Category Archives: Red Hulk

Is that a Disguise?

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I will admit I don’t remember everything about the Red Hulk series – but one of the most glaring things I do recall is that Thunderbolt’s mustache burns off when he transforms.  It’s one of the reasons his identity was able to be hidden for 2+ years.  The other glaring issue with the Red Hulk making a comeback in a new Avengers series is that… well, last we saw the Red Hulk he was “cured” by Doc Green.

Is this Marvel ignoring its own continuity again or do they explain this regain of powers somehow – and in doing so why he is able to keep that bangin’ porn ‘stache?

Either way, look for the US Avengers coming in 2017.

New Lego Set! Red Hulk and Green Hulk!

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Just saw this set announced for the 2017 season – it includes the Green and Red versions of the Hulk and She-Hulk!  The best part of the whole set is the figures – but the vehicles are pretty great too – look for it on the shelves of your local shop!

Marvel 500 Hulks… So Far…

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That’s right – there is yet another “blind package” Marvel set to get.  These blind packages seem to be taking over the entire market – and I get the appeal to some degree – but they really aren’t for me.  I usually find what I need on eBay or even at some LCS that opens the a few of these boxes or packages and happens to have a Hulk.  That’s how I ended up with the Grey Hulk.  All the others were found on the ‘bay.

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hulks whhhhha 003 - Copy (2)hulks whhhhha 003 - Copy (3)I usually enjoy the “hunt” for treasures – but with blind packages there is always so much waste that it becomes more of a chore than an enjoyable game.  That being said, I do like these simple little figures.  They remind me of the Handful of Heroes that were released a few years ago – except they are slightly bigger and painted.

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Most of the Hulks are the same mold they just yield different color schemes.  The Hulk, Grey Hulk, Red Hulk and the clear Gamma Hulk are identical in pose the only slightly different Hulk is the World War Hulk with a hand raised to attack.  If you’re looking to pick up the Classic Hulk, Red Hulk and Gamma Hulk they are from series 1 – as the Grey Hulk and World War Hulk come from season 2.

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Hulk #10 (2015) – The Review

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Hulk #10
W: Duggan
A: Bagley

When the Red Hulk came on the scene, in the premiere issue in fact, we lost one of the oldest Hulk villains that there ever was.  The Abomination met an untimely end, riddled with bullets from Ross’s over-sized gun.  The biggest chasm that the death left was the Hulk not having a foe that can’t have a strength vs strength bloody beat down battle.  The Red Hulk was there to fill that gap in a way – but his immediate mishandling really destroyed that idea.  Loeb’s weak grasp of Hulk lore lead to even weaker battles between the two Hulks.  A confused idea of how the Red Hulk’s powers are handled led readers down an unsure road of which Hulk was the bigger powerhouse – when Abomination always was the stronger of the two monsters – until the Hulk grew stronger.  Even the final Hulk/Red Hulk fight where the Hulk beat the Red Hulk with a thunder clap was a baffling and ultimately dissatisfying finale.

With Duggan taking over the mantle and we already seeing the new and meaner Hulk take down other gamma monsters I knew we’d be in for a treat when the Red Hulk made his appearance.  I mean, we have almost an entire issue of the two Hulk’s beating each other bloody – even after we learn that Doc Green is holding back – the battle becomes so much better!  This is what the Red Hulk should have been created for – a new villain that could really lay into the Hulk and give him a run for his money.  We are even left with the knowledge that this was just round one between the two as the Red Hulk is left being dropped into a volcano.

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Next up, from the cover image, is the de-powering of Lyra.  We will see how that goes.  I do see one issue here that I thought I’d bring up now.  How is it that the gamma serum can’t de-power Bruce – so shouldn’t it also not be able to de-power his children?  They weren’t just dosed with a more gamma like Rick Jones, Betty and her Dad were – these are beings who were created from Bruce’s DNA.  Maybe Duggan with address this – but I also think that explanation might not be coming.  I had this thought with the end of this issue with the She Hulk being warned of Doc Green coming – but her affliction came straight from Bruce’s blood!  If the cure doesn’t work from him – it certainly shouldn’t be able to effect her!  But I guess we’ll see…

Bagley’s art continues to impress and the book is better than it has been in years.  Tell your friends to pick up the Hulk – tell your grandmother!  Tell everyone!  We need to let people know that the Hulk is worthy again!  Hulk fans had to suffer through the Loeb years with high sales, further infuriating true readers, there is no reason that this series shouldn’t be in the top ten every month!  Grade: A

Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Battlers (2014)

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This cartoon (helmed by Loeb) was a disaster from the start (not a shock).  But let’s be really honest – this cartoon was certainly not made for us adult collectors.  This was not Avengers… or the many superior DC animated films that come out.  Of course a weekly series is not the same as an animated film, so maybe not the best comparison but it still rings true that Marvel seems to be dropping the ball when it comes to the animated series.  It did have it’s merits though – like I’ve said many times – my daughter LOVED this series and it made me so happy to watch it with her… even though I cringed my way through a lot of the episodes.  All of that being said it should be no wonder or a shock to anyone that the series was axed.  Not before a new slew of toys was released into retail.  Let’s take a look at a few of them here.

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Toys R Us took the hit on being the exclusive holders to releasing the battlers based on this cartoon.  They released them at the same time they were having their huge clearance sale, and in a turn of good fortune, I was buying the Hulk Battler at a time when they were charging clearance prices.  So all three of these guys were able to be procured for less than $5.  Totally worth it when I only pay $1.27 for a Red Hulk.  Now either the glitch was fixed or they went back to regular prices but they are a steep $13.99.  That’s about $12.00 too much for a Red Hulk or Skaar figure.

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These figures being Battlers have a signature move – the Red Hulk has the weak move of just moving his over-sized guns up – but the Hulk’s is the best with his arms swinging and fists ready to land a few gems!  Skaar’s figure is actually pretty bad ass with his large sword – but over all, the only one to seek out in this trio is the Hulk.  Keep in mind, this is part of a game that your humble narrator doesn’t know how and will never play – so this review is based solely on aesthetics.  Grade: C- (on all three)

Thunderbolts #32 (2014) – The Review and… What Happened?

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Thunderbolts #32 (Final Issue) and a look back at the series.
W: Acker and Blacker
A: Jacinto

In 2008 things were going well for the Hulk.  He had just come off of one of the most well received and highly publicized runs in recent history that led to one of the more highly anticipated event (but ultimately disappointing) event comics of the past decade.  With Hercules taking over his title and the ending of World War Hulk leaving the fate of the Hulk uncertain it was a cliffhanger that every fanboy was taking about.  What came next was hyped around the web like nothing I had seen before regarding the Hulk – there was a new Hulk in town!  And he was RED!  The buzz surrounding this book was huge – and the sales didn’t disappoint as it sold through the roof!  Even as long time Hulk fans and comic reviewers alike questioned the book’s substance the sales stayed steady (with help mainly from multiple covers to every issue) and people all over talked about how they loved the Red Hulk!

A good portion of fans of the real Hulk didn’t share the same sentiments – and it seemed that quite a few “die-hard” Red Hulk fans didn’t even read the actual book – it didn’t stop the Red Hulk from traversing all over the Marvel U.  He was working with the Avengers, he even replaced the real Hulk in the event comics of the year (which I guess I should be thankful for) and his book sales seemingly couldn’t be stopped.  Until they were…

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By issue #24, when they stopped teasing about revealing his identity and finally showed us who he was, the readership had plummeted.  No one cared anymore.  The message boards were filled with reactions like “That’s still going on?” and “Is anyone really surprised?”  It seemed as though the days of the Red Hulk’s soaring popularity were over.  Loeb left the book – along with the real star of the book, McGuinness – and a new writer was brought on to keep his exploits going.  Jeff Parker was suddenly writing the Hulk and you know what?  It was good.  I mean, really, really good!  He made one of the most one-dimensional, least thought out, stylized characters of the Marvel U actually a joy to read!  You wouldn’t know that by the sales though – they continued to dwindle.  It always amazes me that people complain about the state of comics but don’t bother checking out titles that people rave over – unless they rebooted the book and they can get in on the ground floor at #1.  Jeff Parker’s Red Hulk was great.  But alas, the Red She-Hulk took over the title – a character I had absolutely NO interest in – and the book died a slow, quiet death.

But that was not all for the ill-christened “Rulk”, no, straight from the pages of the Red Hulk came a team that no one asked for!  A team brought together for no other real reason than they all matched.  Yeah – it’s important for a team not to clash when they are fighting crime!  But you know what?  It wasn’t terrible.  Sure, people complained about the art style of Dillon being a little too bland for their tastes – they are entitled to their opinion of course, but I disagreed.  I enjoy his style.  People didn’t see too excited over the stories – but they didn’t complain about them either.  To me, Thunderbolts should have been every real Hulk fan’s wet dream!  Way brought back classic Hulk villains like Mercy and Madman – at the same time as dragging his now dullard brother Sam Sterns.  Sure, I would have enjoyed seeing the Leader stay his true emerald color – but remember what I said about this whole team having to match and all…

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The stories were good.  Fun!  They had some witty dialogue, they even made Deadpool, a character I loathe, an enjoyable part of the book!  This was a testament to Way and what he was bringing to the table with the new “non-team” of Marvel.  That title was always used for the Defenders – a group of heroes who were, far and away, loners – but worked together in times of crisis to bring down some big bads.  This term could certainly apply to the Thunderbolts – while not all of them thought of as heroes – they were a group of loners who came together to take on the cases no one else could and try to do some good.

The book really hit its stride though at issue #12 when Soule took over the writing duties!  He started to explore each of the teammates trust in others.  Showing just where their weaknesses are in becoming a cohesive, cooperative team.  Even better was Red decided to let every member choose to do the next mission – whatever they thought needed to be done the team would work to fixing it.  Things didn’t even slow down with having to tie into the event of the year Infinity.  Tying into an event can be disastrous for the flow of a story – but Soule handles things perfectly for this cast of misfits.  So well that you worry where they could possibly go next.  Well, sure enough the questioned is answered with the Ghost Rider coming into the fray to take down Mercy, who had inadvertently joined the team.  Even then, the team wasn’t all flowers and ass-kicking – Venom suddenly decided to test the other members to see who could destroy him.  All this time the Red Leader was both a help and a secret plotter on how to take every last member down.  Week after week it was exciting, hilarious and action-packed!  The Soule decided it was time to leave the title.  Things went downhill fast.

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His last outing with the crimson group had them trekking through the jungle going after a powerful force that was too much for anyone to handle.  The entire arc started off a little wonky and only disintegrated from there with the Leader using the locals as a way to off the team – of course that didn’t work – and the Red Hulk being too secretive and sketchy about his past with the power they were seeking… it all seemed too rushed and certainly wasn’t the best swan song to put out after an enjoyable year or so of great stories.  That said, new writers, Ben Acker and Blacker took over with a volatile group ready to destroy each other.  Basically that’s what happened too.  The Punisher wanted out – Red Hulk chose to let him leave the only way he saw fit – by trying to kill him – and it was all out war from there.

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They say it was the Punisher vs Thunderbolts when in fact it was actually Sterns vs the rest of the team.  The Red Leader finally put his re-acquired big brain to work in taking out the rest of the team with the Punisher as a distraction.  The final issue shows us the Leader’s hard work has paid off.  His deal with Mephisto has granted him everything he could ask for – including a front row seat to his brother’s unending torture in hell.  There is one thing Sterns can’t seem to figure out though… matters of the heart.  His lust blinds him to the fact that there is a traitor in his midst – and when the Thunderbolts come to collect – he is taken down by the one person he had been trying to impress.

Sort of fitting end to Sterns – who is taken to hell and I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of him (who knows, maybe he’ll come back his proper color too!).  The book, in its hey-day, was one of the first I ripped into reading it with anticipation for what was to come.  It ended with a thud – and it was Soule leaving that put the nail in the coffin, I think.  Sure the book was never a big seller – but it was decent enough.  If you were one of the ones who never picked up an issue, go out and take a look at this series… at least 1-23.  Those who gave up on this book too early – it’s a shame – take another gander at the issues you missed.  It’s so worth it!  As for the later issues – they aren’t bad – they have their merits worth reading with an inkling of opportunities to grab its height of greatness back.  Acker and Blacker did their best, I’m sure, but Soule was able to write Deadpool without making him a ridiculous, annoying twat – which is not easy to do – but he also made the other characters brooding and funny while at the same time a team you wanted to root for.  Grade for final issue: C Grade for the series: B-

Red Hulk Fists (2014)

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Another Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. piece – this time they have just recycled the pitiful version of Hulk fists released with the Avengers movie and colored them red.  I have made it abundantly clear how disappointed I was with all of the cost cutting corners that they have made with the new Hulk fists released.  It’s too bad too because the original Hulk fists from 2003 are one of the best pieces of Hulk merchandise you could ever ask for!

I figured that since I have the Abomination fists (in the first disastrous revamp of the Hulk fists when they made them from cloth) I mine as well pick up the Red Hulk fists too.  They were $20 at Toys R Us  – another questionable aspect of these little clenched hands – the green Hulk versions are $27.  Anyways, I will someday look to be battling my family in an arena, Thunderdome style, tournament with everyone wearing Hulk fists – and I will be donning the 2003 classic versions and be handing out the rouge’s gallery fists to others so that I may destroy them… as it should be!