Daily Figure Review #61: Gray Hulk (From the 2-Pack with Dr. Bruce Banner, 2023) Marvel Legends

Last Friday, I reviewed the Dr. Bruce Banner figure from the 2-Pack that came with Gray Hulk. Today, I look at the big guy himself.

Hasbro has given us a good number of Hulk figures over the past few years. In 2019, they gave us a great Gray Hulk figure on a retro card. Now they give us this “first appearance” Hulk. And if you have that 2019 figure, I’ll say you don’t have to have this one as they are so similar. Both come with a torn orange shirt. Both have a crushed pipe accessory. Both wear the same blue pants.

That said, there are some new parts on this Hulk. First, he has a new upper torso that lacks some of the “ripples” found in previous Hulk figures. Then there are two new heads with Hulk, both different from the 2019 release. You get a snarling, mad Hulk head and then a more relaxed Hulk head.

The articulation on the figure is excellent, but nothing new if you have any of the Hulks released in the past few years. The butterfly shoulders allow for a good range of motion, and the double-jointed knees let you stand him in various poses.

So it’s yet another good Hulk in a long line of Marvel Legends Hulks.

This Hulk is part of the 60th Anniversary Avengers, Beyond Earth’s Mightiest, line. As the box art indicates, it represents the first appearance of Hulk, as seen in 1962’s Incredible Hulk issue #1. Like with Bruce Banner, I initially thought Hasbro got this all wrong because, on the cover art for that issue, Hulk is wearing a gray shirt (that honestly gets lost with his skin tone). Likewise, he’s wearing gray pants. But, like with Banner, Hulk is wearing different colors inside the issue.

The comic shows Banner wearing blue pants and an orange shirt, and when he transforms into Hulk, Hulk is wearing those same clothes (as he should). So in this 2-pack, we have Hulk wearing blue pants that match the Banner figure, and the torn shirt is the same orange as Banner’s shirt (though Hulk’s torn shirt has some paint mottling on it that I think represents dirt). All of this is true to that first comic appearance.

Likewise, Hulk comes with four hands, two fists, and two open hands. It may be a lucky coincidence as these hands are reused, but the open hands closely approximate the hand pose as seen on the Incredible Hulk #1 cover.

The final accessory Hulk has is a crushed pipe. This is the same one we’ve gotten with previous releases, but now it’s molded in black instead of grayish silver. I suppose it’s nice to get another accessory, though it feels unnecessary given its previous releases. I’d rather Hasbro put more money into a new shirt accessory than include this old one. Let me explain…

So, let me nitpick now. If Hasbro is going for that first appearance of Hulk, their gray chosen is a few shades too light. Also, we’ve gotten the torn shirt accessory several times, which isn’t faithful to the comic. As you can see in the image above, Hulk’s shirt is torn but still worn like a tank top. Would it have killed Hasbro to make a new torn shirt accessory to be true to the original Jack Kirby art?

Likewise, we have two newly sculpted heads with Hulk, but neither represents Hulk in first appearance form. Famously, the inspiration for Hulk was Frankenstein’s monster, and the art in that issue gives Hulk a very flat and square head–a total rip-off of Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein monster makeup as seen in 1931’s Frankenstein (and its sequels). I’ll say the closed-mouth Hulk head comes closer in look to Kirby’s design; both heads are just too round, and the top of the head isn’t square enough to really be a first appearance.

Without those details to truly give us an accurate first appearance of Hulk, we have yet another Hulk release. It’s a good figure but has little newness. It’s just tough to get too excited about a figure we’ve had several times before, even if there is a new chest and heads. But if you don’t have the previous release, this is another solid Hulk in a long line of Legends Hulk figures.

That matches the Banner figure, which also has a lot of part reuse. Neither figure in this 2-pack really has enough new, either in character or sculpt, to excite me. I like this 2-pack, the Hulk is really fun to pose, but I’m glad I got this at a discount.

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