I honestly like Hulk a bit more as I can somewhat relate to him being a guy with anger issues. Also in general I just encounter more hulk stuff I'm interested in.
However, Ghost Rider is definitely a lot more original and I do enjoy seeing him/her. I honestly kind of wish I saw Ghost Rider in more stuff.
Hulk. I don't have much of any attachment to Ghost Rider. I read some Midnight Sons comics back in the day with Johnny Blaze, but even then I preferred Morbius and Hellstrom over the Spirit of Vengeance. I have nothing against him, he just never clicked with me. The motorcycle is cool, though. Hulk, on the other hand was one of the first comics I read as I learned to read way, way back then. I've read hundreds of Hulk comics and continue to enjoy his books today. Of course, I watched all of the TV show growing up, as well as the 1960's cartoon, 1980's cartoon, the 1990's cartoon and even a good number of the more recent Agents of SMASH show. He's probably my favorite Marvel hero.
@kgb725: How about having an awful rogues gallery, many of which are designed to basically lose to him because they play right to his strengths? None of his rogues have really been a threat to him in probably 10 years at this point.
Maybe it’s his lousy supporting cast? Funny part is, they’ve basically all become punching bags to him at some point.
I liked the idea of him being the “misunderstood monster,” and the dichotomy of the “mild-mannered Bruce Banner” vs the savageness of the Incredible Hulk, but they’ve gotten so far away from that and really haven’t done much with it for the past couple decades. He’s suddenly been conscious of hurting innocents and the military and yadda yadda to the point that he punches a certain way to avoid collateral damage but still hurt his opponent because bullshit mathematics. Forget the chaos and rampages he used to have where he would trash buildings and vehicles and stuff like that, he suddenly can destroy all that stuff and no one will get hurt. Forget the evolution of, despite being a giant rampaging rage monster that fought dangerous villains that would obviously cause a lot of damage to the surroundings and people got hurt as a result, he was still doing the right thing and being a hero. Nah, he punches good, therefore everyone else is wrong for being afraid of him.
For the longest time now, it’s been the Hulk show, with very little Bruce Banner to be seen. No, I’m not obtuse to the fact that Hulk is technically the hero and is the one that sells the comics, not Bruce. But you can’t separate the two (just look what happened to Hulk when he was “mindless”). Bruce is JUST as important, but he’s written as an afterthought 90% of the time in favor of Hulk beating the shit out of whoever is unfortunate enough to feature in his books. I don’t mind Hulk being the strongest hero physically. I mean shit, it’s his whole schtick for Chrissake. But it’s stupid, pointless, and frankly poor writing to just have him beat up anyone and everyone he fights and make them look helpless. The only one who’s really given him any trouble recently was Thing, and that was after getting the crap kicked out of him for OVER AN HOUR. And Hulk fans still whine about it. When his stories are just him trashing his opponents with an amount of punches you can count on one hand, would anyone really consider that good writing?
Bring back stories of Bruce being a living, breathing, thoughtful character and not just a plot device to start Hulkfest. Keep Hulk the misunderstood hero that despite his flaws, his anger, and his desire to not be pursued as chaos that needs to be stopped, he’s willing to go out of his way to fight and stop villains who are actually threatening. And certainly don’t dumb people down just to make him look better, especially when he’s given such an absurd power level at this point that he’s already tough to beat.
World War Hulk, arguably his best and most popular run, is probably the highlight of the biggest problems with the character. No, not because he beat any of my favorite characters (my favorites are street level, hardly any competition for him anyway), but because it’s just him beating everyone up. That’s it. Over a misunderstanding, no less. Certainly didn’t help that some of the smartest minds on the planet came up with some of the worst ideas to stop him. They can fight celestials and Galactus and shit like that, but suddenly the Hulk is trouble for them? Instead of writing around that by having Bruce Banner, literally one of the smartest minds on the planet, figure a way out of traps and stuff like that to assist Hulk, it’s just I’M GONNA PUNCH STUFF REALLY HARD. One if the best telepaths in all of Marvel can’t stop him because he’s really mad (Martian Manhunter in World War III anyone? Similar problem). Tony Stark decides to shoot a laser at him to try and stop him. Talk about a brain dead idea. Almighty Reed Richards uses a glorified flashlight to try and stop him with an illusion of Sentry... lol? Shit’s serious?
TL;DR, Hulk has devolved to the point where he just beats the shit out of people with absolutely zero threat to him, and that doesn’t make for good stories.
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