Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jim Starlin and Alex Nino's Rampaging Hulk

While I've taken shots at some issues of Rampaging Hulk magazine, if there is any one issue that you must have in your collection--surely it is issue #4.

Rampaging Hulk 5 cover painting by Jim Starlin

This beautiful cover painting by Jim Starlin is your first indication that it is very special.  The Hulk, held captive on a mystical cross, while a skeleton head spews magic in the foreground.  Starlin not only did the cover, but plotted and penciled the lead story inside.  Was it inked by Al Milgrom?  Steve Leialoha?  I say thee nay, true believers!

Starlin Nino opening splash in Rampaging Hulk 4

Alex Nino was the inker for this story.  I never would have thought that Nino's inks over Starlin would work, but the combination of the two was wonderful.  You can tell that the poses and faces are essentially Starlin, but the details and the world belong to Nino.  Look at this opening splash page.  That Hulk is unmistakably a Starlin Hulk through a Nino prism.  It's like...Starlin on acid.  As if he wasn't already cosmically aware!

Jim Starlin Alex Nino collaboration in Rampaging Hulk 5

In the story, a wizard named Chen K'an transports the Hulk to his world, which has been overrun by demon hordes.  He needs the Hulk attain a mystical object of power called the Star of Catalax, but he finds the "Hulk smash" persona quite irritating.  Chen K'an attempts to merge this personality along with Banner's, and winds up with a wise guy "Mr. Big" Grey Hulk persona.  Years before the Peter David arc in Las Vegas, it's great fun as you see this Hulk battle demon hordes.

Jim Starlin Alex Nino double page splash in Rampaging Hulk 5

Starlin's layouts provided the perfect avenue for Nino to showcase his style.  Take a look at this double page spread where the Hulk and Chen K'an fight the second wave of demons.

As far as I recall, this was Alex Nino's only collaboration with a notable Marvel artist?  Check out Man-Gods From Beyond the Stars if you want more Nino.  Nuff said.

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