Review by Alex DeLarge
â€œRed Light, Green Lightâ€
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Ed McGuinness
The fight continues from the previous issue where Red Hulk was dominating the new A-Bomb, who is absent from this issue. And our favorite Green Hulk, the one we all know and love, shows up to start a new rumble. The match up is so important that it seems The Watcher has come to see the fight, but unfortunately he got a little too close to the action than I am sure he wanted. The fight between Hulk and Red Hulk takes center stage except for two critical moments: the reveal of the identity of the Red Hulk from the perspective of Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. and the introduction of a new challenger. It seems Doctor Sampson has a lot of explaining to do and THOR JOINS THE BRAWL!
This is decompression at its finest, folks. Every issue up until this point has had its own little tent pole: #1 is intro and secondary characters, #2 is Red Hulk, #3 is A-Bomb, #4 is Hulk fight, and it seems #5 is Thor fight and #6 is Hulk fight redux. This is going at a pretty slow pace made more painfully obvious by the titleâ€™s erratic publishing schedule. Thankfully they revealed the identity of the Red Hulk this issue. I donâ€™t think I could have waited much longer in limbo on that information; hopefully it is not a red herring. I think the idea of an arch-villain Red Hulk is fresh and interesting and I am enjoying myself witnessing Red Hulkâ€™s path of destruction. The main issues I have are the regression of the Hulk character, and the obviously juvenile dialogue, which as I will explain, might not be issues at all.The art so far is simply gorgeous. I have always loved Ed McGuiness art. Nothing has changed about that. And then you have Ed McGuiness drawing my favorite character? I am in heaven! At first I was apprehensive over the plethora of double-page action shots, but in retrospect, the double-page action shots may be appropriate for a title like Hulk whose primary focus is on action, fun, and not a lot of deep thinking.
As for the regression of the Hulk, it is simply a matter of a big wig like Loeb coming to a well-known character(s) and doing whatever he wants and continuity and others be damned. This really does aggravate me. It is not that I am opposed to the dumb Hulk, which the Hulk of this issue obviously is, but it is just the idea of regression I am opposed to. Either convincingly explain the regression or you should have never committed to the idea of Planet Hulk and WWH to begin with. Going back to the idea of â€œother writers be damnedâ€ Loeb should explain how Thor got wind of this altercation between Hulks. Maybe itâ€™s just a pet-peeve of mine, but I prefer tight plotting. Should a title like Hulk even have tight plotting, though? I am not entirely sure, maybe I am wrong here. I mean if you have to go and explain everything the title no longer becomes action-packed and fun, and instead becomes another Iron Man: DoS where more time is spent talking than doing.
Lastly, the other critique is the juvenile dialogue, but again is that something that shouldnâ€™t be far from a Hulk comic? Maybe Loeb has this thing totally nailed down and it is just readers like me that need to take some time to get acclimated to the way things should be after the more thoughtful Hulk of previous arcs. Maybe my feelings will coalesce in a couple of issue, until then I cannot give you more definitive answers except to say that this series is action-packed, beautiful, and a whole lot of fun to read.
Posted originally: 2008-06-26 12:36:45