Originally, I had other plans for this week's edition of Hulk Is The Strongest One There Is, but then this idea of a kind of Hulk Holiday Gift Guide occurred to me. Since my Hulk columns are on Fridays and next Friday is Christmas Eve, if I waited until then it would be too late for anyone to take advantage of my...knowledge? Begging? Slobbering?
What follows is a list of the top 10 Hulk-related gifts people would get me, you know, if they really cared (no pressure).
10. Hulk PC mod
This is an actual, and apparently functional, PC mod some dude made out of a Hulk action figure, a micro motherboard, and a bunch of wires and junk. I imagine it's possible its unique design might make things difficult if you ever needed to fix anything with it, but I'm not so sure I'd care. Which is kind of pathetic, yes.
9. Hulk USB Gamma Decoration Kit
My friend Rodger sent me a link to this on Facebook yesterday. There's a screen saver, some thingee you put on the top of your monitor, but the best part are the Hulk lights you string around your monitor. It's cheap, and I might be wrong, but the lights seem multi-functional. You could use them if you need a Hulk landing strip. Or as Hulk beads if you're ever at a Hulk Mardi Gras (though from what I hear you don't need much to get She-Hulk to take off her top).
8. Hulk Vs. Thing Bookends
These are designed by the guy who, as far as I'm concerned, is pretty much the god of superhero sculptures - Randy Bowen. They've been around for a while and I actually bought them some years ago for cheap because I bought the ceramic bookends instead of the resin ones.
Unfortunately, I paid for my cheapness, though in a way that was fitting. I actually tried to use my Hulk/Thing bookends as, you know, bookends and since they were lighter than the resin versions, one day the books proved too heavy for Ben Grimm. He fell off the shelf and broke in half. I still have the Hulk half of the pair, and again it is strangely satisfying to know Hulk could survive what the Thing could not, but without Hulk's punching bag it feels like an empty victory.
7. Hulk: The Incredible Guide by Tom Defalco
I've wanted this for a while. It first came out in 2003 and was updated in 2008 (and thankfully they gave it a new cover, the original featured a picture that was used for a lot of Hulk merchandise at the time and it was really horrible). It's very comprehensive, listing characters and stories that would seem obscure to most readers. It's desirable now, but it's something that would have been particularly satisfying to own in 2003. Back then, the Bill Jemas/Joe Quesada Marvel regime still felt that, as far as continuity was concerned, if it happened before 2001, it didn't fucking happen. I recall Marvel releasing some kind of Hulk encyclopedia in which they ignored Peter David's 12-year run on Incredible Hulk. They even refused to mention Sal Buscema though he had penciled the book through more writers' runs than anyone else as far as I can remember. Considering all that, just knowing a guide like this one was released felt good at the time.
6. Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
I didn't own a game console when this was released, though I have since gotten an XBox 360. I have a great Incredible Hulk game based on the movie, though Ultimate Destruction was the first Hulk game to make pretty much everything in the game SMASH-able and it has some classic villains as well as secret Hulk-skins that I really would like to check out.
5. Incredible Hulk Omnibus, Vol. 1
This has been on my Amazon wish list pretty much ever since I heard about its release. It collects Incredible Hulk #s 1-6, Tales to Astonish #s 59-101, and Incredible Hulk #102. Basically, the very first Hulk stories.
I have all of those and more collected in the black-and-white Essential Incredible Hulk volumes, in fact I have one volume signed by Herb Trimpe, but so much is lost without the color.
I just hope they keep making Hulk omnibus--Omnibusses? Omnibuses? Omnibusi? Omnibusum? What the hell is the plural of Omnibus?
4. Marvel Masterworks: The Defenders
You don't want to know about the strange things that happened in my pants when I learned these things existed. I have long hoped that Defenders would get the Masterworks treatment, but I wasn't holding my breath. They aren't the most popular super-team even though they're my favorite and most people, I think, by now, realize I'm right about most things. If it weren't so close to Christmas, I probably would've bought the first two volumes myself.
3. Hulk Visionaries: Peter David
I have the first 5 volumes, and I imagine it won't be too long before I have the sixth and seventh. I sincerely hope Marvel will eventually collect the entire Peter David run in this manner, though so far it seems a little slow-going. According to Amazon, the eighth volume is scheduled to be released in August 2011, and that won't even crack Incredible Hulk #400. Still, better late than never.
2. Retro Trimpe Hulk Posters
My friend Arthur sent me a link to a bunch of Herb Trimpe panels made into posters on AllPosters a while ago. Just go there and run a search on "Hulk" and you'll find them. If I recall, Arthur said he wasn't even a fan of the Hulk and he wanted one. You can even get one that covers an entire wall, though I think my girlfriend might have words to say about something like that.
1. Hulk Vs. Silver Surfer statue
This may very well be the single most perfect Hulk gift, short of something like a copy of Incredible Hulk #1 or a quick dose of Hulkifying radiation. Not only is it a beautiful statue diorama of the Hulk inspired by a cover that came from Planet Hulk, one of the character's most well-loved storylines, but it's one that features the Hulk about to beat the crap out of another superhero.
I know pretty much no one will be willing to buy me this, particularly since it goes for $250-$275 minimum on Ebay, but if they did I would totally help them move. Or clean their car. Or raise their children.