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

Zeb Wells

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 REVIEW : AVENGING SPIDER-MAN Issue # 1 and 2

Pure fun.  Sometimes, comics are at their best when they are just pure fun.  Not extremely deep nor heavy handed, a comic can be a wonderful experience simply equipped with a light story, clever humor, great art and a boat load of action.  AVENGING SPIDER-MAN Issues #1 and #2 are both great example of pure fun.

The story begins with the Avengers putting the finishing touches on their latest battle to save humanity.  Upon wrapping up a team victory against some AIM Agents and assorted riffraff, Spider-Man announces he needs a lift back to New York City, a request essentially met with moans and groans.  Since no one wanted to lend a hand, the entire lot of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes humorously took a figurative step backwards, leaving the Red Hulk in the forefront to unofficially “volunteer” as Spidey’s ticket home.

So begrudgingly, Rulk allows Spider-Man to hitch a ride as he leaps towards the East Coast.  But when the heroes arrive, they find the city of New York at a crisis, overrun with Mole Man’s army of Moloids who have crept up from the depths of Subterranea and declared war on the shinning city. Looks can be deceiving though as this massive attack on the “Big Apple” turns out not to be an act of war… but an act of desperation… a recruitment effort by Mole-Man to help him reclaim his fallen city, a realm now invaded by a race called Molans and taken over by their King… Ra’ktar.  Will the heroes be able to stop them?

Writer Zeb Wells does a bang up job penning the first two issues of AVENGING SPIDER-MAN.  The pace is refreshingly brisk and the humor is spot on, certain to make the most discerning reader chuckle with delight.  Wells recognizes and takes full advantage of the wellspring of comedy that comes from the pairing of Spider-Man and Red Hulk.  It’s the classic funny guy and straight man routine, and the Red Hulk is one hell of a straight man… someone who sets up the joke so that Spider-Man can deliver the punch line.

Zeb Well’s high octane writing tempo is well complimented by Joe Madureira’s insane art.  Finally returning to comics, his illustrations are bold, intense and brimming with excitement.  Madureira’s work is just plain gorgeous to look at, inspiring one to simply drool over his art… especially the splash pages.  And with the brilliant coloring of Ferran Daniel (a perfect fit for Joe’s penicls) the Red Hulk hasn’t looked more massive or awe inspiring.

A WORTHY NOTE :  RULK (a nick-name for Red Hulk only ever used within the “previously in HULK” intro pages of the Jeph Loeb HULK books as a tool to catch readers up to speed) was used for the first time by an actual character of the Marvel Universe, referring to the Red Hulk as “RULK” in-story.   In the cliffhanger end of Issue #2 when Ra’ktar’s blade pierces the chest of the Big Red, Spider-Man calls out towards Red Hulk as “Rulk” with great concern.  Let’s hope we see more of that.

[ ISSUE#1 ]  4 out of 5 Stars 

[ ISSUE #2 ] 4 out of 5 Stars 

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