Such a consistently good books it's easy to overlook
Month-in and month-out (and sometimes multiple times in one month), Jeff Parker's Hulk remains, as ever, a thoroughly good read. It's got its weak moments ("Hulk of Arabia" ended pretty poorly and "Planet Red Hulk" was a misfire), but both here it is returning to its home territory: actually getting back to dealing with the initial storyline that is repeatedly interrupted by unrelated diversions. As we return to dealing with the threat that is Zero/One, the title instantly becomes much more interesting than it has been for the past few issues (though those issues were still decent). Considering how powerful Zero/One is and what the monumental things she's managed to accomplish since we checked in with her last, it's a bit far fetched that Red Hulk's handlers (and the Marvel Universe at large) has turned a blind eye to her for so long, but... well, this is comics and she's Red Hulk's villain and nobody else's, so you know how these things work. Just enjoy the ride.
Luckily, letting go of being bothered by the little things and just enjoying what this title has to offer is quite easy. As ever, the character work in this issue is strong, and it looks like the book has retained the services of Machine Man as a regular member of the cast, which is a delight (though he's not Warren Ellis' foulmouthed Machine Man of "Nextwave", but I'll make do).
Fill-in artist Elena Casagrande returns, and much like last time she was here, her style (or perhaps a doctored version of it) fits the overall style of this book set by regular/originator artist Gabriel Hardman to a T. Hardman seems to have been moved over to Secret Avengers (which I'm really looking forward to), so I'm not sure who's going to be the regular artist on this book. I's be fine with Casagrande becoming the regular artist. I recall being a bit more impressed with her work on this book last time she was on board as her work on M.O.D.O.K was quite stunning, so I know she has it in her to make this book pop if she sticks around.
This is a strange issue. In a superhero book, you expect a final page reveal to be a big emotional beat or a surprise arrival or big attack from a recognizable villain. While there is a recognizable (within the pages of this title) villain at the heart of this issue, the final page reveal of Red Hulk and Machine Man about to be swarmed by random monsters she's created just feels odd. It's not a bad thing, though it does feel a bit inconsequential (as we all know how this will play out). Still, it feels like something a less quirky book wouldn't try, and this book has always (since Parker took over) done an admirable job of blazing its own trail.