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

Series

NEW RULK : AMAZING SPIDERMAN #687, AVENGERS #27, AvX VERSUS #3 and AVENGING SPIDER-MAN Hardcover!


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Issue # 687

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Stefano Caselli
In Stores:  June 13, 2012
Imprint: MARVEL UNIVERSE
Rating: T+
Format: Comic
UPC: 5960604716-68711
Price: $3.99

The Story:
ENDS OF THE PART SIX. Doctor Octopus has a new Sinister Six: the Avengers! Can Spider-Man sacrifice one life to save the entire planet?


AVENGERS Issue # 27

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Walter Simonson
In Stores:  June 13, 2012
Imprint: MARVEL UNIVERSE
Rating: T+
Format: Comic
UPC: 5960607015-02711
Price: $3.99

The Story:
The Runaways are here! Giant-Man and Victor, Reptil and Chase, Lightspeed and Karolina. What happens when these two super-charged teams collide?


AVENGERS VS X-MEN: VERSUS Issue # 3

Variant Cover Shown
Writer: Chris Yost
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Ed Mcguinness
Artist: Terry Dodson
In Stores:  June 13, 2012
Format: Comic
UPC: 5960607800-00311
Price: $3.99

The Story:
All fights, All the time! Black Widow vs. Magik! Colossus vs. Thing!


AVENGING SPIDER-MAN: My Friends Can Beat Up Your Friends (HARDCOVER)

Writer: Zeb Wells
Penciller: Joe Madureira
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu, Greg Land
In Stores:  June 13, 2012
ISBN #: 978-0-7851-5778-6
Format: Hardcover
Price: $24.99

The Story:
This is what you’ve been waiting for! The return of legendary artist Joe Madureira (X-MEN, Battle Chasers) and fan-favorite Spidey writer Zeb Wells in a brand-new Spider-series that teams the wall-crawler with some of the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe! First, Spider-Man and his Avengers teammate Red Hulk take on a Moloid army during the New York City Marathon &emdash; but when Red Hulk falls, only Spider-Man stands in the way of the Subterranean invasion of Manhattan! Then, Hawkeye drops in for an action-packed extravaganza! And finally, Spider-Man teams up with Captain America &emdash; and it may hurt a lot! Collecting AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1-5.



RULK REPORT : Marvel’s “Hulk Week” presents Q & A with writer Jeff Parker!

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In celebration of The Incredible Hulk’s 50th Anniversary (as well as General Ross’s), Marvel is launching a “Hulk Week” string of interviews featuring creators involved with the smashing goliath.  Today Marvel’s Tim Stevens interviews acclaimed Red Hulk writer Jeff Parker (found HERE)!

Without further ado, here is the interview:

Marvel.com: The Hulk is celebrating his 50th birthday this year. Can you recall your first exposure to the character?

Jeff Parker: Hulk just seemed to be always there. Kids can relate to him easily, that wanting to lash out and affect everything around them. I think that’s still how we relate to him years later.

Marvel.com: Looking back over the years, do you have a favorite era or incarnation of the Hulk?

Jeff Parker: I like early Hulk, when he’s a bit sinister and you don’t get the idea he’s dumb, he’s just being quiet deliberately.

Marvel.com: Do you draw on any depiction or characterization of The Hulk and General Ross for your work?

Jeff Parker: Yes, that early Hulk I just mentioned. That seems a good intersection point for the two men. Thinking and angry!

Marvel.com: How do you view Ross’s place in the Hulk’s history?

Jeff Parker: Ross still doesn’t like Banner; they just aren’t the kind of people who would ever be friends. But he definitely understands him as The Hulk now that he’s been living through the situation. He always thought that incredible power would be the key to control, but it’s very far from it.

Marvel.com: Looking specifically at your book, you are in the midst of the “Mayan Rule” arc. What does anyone looking to pick up the book right now need to know to be able to jump right in?

Jeff Parker: You need to know that longtime Hulk pal Rick Jones was turned into A-Bomb, the next incarnation of The Abomination, and that these Mayan figures tricked him into releasing them from an underground prison. You also might want to know that Alpha Flight are Canadian [heroes], but you don’t need much more background than that.

Marvel.com: How do you see this arc, and your run to date, changing Ross? What kind of personal evolution, if any, is he going through?

Jeff Parker: He always saw himself as the front line for humanity, keeping back the freaks and super weirdoes. And now he’s starting to see himself as one of them, even if he can’t get along with many of his fellow powered folk.

Marvel.com: If, somehow, the Red Hulk survives “Mayan Rule” where are you hoping to take him next?

Jeff Parker: Classified!


RULK PREVIEW : THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Issue # 687!


RULK PREVIEW : AVENGERS Vs X-MEN : VERSUS Issue # 3 with Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness!


RULK REVIEW : HULK Issue # 53 by talents Jeff Parker and Dale Eaglesham!

Rick Jones is always getting into trouble.  The same young man who was responsible for unleashing the world-breaking Incredible Hulk upon the Earth (and paving the way for the genesis of every Hulk currently in existence) is now responsible for freeing some evil, dormant Mayan Gods who might just bring our age to a burning apocalypse… or some other fate equivalent in nastiness.  Yes, someone at S.H.I.E.L.D. should strongly consider locking this Jones boy up and throwing away the key!  Yet along with the Red Hulk, Machine Man and the Alpha Flight team, Rick (transformed into A-Bomb) instead tries to remedy the fate befalling us due to his ineptitude… and put a stop to the Mayan doom he brought upon the world.

Writer Jeff Parker sets up an interesting story-arc in HULK Issue # 53 “Mayan Rule, Part One: Bloodletting“.  Taking advantage of the timely concerns held by some that the end of the world is coming based on the Mayan calendar, Parker craftily strikes while the iron is hot when public awareness is at its peak (regarding this real world upcoming Mayan cataclysmic event.)  Chock full of magic, bloodletting, human sacrifices, mystical mind control and a heaping load of superheroes, there is plenty of excitement to be had… which reads more like a Marvel “The Next Big Thing” Event (than a character book that focuses on the chronicles of the Red Hulk.)

Yet there in lies one of this issue’s problems.  Ross and his red alter ego takes a major backseat to the events and the characters that surround him.  Replacing the main Hulk logo with an “Alpha Flight” title might even seem more applicable here.  And while Jeff Parker remains the ultimate weaver of well constructed stories, the way the events leading into this issue’s present day can be uncharacteristically confusing.  In this order… the story contains a flashback, followed by a later flashback, followed by the A-Bomb in real time describing too briefly the events that occurred prior to both flashbacks… all based on an old A-Bomb backup story one may have trouble recalling told back in HULK Issue # 31.  You won’t be alone if you find yourself skipping back a few panels asking yourself “what did I just read?”

Artist Dale Eaglesham is quite a talent. While he seems to alternate back and forth from a properly drawn Rulk (one without eyebrows) to a Red Hulk with scraggily gray hairs above his eyes, the powerful frame he gives the crimson beast is quite delightful and imposing. Dale also gives the Red Hulk a military cut of hair that really suits the Ross alter ego, and looks extremely sharp.

Dale Eaglesham definitely seems to be born to draw Alpha Flight. The way Dale draws these underappreciated characters is outstanding, and he may just well hold the prestigious honor of drawing the best Sasquatch and Puck to ever grace a comic book page. And who could not love the double page splash of this team, accompanied by the Rulk and crew as they ascend upon the mysterious new Canadian Mayan temple?

The unique borders Eaglesham adorns around various panels of this book is spectacular.  They resemble Mayan aged-old hieroglyphics which demand recognition for its sheer creativity, as well as the fascinating cover for this issue.

Sadly however, in an unfortunate move, the solicitation trumpeting the next installment’s cover (issue # 54 hitting stands in two weeks) prematurely revealed this issue’s shocking ending, ultimately dulling the blow of Jeff Parker’s otherwise dramatic and climactic punch.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

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


NEW RULK : HULK Issue # 53 and AVENGERS vs X-MEN Issue # 5 is out today!


HULK Issue # 53

Writer: Jeff Parker
Penciller (cover): Dale Eaglesham
Orig. Published:  June 06, 2012
Imprint: MARVEL UNIVERSE
Rating: T+
Format: Comic
UPC: 5960605992-05311
Price: $2.99

The Story:
The Mayan Gods are here! Guest starring Alpha Flight, Machine Man, She-Hulks, A-Bomb!


AVENGERS VS XMEN Issue # 5

Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciller (cover): Jim Cheung
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Orig. Published:  June 06, 2012
Format: Comic
UPC: 5960607748-00511
Price: $3.99

The Story:
The fiery conclusion of Act One is here! Clashing on a lunar battlefield, the tide of the conflict will be turned…



RULK REVIEW : HULK SMASH AVENGERS Issue # 5

That’s all you got?  COME ON!  I’m not that’s green MAN-CHILD you’re used to bullying!” – Rulk

In the one-shot HULK SMASH AVENGERS Issue # 5, the spotlight shines on a villainous Red Hulk in the final installment of a five issue smash fest that celebrates new yet era-inspired “Hulk versus Avengers” tales uniquely told within different timelines of the Marvel Universe.  Designed to take place between the events of the Red Hulk demolishing the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier [HULK Issue #2] and the battle between Rulk and the A-Bomb in the desert of Death Valley, Nevada [HULK Issue #3], the story revolves around Iron Man’s belief that uncovering the identity of the crimson giant will be the key to his defeat… and the imprisoned Bruce Banner holds that very key.  And as the mysterious, seemingly unstoppable, crimson Hulk keeps hitting and pilfering S.H.I.E.L.D. installations, Iron Man understands he needs answers… right now.

This issue’s script penned by writer Fred Van Lente portrays a spot-on villainous Red Hulk.  Lente superbly symbiotically captures the quintessential Jeph Loeb Red Hulk… a brash personality that is constituted more of “bad-assed” than “bad”. The story is balanced well, moving back and forth from a suspicious, tense yet restrained conversation between Bruce Banner and Iron Man to a rip-roaring battle between the Red Hulk and the Avengers.

Lente’s writing works in spite of Michael Avon Oeming’s disappointing art. While Oeming is very capable of designing interesting layouts, his caricature drawing ability needs improved structure and polish before achieving a favorable level of his professional skill set.  However, interesting new revelations woven into this story offsets the issue’s shortcoming, especially when we learn that the Red Hulk has been hitting and stealing various goods from S.H.I.E.L.D. and obviously supplying it to the Intellegencia, in an effort to reach their mutual goals.

The only thing frustrating other than the art is precisely fitting this story in the Red Hulk continuity.  The only logical place this addendum can fit is between the Helicarrier attack (where Tony Stark realizes the new Hulk is red) and the battle with A-Bomb (that ruptures the ground unleashing the Banner Hulk from captivity). The problem is both the conclusion of issue #2 and opening of issue #3 suggests Rulk’s rumble with A-Bomb and Iron Man dealing with the Helicarrier wreckage occurs at the same time.  The ability to overlook this error in continuity will be the deciding factor if fans ultimately adopt this one-shot event and integrate it into the timeline of their favorite Red Hulk lore.

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