Marvel needs to reboot and fix The Hulk

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
I just finished re-reading Hulk: Grey which is pretty good considering the other slop Jeph Loeb has written, and I really wish Marvel would fix the Hulk.

Hulk was created as an homage to Jekyll & Hyde and when written as such works really well. He really is one of Marvel's better thought-out characters, like Daredevil, which has a great amount of contradiction and conflict inherent in the character to make him interesting; the meek and brilliant scientist with a ton and a half of emotional baggage thanks in large part to child abuse and the death of his mother turns into an immensely strong, unintelligent and unthinking brute when he gets mad. That's good stuff.

But Marvel has mucked things up so badly over the years by getting away from this formula, taking away a nice cast of supporting characters, and completely changing the dynamic of the character by having him wander around other dimensions and ruling battle worlds in other universes or whatever crap they've had him doing in Planet Hulk et all. It's not even the same character. The book hasn't been good in years, and the closest it's been to good is the beginning of the Bruce Jones run where he had him as a fugitive on the run.

I would like to see them reboot the character similar to what they had Warren Ellis do with Extremis in Iron Man; modernize the origin, bring everything back to basics, and don't forget the human side of things. Bruce Banner is a brilliant scientist - use that. Do something closer to how the character was used in Ultimates (and, to a lesser extent, Ultimates 2).

Actually, I don't even think the character can be used this way in an ongoing monthly series. That's part of the problem. Use him in a team book with minis sprinkled here and there.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. The character, the supporting cast, and the book as a whole are all travesties and it shouldn't be that way.
 

Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
I just finished re-reading Hulk: Grey which is pretty good considering the other slop Jeph Loeb has written, and I really wish Marvel would fix the Hulk.

Hulk was created as an homage to Jekyll & Hyde and when written as such works really well. He really is one of Marvel's better thought-out characters, like Daredevil, which has a great amount of contradiction and conflict inherent in the character to make him interesting; the meek and brilliant scientist with a ton and a half of emotional baggage thanks in large part to child abuse and the death of his mother turns into an immensely strong, unintelligent and unthinking brute when he gets mad. That's good stuff.

But Marvel has mucked things up so badly over the years by getting away from this formula, taking away a nice cast of supporting characters, and completely changing the dynamic of the character by having him wander around other dimensions and ruling battle worlds in other universes or whatever crap they've had him doing in Planet Hulk et all. It's not even the same character. The book hasn't been good in years, and the closest it's been to good is the beginning of the Bruce Jones run where he had him as a fugitive on the run.

I would like to see them reboot the character similar to what they had Warren Ellis do with Extremis in Iron Man; modernize the origin, bring everything back to basics, and don't forget the human side of things. Bruce Banner is a brilliant scientist - use that. Do something closer to how the character was used in Ultimates (and, to a lesser extent, Ultimates 2).

Actually, I don't even think the character can be used this way in an ongoing monthly series. That's part of the problem. Use him in a team book with minis sprinkled here and there.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. The character, the supporting cast, and the book as a whole are all travesties and it shouldn't be that way.
I completely agree.
 

Ultimate Houde

UC's Resident Genetic Recombinator
I don't completely agree.

Planet Hulk was interesting. How he got there, and the fallout wasn't, but the actual story that took place on the Planet was.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
I think the problem is that Bruce Banner as a Jekyll & Hyde homage on the run from the military only gets you so far. After a while it gets boring. Marvel has been doing different things with Hulk for years now, playing with the character and seeing what works. Remember Mr Fixit?

124501-137876-hulk_large.jpg
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
I mostly agree with you.

I do feel that the Hulk is capable of supporting a solo series, though. I mean, he's had some pretty great runs in the past.


Hm. I missed Captain Canuck's post the first time through (I think we posted at the same time-ish), but he's right. It's like Batman. The core idea of Batman as an "urban legend" can only remain credible for so long, but that doesn't mean that the character can only work that way.
 
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Langsta

Well-Known Member
I just finished re-reading Hulk: Grey which is pretty good considering the other slop Jeph Loeb has written, and I really wish Marvel would fix the Hulk.

Hulk was created as an homage to Jekyll & Hyde and when written as such works really well. He really is one of Marvel's better thought-out characters, like Daredevil, which has a great amount of contradiction and conflict inherent in the character to make him interesting; the meek and brilliant scientist with a ton and a half of emotional baggage thanks in large part to child abuse and the death of his mother turns into an immensely strong, unintelligent and unthinking brute when he gets mad. That's good stuff.

But Marvel has mucked things up so badly over the years by getting away from this formula, taking away a nice cast of supporting characters, and completely changing the dynamic of the character by having him wander around other dimensions and ruling battle worlds in other universes or whatever crap they've had him doing in Planet Hulk et all. It's not even the same character. The book hasn't been good in years, and the closest it's been to good is the beginning of the Bruce Jones run where he had him as a fugitive on the run.

I would like to see them reboot the character similar to what they had Warren Ellis do with Extremis in Iron Man; modernize the origin, bring everything back to basics, and don't forget the human side of things. Bruce Banner is a brilliant scientist - use that. Do something closer to how the character was used in Ultimates (and, to a lesser extent, Ultimates 2).

Actually, I don't even think the character can be used this way in an ongoing monthly series. That's part of the problem. Use him in a team book with minis sprinkled here and there.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. The character, the supporting cast, and the book as a whole are all travesties and it shouldn't be that way.

I agree. And I think a modernization of his origin in the vein of Extremis is a great idea.
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
I just finished re-reading Hulk: Grey which is pretty good considering the other slop Jeph Loeb has written, and I really wish Marvel would fix the Hulk.

Hulk was created as an homage to Jekyll & Hyde and when written as such works really well. He really is one of Marvel's better thought-out characters, like Daredevil, which has a great amount of contradiction and conflict inherent in the character to make him interesting; the meek and brilliant scientist with a ton and a half of emotional baggage thanks in large part to child abuse and the death of his mother turns into an immensely strong, unintelligent and unthinking brute when he gets mad. That's good stuff.

But Marvel has mucked things up so badly over the years by getting away from this formula, taking away a nice cast of supporting characters, and completely changing the dynamic of the character by having him wander around other dimensions and ruling battle worlds in other universes or whatever crap they've had him doing in Planet Hulk et all. It's not even the same character. The book hasn't been good in years, and the closest it's been to good is the beginning of the Bruce Jones run where he had him as a fugitive on the run.

I would like to see them reboot the character similar to what they had Warren Ellis do with Extremis in Iron Man; modernize the origin, bring everything back to basics, and don't forget the human side of things. Bruce Banner is a brilliant scientist - use that. Do something closer to how the character was used in Ultimates (and, to a lesser extent, Ultimates 2).

Actually, I don't even think the character can be used this way in an ongoing monthly series. That's part of the problem. Use him in a team book with minis sprinkled here and there.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. The character, the supporting cast, and the book as a whole are all travesties and it shouldn't be that way.

I think the problem you're pointing out astutely stems from a rather large misconception of what the Hulk is and what he isn't.

The Hulk is not a superhero.

He is King Kong.

But if Batman can happily fight space-pirates, then I suppose the Hulk can be a space-pirate. WORLD WAR HULK was some what smart in making Hulk a villain.

See, if Hulk isn't King Kong... then he's Godzilla.

But if you want Hulk teaming up with the Avengers and doing all that superhero stuff, then he's gotta be Frankenstein, in which case he might as well just be The Thing.

The problem here isn't so much that he doesn't work in space or what-have-you, it's that he's like Ghost Rider or the Punisher or Superman; they can be awesome bad writers are given the character in order to keep him alive even though they don't know what to do with them.

Think about it like this: You're the writer of the Hulk. Why would you ever send him into space?

Because you can't think of how to write a fugitive tale. And you're set on writing the Hulk. So you do the stupid thing of telling a non-Hulk story with the Hulk.

This is why Catwoman has a baby, why Superman becomes Superman-Red and Superman-Blue, why Spidey turns out to be a clone, why Punisher fights demons on orders from Heaven, why Ultimate Thor is now indistinguishable from regular Thor, why Superboy Prime is a villain, and so on.

The writer is tasked with telling a story about a character he doesn't get, so he masks his lack of knowledge by 'innovating' and putting the character so far out of his element that the audience will not notice that they do not know how to write the character; everything is 'off', so it's okay that the character is. (The other alternative is to stick so rigidly to a formula that you can't go 'wrong'; the body of Jeph Loeb's so-called 'good' work is him repeating other people's stories verbatim.)

But, if you get the character, you can innovate by revealing hidden truths; Animal Man becomes a vegetarian, a crusader for animal rights, and a pawn used for entertainment. Swamp Thing becomes a mystical elemental. Daredevil becomes a conflicted, raging vigilante, Iron Man becomes a self-hating narcissist, and so on.

Or something. I dunno.
 
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Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
I think the problem you're pointing out astutely stems from a rather large misconception of what the Hulk is and what he isn't.

The Hulk is not a superhero.

He is King Kong.

But if Batman can happily fight space-pirates, then I suppose the Hulk can be a space-pirate. WORLD WAR HULK was some what smart in making Hulk a villain.

See, if Hulk isn't King Kong... then he's Godzilla.

But if you want Hulk teaming up with the Avengers and doing all that superhero stuff, then he's gotta be Frankenstein, in which case he might as well just be The Thing.

The problem here isn't so much that he doesn't work in space or what-have-you, it's that he's like Ghost Rider or the Punisher or Superman; they can be awesome bad writers are given the character in order to keep him alive even though they don't know what to do with them.

Think about it like this: You're the writer of the Hulk. Why would you ever send him into space?

Because you can't think of how to write a fugitive tale. And you're set on writing the Hulk. So you do the stupid thing of telling a non-Hulk story with the Hulk.

This is why Catwoman has a baby, why Superman becomes Superman-Red and Superman-Blue, why Spidey turns out to be a clone, why Punisher fights demons on orders from Heaven, why Ultimate Thor is now indistinguishable from regular Thor, why Superboy Prime is a villain, and so on.

The writer is tasked with telling a story about a character he doesn't get, so he masks his lack of knowledge by 'innovating' and putting the character so far out of his element that the audience will not notice that they do not know how to write the character; everything is 'off', so it's okay that the character is. (The other alternative is to stick so rigidly to a formula that you can't go 'wrong'; the body of Jeph Loeb's so-called 'good' work is him repeating other people's stories verbatim.)

But, if you get the character, you can innovate by revealing hidden truths; Animal Man becomes a vegetarian, a crusader for animal rights, and a pawn used for entertainment. Swamp Thing becomes a mystical elemental. Daredevil becomes a conflicted, raging vigilante, Iron Man becomes a self-hating narcissist, and so on.

Or something. I dunno.

Yes.

;) Marvel should totally shuttle the Hulk over to the Vertigo imprint.



But yeah, Bass is right on point. Characters in an episodic medium but they need to do so in a way that's smart, natural, and still true to the character's core conceits. Sometimes this will lead to a transition where the character barely resembles the original interpretation, but as long as that's done smartly and this new version has clever dimensions to explore, that's perfectly fine. The problem is, with a low percentage of good writers in the medium at any given time, and a high volume of characters, pretty much any property is going to end up twisted around and driven off its course at some point.
 
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Iceshadow

Well-Known Member
I actually rather like what Pak was doing with him before the Fall of the Hulks/World War Hulks. Where Banner can't turn back into the Hulk at the moment so he's using super-science to fight, while at the same time trying to teach his parricidal son how to be a hero.
 

Langsta

Well-Known Member
I actually rather like what Pak was doing with him before the Fall of the Hulks/World War Hulks. Where Banner can't turn back into the Hulk at the moment so he's using super-science to fight, while at the same time trying to teach his parricidal son how to be a hero.

See, the Hulk has a son.

Why does the Hulk have children?
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
Personally, I think post-World War Hulk was perfectly positioned to put the Hulk back on track as a franchise.

We have the Hulk re-established as credible, powerful threat and have some established nuance to his rage. We have Bruce Banner amnesiac to the disaster caused by his alter-ego. Following the assault on New York, we have it established that from, an intellectual point of view, the Hulk again needs to be put down but at the same time, the reader is still capable of sympathy towards Bruce Banner, and to a lesser extent, the Hulk personality. And in the form of the Illuminati, we have a cabal of individuals who can provide both the necessary military threat to face the Hulk and the intellectual, super-science threat to challenge Banner. I think this would have been a perfect opportunity to reignite the old "Fugitive Banner" dynamic that honestly works so well for the character.

But too late for that, I guess!

Langsta said:
Why does the Hulk have children?

HULK LIKE TO PARTY!
 
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ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
If Grant Morrison was still at Marvel, The Hulk wouldn't need fixing.

FACT.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
I think the problem is that Bruce Banner as a Jekyll & Hyde homage on the run from the military only gets you so far. After a while it gets boring. Marvel has been doing different things with Hulk for years now, playing with the character and seeing what works. Remember Mr Fixit?

Think about it like this: You're the writer of the Hulk. Why would you ever send him into space?

Because you can't think of how to write a fugitive tale. And you're set on writing the Hulk. So you do the stupid thing of telling a non-Hulk story with the Hulk.

Exactly. That's why I suggested maybe Hulk can't keep up a monthly book. Maybe he's featured in a team book (though not necessarily as part of that team), maybe only in minis, maybe only in team-up books (I don't even know if they do those any more).

This is why Catwoman has a baby, why Superman becomes Superman-Red and Superman-Blue, why Spidey turns out to be a clone, why Punisher fights demons on orders from Heaven, why Ultimate Thor is now indistinguishable from regular Thor, why Superboy Prime is a villain, and so on.

Good examples of clueless character "development" - it is the editors' job to make sure the character remains true to himself and, if not, to make the necessary adjustments in either the creative team or the publication of the book itself.

But, if you get the character, you can innovate by revealing hidden truths; Animal Man becomes a vegetarian, a crusader for animal rights, and a pawn used for entertainment. Swamp Thing becomes a mystical elemental. Daredevil becomes a conflicted, raging vigilante, Iron Man becomes a self-hating narcissist, and so on.

Or something. I dunno.

Yep. The problem is that none or very few, depending on your viewpoint, of the Hulk writers over the years have been able to do this. You can develop a character further and still keep him true to his origin.

So new things can be done with the character? Bruce Wayne's got a kid, both Flashes have a kid, I don't really see a problem.

But Hulk's kid is part alien or something and the circumstances around his being are out of character for what the Hulk was originally conceived as.

I don't have a problem with Bruce Banner having a kid per se. But to mate with an alien? To have *Hulk* be the father? Pretty stupid.
 

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
Yeah Marvel screwed up a bit, post world war hulk had a great set up for a new direction. Also a part of me like the idea of a red hulk, not the color red or really anything else. But the idea of a "villain" Hulk out there, one who not conflicted like Banner is. WWH did re-establish him as a threat but I kind of get annoyed at jumping back and forth when it's done as if they just ran out of ideas when he became heroic and need to go back and start over. But have a Hulk who is undoubtedly a villain and when heroes fight them some reader won't go "but weren't they just working together last year?"
 

nigma

Well-Known Member
I don't completely agree.

Planet Hulk was interesting. How he got there, and the fallout wasn't, but the actual story that took place on the Planet was.

loved Planet Hulk

The Hulk is not a superhero.

He is King Kong.

See, if Hulk isn't King Kong... then he's Godzilla.

...............then he's gotta be Frankenstein, in which case he might as well just be The Thing.

:lol: :twisted:

Those characters were handled so much better than the Hulk's kid.

Which one?

last count was....he had ?3?
 
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