Hulk #21 (2010) / The Incredible Hulk #608 – The Review

The Incredible Hulk #608

Thanks for your patience.  The end of March is a killer – I hardly have time to log on let alone leave a post – but I will try.  Here’s the review that I should have posted last week:  Let’s be honest here – I am putting these 2 issues in the same post because… well, they are basically the same comic – just written by 2 different writers.  Loeb’s book has one of the most cringe worthy ideas since Wendi-Hulk – which is:  Hulkpool.  For freakin’ all that is holy!  Really?  Hulkpool?  I and it was passed through the editor?  Without question?  Holy hell…

#608 1:25 Cho Variant

Well, let’s get down to the brass tacks – the Skaar, Wolvie, Banner, Spidey, etc. team are attacking the base – when it’s revealed that Banner is actually Cho – being hidden by a holographic cloaking device.  Skaar pissed… again – because he’s being lied to… again.  Betty doesn’t want to be saved and go with Banner, Cho, or anyone for that matter.  Talbot is not an L.M.D. – nor is he the Red Hulk – which pretty much ONLY leaves Ross at this point.  Even though he is dead… *chuckle*  The Red Hulk is trying to take care of his part – but he is caught and used to help shoot a ray back to Earth that “Hulk-ifies” all the heroes, and soldiers on the planet.  Bruce is caught and linked up with all the other geniuses.  We do get a flash forward that shows Bruce in bed with Betty and Betty saying how he (Bruce) saved the day… was that a dream?  Who knows at this point – I tend to lean on the side of non-dream – but we will see.

Shocking ending?  Not really.  I mean, it didn’t hit me like the ending to Ground Zero did.  It was more like “Really?  All that for nothing?  Seems like a waste”  And I still feel that way.  It was a bummer.  Here are some thoughts though… Banner WANTED to get caught.  It’s all part of his plan that he hasn’t told anyone else about, including Red Hulk.  Which would follow the personality traits that Banner has been displaying recently.  I’m starting to grow a little weary of this “devious” Banner.  It’s hard to root for someone who is constantly lying to the people relying on him.  But we will see where this heads in the months to come.  Grade for these comics: TIH – C+ /  Hulk – D

Hulk #21

Next month we get the conclusion to all of this.  Come to think of it – we should have seen it coming – with the storyline titled Fall of the Hulks.  I just can’t wait to get the actual Hulk back.  It’s been way too long – looking forward to getting some better Hulk stories being told – putting this dark age behind us – and the whole terribly written mystery of “Who is the Red Hulk” over with!  At this point if it’s not Ross – then… oh, right – I don’t care!  I could really care less!  It was supposed to be a 6 issue mini-series that actually turned into one of the darkest ages in Hulk history – right up there with Bruce Jones!  Which was hard to beat!  But congrats Loeb – you did it.

Hulk #21 1:25 Cho Variant

Published by ratchet

I am a man. I like the world I live in. I would like it better if pumpkins were available year-round though...

44 thoughts on “Hulk #21 (2010) / The Incredible Hulk #608 – The Review

  1. I think you are being a little harsh but thats just me.
    What makes Deadpool more ridiculous than all the other Superhulks? By the way didn’t you say you had some sort of announcement reveal a few weeks back? Did I miss it or something?

    1. Well, I never said it was more ridiculous – but it does get worse when he refers to himself as “Hulkpool”.

      I really don’t think I’m being harsh here – to tell you the truth – the storytelling is excruciatingly slow! This storyline has reached a ridiculous rate where you just want the comic to get to the point – and they still haven’t. It’s like watching a 4 hour movie that should have been a 1/2 hour show.

      The announcement is still in the works – but no worries – it’s on it’s way. But with all this build up I have a feeling it’s going to be such a let down! – Kind of like the current Hulk storyline!

      1. I have to agree with you Ratchet. These issues were quite a let down. They should have answered at least some questions. They have started to drag the whole Intel vs the 8 genius heores angle too. That is the problem with alot of these events. They are excuses to streatch the story. Let’s hope Jeff Parker’s issue coming out tommorow makes up for this. The preview pages looked really good.

    2. Quesada is the real reason for this ridiculous, stupifying mess, Marvel has made OF EVERYTHING. Seriously, I would SMASH anyone who has to do with the creative direction or ALL comics at this point! Even the art is wierd! Worse than the Star Wars Prequels. FAR WORSE. Time for Marvel To DIE.

  2. This event has definitely jumped the shark…
    Again !

    It started out badly under Loeb’s run but got
    better when Parker and Pak joined the party. Now
    this ! The few pages of the previews actually
    looked good. I agree with Zeno.

    To be fair Loeb’s run had me interested at the
    beginning. The VERY beginning ! Hulkpool and
    the Hulked Out Heroes may not be able to top
    the mess that was Wendi-Hulk but when
    EVERYONE is becoming a Hulk how is the Hulk
    special. I know they have done multiple Hulk
    storylines before in the Avengers and an Avengers
    Annual but it’s time for our boy to come back
    and clean this mess up !

  3. Even I( an actual fan of half of loeb’s stories,not all.)thought the ending was very…unclimatic.It didn’t even end,and things are STILL confusing.I think ratchet was just trying to stress how deadpool seems to be in EVERYONE’S book lately,now he is in the hulks book too?? At least in June we get the reveals of the red hulk and and red she-hulk,and the REAL hulk FINALLY comes back.If they swerve us on this YET again,I’m done.And I can’t find previews for the foth red hulk book(which is actually the BEST hulk book in a while,and the savage she-hulks seems to be going in a good direction too),so if allowed,could someone post a link to that??

  4. The problems with the story thus far are numerous. “Fall of the Hulks” didn’t really “end” so much as have a (rather absurd) cliffhanger slapped on the end that propels us into “World War Hulks.” The extant pieces of “Fall” don’t seamlessly fit together one after the other but overlap in frequently confusing ways. (I like when you have two books covering the same timeframe from different POV’s, and that was one reason I liked these two issues, but when you have four series all vying for that time, you’ve gone too far.) The “Red Hulk” miniseries seems tailor-made as not an extension of the event, but a series where poor Jeff Parker has to grab a mop and broom and explain things that were raised by Jeph Loeb back in the “Hulk” series and left to rot. Then, there’s the overlong, drawn-out mystery of the Red Hulk (who, as much as it pains me to say, is shaping up to be Talbot after all). If Red She-Hulk is who we think she is, that’s a silver lining, but hasn’t Betty become a…well, I don’t want to say the word, we’ll just say “ill-tempered individual”? And Hulkpool. Really, Hulkpool??!? (He’s already in half the Marvel line, why not have him invade the other half? And become a Hulk?) Overall, as much as it pains me to admit, “Fall” has been one of the most mismanaged Marvel events I’ve ever seen.

    Needless to say, I’m hoping that “World War Hulks,” thus far only having a one-shot special, a two-issue mini, and then ping-ponging back and forth between “Hulk” and “Incredible Hulk” for the duration of its run, will work out better.


  5. Gentlemen, I hope you will turn your anger where it can do the most good and follow the plan to get Jeff Parker instated as the new Hulk scribe. If you are NOT prepared to do anything I humbly suggest you keep the moaning and complaining to yourselves, as you have only got yourselves to blame. As previously mentioned I can do it all on own. PS Gary, you are wrong. Ross will still be revealed as Red Hulk. Talbot will be unveiled as the contact between the Intel and General Ryker.

    1. Hope you’re right! Let’s just say things would get very tricky, continuity-wise, if Talbot is the guy. I’m just thinking, why else would they spend a whole issue detailing the mystery of Red Hulk? Hoping it’s Ross, but prepared if it’s Talbot.


  6. Sorry! I was typing quickly. I was trying to say I can’t do it all on my own. FACT – I provided the link to Jeff Parker, Ryan as kindly added it to his website. I don’t know what else I can say or do to get you guys to do your bit.

  7. Trust me Gary, I know of what I speak. The only Hulk’s that are going to ‘die’ in World War Hulks ( die – meaning getting cured) are the ‘infected’ heroes and the A.I. Marines. Though I am sure that Rick, Marlo and Betty will all eventually be returned to base line human. Ross will remain as Red Hulk (possibly becoming an Avenger in the future). There is a reason why I think that, Marvel recently gave away a set of 40 trading cards through a national newspaper in the UK. Red Hulk was one of them. To me, that speaks volumes. Why advertise the charcter so vigorously if he is due to die?

  8. After Rulk got put down by Green Hulk Talbot stood over Rulk and said “We gave you your shot and you failed” or something like that then he and Sampson wandered off leaving Rulk behind.

    Did I miss something or is continuity just irrelevant?

    1. I think you missed the repeated references to Life Model Decoys throughout the run so far, but that could be me. (/sarcasm)

      And they even had Banner and Red Hulk “kill” Ross, plainly premeditated, to start “Fall of the Hulks”…do you really think that’s something Banner would really do, when he’s trying to get back with Ross’ daughter?


      1. Good point,Gary. The other thing that has occured to me is that in issue Gamma Betty was unaware that Red Hulk is Ross and it is a LMD that was killed.If she knows the truth now is not known. However she doesn’t accuse Bruce of this, which makes one wonder if she knew he was working with Red Hulk.By now she could know. Unless they are hiding information from her.

  9. I agree, Zeno. The whole plan that Banner concocted with Red Hulk falls apart if they schemed to kill the “real” Ross. I don’t care how much of a scumbag Ross is, you don’t go plotting to kill your estranged wife’s father. And make no mistake, HULK #21 makes it clear that Red Hulk told Banner that Betty was alive and well before Banner told him they had to kill the General. Bruce may be callous and frequently emotionally restrained, but I don’t think he’d risk Betty connecting him to any plot involving the real death of her father. It’s this confluence of events that alone suggests Ross is Red Hulk, or at the very least, the Ross that died was not the real deal.

    I don’t think Betty knows that Red Hulk and Banner are in cahoots yet, else wouldn’t the first thing she screamed at Cho-as-Banner be “You killed my father!”?


    1. I’m still pretty sure that the reveal will be Ross – and correct me if I am wrong – but wasn’t the Red Hulk busy with his part of the plan while the base that Talbot was in was infiltrated? This is where we learn that Talbot is in fact the real deal?

      Man, I hate that they brought him back… his death was one of the best of the series!

      1. There are some questions as to the timeline as raised by HULK #21 and INCREDIBLE HULK #608. We have to remember the ‘egg timer’ bit with Red Hulk setting the time for Deadpool to be released from the duffel he stowed on board the Hellcarrier. In that 3 minutes, the Red Hulk was attacked by the Gammadroid, MODOK, and the Cosmic Hulkbot, and was already in the Cathexis Ray tube when Deadpool came out. Besides the point where everyone’s Hulked-out, we have no measure of when the timelines for the books synch up.

        Also, remember that when Red Hulk arrives, he sees the broken glass tube where he states She-Hulk was stored away. Compare to Banner blasting Lyra up “at least four floors” presumably to break Jen free. Whether Jen was already free from the tube, and what Lyra really was after up above the battle in #608 are crucial events toward establishing the timeline.

        Right now, it’s shaky, but with regard to the timeline, Talbot COULD fit. Now, whether he’d be allowed on Ft. Bowland to be with Betty after having betrayed the Intel, when we know the Intel are pretty well in charge of that base, that’s the operative question…

        ~G., hating that I sound like a Talbot apologist!

  10. Gentlemen, if you guys have been following the interviews that the Hulk Brain Trust have been doing lately to advertise the Hulk line of books then you would be aware that they want to add to the Hulk supporting cast. Talbot coming back will make things interesting for his nephew Matt (who wanted revenge on the Hulk for killing Glen). Also his brother Brian (who is now Grey in the Gamma Corps) who was bullied by Glen when they were kids. My big worry with the title is where do they go after World War Hulks and who will be the writer? Can you believe it has taken two and a half years since Jeph Loeb took over to get us to this point? Man,feels like a prison sentence!

  11. Well if they can bring Ross back a billion times why not Talbot? When the hell did Talbot die anyhow? I have been actively reading TIH since the early 80’s and he was never around than. With Talbot being back i doubt that we will see any of his family since one of them is gamma powered being and Marvel has a tendency of not using anybody outside of Leader and Abomination. One of which being dead again and i wouldn’t be surprised if Leader dies at the end of this “epic”. BTW the real Hulk comes back in June and I hope it isn’t the “savage persona”.

      1. Interestingly Talbot first appeared in Tales to astonish 61. Since the Incredible took Tales numbering that means it there are exactly 200 issues,from the first to last apperance.Was his death planned for that issue because of that?

  12. Well they are going to have to do something. Things can’t continue the way they have been in the past. Marvel need a long term strategy with the Hulk titles. Well done Anthony on knowing your stuff. MrMordrid I can’t offer any clue’s as to what Hulk will emerge from Banner come June 2010. It depends on who the writer will be. Jeff likes writing for Hulk, so who knows? We might get lucky!

  13. It would assume its the Gravage persona since he’s coming back in Incredible and Pak writes that. Thanks Anthony im going to have to look that up.

  14. Good point about the timeline Gary. King Hulk,you have convinced me that Jeff Parker is the right man to take over the title. I will help you by suggesting to him that he take over the other title. Have you heard from him since last week? And what issue is Jeff Loeb’s last one?

  15. Morning Zeno, I don’t think it was planned to kill Talbot 200 issues after he was first introduced. It just worked out that way. Loeb is due to leave Hulk by issue #23 or 25. This depends on whatever issue Red Hulk’s identity is finally revealed. Don’t forget, Marvel might ask him to stay on, as he is doing an ‘amazing’ job. Nope! I haven’t had anymore contact with Jeff Parker. I am hoping to drop him a line later today as Red Hulk#3 is coming out today. I do implore you and everyone else to follow suit and drop him a line. It is in everyone’s benefit. MrMordrid you could be right, though I am adopting a wait and see policy.

    1. It is 3 AM where I am King Hulk. I just got Red Hulk 3 today and I think you will enjoy it. So far it is the best of the Hulk titles this month with the possible exception of Son of Hulk. Parker understood the friendship with Rick and Bruce. I think at least. Finally I left you a few questions the other day.Would you mind going back to look at them?

    2. Seeing as HULK #24 is the last Loeb issue to be a WWHs issue, it’s safe to say #25 may be the end of the Loeb run, but then again, maybe not. Best to adopt a “wait and see” attitude.

      And remember what Greg Pak’s said in interviews, like over at Broken Frontier(

      BF: Any final teasers on where you’re taking Hulk over the long term?

      GP: If all goes as planned, we’ll take him places you’d never guess, but when we get there, it’ll be exactly where you always wanted to go.


  16. I have bought Red Hulk #3. I am sad to say I am not amused. I was totally unaware that advanced brainwashing techniques could be so easily overcome. Why, it is like watching the A-Team building a tank in one minute using a rubber band, sellotape, one cotton bud and a used cotton reel. My God it felt that the whole story was rushed (which it was in my opinion). So that we can get to the position where we can start World War Hulks.

  17. I have nothing but sympathy towards Jeff Parker for being put in such a difficult position. Gary, I would kindly ask that you put a link to Jeff Parker’s website on your website and get the guys at ifanboy to kindly do the same. We definitely do need to mobilise now to get Jeff onboard and save this title. Please guys, I am begging you to follow the plan and get as many website’s to carry a link to Jeff Parker’s website so we can get the maximum amount of people involved to petition Jeff Parker to takeover the title once Jeph Loeb goes. This is important!

  18. To Gary, I agree with a wait and see policy but, we do need to tip the odds in our favour. To Zeno, what questions are you referring to? I thought I answered everything. Could you type them again here and I promise you that I will do my best to answer them.

  19. Fall of the Hulks is tricky for many reasons including the fact that it is so convoluted that each issue takes a minute to remember what happened up to now and hope that the writers don’t contradict each other. Also, Loeb is telling half a story hoping that readers will love it and keep reading to find out what the same heck is going on.

    Pak’s issues are well done but since they tie into a story that is so vague and full of ‘mysteries,’ it ends up feeling flat. The ONLY saving grace is that Parker has been delivering such fun issues.

    Here’s my part in ‘Operation Parker:’ I get over 1K views a day so hopefully it will get some interest pointed in the right direction.

  20. Dailypop in the words of the immortal Bill Murray, ‘I Love You And I Want To Have Your Babies’! You sir are awesome! God bless you! Come on guys, Dailypop as shot the first salvo, we need the rest of you guys to do your bit!

    1. King Hulk my questions to you were on a month of the Leader day 15 part of this site. I can repeat them here. You mentioned a what if type story by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe about Jarella. I asked if it was in Hulk Broken Worlds. My other question was your thoughts on if they will retcon the Leader’s other apperances like that they did with Doctor Doom. They were clones/robots,etc. One example was when he fell into the pit back in prehistoric times. The Intel’s device would need time travel abilities to save him. That is the one from Parker’s alpha.

  21. To Zeno, in answer to your questions I have checked and the story I was thinking of that involved jarella was the one that appeared in Hulk Broken Worlds #1 from last year. In answer to your second question, I took it for granted that Jeff Parker was reconning the MU. In the now classic Alpha issue the Leader does reveal how the various Intel members helped each other out during the periods when various members were thought to be ‘dead’. Due to Dr. Doom being a member, they would have access to a working time machine. That I take to be a given.

    1. The posssibilty about Doom’s time machine occured to me King Hulk. However Doom didn’t share much with the other guys. Or with anyone else. Of course maybe he made a exception. Or maybe Jackdaw saved him after the Avengers left the Leader’s spacestation.

      1. Who knows? Doom might have done a rare act of generosity because he needed the other guys of the Intel?

        It is hard to say really.

        PS Just came back from seeing KICK-ASS. Damn! That is a good movie. Think Watchmen meets Kill Bill.

  22. Morning gentlemen, I have been checking Jeff Parker’s website and he still hasn’t put Red Hulk #3 on there yet. As soon as he does, I shall pounce with the speed and agility of a jungle cat. T’ Challa as nothing on me. Nuff said! Anyway, later today I shall share with you some interesting information.

  23. I just want to say before I begin, I LOVE THE HULK BOOKS, especially Incredible Hulk 608 AND World War Hulk. I will defend TIH 608 any day, I don’t care for Hulk 21, The Incredible Hulks comics are the REAL Hulk title.

    Now, I just want to say what is so dumb to have your own army Hulks, it is of coarse incredibly silly, but dumb???? Think about if you have to face an army of hulks, would you look worry. Admittedly the series did made it seem like The Intelligencia’s plan was going to be a very elaborate, but instead the whole time they just wanted to create an army of Hulks, and the hulks they created (A-Bomb, Red Hulk, Red She-Hulk) were just tests and to have their own Hulk(s) on their side. They have to taken out the eight smartest men in world, because they were in fact the biggest threat to them and they needed the ‘Original’ Hulk to use as their Gamma power source to create their army of Hulks, but instead they used Red Hulk because ‘Hulk was no more’ and he had more Gamma radiation in him(I’m guessing). They captured She-Hulk to create their Red She-Hulk, and Lyra join them so that she can fine She-Hulk, and free her.

    All of that makes sense to me, I don’t have a problem accepting that. I got a feeling that you people are not going to like World War Hulks, because I’m predicting that the series is just going to be a lot of ‘HULK SMASH’, which would make ME happy.

    1. Transformer,the idea itself is not dumb but the execution was over the top. As for Hulk 21,you probably know from the posts on this site that nobody likes Loeb here. Reading Dark Victory this weekend I see some of the problems that future stories like this will have. He adds things to the mystery even if not necessary. That is one of the things that has done in the Red Hulk mystery. He streachs out the story ignoring how it fits with the overall plot. The She Hulk/Red She Hulk point is a example of that.

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