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Subject: Comic Book Battles - Episode 1: Incredible Hulk #340 rss

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Ryan DeLano
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Hello and welcome to the inaugural episode of Comic Book Battles! In this series, I want to explore comics from across the decades and recreate those fantastic conflicts in Heroclix. My hope is that I can share some of the greatest moments in comics and show you some great Heroclix gameplay at the same time.

This first episode focuses on one of the first comics I had to have when I was a kid. I saw this thing on the shelves and instantly knew I had to have it. This led me to being both a lifelong Wolverine and Todd McFarlane fan. I purchased a digital version of it for this report and read through it again. I was pleased to find that the writing and art still hold up today. It's a great story. So without further ado:

The Comic Book



"Vicious Circle"
Writers Peter David
Pencilers Todd McFarlane
Inkers Todd McFarlane
Colourists Petra Scotese
Letterers Rick Parker
Editors Bob Harras, Bobbie Chase

The issue opens with Hulk, Rick Jones and Clay Quartermain travelling to Dallas in a van. Hulk is getting pretty restless and demands to be let out. Not wanting to be smashed, Rick and Clay oblige and Hulk goes a-leaping. I had no idea who Rick and Clay were when I was a kid, and I still don't. However, I'm resourceful enough to look it up

Rick was a teenager who was dared to drive out to an area where a bomb was going to be tested. Clearly, he's not a very bright dude, because he took that dare. What he didn't know, is that Banner was testing the infamous Gamma Bomb that day. As the detonation was counting down, Banner learned that someone was out on the test range. He went out and saved Rick's life, but was exposed to the gamma blast as a result. Rick blames himself for Banner becoming the Hulk, and has apparently dedicated himself to helping him in any way he can. Clay is a S.H.I.E.L.D operative who was a part of the "Hulkbusters", a group dedicated to stopping the Hulk.

I have no idea what they are doing in Dallas, or what crazy circumstances surround this issue. This is one of maybe 3 Hulk comics I own, and I'm OK with not knowing. Not that it was necessarily a bad series, but the Hulk as a character never really interested me much. I always felt he was at his best when he had other heroes to contrast against. But I digress, so back to our story.

The X-Men are travelling via the Blackbird to Dallas as well. They're looking for Forge and trying to get Storm's powers back. This is apparently in the midst of the Fall of the Mutants storyline in the X-Men mythos. I'm not even going to get started on what that's all about. We will probably see that later in this series anyway.

Air traffic control is warning the X-Men that they are a danger to commercial aircraft in the area. Wolverine ignores them. The Hulk, leaping through the air, barely manages to dodge the Blackbird, and accidentally hits a commercial jet. Oh, the irony! Wolverine picks up the distress call and sends Rogue (who is sporting some serious Wolverine-hair) out to help the plane. Once she gets it to the ground, Wolverine goes out to inspect the wreckage.



The Hulk, meanwhile, is lost and can't find the van again. He decides to go get a snack...by ripping open a burger patty delivery truck and chompin' down on some delicious refrigerated meats. The National Guard shows up, thinking someone is trapped in the wreckage. Realizing it's the Hulk, they do the smartest thing ever and shoot him with everything they've got. Needless to say, Hulk throws the truck at them.

Wolverine shows up at the burning truck, probably lured there by smelling the sweet barbecue action. He says whoever did this was a jerk. Well, Hulk hears this, and now it's game on.



There are some great internal monologues from Wolverine in this issue. The animal in him wants to fight, but he knows he can't afford to do that. Hulk doesn't care, as one might expect. He wants a piece of the little guy. Wolverine does his best to dodge Hulk and keep his distance, but he can't do it forever.



Wolverine hates himself for gutting Hulk, but it doesn't stop him from howling at the moon in triumph. He apparently forgot that the Hulk is the Hulk, and it wouldn't be that easy. Hulk gets back up for round two.



Wolverine starts to realize that the madder the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets and the faster his healing factor works. He keeps carving Hulk up like a Christmas ham, but to no avail. He's totally lost in his berserker rage now.



Suddenly, both are hit by blasts from generic S.H.I.E.L.D. ray-gun. Clay and Rick have come to save...Dallas, probably. Clay admonishes the pair for being idiots and fighting for no reason. Wolverine sheathes his claws and sulks for a bit. Hulk just picks up the van and starts hopping away.



Result: Draw

The Battle

For this battle, I chose to use the Canadian Wilderness map from the Wolverine and the X-Men set. I think it was a prize from Organized Play. I'm not sure, because I buy almost everything on the secondary market. Either way, it's a pretty cool map. It's basically a snowy canyon that has a shack in the middle of the map. Higher elevations around the side of the map and the roof of the shack in the center are the most prominent features. There's some pools of water terrain, and also some hindering terrain in the form of shrubbery. My guess is that these guys will likely meet in the middle and beat the crap out of each other anyway, so terrain won't mean much.



As for the combatants, I chose Wolverine from the Days of Future Past set. This is probably the best there is at what Wolverine does. He has traited regeneration, and it becomes a free action if he has two action tokens. Dude has charge, flurry and blades/claws/fangs on the same click. He's a monster. I honestly don't think Hulk has a chance on this one.

dofp013 E Wolverine
Team: X-Men
Range: 0
Points: 130
Keywords: X-Men

(Special) Healing Factor: Wolverine can use Regeneration. When he has two action tokens, he can use it as a free action.

(Speed) Berserker Barrage!: Wolverine can use Blades/Claws/Fangs, Charge, and Flurry.

As for the Hulk, there are quite a few versions of him throughout the Clix sets. The one I felt best represented Hulk at this time was the Joe Fixit figure from the Incredible Hulk set. The Hulk became Joe Fixit in Incredible Hulk #347, which is only a short time from this issue. He's only 15 points less than Wolverine, so I was hoping that he would be a decent match. It would all depend on him getting a solid first hit, and following that up over and over until the tiny claw man was dead.

ih036 E Joe Fixit
Team: Fantastic Four
Range: 0
Points: 115
Keywords: Brute, Fantastic Four

(Speed) Incoming!: Joe Fixit can use Leap/Climb. After he uses it for a move action, he can use Quake as a free action.

(Damage) Stunning Throw: When Joe Fixit throws an object in a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve give a hit character an action token.

The newer Clix maps are kind enough to have grid labels on them, so I'll note those below as the characters move around the map. Hopefully it will help to visualize the character movements on the grid.

The Hulk gets first turn from the roll-off and sets up on F23. Wolverine sets up on J2. Hulk also brings some objects and places them on the map, hoping to use his super strength to his advantage.

Hulk moves to H15 and picks up a heavy object. Wolverine sneaks around the shack to K9.



Hulk uses Charge to move to K10 and attacks Wolverine. He rolls a 19. Wolverine has combat reflexes, but it only raises his defense to 19. Hulk has hit for 6 damage, thanks to his heavy object! Hulk takes a push damage as a result, but it was worth it. I'm actually surprised he doesn't have indomitable on his dial, which would let him use Willpower to avoid push damage.

Wolverine strikes back with an attack roll of 17 and doubles! Unfortunately, since Hulk has Charge, he's immune to knockback. Wolverine rolls for his Blades and gets a 6! Hulk's invulnerability reduces that to 4, but it's still solid. Wolverine DOES have indomitable, and doesn't take push damage. Perhaps more importantly, he has two action tokens now, so he'll be able to regen for free next turn.

Hulk clears his action tokens, and Wolverine regens for 3 and clears his as well. That regen has definitely tipped the scales in Wolverine's favor.

Hulk breaks away with a roll of 5, plus two from his Leap ability. He moves to F8, trying to put distance between him and the angry Canadian. At this point, I notice that Hulk has lost Super Strength. I repeat...The HULK has lost Super Strength. It just seems silly. It means the rest of these objects he brought are essentially just hindering terrain now. I try to weigh my options. I probably should have just tried to swing at Wolverine and prayed for the best.

Wolvie moves to F7. Thank all that's holy that he lost Charge due to damage.

Hulk panics and tries to break away. I roll a 1. Automatic failure. Poor Hulk. He takes a push damage, which is just salt in the wound at this point.

Wolverine has flurry...yay! His first attack is a 14, which misses the gray goliath. His second attack, however, is a 20, which definitely hits. Blades roll is a 5, which is only reduced by 1 from Hulk's Toughness. That's all she wrote.

Result: Wolverine Wins

That's probably the outcome that 6 year-old me would have wanted, but it was a pretty disappointing showing from the Hulk. There's only one Hulk I could find that had Super Strength traited, which seems crazy. Maybe I should have used that one, but he was 165 points. Given the power creep that definitely exists in this game, maybe that would have evened things out a bit more.

At any rate, I hope you all enjoyed this first episode. I have one more done, and a lot more in the pipe, so my hope is to get one out a week. For the first few episodes, I want to explore some of the comics that brought me into the universe as a child, but then I plan to expand into the modern era. I was primarily a Marvel kid growing up, but I just bought a crapload of the new Flash set, so maybe we'll see some of that in episodes to come.

A couple of questions for you, the reader: Do you like the format? Should I bother to spoiler the images? Does anyone have suggestions on where I should store all these images? I'm currently using Photobucket, but I'd rather...not? Anyway, I hope this was an entertaining and educational article. Till next time!
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John Abrucia
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Still have my copy.It is one of my all time favorite covers. A little more on topic, great write-up! Voting for just having the images displayed next time around.
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Ryan DeLano
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Thanks! I have my original copy too, and I agree with you. It's hands-down my favorite cover of all time. I think I'll just unspoiler the images on this one and future episodes, because I don't like how they turned out very much. Plus, I want everyone to see that incredible art!
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Jared Voshall
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Nice writeup on the tie in and the batrep. Definitely hope to see you put up more of these (and I look forward to seeing some more complicated setups, as well).
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Ryan DeLano
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Magius wrote:
Nice writeup on the tie in and the batrep. Definitely hope to see you put up more of these (and I look forward to seeing some more complicated setups, as well).


Thanks! Definitely a lot more to come. The next episode is another simple setup depicting another classic book from my formative years, but after that we'll have an all-new, all-different battle!
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Dan Owsen
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Excellent write-up!! Love the format and concept. Keep 'me coming!
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