  There wasn’t a Marvel Studios, and at the time, marvel wasn’t doing so hot. They did what seemed like the only smart thing at the time.  They sold off the rights to their more popular characters.  Spider-Man went to Sony, X-Men went to Fox along with the Fantastic Four.  Other characters were sold off too, like Daredevil, The Punisher, and Ghost Rider.  Their movies were so horrible, that we won’t mention them here again.  The point is, this was the only way Marvel saw to get their product out there, so they sold the rights, and those studios all still have the rights, and they’re not giving them up.  The only reason Marvel still had the rights to the Avengers is because nobody wanted them.  That worked out well and lucky for Marvel, but the time is quickly approaching when the Avengers as we know them won’t be around, and having properties like the X-Men or Spider-Man would be nice when that happens.  Plus, now that they are doing these major events like Civil War in the movies, it is going to hurt to not have those properties.  Spider-Man played no small role in the Civil War story.  I’m just saying.

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These are the two major issues why I think in the long run, DC will do better and outlast Marvel. When it comes to forming one unified Universe in the films, DC just has the upper hand.  Yes, DC is leading out with their two most well-known characters to start things off, but they have a lot of interesting, main stream characters that they can throw at us as well.  I mean, Yes, Superman and Batman are as big as it gets, but the Flash and Green Lantern and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are all pretty well-known as well.  The movies that they have announced are all heavy hitters, minus Suicide Squad, which will end up being DC’s version of GOTG, incase you were wondering why the rush for that title.  There is not really an Ant-Man in the bunch.

Of Course, the reason why this is the case is because all of DC’s characters have been owned by Warner Bros. for a while.  They have always had a medium for their films, so they haven’t sold off the rights to their characters like Marvel had to.  Not only does this mean that all of their popular characters are available, it also means that there is zero crossover issues that they will need to overcome as they start making the films.  If they want to throw together a “phase” that focuses on one of the Crisis events, they can, and they don’t have to worry about who they might sub in to take Barry Allen’s place to save the world and die for 30 years, since some other studio owns his film rights.  They own the rights, so he’ll be in the movie. No problem.  They have a whole universe, nay, a multiverse available to them.  No legal barriers to stand in their way.

There are a lot of different directions DC can go too.  Unlike Marvel, not every DC character or title revolves around New York City.  Each Hero has his own distinct city with its own distinct feel to it.  Gotham is very different from Metropolis, which is different from Coastal City or Central City.  Plus, Green Lantern can be his own whole spinoff universe, going throughout the cosmos and involving the other Green Lanterns and the other corps.  It is a limitless supply of backdrops, expanding way beyond just New York City.

Don’t get me wrong, I have at least one major issue with the new DCCU.  Well, maybe a couple of issues, that are really rolled up into one issue:

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There will be no crossover between the DC shows and the DC movies.  In fact they have already announced that the guy playing Flash is not the same actor playing him currently on TV.  They haven’t even announce Green Arrow having any kind of presence in the upcoming films.  That makes me sad.  I have enjoyed the Flash so far, and I love Arrow.  Plus there is also news that TNT maybe picking up a Teen Titans pilot involving Nightwing, which may be existing in the same world as Arrow and Flash.  DC is really putting together a nice little universe on TV, but it will have nothing to do with the movies.  Maybe the TV shows will serve as practice for the movie universe.  Who knows?  But this is the saddest part of the announcement this week.  I would love to see Stephen Amell show up as Green Arrow in one of these films, but I won’t hold my breath.

So what do you all think?  Does DC stand a chance, or will Marvel always rule supreme at the box office?  All I know for sure is that both studios will be getting a lot of money from me over the next 5 years.