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

Thor

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!


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 # 6

HULK Issue # 6 It was the legendary Albert Einstein who coined the phrase that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.   Yet it’s apparent that in writer Jeph Loeb’s universe, this principal does not exist… maybe a display of temporary insanity on Loeb’s part while drafting “Blood Red” HULK Issue #6.   Unfortunately, Rulk’s first story-arc “Red Hulk” ends on a weaker note because of it.

 

What started out strong as a classic “whodunit” tale and transformed into an even stronger “who’s next” thriller, Loeb finishes the arc in a somewhat anticlimactic, head-scratcher sort of way. In the previous issues #4 and #5, we witnessed an all powerful, unstoppable Red Hulk that was capable of (and executed) the defeats of both the Incredible Hulk and the all mighty Thor.   What was most fascinating was the Rulk didn’t just overcome his opponents… he dominated them.. and conquered these titans with the simplest of ease.   What would decimate the most common enemy, Thor’s repeated blows of his mighty hammer fell upon the Red Hulk with the impact of a mere nuisance versus the destructive force one would expect from the Thunder God.   And Rulk’s ability to overcome the Banner Hulk so quickly and break the arm of the atomic powered beast was equally jaw dropping and impressive. 

Hulk versus Rulk, Round Two

Hulk versus Rulk, Round Two

 

Yet, in issue #6, not long after defeating the son of Odin, both Thor and Hulk come looking for some payback… certain to be a second helping of another Red Hulk beat down right?   Wrong.   Thor attacks the Red Monster with the same strategy as before, yet somehow achieves a different result. Suddenly, without any reasonable explanation from Loeb, the Rulk is no longer trouble for Thor regardless of the cosmic powered absorption ability that gives him quite the edge.   Inexplicably “nerfed“, Thor gets devastatingly close to causing the Red Hulk’s demise until the Green Hulk gets in his way.

Unbelievable.” Rulk confesses to Hulk.  “I’m big enough to admit that Thor had me on the ropes .. and in your stupidity, you may have just spared my life. ”   

It doesn’t make sense.   At least when the big green conquers the big red in his rematch, there is some reasoning applied to the different outcome: Hulk recognizes the Red Hulk is much like a radioactive core that can overheat with time, and uses that to his advantage.   But the hits the Hulk takes while waiting for Red to reach that boiling point are now much more ineffective.   Unfortunately, it would have been more logical (and gratifying) to simply see Thor and Hulk work together to bring the Red Hulk down.   Gratifying indeed.

Sweeping those frustrating gaps of logic aside, the plot does enjoyably thicken as we finally learn the mysterious Red Hulk is not working alone.   After the crimson giant’s defeat, both General Ross and Leonard Samson surface showing their displeasure with Rulk’s lack of progress.   They also stunningly reveal to have a hand in Red’s creation.   “We gave you everything you needed to destroy the green monster.   Everything.   Still you failed.”   Intriguing.  

"...and worse, you failed yourself"

“…and worse, you failed yourself”

 

And there is no faltering in the artwork of Ed ‘Born to draw Rulk’ McGuinness.   While I don’t feel this issue is among his best work, his art remains a joy to behold.   His consistency in maintaining such a high level of quality is simply tremendous.  I just wish this story arc’s conclusion matched that quality.
 

2.5 out of 5 Stars 

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

 

VARIANT COVERS:


 

HULK Issue # 6 Variant Cover A HULK Issue # 6 Variant Cover B

RULK REVIEW : HULK Issue # 5

HULK Issue # 5

Thor.   I heard you were dead.”   – Rulk

 

I heard you were green.   Monster.   It matters little… …since by morning’s light, THOU WILT BE DEAD!” – Thor

Yeah. About that.   You’re welcome to give it a whirl… .. but it’s going to be a LONG night.” – Rulk  

 Simply bad ass.   When Thor returns from his long absence from Earth expecting to confront a World War Green Hulk, he instead steps up as the next Red Hulk challenger in HULK Issue #5 “Rolling Thunder“.   While so many in the Marvel Universe would dread such a confrontation, the Rulk doesn’t even flinch.   Red studied and prepared for such a contingency and learned how to exploit certain weaknesses of the blonde haired warrior and his mighty hammer Mjolnir… so much so he was brazen and brash enough to mock a God.   “Did I happen to mention I don’t believe in gods?” Rulk roared.  

Thor meets his match

Thor meets his match

 

This arrogantly drenched dialogue of the Red Hulk penned by Jeph Loeb is a key factor in what made the Rulk such a permanent iconic character in the Marvel Universe.   Just the concept of speaking such disrespect to the greatly respected God of Thunder alone invited readers to relish in the red beast’s irreverent behavior.   And then to back up those words with action as the Red Hulk dismantled Thor’s attack and used his weapon against him, was an unbelievable feat that was thrilling to watch unfold.   The Red Hulk’s sinfully enjoyable cockiness and the gradual move from a “whodunit” to “who’s next” storyline left readers actually rooting for the bad guy, which is task easier said than done and a deserved credit to Loeb.

Of course, superb action is handled no better than artist Ed ‘Born to draw Rulk‘ McGuinness, and here it’s more of the same.   Exciting panel layouts and glorious double splash pages are all in abundance here, and while Ed draws a hell of an intimidating Rulk.. he even looks more sinister with an “X” shaped wound on his head left by a mighty blow of Thor’s hammer. 
 

A menacing sight

A menacing sight

 

It all results in an action packed hell of a ride.   Loads of fun. 

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 

 

VARIANT COVERS:

HULK Issue # 5 Variant AHULK Issue # 5 Variant B 2nd Printing

 

RULK REVIEW : HULK Issue # 4

HULK Issue # 4Once again, it’s the amazing art of Ed McGuinness that reigns supreme in HULK Issue #4 “Red Light, Green Light” as the Red Hulk and the Green finally go mano-a-mano in a no holds barred battle to truly prove which Hulk isthe strongest one there is.

 

Of course, the first ever confrontation between these two titans has various widespread implications in the Marvel universe, so much so that it has come to the attention of Uato the Watcher to observe.   BIG MISTAKE.   In a controversial move, Red Hulk’s cosmic energy enables the arrogant beast drunk on power & rage to give Uato a fistful of dissent, giving him a beat down he never experienced nor will forget.   Repercussions for these actions are not even an afterthought when you consider yourself the most powerful force in the universe, so it’s fortunate for the brutalized Watcher that the Green Hulk intervenes when he does…   leading to the main event between the two monsters with thunderous results.

 

A Red Hulk distracted

A Red Hulk distracted

 

After successfully ripping through Abomination, Iron Man, She-Hulk, A-Bomb, Robot Harpies and a Helicarrier singlehandedly, writer Jeph Loeb successfully frames the intriguing question as he faces off with the Hulk.. can anyone stop the Red Hulk?   Big Red doesn’t think so… “THERE’S NO ONE WHO CAN BEAT ME” Rulk roars.. and also reveals his true identity holds a lot of resentment towards the Hulk.   With lines like “For years all I wanted was to destroy you” and “I’m going to choke the life out of you, ending years of ruining other people’s lives” Loeb gives the readers a taste of what hatred lingers in the dark corners of the Rulk’s mind towards the green goliath.

"I&squot;ve waited a long time for this!"

“I’ve waited a long time for this!”

 

Albeit, while the story is still thin, its main design is to showcase the amazing artwork of Ed McGuinness.   Clearly put on this planet to draw the   Hulks, this battle royale of artistic brilliance leaves the reader staring at splash pages with awe much longer than any balloon of dialogue or narrative could hold one’s attention.   The monsters’ brute strength McGuinness conveys in their frames, feels like an abundance of power just barely contained by all the skin that holds the muscles in place.   And his sinister look of the Red Hulk remains unmatched.

 

A battle for the ages

A battle for the ages

 

Ending with an appearance of our favorite god of thunder teasing what the next Red Hulk challenger will be, this book is a very enjoyable read.   It may not be extremely deep… but it sure is fun.

 

4 out of 5 Stars 

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

 

VARIANT COVERS:

HULK Issue # 4 Variant A

HULK Issue # 4 Variant B 2nd Printing
 

 


RULK REVIEW : AVENGERS Issue # 7

AVENGERS Issue # 7”In… finity”

 

That is the Rulk’s final word in AVENGERS issue #7, after crashing a superhero party literally when he smashes through an Avengers Tower window, landing at the feet of the Earth’s mightiest.   Referring to the all-powerful infinity gems, the Red Hulk had just gotten his ass handed to him by a man who now possessed two of them, just a few minutes before his rough entrance.

This appearance of the Red Hulk caps off the beginning of an interesting, new story arc of this fledging young assemble series.   Parker Robbins.. formally known as The Hood.. has begun a quest to claim all the infinity gems hidden around the world.   No one knows quite what his plans are if successful, but by issue’s end, he does successfully obtain two of them:   The yellow reality gem discovered in the ruins of a former Inhuman city and the red power gem… stolen right from under Reed Richard’s nose in the Baxter Building.

Unfortunately for the Rulk (due to his bad karma that continues to rear its ugly head) he becomes Robbin’s first test of his new Infinity powers and is beaten into a bloody pulp as a result… a beating that his cosmic powered body is certainly not used to. This leads him to another act he’s not accustomed to.. seeking the Avengers to ask for their help. 

A beaten Rulk

A beaten Rulk

 

Writer Brian Michael Bendis is churning up a good story here and it will be quite interesting to see what he has in store for the Red Hulk as the series progresses.   As far as teammates go, where Bruce Banner offered an intellect to the Avengers team (other than brawn) that theoretically could be replaced with other ”brains” in the Marvel universe, Ross has an asset that can’t be so easily matched, even by Captain America.   The Rulk has maybe the best tactical military mind on Earth… and he’s a genius at modern warfare.   This can be very valuable to the Avengers, yet a question remains.   Can he be trusted?

With all the good going for this book, sadly the only thing that suffers is the art.   Penciled by John Romita Jr., one can recognize his unique style, but a lot of his art appears lazy, rushed, and ultimately very lackluster, especially when it comes to the angles and poses he draws.   His figures sorely lack a certain degree of intensity that’s needed in a book like this, and some panels like the get-together in the Avengers tower appear… to be blunt… downright amateurish.   Marvel fans have come to expect a certain level of artistic quality in their comics, so it’s not a surprise that many have found Romita’s work here simply falling short.   
 

3.5 out of 5 Stars 

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

VARIANT COVERS:

AVENGERS Issue # 7 Rulk Variant AAVENGERS Issue # 7 Rulk Variant B

 

GREEN HULK : New AVENGERS Film Promotional Poster

This is great. A fan was able to take a picture of the first promotional poster for Marvel’s upcoming Avengers film at the Licensing International Expo, featuring all the assembled heroes and their new look.    

AVENGERS Licensing International Expo Poster

AVENGERS Licensing International Expo Poster

 
Focusing on the new Hulk, while he does appear similar to the look used in The Incredible Hulk film starring Edward Norton, there are some noticeable changes.  The Avengers Hulk appears to have more bulk and muscles then previously visualized. His hair is a little bit shorter now and his facial features look a lot more like the new Bruce Banner actor Mark Ruffalo. Of course this is conceptual art of a cgi character, not a new costume already decided upon and being used in filming as we speak, so ultimately any or all of the Hulk’s features can easily be changed in post-production… so we’ll have to wait and see.

-A.J.