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


ESSENTIAL RULK : Review of HULK Issue # 23

As a young man, Thaddeus E. Ross was involved in a plane crash that nearly took his life.  Doctors said he’d never recover.  Doctors said he’d never walk again.  But with sheer will and determination he proved all the experts wrong. Thaddeus Ross rehabilitated himself to perfect health and subsequently lost all respect for anyone who referred to themselves as ”doctor”.  Enter Doctor Bruce Banner.
So begins General Ross’s recollection of key moments in his life which led him to this pivotal point in time… this point in history.  Lying half-naked on the floor, powerless, his old tired human form crawling down a dark cold corridor of a Hellcarrier with a cosmic hulk lurking after him, while the white house was under attack.  How did it come to this…?
”Who is the General Ross” is so much more an accurate description of this outstanding 23rd issue of HULK than ”Who is the Red Hulk”.  Ross’ best moments, and his worst, are compellingly recalled in the General’s own words that led him to this fall from grace, a life riddled with good but flawed intentions.  From struggling with his feelings towards his daughter Betty (both in life and in death) to his blind vengeful obsession to bring down the Hulk once and for all, the real breaking point came when his true love had fallen apart. His country.  It was broken. It had turned to hell, and the assassination of Captain America, maybe the one superhero he truly secretly admired, was more than likely the last straw.  Up was down.  Right was wrong.  And making some unholy alliances and becoming the one thing he hated the most, a red version of the Hulk, seemed the best way for Ross to fix everything…. to bring his daughter back… to save the country.. and to finally destroy the Hulk. 
When it comes to the art, the dream team who worked on this comic speaks for themselves.  Ed Mcguinness, Dale Keown, Herb Trimpe, Ian Churchill, Tim Sale, John Romita JR., Mike Deodato, Sal Buscema and Leinil Francis Yu.  It’s quite an all-star lineup.  Often multiple artists working on the same book doesn’t quite work, but here it works masterfully.  Mcguinness’ art representing the current day while art like Tim Sale’s work represents flashbacks of the past is so wonderfully put together.  Bravo.

Red Hulk vs Cosmic Hulk

Red Hulk vs Cosmic Hulk
Ross transforms into Rulk

Ross transforms into Rulk
HULK Issue 23 is not just essential for Rulk fans, not just essential for Hulk fans, but essential reading for everyone who has a love for the Marvel Universe and the characters that live and breathe it.  This one shouldn’t be missed.
5 out of 5 Stars 
Hulk Issue #23 Variant