Claws vs. Rage: New Images from Wolverine and the Incredible Hulk

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Empire has released new promotional images (here and here) from two upcoming films based on Marvel Comics superheroes. The Incredible Hulk, a (partial?) reboot of the franchise which got off to a rocky start with Ang Lee’s 2003 film, is set to be released on June 13, 2008. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is due on May 1, 2009.

Rumors are that the new Hulk film will be closer in tone to the 1970s television show that starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, and this photo from IMDB certainly gives one hope. There’s also talk that The Incredible Hulk, together with Iron Man, might be setting up an eventual Avengers flick with a couple of cool crossovers. The word is that Nick Fury will appear in both movies, and that Iron Man‘s Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) will make a cameo in the Hulk feature. This give’s one the impression that Marvel’s film division is getting its act together after some recent missteps.

But, waitaminute…

Wolverine, who first appeared in comic book form in The Incredible Hulk (issue #180 or issue #181, depending on how technical you want to get), gets his own shot at silver-screen glory in 2009. X-Men Origins: Wolverine brings back Hugh Jackman in the titular role, but it’s also managing to cram into it’s cast just about every waitaminuteareyoukidding? celebrity that director Gavin Hood can think of. Ryan Reynolds, Liev Schreiber, and Charlie Pace himself, Mr. Dominic Monaghan, have all been announced as castmembers recently. They’re all fine, I guess (though why we have to cram this film full of pseudo-celebrities is beyond me). But then there’s Will.i.Am, from the Black Eyed Peas, and I simply refuse to accept that any movie featuring Will.i.Am can be any good.

So, on the one hand you’ve got The Incredible Hulk, looking like it could be totally bad-ass, and on the other hand you’ve got X-Men Origins: Wolverine, clunky title and all, looking like it could be totally ass-bad.

Oh, Marvel, what am I going to do with you?