So, I am pretty sure this is supposed to take place AFTER Hulk #22 – although it’s not exactly clear. But Bruce is in the “dream” world the Leader has drawn the 8 smartest men into. Bruce lives there with Betty, their children and the other geniuses. When the Hellicarrier is attacked, the Leader asks the Red She Hulk to take care of that while he has “Talbot” make a speech about these new hulked out heroes, and how they have gone insane. But we see the hulked out soldiers attacking the capitol. That is, until A-Bomb and Korg come to help fight them. Not to mention Skaar.
Skaar... he's good to have on your team!
Meanwhile, Bruce is still in the “dream” world where Doom asks Bruce if he finds anything strange. He says that the others are all getting dumber – but that he has something that might hold the answer – a gauntlet that he can summon that he believes will help them. Banner takes the gauntlet home and sees the other side – his son, Skip – or Skaar getting beaten by the hulked out heroes. Skaar uses the Old Power to fight back – and A-Bomb saves him by stepping in front of a blast – but says they need to get Bruce. Skaar throws A-Bomb to the hellicarrier where Bruce is.
Don't name your child "Skip" - they will get pissed!
Bruce is happy. That’s all he cares about. He doesn’t want to know the truth. Even when Doom comes asking, Bruce denies everything. He has Betty, a family, the Hulk is dead. He is happy. But Doom touches Skip and he turns into Skaar. Skaar attacks – Bruce heads to the lab to try to find a cure for his son – Skaar still smashes. Doom tells Bruce to turn the Gauntlet on so that they can go home. Bruce refuses – until Betty comes out of no where – like Arnold in Commando – and kills Skaar. Bruce sees his dead son. Betty says that they should just go home – that they will go to sleep and when they wake everything will be perfect again. Bruce says he wants the real Betty – and he turns the gauntlet on.
Can Betty ever stay alive? Is it possible?
Bruce awakens in the real world to find the Red She Hulk fighting A-Bomb – and Doom up to his old tricks – trying to steal all of the other’s minds. But Bruce, being the sneaky bastard he is, turns the tables on Doom – frying his brain and restoring everyone Else’s. Doom goes to attack – but Red She Hulk comes to the rescue. She tries to tell Bruce something – but Skaar comes out of no where, protecting Bruce, and stabbing the Red She Hulk – and turns back into her other self… Betty Ross.
The issue certainly moves along fast. Much faster and better than this whole “Fall of the Hulks” crap. They finally are getting the story interesting – but I am going to look forward to some self contained issues. No more of these “event” stories. Each one seems to get worse than the next. This issue is a step up – but let’s finish this off already. Grade: B
Let’s get it out of the way right now – let’s just throw it out there – you were right, Gary. I never doubted you for a second – and congrats for being one of the first to make the public prediction that, yes, General Thaddeus Ross IS the Red Hulk. After 2 and 1/2 years, 22 issues, we finally see what should have been shown in issue #6. I have to say, though, I really liked this issue – after being so let down with the last one – this was like a breath of fresh air! But, It was a long time coming… WAY TOO LONG coming, we had to suffer through crap – absolute crap writing and stories – and shame on you Loeb for using your “superstar” status to hype this drivel. We had small shots of smart storytelling – issue #18 comes to mind – but mostly it was just terrible. The Offenders, anyone? How about the Wendi-Hulk? Ugh.
Hulked Out FF
But what we have here was actually decent and fun to read! The Red Hulk takes on the hulked out heroes, my favorite part was the “Uncanny” comment he makes with/about Cyclops. The whole time he’s fighting he talks about how this was his plan – about how he was the one to come up with irradiating soldiers to unite the world – the heroes being Hulked up was never part of the plan though – but now he was looked at much like Banner always was – like a monster.
Samson does not approve...
Samson looks on and does not like what he sees but the Leader and M.O.D.O.K. look on in pleasure to see their ultimate plan come to fruition. They know that the Hulked Out Heroes will not survive – they are too unstable and will be dead within hours. Meanwhile, the Red Hulk finds out that Banner has been caught and he’s looking to still stop all the madness – when he is caught off guard by Spidey and Wolvie. The Red Hulk finds himself overheating – using too much energy.
The Red Hulk?????
Just as he gets rid of those two he is faced with the Red She Hulk, who was sent to kill him. Samson again has a problem, saying that she should not be used like this – it could destroy her psyche and she may never recover. When Samson tries to take the Leader out, M.O.D.O.K. slams him with his ray. As the Red She Hulk continues to beat on the Red Hulk she finally grabs him and drains him of his power. The Red Hulk transforms into his other self… General Ross. And the Red She Hulk says she can’t kill him – because she is his daughter.
So... where is his mustache when he is the Red Hulk?
And there it is. So now we wait for next month when we will find out the origin. Maybe we will see what actually happened in the “red herring” fight between the Red Hulk and Ross. The one where Ross “died”. And what the hell happens to his mustache? When he turns into the Red Hulk – does it just fall off? And then regrows when he turns back? That’s kind of bologna! That’s just as bad as Samson’s hair growing long and short in the previous issues! Well, can’t say it’s the best comic I’ve read – it’s just no longer one of the worst. Grade: B-