ESSENTIAL RULK : Review of HULK Issue # 1
‘’If you hadn’t acted so irrationally we wouldn’t be in this situation” – General Ross
“Don’t be ridiculous Ross. This isn’t about me. This is about you General.” – Doc Samson
No one knew how telling those words would be, when HULK Issue #1 hit comic stands across the world with a mysterious, daunting, new symbol of unbridled power and rage on its cover: A roaring, fiendish, electric devil of a beast, fearsome and magnificent to behold. It was a different Hulk. It was a new Hulk. And he was red. The Red Hulk was nowhere to be found in the pages of the premiere issue of the HULK, but the cover was so profound… he didn’t need to be. What was shockingly found was the corpse of an evil, longtime nemesis of the Hulk.
The body of Emil Blonsky, the Abomination, was discovered dead in a rural part of Russia. Savagely brutalized, chunks of flesh missing from his head and chest, the carcass of the monster was sprawled disturbingly on the ground. And surrounding Abomination's lifeless body was an array of aggressive, oversized footprints hot with gamma radiation. Surveying this grim scene, there could only be one logical conclusion: The Incredible Hulk murdered the Abomination.
Yet, there was one glaring problem with that theory. Bruce Banner was currently imprisoned in a S.H.I.E.L.D maximum security cell with no possible way to escape. How could it have been him? It also became quickly obvious to the investigative team led by Doc Samson that this killing was not your ordinary Hulk 'beat down', a furious rage that perhaps went too far. This attack on Abomination was very different. Very calculated. And it looked like revenge. '’This was punishment'' Samson assessed. A very different kind of Hulk was now among them now.
HULK Issue #1 exploded onto the comic scene in January of 2008, intriguing readers around the world with the question... ''Who was the Red Hulk?''. Combining the magnificent cover and interior art of Ed 'born to draw Rulk' McGuinness and a solid whodunit story by Jeph Loeb, the debut of the rip-roaring Red Hulk catapulted to the top of the sales charts, ranking #1 as the best selling comic book of its month. It was a huge success for Marvel and a landmark issue that gave birth to a new Marvel legend... a legend who's appeal has still not waivered. Even after three and a half years since its debut, the Red Hulk comics continue to outsell the Green Hulk comics to this day and has built up quite an arsenal of books, posters, video game appearances, action figures, statues, t-shirts and other collectables all in his image.
History had been made. A new major character had joined the best of the Marvel Universe lore and he was here to stay. The Red Hulk cometh... and this was the issue that started it all. It's a ''must have''.