The Incredible Hulk: Stalker From The Stars Review

Back in wild and wonderful 70’s, the Marvel Universe was still in its formative years.
16 years after The Incredible Hulk made his 4 Color Debut, the rage filled Jade Giant stars in his very 1st prose novel.
But at only 179 pages long, does this story delve any deeper into the character and his history than the low page count would lead you to believe?

As per usual, consider this your official ***41 year old Spoiler Alert***

I knew from the Stan Lee introduction that I would love this book.
You have to understand, this was Stan at the height of his comic ambassador powers, before Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man made Marvel a beloved household brand.
In these few paragraphs you can see why everybody loved him, his energy and charisma seeps through the ink and paper.
His death was still incredibly fresh in my mind as I started reading this book and it ended up making for a great tribute to The Man.

As for the actual prose content of the novel, it did not disappoint.
A guilt ridden Rick Jones (the often forgotten kid that Bruce Banner saves, leading to the birth of the Hulk) makes his way to an idyllic small American town in search of renown gamma scientist Rudolph Stern’s help.
Once he gets to Crater Falls, a sinister plot of mind control and ancient extraterrestrial evil unravels and brings The Hulk, General Thunderbolt Ross, and a long buried beast to a climactic battle with Earth ending ramifications.

If you listen to the pod you have heard us bitch and complain numerous times about the overcomplicated nature of modern comics and their stories.
Well, this is a perfect encapsulation of what we keep saying we want.
The story has depth, detail, and a sense of history without bloating into a tale that’s mired in frustratingly unnecessary nonsense.
The overall vibe of the book feels like the perfect parts of the comics of the day mixed with the simplicity of what is probably still the most well known version of Hulk, the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno show.

One of the problems with reviewing a book that has multiple authors like this is figuring out where to lay blame or praise.
Thankfully, I don’t have a single complaint.
Len Wein & Marv Wolfman are giants of comics (Len actually had a run on Hulk before co-writing this novel) and Ron Goulart (Joseph Silva) wasn’t a slouch.
I think Len brought the Hulk experience/knowledge and they all brought the writing skill and when it’s mixed this well you get a hell of an adventure.

To wrap up, I love the story of a lonely tortured man that the show did so well and is on display here.
I love the over the top feats of strength and heroics included that we never saw on screen until the movies.
This man, this monster, and this story are all so worth your time.
Reading this only makes me want more of those early Marvel novels, and the hunt is on, gang.
I really hope I can find them and tell you all about them soon.

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Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her editorial assistance.

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Episode 070: I Got Rick Rolled For Christmas

tmg-article_default_mobileIn this episode, the fellas are getting all Marvelous as they talk about the death of a legend and the birth of a fandom.

They start off talking about another Christmas present what Doom got, before they move into what you can and can’t say on TV, then they give Stan Lee a further tribute.

The Family Fitz goes Into The Spider-Verse which leads to some brief Spider-Man PS4 talk, then Fitz takes a dive deep into one of his Christmas presents while fatty Doom munches some sangwhich.

Kick back and relax, The Nerd Blitz is BACK!!!

URL: Episode 070: I Got Rick Rolled For Christmas
Direct Download: tnb070.mp3

Episode 068.5: God Hates Us: The 2019 Nerd Blitz New Year’s Spectacular

maxresdefault-700x392In this episode, the fellas are feeling festive and decide to do their 1st annual (maybe!) post-Christmas/New Year’s show!

They talk about all of the gifts they got for Christmas, including what they got each other and why they picked those specific things, a Christmas morning wubble bubble bursting causes a meltdown of biblical proportions for one of them as the other somehow gets completely Evil AND Dead.

Gather round and kick off 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Scooby-Doo franchise, in style with this short but fun episode of your favorite podcast hosted by us, gang!

URL: Episode 068.5: God Hates Us: The 2019 Nerd Blitz New Year’s Spectacular
Direct Download: tnb068_5.mp3

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #17

You know what today means, gang.
Question time!

After yesterday’s loss, this week’s Question is: Other Than Spider-Man, Which Of Stan Lee’s Creations Had The Most Impact On You?

Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBQotW.

Special thanks to @SteBoost for our QotW logo.

TNB Commentaries 025: Evil Dead 2 – Dead By Dawn

evildead2Please turn off your cellphones and get ready to head back to the cabin in the woods and read from the good bad book.

For our 25th commentary, we jump in the classic and drive back to 1987 for this brilliant sequel starring the legendarily groovy Bruce Campbell, Dan Hicks, Kassie DePaiva (née Wesley), & Richard Domeier fighting deadites, possessed hands, and rockin’ a chainsaw.

Fitz is brought down by the real world, Doom sings…A LOT, they do an update on the whole Re-Animator/Army Of Darkness crossover comic situation, also Fitty Man tries to down play the wackiness of Indiana Jones movies!

Hope you enjoy it, gang!

URL: TNB Commentaries 025: Evil Dead 2 – Dead By Dawn
Direct Download:tnbc-025-evil-dead-2.mp3

This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2018

Episode 063: Doom, You Ignorant Slut

9780525619376In this episode, the boys are back and saying sounds about stuff you may enjoy hearing sounds said about!

Fitz has more Con stories, Doom has a double Pimp Spot and a follow-up on a previous Pimp Spot, then shit gets sober as an Icon gets eulogized and a Twitter joke gets explained.

Balls get broke, Star Wars books get talked about, the requisite Shamble mention happens, and references come too fast and too furious for anybody of sound mind to keep up.

Enjoy it, and see ya back here next week, gang!

 

URL: Episode 063: Doom, You Ignorant Slut
Direct Download: tnb063.mp3

Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover Review

So, a prequel to a video game sounds good, but they do have a tendency to feel a bit uneven.
Sometimes the switch in format in cases like this makes it feel like a shift in the voice of the author or narrator when it needs to feel like a continuous story.
I have played the game and I love it, it is truly great.
The delivery of the story feels like a pure injection of the Spider-Man we all know and love just with a slight twist.
But how does this book feel?
Does it set up the game well?

This is your ***Official Spoiler Warning***, gang.
Now let’s dive in.

Kingpin has come back to New York and is rehabbing his public image after fleeing to Europe post-trial and nearly getting thrown in prison, which Spider-Man helped bring about.
Fisk is back, creating jobs by building lower income housing all throughout the city.
Spider-Man doesn’t really believe the sudden change in attitude, but once an imposter Spider-Man shows up wrecking havoc and turning the public against the true (red &) blue Spidey, his plate starts getting fuller than he can handle.

I hadn’t heard of David Liss before this book, but having gone on this nearly 400 page journey with him at the wheel I kind of hope he gets the chance to write Spidey and his world again cause he fuckin’ nailed it!
The set up for the game is pretty damn good and his writing style is crisp and easy to read.
The humor and personality of Peter Parker/Spider-Man is as true to form as you can get.
He delivers information economically, giving you a sense of the history of this specific universe and it’s Spider-Man.

We see Spidey meet Yuri Watanabe, a cop that has as much of a hard-on for Fisk as Pete does, for the 1st time.
Pete & MJ say farewell to Harry Osborn, who heads to Europe to find himself.
Mayor Norman Osborn makes his impact felt, putting on a bit of a show in a coffee shop.
J. Jonah Jameson takes his first steps into audio broadcasting.
MJ gets her job at the Daily Bugle and starts chasing the tail of Fisk.
All of these threads continue into the novel, the only one that feels weird in both is MJ’s because it feels a little too close to Lois Lane.
And given that she looks A LOT like Smallville’s version, played by Erica Durance, it makes it all the more weird.
BUT, even I have to admit, that’s a bit nitpicky since it doesn’t come out of nowhere.
Liss clearly establishes that she had an interest for years, studied it in school, but never really pursued it until now.

One of the other things that slightly bugged me about this book were the rather vague time jumps.
A few weeks here, a couple months there, it somehow manages to make a 398 page novel feel a little thin.
Those fast and loose jumps make me wonder though if Liss has specific guidelines he had to follow.
As if they wanted the story to build over time to the game, but they didn’t want to flesh out the story of this particular world too much just so continuity didn’t fuck them in any sequels or follow up stories, such as the current Spider-geddon storyline.

The web he wove with the 3 main villains definitely feels like a perfect set-up for a sequel game or the upcoming DLC, the description of a certain Kingpin related character (that I won’t spoil) is just too visual and her thread, which is left dangling, is just too damn ripe with potential to not come back around at some point.

The bottomline is that this may not be the Spider-Man you know and love every single detail of, but that’s okay because, MJ/Lois aside, there are no changes so drastic that it feels inauthentic or like something other.
I finished this and I wanted to know as much as I possibly can about this version, so I’m going to go grab my controller and go swinging around.
The whole time I’m sure I’ll be hoping Liss gets to write about this verse again soon so I can soak up even more of this great new world.

Special Thanks to @acferrell1976 for her editorial help.

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