Posted by RedHulk (118 posts) - - Show Bio

HULK Issue # 39

In HULK Issue #39 "The Stand-In", General Thaddeus Ross revisits his past... and shows a side of humanity rarely seen by the man as rigid as the military code of conduct he has so long lived by.  

It's all spurred on by the need of finding a new safe base camp, one that his growing arsenal of enemies (M.O.D.O.K., General Fortean, Zero-One, Black Fog) are completely unaware of.   The Red Hulk's answer to that need is finding refuge in his childhood home, a now rundown and abandoned farm.   As one would expect, upon his arrival, old memories flood the General's thoughts.   He feels compelled to share, something Annie (his only friend) is more than willing to embrace.   Ross' tender reminiscing ends abruptly though when the all-powerful cosmic Omegex finally catches up with the Red Hulk and attempts to annihilate the crimson giant once and for all.  

Enter the Omegex

Writer Jeff Parker delightfully pens a story full of charm as Ross strolls down memory lane.   It's touching to see the L.M.D. Annie so eager to listen to the tales of a man she is essentially programmed to accompany.   They are clearly fond of each other... Annie so pleased to watch Ross finally enjoying himself... and Ross so apologetic for going on so much about his deceased wife... something one would typically do in concern of offending a new girlfriend.   Is their bond only friendship?   Or is their budding relationship developing into something more?   It's all a joy to watch unfold.

There are some quibbles one could make regarding the logic of the story.   Why would Ross, being so concerned with hiding his identity in an effort to keep his great military record untarnished, select the family Ross home as a hideout?   Isn’t that a place that can easily expose his identity if discovered hiding there?   And the Omegex (who surprisingly doesn't seem that far removed from a common enemy or deserving of the "walking apocalypse" readers were excitingly teased with) why would the cosmic killer be wasting valuable time hiding is his barn waiting to sneak attack?   Would such a destructive beast concern itself with the element of surprise and wait in the shadows (a tactic more suitable for the likes of Black Fog) after blatantly looking for the Rulk out in the open months before?   Wouldn't such a creation lock in on his target and drive menacingly forward until grasped?

Those problematic details aside, Jeff Parker still more than delivers a great issue as well does artist Gabriel Hardman.  While I'm not a fan of his Red Hulk interpretation, everything else (especially the environment) is drawn extremely well. Hardman’s art always has a classic style that fits very well in an issue filled with flashbacks of our favorite General.

4 out of 5 Stars 

A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog 

#1 Posted by Kallarkz (3389 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice review. 
This was the first Red Hulk issue that I have picked up and I did enjoy it. 
I was hoping for there to be a bit more action in it but I got a bit of my fill of it at the end. 
I might continue with it

#2 Posted by RedHulk (118 posts) - - Show Bio
Hope you do continue with it Kallarkz because yeah, Jeff Parker has been knocking the Red Hulk stories out of the park. 
If you want to catch up on some back issues, you won't have to go back too far.  HULK Issue 30.1 is a good starting point.  That was one of the issues that featured the Marvel: Point One initiative, where Marvel created jumping on points for new readers in already existing series.  
Thanks for the good feedback! 

#3 Posted by Maroushka (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Excellent review. It's nice to find someone else who isn't crazy about Hardman's Hulk, as most reviews rave about his art. I just don't see it. The Red Hulk was built on these blockbuster action splash pages that Ed McGuinness is so good at, and Hardman doesn't do much in the way of big splash pages.  
I also enjoyed the mention of "the Walking Apocalypse" kind of just...standing in the back of a barn. I laughed when I read the comic and I laughed reading your review. It was a very anti-climatic start to a long teased fight, but we'll see where the next two issues take us. Decent issue, fun to read. Cheers. 

#4 Posted by RedHulk (118 posts) - - Show Bio
Maroushka, thanks for the good words, and you are so right.  Most reviewers do praise Hardman's artwork in the HULK, but I don't see it either.  I can recognize he is a talented artist, and I can appreciate his work, but his rendition of the Rulk always appeared balloonish to me (if that makes any sense).  A sort of Red Michelin Man.  I for one will not be missing his departure in a couple months. 
Now while he's no Ed McGuinness, I'm hoping Patrick Zircher will stay on as the lead artist for a while.  I like the work he did in the upcoming Issue # 42 "Hulk of Arabria". 
Are we done here General?
And yep... Omegex's entrance is pretty hilarious.  "Where's the Walking Apocalypse?"  "Oh he's hiding in the barn, by that bushel of hay..."  lol :)
#5 Posted by Maroushka (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Yep, I'm looking forward to Zircher. His Hulk doesn't "wow" me to a huge degree like Pagulayan's recent Red Hulk does, but his Hulk has dense definition and doesn't seem bloated and balloon-like as you said.  I enjoy almost every character Hardman draws *except* the Hulk. His run has made for an interesting year of following this title. I've just done the best I can to move past my problems with his Red Hulk and just enjoy the comic. 

#6 Posted by RedHulk (118 posts) - - Show Bio
Yeah, Pagulayan's Red Hulk was awesome. 

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