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Suggested Reading: The Incredible Hulk - Incredible Hope!

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June 9, 2008

Suggested Reading: The Incredible Hulk - Incredible Hope!

Suggested Reading is a new column written by our comic book expert Roman Chavez that provides suggestions for comics to read in relation to upcoming comic book based movies. We hope you find this is a worthwhile addition to our regular fare.

All right, here I am, back again! Roman, your comic book guide to the stars. I got a little flack for my Iron Man comic book suggestions, and that's great! I’m trying to get people to look into more comics, and everyone who left comments both positive and negative had some good ideas. Think of this column as more of a suggested reading section, not required. This week we're going to look at Louis Leterrier's Incredible Hulk and in honor of its release I've listed some of the best Hulk stories to read.

Lets talk about The Incredible Hulk. You say you still have a bad green taste in your mouth from the original Hulk? Me too... Kind of. Let's give credit where credit is due. The 2003 version, directed by Ang Lee, had some cool looking CGI and from a directing standpoint was shot in a new and interesting way. However, I'm with you in the fact that the story was put together poorly and that the origin was changed so much that they should have colored "the hulk" blue and called the franchise something else. Oh, and two words "Gamma Dogs." Are you serious? When I saw those dogs I almost walked out.

But being the comic book fan that I am I waited... and waited. Hoping that the end fight scene would save face. Those of you who read comic books know that the Absorbing Man is a cool villain with a stupid name and not Bruce Banner's father! Sorry, I guess I have some built up anger towards that movie. Roman smash!! We can go down the list on why the new Incredible Hulk, produced by Marvel Studios this time around, can and will be better than its predecessor but it is all gonna down boil to one thing... Hulk smash!! That's what we want most - some great action. Luckily we may get more. I'm excited and I have some comic books here that are just good Hulk stories. Enjoy!

The Incredible Hulk: Future ImperfectThe Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect
Written by Peter David, Illustrated by George Perez
In this alternate future timeline we meet The Maestro. He is a version of the Hulk from approximately a hundred years into the future. He has the combined intelligence of Bruce Banner with the Hulk's more malevolent aspects. After a nuclear war kills almost all of Earth's superhumans and brings the world to the brink of extinction, The Maestro seizes control. This story shows us a what could have been in the Hulk mythos. Buy from Amazon.com.

Planet HulkPlanet Hulk
Written by Greg Pak, Illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan, Aaron Lopresti, Juan Santacruz, Gary Frank, Takeshi Miyazawa
Tricked into a space ship and sent out into the cosmos by Earth's secret society of protectors, Marvel's Illuminati (Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, and Dr. Strange), we see the Hulk struggling to survive on a gladiatorial world, Sakarr, where "aliens" are enslaved and put into a grand arena for the Red Kings' enjoyment. It is totally Gladiator meets the Hulk. We get introduced to some very interesting characters new to the Hulk universe and see some familiar ones. My favorites being Caiera the Oldstrong and the Silver Savage. Check out the Hulk's grand ascension from slave to rebellion leader to king! Buy from TFAW.com.

World War HulkWorld War Hulk
Written by Greg Pak, Illustrated by John Romita Jr.
In the sequel to the acclaimed story Planet Hulk, the Hulk and his warbound travel back to Earth in the wake of the tragic events that took place on his throne world of Sakarr. The Hulk and his warbound take on many of your favorite Marvel heroes in this action packed story. This series was a fun read for someone who is all about action. It had big battles and huge character reveals. I really enjoyed Hulk's warbound characters in the story, especially Hiroim the shamed. Buy from TFAW.com.

What If? Planet HulkWhat If? Planet Hulk
Written by Greg Pak, Illustrated by Leonard Kirk, Rafa Sandovarl
The What If? series is always a good read. Lately Marvel has been doing "what if?" issues for story arcs. Here, we read about if the Hulk had landed on the planet that he was supposed to land on in Planet Hulk. We also see an alternate outcome to World War Hulk. I don't want to spoil anything about these so make sure to read the aforementioned stories before you read this issue. Buy from TFAW.com.

Hulk: GrayHulk: Gray
Written by Jeph Loeb, Illustrated by Tim Sale
This one is kind of a retelling of the Hulk's origin from Bruce Banner's perspective. The story is a bit different than the original tale, but gives you some insight into the mind of the Hulk. Bruce Banner narrates this story and tries to come to terms with the monster inside him. It also shows us more of his relationships with General Ross and Betty Ross. I love Jeph Loebs' writing, but Tim Sales' watercolor-like art really sells this book. Buy from TFAW.com.

Hulk: The EndHulk: The End
Written by Peter David, Illustrated by Dale Keown
After the fallout out of a nuclear war, the Hulk is the last person left alive. Even at the end, the Hulk and Bruce Banner are still at conflict with what one another wants. The Hulk still wants to show that he is the strongest one there is, where as Banner simply wishes to die. A very bitter tale where you see the price of near immortality. Buy from TFAW.com.

With the cast being lead by fan favorite Edward Norton, we should get a good range of emotion. For those of you who don’t know, that's what the Hulk is all about. What I think makes the comic book such a success is the correlation between Bruce Banner and his Hulk persona. It is obviously a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dynamic in which you have this scientific accident where Bruce Banner must live with these nearly horrible consequences. Banner just wants a way to control the Hulk or get rid of him, and the Hulk just wants to be left alone. This film is probably going to be more of a nod to the TV show with Bruce Banner on the run. We will also get to see a movie version of the Abomination, which should lead to a great fight scene.

Well I hope that you enjoy some of these stories. Take what you can from the character and interpret him, as you will. If you have any other good Hulk story suggestions, please leave a comment below. So long from Roman's Land and I'll see you at the movies.

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  • Darrin
    thank you for the comic book suggestions. I can't wait for the incredible hulk.
  • Django Djo
    I was blown away by "the Incredible Hulk vs. the Marvel Universe" collection. It's basically a primer to inform any casual reader that, in fact, the Hulk can (and has) kicked just about everyone's butt in the marvel universe. (I'm giving it to my nephews, who love the Hulk, as defense for playground discussions.) I think many of these are nice, but required reading for this movie- based on the filmmaker's input, would simply be: RETURN OF THE MONSTER- by Bruce Jones, which was highly influential on Norton's script treatment. & Hulk Grey- (Listed) which is the basis for complete scenes included by Louis Letterier. Great job, though. I also highly recommend the current "HULK: RED" books to everyone. They'll mark the long-awaited return of artist Art Adams to fully illustrated stories in the next couple issues (not to mention more work by master draftsmen, Frank Cho & Ed McGuinness). The story is a murder mystery tracking down a murderous, 2nd Hulk, who has shot & killed the Abomination w/ an extremely large gun made for SHIELD, by Stark Enterprises. Pretty compelling stuff. I would also LOVE to see them relaunch the Rampaging Hulk magazine style books, w/ sophisticated artists & writers tackling ole' jade jaws in standalone stories, in a larger format. (some were similar to the tv show- which is also an obvious primer for this new movie.) They've actually reprinted those as well, in black and white: Rampaging Hulk Magazine. But this list is great. Hulk: the End is SO ridiculously awesome. Keep up the good work!
  • Steven
    Back in 1990, I remember buying a comic book that featured the Hulk and the Thing going off to some alien planet and getting themselves into a lot of trouble. The comic book was larger than the usual size of a comic book and its cover page was thick but it wasn't a hard back. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I know I didn't imagine this but I just can't find any info on that particular comic book/storyline. I remember that it was exciting to read. Anyone...?
  • Dan
    Good selections. I would also recommend the first volume of 'The Ultimates' by Millar and Hitch. If only for the fact that going on the trailer some scenes seem to be lifted exactly as they occur in the comic. Also the series as a whole is awesome. I liked the second volume too (which also has some cool Hulk moments) .
  • Django Djo
    Steven: You're talking about "The BIG CHANGE". I have it, signed by Bernie Wrightson. That's right, Bernie effin' Wrightson drew it, the creator of Swamp Thing & frequent contributor to the old Heavy Metal magazine. The Thing & the Hulk get transported to this alien planet, where they're forced to meet this gigantic mob boss, Banger McCrusher, who is their biggest fan. He's been surgically altered to resemble a half Thing/half Hulk creature, and always dreampt of going toe to toe w/ the two of them. What ensues is a often hilarious and ridiculous trip through alien worlds, as Thing & Hulk try to conceal their identities (Hulk wears an unconscious squid-creature on his head, and quite proudly-) It's an AWESOME book. But very hard to find.
  • REAL6
    Here you go Steven and Django http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2006/10/31/top-five-thinghulk-fights/ Damn i wanna read this now!!!
  • The Delightful Deviant
    i didn't even make the connection of "David" Banner being the Absorbing man in the Ang Lee Hulk until someone mentioned it to me, i think that was when i finally said i hated the movie, Crusher Creel the REAL Absorbing man would have made a perfect villain for a later sequel. anyway on topic you have a great list, Future Imperfect is by far the best of the Hulk stories, i actually want the Hulk movie to be a franchise in hopes of seeing Maestro up on the big screen. i know it had more to do with The Thing than it did the Hulk, but Hulk/Thing: Hard Knocks was a good story. #5 i love that story and i hate the talks in 3rd person Hulk but that story was just awesome.
  • Django Djo
    This link actually has pics & a detailed breakdown of Big Change. It's written by Jim Starlin. Definitely a Classic! http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/matricul.htm
  • REAL6
    tHANKS Django!!! I def wanna try and peep this...
  • Django Djo
    Looking over it, it reminds me how Jim Starlin was like a one-man Monty Python troupe, traipsing through the Marvel Universe. Read what you can of the dialogue in those scanned pictures. You'll get the idea.
  • ha1rball
    Awesome article!! I've read them all except the what if one. and i would love to red the what if one if roman what give it to me to read!!! get on that! haha
  • D
    Only read World War Hulk if you want to be completely and utterly let down. Planet Hulk was one of the best comic books ever though.
  • http://IKinc.net Ian Kazimer
    Djo, that comic book sounds INCREDIBLE.

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