Hulk has never been one of my favourite comics characters. Visually, he’s pretty spectacular, and I appreciate that he taps into some Jekyll and Hyde archetypes and all that sort of thing, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever read a really good take on him. The Ang Lee Hulk movie was a step in the right direction (controversial as that opinion will be for some) but it lacked a good villain, which severely undermined it.
The Ultimates version was probably the most entertaining for me, as it laid a good framework for just how frightening a creature like the Hulk would actually be – unpredictable, full of rage and genuinely as dangerous to his allies as to his enemies. The regular version just seemed to be a little bit more of a sooky la-la most of the time.
Nonetheless, today we look at Funko’s take on him from the soon-to-be released Avengers: Age of Ultron. What can I say, I’m a sucker for glow in the dark stuff.
There have been a few Hulk POPs already – a comic-based one, an Avengers one (which was the comic-based one with a different paint job) and Red Hulk. There are also a few paint variations floating around there too (e.g. Compound Hulk). However, this sculpt appears to be all-new, looking bigger and buffer than his original iteration.
No longer wearing his ripped trousers, he’s now decked out in a set of purple Avengers bike shorts. I don’t know if this look will catch on; it doesn’t seem quite as iconic, though it does skirt the whole “how do Bruce Banner’s pants fit the Hulk” issue which is often raised.
Appropriately, the look on his face is one of rage, eyes wide open, heavy brow locked in a scowl and mouth clenched into a grimace. I tend to have mixed feelings about POPs with mouths, but in this case I think it was a good call.
The hair on top of the head is sculpted and is actually quite dense, which makes the whole figure quite top-heavy. Not a big deal on a regular POP, where the head is firmly connected to the body, but it’s a bit trickier for these Marvel ones, which are all bobbleheads. I initially had a bit of difficulty getting him to stand, and you may need to fiddle with his neck a little to get him to balance. His left foot doesn't sit flat, and I'm not sure if it's a molding fault with mine or a more widespread thing.
There are three versions of this sculpt I’ve seen doing the rounds at the moment – the original, the glow in the dark version (which looks virtually identical) and the Savage Hulk repaint, which looks kind of like Grey/Ultimates Hulk with a severe case of conjunctivitis. I assume this is some sort of plot point in the movie, but as I haven’t seen it yet I can only speculate. All have been released in Age of Ultron packaging. As might be expected, the glow in the dark version is my pick – if you weren’t told and the lights were on I think you’d have a hard time picking it as distinct from the original. The glow is not amazing, truth be told, but considering they’re the same price you may as well go for a 2-in-1.
For Hulk fans, this is a pretty essential buy. For a more casual non-fan like myself, it’s the best Hulk POP they’ve done yet and a good addition to my small but growing collection of Marvel POPs. Additionally, it allows us to see how Hulk would fare against Thanos (probably not well, just quietly).