Jan 06 2009

What is the appeal of the Hulk?

Just wondering.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “What is the appeal of the Hulk?”

  1. Jackon 07 Jan 2009 at 10:15 pm

    For me? It’s Man vs Self, externalized in the way that all intellectual struggles are externalized in comic books. Plus Ed Norton is cute in a geeky straight boy way.

  2. B. Macon 07 Jan 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I find your explanation intriguingly confusing. You have a future in political science!

  3. B. Macon 07 Jan 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I don’t know why I find The Hulk so repulsive. World War Hulk was surprisingly smooth, except for the Sentry. But I can’t shake the feeling that the series is hopelessly screwed by the extreme stupidity of the Hulk personality. If the Hulk personality had more going on, I think the series would have more potential. For example, he might turn into something like an extremely ruthless but debonair hitman or something. I’d even take a well-spoken psychopath (Sylar!) over “HULK SMASH!”

    If it is absolutely essential that the Hulk lose any semblance of humanity, I think something like a Lizard transformation would work more smoothly. (Incidentally, Curt Connors is another mostly-green scientist that wears purple pants).

  4. Jackon 07 Jan 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Extremely ruthless but debonair hitman? Not quite the same thing, but check out Peter David’s work in the Hulk Visionaries series; the grey Hulk may be more your thing. Actually, have you read any of David’s Hulk? For a while his personality issues were integrated and he was green AND intelligent all the time like She-Hulk.

  5. B. Macon 07 Jan 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Unfortunately I have not yet. At $3 or $4 for half an hour of entertainment, comics are something I can’t buy often. But I’ll look into it. Thanks.

  6. Jackon 08 Jan 2009 at 12:20 am

    A lot of David’s stuff is long collected – this was stuff I read in the nineties.

    I sort of expect people blogging authoritatively about how to write comics to be at least a little familiar with most of the major authors and artists. XD

  7. B. Macon 08 Jan 2009 at 10:08 am

    Our main qualification is our writing and style. Looking at a sample page or script, I usually have a pretty good grasp of what can be improved and how to do it. I don’t think that being familiar with major comic book writers and artists would be very helpful. For example, I’m a lot more familiar with the big names in novel publishing but I don’t think that knowledge has noticeably improved my novel reviews or writing.

  8. Jackon 09 Jan 2009 at 3:56 am

    The suggestion to read as a way to improve your writing is nearly universal, though. You talk a lot about comic book tropes, and you present your opinions as objective, but some of the things you say people don’t like are very common and most comics readers don’t think twice about them. I don’t remember people denouncing the X-Men films because Storm’s powers didn’t make sense, after all, and time travel is a common enough power that literary fiction novels have been built around that conceit.

    Peter David also wrote a pretty good guide to writing comics. 😉 I’m not sure if you guys are of the “know your enemy” or the “avoid reading your enemy so you don’t unconsciously copy him” camp, but there you go.

  9. Ragged Boyon 09 Jan 2009 at 8:49 am

    Storm’s powers are slightly magical based on the wikipedia index. Remember in the Marvel canon every has access to magic. Storms powers are probably a mix of her genetic mutation and mystic ancestry.

  10. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 12 Jan 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I agree he needs something better than “HULK SMASH!” because he is a very skilled scientist capable of building machines that alter human genetics. I don’t think that turning big and green would diminish his mental capacity, unless he specifically programmed it to do that. What self-respecting scientist would run experiments to make themselves dumber? He should say things more like a scientist would, such as:

    “Your missiles can’t stop me! Haven’t you seen how I can rip them apart? My altered body had increased my strength, so shooting me won’t do you any good either!”

    I’m not very fond of the Hulk character, but the latest movie was good. The 2003 movie was rubbish, and even though the new one only did 6% better on Rotten Tomatoes, I think it is better by far. I can’t wait for the Avengers to come out; that’s pretty much guaranteed to be good.

  11. B. Macon 12 Jan 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Hmm, intelligence might help, but I’d be satisfied with anything smarter than rock-stupid. Also, I think he has the most boring and generic superpowers in the entire Marvel universe.

  12. Ragged Boyon 20 Jan 2009 at 9:26 am

    World War Hulk was significantly more intelligent than his predecesors. Although he was a killing machine on a rampage to kill people who he thought blew up his familiy when really [SPOILER] his own crew blew his family up, in an attempt to un-soften him[END SPOILER]. I’m not a fan of The Hulk, superstrength is probably my least favorite superpower. Along with fire manipulation, super speed, and elasticity.

  13. B. Macon 20 Jan 2009 at 11:00 am

    I agree totally that superstrength is pretty poor. More often than not, I think it leads to bland visuals, particularly when one superstrong character is facing off against another. I’d much rather see some Matrix-like moves, even in a comic book. Giving your hero the ability to move will help the artist create interesting poses. For example, Agent Orange can kick someone in the front of the chest for a punt… but I think it would be more interesting if he jumped and hooked his leg in for a boot to the back of the head. Kapow!

  14. Dallason 20 Jan 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Hulk is my favorite superhero
    Because he has to fight a war with himself, its not jsut super strength he comes up on, its healing and jumping etc.
    i liek him because of his transformation

    Banner is a small man who is extreamly intellegent
    when he gets angry he looses his intellegence,
    and its replced with a one-track mind which is Hulk smashing.
    thats the beauty of hulk, he Exists to smash

    its the whole purpose fo the comiscs and the storyline, it revolves aroung banner not wantign hulk to smash. but hulk smashes anyhow.

    its WHAT he samshes;.
    similar to godzilla (dont be hasselin Zilla)

    Godzilla isnt a good guy, she just blows shit up. its a mere coincidence that every time she comes out of the ocean theres another giant monster attempting to destroy humanity. and shes gunna blow’d shit up it might as well be the other monster right?

  15. B. Macon 20 Jan 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I think Godzilla serves as a stylish antagonist (unlike, say, the Cloverfield monster), but not so much as a protagonist. Villains don’t really have to talk well, but a hero kind of does. And I’d say that Hulk would probably work as a ok villain (if not a protagonist), but his powers are a bit boring and he’s not as stylish as Godzilla. Relatedly, his signature sound-effect (Hulk Smash!) is still hiding under its bed after it heard Godzilla’s shriek, which is still my favorite movie sound-effect except for the background music in Psycho’s shower scene. Reee reee reeeee!

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