A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.

Captain America

GREEN HULK : AVENGERS PRELUDE Movie Tie-In Cover Art Revealed!

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Marvel’s The Avengers Prelude #1 (of Four) hits comic stores this March, setting the stage for the movie event of 2012!

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RULK REVIEW : AVENGING SPIDER-MAN Issue # 3!

“They’re going back to their home.  We worked out a treaty.  You’re a military man.. you like treaties, right?” – Spider-Man

“I guess…” – Rulk

“Yeah, sure you do” – Spider-Man

While reviewing the previous AVENGING SPIDER-MAN  Issue # 1 and 2 (which can be read here), the series was simply proclaimed as “pure fun”.  It’s a compliment harder to achieve than one might think, and fortunately for comic fans everywhere, the 3rd and final issue of the Spider-Man / Red Hulk team-up continues that trend… and does not disappoint.

When we last left Spider-Man and the Red Hulk, the Rulk was slain by Ra’ktar, the King of the underground dwelling Molans who possibly possess the sharpest substance on… or underneath…  the Earth.   Slain with a sword crafted by this dangerous substance, Ross lay defeated…. and Spidey took that distraction as an opportunity to flee with the imprisoned Jonah Jameson.  But to Jonah’s surprise (which may finally spur a shred of understanding and admiration towards the arachnid hero that saved him ) Spidey can only show Jonah the way out before his strength of honor, code and conscience compels the web-head to return to the side of the Red Hulk… regardless if he will ultimately meet the same deadly fate.

Writer Zeb Wells strikes gold again and expertly highlights the stuff that these two mismatched heroes are truly made of.   From Spider-Man’s honorable refusal to leave without his partner… to the Red Hulk’s refusal to give up and let his enemy get the best of him, all the right chords are struck.  And who could not appreciate the Rulk trailing a pool of blood, forcing his body to move all while giving himself a rigged military pep talk… “On your feet Ross!” “Buck up soldier!”

In the perspective of solely Red Hulk fans, sure the time spent on Rulk in this issue was a little short changed, but the unorthodox yet classic way Spidey defeated Ra’ktar served the story well… including the revenge-denying truce that enraged Ross much more than any punch or sword stroke ever could.

Joe Madureira’s art is purely insane, in the utmost complimentary way.  With the brilliant coloring of Ferran Daniel, Madureira’s talent produces stunning upon stunning images that are so very unique, surreal and tantalizing.  His gift is truly a special one… and who could not love his thrilling use of silhouettes!  It’s simply wonderful.

This is a comic book that will remind you why you like the Superhero genre.  Pick it up!

4 out of 5 Stars 

-A.J.
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog


RULK REPORT : Red Hulk goes hunting for a Symbiote in VENOM Issue # 11!

In the latest 11th issue of VENOM, no one other than the Red Hulk himself is tasked by Captain America to hunt down the black symbiote wearer, in a prelude to the upcoming “Circle of Four” event that begins with Issue # 13.

The story at this point indicates the current Venom, soldier Flash Thompson, who had been performing operations wearing the symbiote for the U.S. Government, has suddenly gone A.W.O.L..  Not only did he disappear without a trace, but Flash took the symbiote with him and now he has become enemy of the state… all obvious sore points for a former General now Hulk who served the military and country so honorably.  But what Rulk doesn’t know is…. Flash is being blackmailed by some very dangerous criminals and if he doesn’t come through with what they’re asking, his whole family’s welfare is at risk.

Here is the brief Red Hulk’s recruitment scene:

The great thing about this issue is, while Red Hulk fans will consider this an essential pickup as a precursor to the “Circle of Four” storyline, it is simply a great comic…  nicely drawn (except for Rulk’s beady eyes) with a well paced story.  And if the upcoming VENOM Issue # 12 is anywhere near as enjoyable, you may find yourself following this comic long after the “Circle of Four” has ended.  Pick this one up!

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog


NEW RULK : AVENGERS (7-12) Trade Paperback out now!

It’s history in the making! Read how the Red Hulk continues his path to redemption and joins the mighty AVENGERS!  Originally released in a hardcover format, this trade paperback is out now and comes highly recommended!  It’s a terrific read!

Here are the details:

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AVENGERS Volume 2 (Issues 7-12)

Published Date: January 11, 2012

Format: Trade Paperback

Retail Price: $19.99

The Story: One of the greatest secrets in Marvel history is laid bare – and it just may reignite the Civil War between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers! The Illuminati thought their days as the world’s protectors were over – until the Hood escaped from prison and embarked on a quest to gather the all-powerful Infinity Gems, which the super-secret brain trust had taken responsibility for safeguarding. Now, Iron Man, Professor X, Mr. Fantastic, the Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange and Black Bolt will face a reckoning like never before when Steve Rogers learns of their years-long subterfuge. Will even the combined might of the Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers and Illuminati be enough to take down a cosmically powered Hood? And did somebody say “Thanos”‌? Plus: What is the mystery of the Spaceknight?

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog


RULK REVIEW : HULK Issue # 43

Sometimes you just get it right.  Sometimes the stars align and all the pieces of creativity symbiotically fit into place like it was meant to be… resulting in a slice of perfection that is just heavenly to behold.  And that’s exactly what HULK Issue # 43 has with this artist, this colorist, this writer and this storyline.

Hulk of Arabia Part Two” resumes exactly where Part One left off:  Red Hulk fending off an intervention lead by Secret Avengers’ War Machine, Valkyrie & Black Widow.  The assembled heroes are trying to prevent Rulk’s personal war in the name of vengeance for the killing of a soldier… a fellow warrior… ex-Colonel William Krugauer.  They know the thirst of revenge the formal General feels can voluntarily blind one to the global tension an unsanctioned attack can create, which is why Steve Rogers orders and supervises the counterattack to stop Ross’ personal vendetta before it’s too late.  Provided a self serving opportunity to assess his unknown enemy (Dagan Shah), Rulk sees the interruption as strategically sound and agrees to temporarily cease his attack and meet with the Avengers (and local hero Arabian Knight) to gather as much intel as he possibly can before resuming his attack…. sanctioned or not.

The pure excellence of writer Jeff Parker has not shined brighter than in this amazing work, the “Hulk of Arabia” story arc.  The way Parker masterfully interjects the Red Hulk into today’s political hotbed that is the Middle East and saturates the event with all the realities of the hyper-sensitive fear of ramification that surround it, is outstanding.  It all feels real and resonates with a low underlying tension like an unrelenting pulse… suffering from a dangerously high blood-pressure.  Parker continues to understand and exploit the appeal of Red Hulk like no other, superbly stressing that the arrogance and self-righteousness that swells in Ross had multiplied tenfold upon gaining his new found crimson powers, superseding all respect for that ol’ chain of command he followed so religiously (to what benefit?). And just when you think it can’t get any better, Parker enters a new character into the fold.  Machine Man!

 

When Parker’s brilliance is equally matched with artistic brilliance, it’s time to revel in all the goodness with the realization you have one hell of a comic book in your hand.  Patrick Zircher’s art is glorious.  His characters are stunningly drawn.. and with such a flare of realism that fits superbly with very realistic story such as this.  The angles and perspective he chooses are elaborately intense… while his character poses are so extremely dynamic yet perfectly formed (a testament to his craft and his ability to properly keep the human anatomy proportioned, no matter where the point of view.)  What about his layouts?  Zircher is the King of Layouts… which are cinematic and exciting.  And while many colorists have been guilty of diminishing great artwork (Hulk #22 – #24 anyone?), the talents of Rachelle Rosenberg have proven to be an excellent compliment to Patrick’s work.

 

If you haven’t picked up this issue, do so now.  This is truly great work.

5 out of 5 Stars 

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog


RULK REVIEW : AVENGERS Issue # 9

AVENGERS Issue # 9So… gentlemen” the Red Hulk inquires, staring down the former members of the covert (now defunct) think-tank The Illuminati, who years ago tasked themselves protectors of the all powerful Infinity Gems. “Where are they?
 

In AVENGERS Issue #9, never has Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, Dr. Strange and Tony Stark appeared so uncertain to answer a simple question.  Taking such a trusting leap of faith in the Red Hulk and Steve Roger’s belief that this once declared enemy of the state has now been truly and successfully rehabilitated was more than difficult. True, both the Reality and Power gems stolen by the villainous Parker Robbins were used to defeat the red monster, and the Red Hulk did facilitate the plan to use the remaining gems to re-obtain them. But would the red beast, who failed to take over the country before, betray the Avengers by seizing the power of the Infinity Gems for himself and reattempt the same feat of mutiny? 
 
Who can you trust
is the underlying theme of this issue, expertly written by Brian Michael Bendis. Without a single punch thrown yet drenched with incredible tension, the electrifying exposure of The Illuminati by the Avengers, which fuels Steve Roger’s disdain for Tony Stark, is effectively balanced by a terrific prison back story that details how Parker Robbins manipulated an Inhuman with kindness into revealing the location of the first Infinity gem. The dialog is sharp, the pace is excellent, and Bendis knocks this story out of the park leaving the reader in an extreme state of suspicion where Rogers distrusts Stark, the Inhuman mistrusts Robbins, and no one but Captain America trusts the Rulk. 
 

To Trust or Not to Trust

To Trust or Not to Trust
 

 

The most pleasant surprise is the artwork of John Romita Jr. While his work has been severely disappointing as of late, Romita seemingly takes his time and puts forth more of an effort in this issue, resulting in some well drawn characters (especially when it comes to their display of emotions.) Of course, it does help that one of Romita’s biggest weaknesses as an artist… i.e. action scenes.. are nonexistent in this issue. And while he still has trouble drawing a good Red Hulk, Romita deserves a bit of praise here for turning the quality up a notch versus his usual lackluster artwork, resulting in one fantastic Avengers comic. 
 

4.5 out of 5 Stars 

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog 


RULK REVIEW : AVENGERS Issue # 8

AVENGERS Issue # 8When we last left the AVENGERS, a badly beaten Red Hulk awkwardly crashed through a window of the Avengers Tower to warn the Earth’s Mightiest of a new, grave threat. Someone evil has obtained two of the all-powerful infinity gems and did the improbable: Single handedly obliterated the Rulk.

 

In Issue #8, this revelation is especially alarming to Tony Stark because he, Reed Richards, Dr. Strange and the rest of the now disbanded secret organization called “The Illuminati” was each charged with hiding the infinity gems many years ago. So Iron Man abruptly leaves to meet with the group’s former members, with a suspicious Captain America not far behind. 
 
Once again writer Brian Michael Bendis gives Avengers fans another solid entry in this enjoyable story arc with an old school feel. When it comes to the Red Hulk, it’s interesting to see while most of the Avengers have a level of understandable caution and mistrust towards Rulk, Steve Rogers clearly has more concern and content towards Stark, likely based on a lingering “civil war” bad blood between him and Tony (while Ross has been slowly working with Steve towards redemption.) 

Of course, the rest of the heroes clearly don’t see it the same way and feel a level of unease with the Rulk’s presence. Thor goes so far as warning Spider-man and others that the Red Hulk is tougher than the Green Hulk… a much debated topic among fans… showing that writer Bendis’ perspective is the contest is not all about brute strength, but the training and the ability to use that strength effectively, that tips the scales towards Ross when equally matched. And where every learned detail of their unknown enemy is crucial, that very military training and knowledge of hand-to-hand combat also enabled the Rulk to assess their mysterious infinity gemmed villain as an inexperienced fighter, something the Avengers might be able to exploit when the time comes. 
 

The red Infinity Gem is power

The red Infinity Gem is power
 

Once again, the only gripe is with the average art of John Romita Jr. While this issue certainly appears less rushed than his last entry, Romita’s artwork is still missing a level of expertise that this series truly deserves. 
 

3.5 out of 5 Stars 

 -A.J. 
 A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.