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

Maria Hill

RULK REVIEW : HULK Issue # 3

HULK Issue # 3Every artist has a portfolio, a collection of art that defines its creator. That body of work highlights the illustrator’s talents and always features the best artwork he or she has ever done. Undoubtedly, in the massive portfolio of Ed McGuinness, we would find HULK Issue #3. It’s that good.

 

Now when we last left the Red Hulk, everything to this point had presented the crimson menace as a terrifying monster. Uncaring and unfeeling, the Rulk was an unrelenting beast that lurked in the shadows until his moment of strike… a moment one would likely not survive. Yet he was a monster with a plan who was deliberate, methodical and precise. And except for the occasional growl, he was a silent killer. This all changes in issue #3 “Creatures on the Loose

Seemingly drunk with arrogance over his new found power, the Red Hulk steps out of the shadows and lets his bravado show. Relishing an opportunity to beat on Rick Jones as A-Bomb (who seems to know the secret identity of the red behemoth only in the form of Rick), the Rulk lets himself break out of his shell and reveals his brash & cocky personality. The Red Hulk even reveals a moral compass within while bragging over his takedown of the first Abomination. Rows of houses came crumbling down and innocent lives were lost as a result of that battle… but the Rulk self servingly blames the collateral damage on Emil Blonsky’s “cowardice“. It was his decision to hide in that small Russian village rather than face his attacker.

Even with these revelations and compelling turn of events, there is not much writing to critique. Except for some intrigue over a tampered recording between General Ross and the imprisoned Bruce Banner that Iron Man reviews, the bulk of the story is the no holds barred battle between the A-Bomb and the Red Hulk. Somewhat lackluster in story progression, to be fair, there’s not much to work with in the terms of dialogue for Jeph Loeb when it comes to A-Bomb’s child like intellect.. but Rulk’s braised attitude shines nicely.

What the lack of plot development leaves room for is the main course, an opportunity for artist Ed McGuinness to let loose and stunningly draw the hell out of this book. As a complete issue, it may well be the best book he’s ever drawn and would explain why this issue was not on schedule and frustratingly delayed for several months. It’s a rare situation when I should just stop writing and let the art speak for itself. That situation is now. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 out of 5 Stars 

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
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VARIANT COVERS:

HULK Issue # 3 Variant CoverHULK Issue # 3 Variant Cover 2nd Printing

 

ESSENTIAL RULK : Review of HULK Issue # 2

HULK Issue #2THE @#$%ING HULK IS HERE!” the She-Hulk horrifyingly screams as her body is violently ripped from a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier command center by a fearsome pair of oversized red atomic hands.   “JEN!” Tony Stark calls!   “DAMMIT!   How did he get in here??   And am I the only one to see RED HANDS NOT GREEN??”
 
Making up for only a cover appearance in the first issue of the HULK, the Red Hulk appears early, exploding onto the second page of Issue #2 “The Smoking Gun” like a volcanic eruption that never lets up.
 
Moments later, pounded into a pulp and unconscious, the She-Hulk is hurdled back through the chamber’s ceiling, crashing at Stark’s feet.   Tony lurches back in shock and instinctively pushes Maria Hill away.   “Commander Hill.. Get to Safety… OR GET SOME ARMOR ON!!
 
This exciting, action-packed rollercoaster ride of an issue reads more like an action scene in a feature film than your usual comic.   Jeph Loeb successfully penned a Juggernaut of an action piece (and horror) for the Red Hulk’s first reveal, giving Iron Man, the She-Hulk and the Hellicarrier itself a beat down that will never be forgotten.   It’s extremely well paced, with a sense of urgency and dread needed for this type of issue. 
 
Iron Man hunting the Rulk

Iron Man hunting the Rulk

 

None of this would be possible of course without the brilliance of artist Ed McGuiness who designed and draws the thunderous Rulk so devilishly menacing in this book… having the red monster lurk and attack from the shadows of the Helicarrier (reminiscent of film classics like “Alien”.)   The dread and panic drawn in the faces of the heroes are all exceptional as well as the intense armored look of a pissed off Iron Man as he tries to save his crew and his ship.   The corridors of the Helicarrier have an appropriate dark, claustrophobic feel creating a tension that the hellish creature can jump out at you at any time… and all this great art is surrounded by Ed’s trademark action panels, fittingly grand in scale. 
 

Red Hulk's first inside comic appearance

Red Hulk’s first inside comic appearance

 

Presenting the first inside comic page appearance of the Red Hulk (as well as Rick Jones’ first appearance of his new alter ego A-Bomb) and you have one essential issue… and where action comics are concerned.. among the best of the best.  

5 out of 5 Stars 

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

VARIANT COVERS:

HULK Issue #2 Variant A

HULK Issue #2 Variant B
HULK Issue #2 Variant C Second Printing 

ESSENTIAL RULK : Review of HULK Issue # 1

HULK Issue # 1‘’If you hadn’t acted so irrationally we wouldn’t be in this situation” – General Ross

“Don’t be ridiculous Ross.   This isn’t about me.   This is about you General.” – Doc Samson 

 
No one knew how telling those words would be, when HULK Issue #1 hit comic stands across the world with a mysterious, daunting, new symbol of unbridled power and rage on its cover:    A roaring, fiendish, electric devil of a beast, fearsome and magnificent to behold.   It was a different Hulk.   It was a new Hulk.   And he was red.    The Red Hulk was nowhere to be found in the pages of the premiere issue of the HULK, but the cover was so profound…   he didn’t need to be.   What was shockingly found was the corpse of an evil, well known nemesis of the Hulk.

The body of Emil Blonsky, the Abomination, was discovered dead in a rural part of Russia.   Savagely brutalized, chunks of flesh missing from his head and chest, the carcass of the monster was sprawled disturbingly on the ground.   And surrounding Abomination’s lifeless body was an array of aggressive, oversized footprints hot with gamma radiation.   Surveying this grim scene, there could only be one logical conclusion: The Incredible Hulk murdered the Abomination. 

Yet, there was one glaring problem with that theory.   Bruce Banner was currently imprisoned in a S.H.I.E.L.D maximum security cell with no possible way to escape.   How could it have been him?   It also became quickly obvious to the investigative team led by Doc Samson that this killing was not your ordinary Hulk ‘beat down’, a furious rage that perhaps went too far.   This attack on Abomination was very different.   Very calculated.   And it looked like revenge.   ‘’This was punishment” Samson assessed.   A very different kind of Hulk was among them now.      
 
 

Bruce in Captivity

Bruce in Captivity

 

HULK Issue #1 exploded onto the comic scene in January of 2008, intriguing readers around the world with the question… ”Who was the Red Hulk?”.   Combining the magnificent cover and interior art of Ed ‘born to draw Rulk’ McGuinness and a solid whodunit story by Jeph Loeb, the debut of the rip-roaring Red Hulk catapulted to the top of the sales charts, ranking #1 as the best selling comic book of its month.   It was a huge success for Marvel and a landmark issue that gave birth to a new Marvel legend… a legend who’s appeal has still not waivered.  Even after three and a half years since its debut, the Red Hulk comics continue to outsell the Green Hulk comics to this day and has built up quite an arsenal of books, posters, video game appearances, action figures, statues, t-shirts and other collectables all in his image. 

History had been made.   A new major character had joined the best of the Marvel Universe lore and he was here to stay.   The Red Hulk cometh… and this was the issue that started it all.   It’s a ”must have”.  

4 out of 5 Stars 

-A.J. 

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


 VARIANT COVERS:

HULK Issue # 1 Variant A

HULK Issue # 1 Variant BHULK Issue # 1 Variant C
 
HULK Issue # 1 Variant DHULK Issue # 1 Variant EHULK Issue # 1 Variant F 2nd Printing
 
HULK Issue # 1 Variant G Marvel's Greatest Comics Edition