Alright, as this series progresses I realize more and more issues. See, one of the biggest issues there is in making the Red Hulk a “hero” sort fo speak is, well, we already HAVE a hero Hulk. Keeping Red a villain would have been the only way to keep this character interesting. Well, that and not having Loeb write him in the first place. I have gone on record saying that the idea of the Red Hulk was an interesting one – but the execution was hugely flawed. It could have been one of the best chapters in the Hulk series – but instead it is considered a dark period. Red could have been the next Venom!
Remember when Venom appeared – he was a foe like no other Spiderman ever faced before. The whole first saga seriously rocked! Instead we are left with a series people describe as “tongue in cheek” because they can’t admit that they like reading crap. Back in the 90′s they tried to turn Venom into a hero – and they were dilluting the charater. Unfortunately, Marvel doesn’t seem to learn their lesson because they are doing it again. Venom is best when used as a real threat against Spiderman and then disappears for a while.
Red would be best used in the same regard – but instead Marvel sees a cash cow and begins milking like crazy. The original series was supposed to last 6 issues – keep that in mind people – 6 FREAKIN’ ISSUES! They turned it into a 2+ year mystery that no one cared about by the end – and most already knew the reveal anyways. Bear in mind – they strung people along for so long – that the issue that actually revealed his identity wasn’t even an “event”. It came and went with people shrugging and feeling underwhelmed. So what to do?
They continue the series – making Red a hero of sorts – cleaning up his messes and trying to make amends with all of the heroes he beat up. They even make him an Avenger. That’s right – he’s an Avenger. Sound familiar? It should – we’ve seen this all before – with an impressive almost 50 years of history behind him. We now have a charater that hollers like a Hulk, walks like a Hulk, Smashes like a Hulk - but we’re supposed to accept him as something more than the Hulk we’ve seen for years. I am getting so bored of this character.
Now Ross can’t change back when he needs to… is it Deja Vu? Banner has struggled with this problem a few times. Now Ross is dealing with it and we’re supposed to be, what? Shocked? Worried? Are we supposed to care? We’re being dealt a Hulk of a different color, that’s exactly the same, it turns out. That’s not to say Parker is doing a bad job (I actually like his mix of humor and action - he’s actually writing more of a Hulk book - just not the right Hulk), mind you, in fact he’s leaps and bounds better than Loeb – but he’s a writing a character that was stale in his inception. Hulk and TIHs sell practically the same – not that either is doing spectacualr right now – but the readers are dwindling and you can’t help but wonder is they had just let the Hulk keep his own series and introduced Red, much like they did with Venom, in the regular title, how things may be different/better? Grade: B- (keep in mind – there’s nothing wrong with the writing – the story is still quite interesting - it’s just the staleness of the character)