[[quoteright:275:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RedHulk_6418.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:275:Someone yell for some Kool-Aid?]]

->''"I've trashed my military career, [[LaserGuidedKarma I'm constantly being attacked by my supposed allies]], my family won't talk to me... and the only place I can be human is on a secret base with the one man I can't stand.\\
[[DeadpanSnarker I'm doing great.]]"''
-->-- '''General Ross'''

General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross was overseeing the testing of the gamma bomb when Bruce Banner raced out onto the testing grounds to save teenager Rick Jones. For Banner's pains, he was blasted with gamma radiation, turning him into [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk the Hulk]].

Ross became the Hulk's most persistent enemy, initially because of the Hulk's attacks against the U.S. Army; as time passed, it developed into something more personal, an obsession. Even as Ross sought to bring the Hulk down, he envied and coveted the power the Hulk possessed.

In the end, the death of Ross' daughter Betty at the hands of the Abomination, the Hulk's betrayal by the Illuminati, and the assassination of [[spoiler:ComicBook/CaptainAmerica]] plunged Ross into the depths of despair, where the Intelligencia, a cabal of MadScientist supervillains, found him. [[DealWithTheDevil They made Ross an offer:]] the power to "rescue" America, and the chance to have Betty brought {{back from the dead}}. He accepted, and by combining cosmic energy with gamma radiation siphoned off from the Hulk, the Intelligencia transformed him into the Red Hulk.

The Red Hulk persona first appeared in ''Hulk'' vol. 3 #1 (March, 2008), created by Creator/JephLoeb and Ed [=McGuinness=]. The Red Hulk's first mission was killing the Abomination, and from there he proceeded to run amok across the MU, [[KickTheDog kicking a lot of dogs]] and getting on the bad side of a lot of major players - culminating in his stripping Banner of the Hulk.

There was at least some method behind the rampage: the Red Hulk was working with the Intelligencia on a coup to overthrow the United States government in the hope of making a better world. Finally, his treatment at the Intelligencia's hands led him to break ranks with them, teaming with the Hulkless Bruce Banner to bring them down in ''FallOfTheHulks''.

In the end, believing he'd been let down by both sides, the Red Hulk made his own bid for power - only to be stopped by a re-Hulkified Banner. Now, even after joining the ranks of Comicbook/TheAvengers, Ross is discovering that when you become a Hulk, there are certain consequences...

!!!The Red Hulk's powers are somewhat different from the original's:
* VoluntaryShapeshifting - typically has full control over his transformation, though he sometimes reverts when he sleeps.
* SuperStrength, though he can't reach the levels Banner can.
* HealingFactor - when he sleeps or transforms.
* EnergyAbsorption and SuperSenses - able to see various forms of energy, including gamma radiation and cosmic energy, and absorb them to boost his strength. He's even able to use this on living beings, allowing him to permanently rob gamma mutates of their powers. [[spoiler:However, doing so runs the risk of burning him out, forcing him into ShapeshifterModeLock.]]

Unlike Banner, getting angry causes the Red Hulk to overheat and collapse. He also lacks Banner's SplitPersonality, retaining his identity in both forms.

Had his own title, officially taking over the ''Hulk'' series while ''Incredible Hulk'' was focused on Banner's story, up until issue 58, where the title was renamed and taken over by Red She-Hulk, his daughter Betty. The Red Hulk was further announced to be moving into a relaunched volume of the {{Thunderbolts}}, alongside other antiheroes such as SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, ComicBook/{{Elektra}}, ComicBook/{{Venom}}, and ComicBook/ThePunisher.

Ross has made frequent appearances in other Hulk-related media. The Red Hulk made his cross-media debut in ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'', and is part of the main cast in ''[[WesternAnimation/HulkAndTheAgentsOfSMASH Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.]]''. The Red Hulk is also available as an alternate skin for the Hulk in ''MarvelVsCapcom3'' and as his own playable character in ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''. He also appears as a free-roam boss fight and unlockable character in [[VideoGame/LEGOAdaptatioNGame Lego Marvel Super Heroes]].

----
!!This comicbook character provides examples of:

* AlienBlood: Following his initial transformation, Ross now has glowing yellow blood in both forms.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: The Green Hulk of course.
* AntiHero: Red Hulk is violent, almost sociopathic and trigger-happy.
* AntiVillain: [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type III]]
* {{Archenemy}}: Probably the closest thing the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk has to one.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: WordOfGod from Jeff Parker, supported later in the comic, is that the Army Air Force being currently active was intentional (in RealLife, it was abolished in 1947, replaced by the Air Force as an entirely separate arm of the military).
* BackFromTheDead: Twice, both before he ever became the Red Hulk.
** CameBackWrong: When Ross was brought back the first time, the Leader hadn't ''quite'' perfected the requisite technology... (originally he came back as a SoullessShell, which was later retconned as AndIMustScream).
* BadassGrandpa: He was in his fifties at least when he began Hulk-hunting, and that was over a decade ago in {{Comic Book Time}}.
* BadassMustache: As Ross. It disappears when he takes his Red Hulk form.
** Oddly, the mustache just instantly ''grows back'' when he becomes human.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Ross always wanted to be the Hulk. Then he got ModeLock.
* BondVillainStupidity: [[spoiler:New]] MODOK is looking to completely avert this. He knows not to underestimate anyone and is very pragmatic. He even thanks Black Fog for beating him down, reminding him to never think oneself invincible.
* BullyingADragon: He never could get it into his head that if he just ''left the Hulk alone'', there'd be far less collateral damage.
** Provoking ''Galactus'' did not end well for him either.
* ButtMonkey: Jeff Parker did his best to give Rulk what was coming to him for all the VillainSue behavior of the early issues - effectively dropping Ross' KarmaHoudiniWarranty. Unfortunately, this was not good news for anyone around Rulk...
* CreateYourOwnVillain[=/=]NiceJobBreakingItHero: Bad idea disconnecting the scientist trying to stop the Synthegraft subjects before she was done, Ross; now she's been transformed into supervillain Zero/One.
** Ross has impeded and even outright stopped Banner's attempts to cure himself of the Hulk many, many times, usually unwittingly.
* CurbStompBattle: He delivered lots of these to other heroes, before Galactus brought his winning streak to an end. After this, Rulk was on the receiving end of many.
* DarkestHour: During BillMantlo's run on ''Incredible Hulk'', Ross was faced with either owning up to releasing the Abomination against the Hulk in defiance of a Presidential pardon and being charged with treason, or committing suicide. He opted to own up. The full implications of this were overlooked by later writers, as he eventually returned to military service.
** Jeph Loeb eventually explained Ross' return to service by revealing the charges had been dropped as part of the Intelligencia's schemes.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: Ross has never been happy with Betty's relationship with Banner.
* DaydreamSurprise: The beginning of ''Hulk'' #32.
* DealWithTheDevil: Has a distinct tendency to end up making these.
* {{Determinator}}: Say what else you like about him, but Ross doesn't give up till the bitter end.
* DisproportionateRetribution: [[spoiler: In ''Comicbook/AgeOfUltron'', he brutally kills Taskmaster for attempting to escape with the parts of the Ultron drones the group acquired. It gets even worse when you realize that Taskmaster didn't have any means of fighting the Ultron drones, was shaken after witnessing Black Panther's sudden death, and the fact that ''his job was to escape with the Ultron parts!'']]
* DistaffCounterpart: Much to Ross' dismay, when the Intelligencia resurrected Betty, they turned her into the Red She-Hulk.
* DramaticIrony: General Fortean believes the Red Hulk killed Ross, and wants him dead. As such, he's unaware that the Red Hulk ''is'' Ross, or the extent to which he's following in Ross's footsteps. Ross, on the other hand, is all too aware of the irony.
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: Quite apart from the Red Hulk, there was the time Ross took over the body of {{energy being}} Zzzax. Or the time he was given the Redeemer armor.
* EnemyMine: Banner and Ross have teamed up on occasion.
* EvilCounterpart: To the Hulk, initially.
* FakingTheDead: As far as most of the world's concerned, Thunderbolt Ross is dead (in truth, it was a Life Model Decoy).
* FanNickname: Rulk, which achieved AscendedFanon status.
* FaustianRebellion: Against the Intelligencia.
* FourStarBadass: Ross himself. General Fortean also counts, although he's only two-star.
* GeneralRipper: {{Depending on the writer}}, went between this and InspectorJavert.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: As Red Hulk, Ross has glowing yellow eyes.
* {{Hammerspace}}: Creator/MarkWaid has put forth the suggestion that [[http://www.comicvine.com/news/interview-mark-waid-on-indestructible-hulk-daredevil-and-hulk-mustaches/145238/ Ross' mustache]] goes into the Negative Zone when he transforms. It has its own adventures there.
* HeelFaceTurn: He's an Avenger now.
* HenshinHero: Well, AntiHero.
* HeroicRedRingOfDeath: The angrier Red Hulk gets, the hotter he gets, until he overheats.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters
* HomeBase: Where Banner has a number of hidden bases, Ross has only one so far: Gamma Base.
* HotBlooded: Literally.
* HulkingOut: He normally chooses when to change and keeps his own mind, but when the general is poisoned it causes him to immediately hulk out and go on an unstoppable rampage.
* ILoveNuclearPower: Gamma radiation + cosmic energy = Red Hulk.
* InAnotherMansShoes: In Jeff Parker's run. Transformed into a Hulk, hunted by the U.S. Army, unable to convince them of his good intentions... Ross has ''finally'' found out what Banner was going through when Ross was leading the hunt. Whether he's actually figured that out yet is another matter - seeing the other person's perspective has never been one of his strong suits.
* InASingleBound
* InSeriesNickname: Ross was nicknamed 'Thunderbolt' by his troops because he 'struck like a thunderbolt' against their enemies.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja: Black Fog is an [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Indian cyborg serial killer ninja...]] and an all too serious threat.
* InterruptedCooldownHug: Was often the reason for this. Doesn't apply to ''him'', though, since his anger usually shorts him out.
* IWishItWereReal: PlayedForDrama. Zero/One, being [[DaydreamBeliever unable to distinguish]] between the 'real' [[SerialKiller Black Fog]], and the [[ShroudedInMyth tall stories]] that sprang up around him, 'upgrades' him into the creature of her childhood nightmares.
* JackKirby: Ross' co-creator, with StanLee.
* Creator/JephLoeb: Creator and initial writer of Red Hulk.
* {{Jerkass}}
* KickTheSonOfABitch: [[spoiler:Abomination]] most certainly had his fate coming, as weirdly-written as it may have been.
* LampshadeHanging: ''Hulk'' #30.1, [[LiteraryAllusionTitle "The Whale"]], points out Ross and Fortean's similarities to [[Literature/MobyDick Captain Ahab]], and to each other. Ross is aware of the parallels; Fortean isn't.
* LaserGuidedKarma: For decades, he has ruined Bruce's/Hulk's life. And after becoming the Red Hulk, it was Bruce who gave him a taste of his own medicine by making the public believe Ross had died as a hero. Because of this, Rulk can't ever be Ross again in public and live a normal life, or he would (like Hulk said) hang for treason for his crimes as Rulk.
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: Ross and Banner, following the Compound Hulk incident.
* MadScientist: Zero/One presents herself as rational and efficient - but to outside observers, she's a mad scientist with no sense of ethics who's unable to distinguish fiction from reality.
* MagicPants: Although Ross' are black, rather than purple.
* MilitaryBrat: Ross' family has been in the military at least since the AmericanCivilWar.
* MuggleBestFriend: Jacob's an unusual variant of this: he's the MBF for Zero/One, a villain. He's not exactly thrilled about it.
** Jacob is incredibly afraid of Zero/One. So much so that he refused her offer for synthetic skin graft transplants on his horrifically burned body.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: At one point, gets briefly possessed by both the Comicbook/{{Venom}} symbiote and the [[Comicbook/GhostRider Spirit of Vengeance]], turning him into a gamma-mutated symbiotic red colored [[FourStarBadass General]] of vengeance. [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120302171745/marveldatabase/images/b/bd/Thaddeus_Ross_%28Earth-616%29_as_Ghost_Rider.JPG It looks]] every bit as awesome as it sounds.
** He then [[RoyalWe manages to]] [[HulkSpeak combine all]] [[{{Revenge}} three voice tics]] into one epic line.
-->'''Venom Rulk Rider''' "Wwe am smassh for venggeance!"
* NotSoDifferent: Subverted with Ross and Fortean. Ross attempts to point this out to warn Fortean off his mission to kill Red Hulk but, well, the Hulks have never been known for their good fortune...
* NotSoStoic: When it comes to his family.
* OldSoldier: A rare officer version.
* PapaWolf: For all Ross' faults, he's fiercely protective of his daughter Betty. One of the reasons he hunted the Hulk so obsessively is because he felt Betty's relationship with Banner would endanger her... and he was arguably right. [[spoiler: Not to mention that right after becoming the Red Hulk, he tracked down the Abomination, who had killed her, and murdered him.]]
* PlayingWithFire: When he starts to overheat, it's quite literal, as his body puts out a extreme amount of heat hot enough to melt some of the sand in a desert he was in.
* {{Pride}}: Probably Ross's defining feature, for better and worse.
* PsychoRangers: Headed up the Offenders, an EvilCounterpart team to ComicBook/TheDefenders.
* ReluctantRetiree: All Ross has known has been military service. Once he was unable to go back, he was at a loss for what to do with himself.
* RememberTheNewGuy: General Fortean, who used to be one of Ross' subordinates in his Hulk-hunting days.
* {{Revenge}}: Ross has been on both sides of this, but perhaps the most impressive example is Uatu the Watcher retaliating for Ross punching him in the face by launching what may be the most passive-aggressive revenge schemes ever, courtesy of the {{Alien Non-Interference Clause}}.
* RevengeBeforeReason: Ross' desire to take down the Hulk took him down some very dark paths in the past.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: The Life Model Decoys at Gamma Base, who are aware of their nature, and serve as Ross's supporting cast.
* SecretIdentity: If Ross ever tries pulling a BackFromTheDead, Banner will publicly reveal he's the Red Hulk... and given that he tore up the White House, that isn't going to go down well.
* [[spoiler:ShapeshifterModeLock: Red Hulk's EnergyAbsorption abilities are set to force this sooner or later. General Fortean implanted him with nano-mines set to go off when he turned human, but he managed to get them deactivated.]]
* ShockwaveClap: Comes with the Hulk territory.
* ShootingSuperman: When it came to the Hulk, this was generally his Plan A.
* SmugSuper
* StanLee: Ross' co-creator, with JackKirby.
* SupernaturallyDeliciousAndNutritious: Vampires ''love'' snacking on his blood.
* TheDragon: Black Fog ''was'' this to Zero/One's EvilGenius, before being released from her control. He considers his 'debt' to her - for freeing him, and for the pain she inflicted on him - paid.
* TheInsomniac: Type D, superpowered. Red Hulk is able to go for long stretches without sleep... but even he needs to sleep eventually. It's very bad news when Fortean infected him with nanites that would kill him if he turned human, which he does whenever he sleeps. Ironically, this prevented Ross from taking the opportunity to show Fortean that Rulk and Ross are one and the same.
* TheStoic: Ross allows himself few displays of emotion beyond anger. The Red Hulk's a different matter.
* TwoBeingsOneBody: The Compound Hulk in ''Hulk'' #30.
* TwoFirstNames
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Ross has always been one of these.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman:
** On the one hand, Ross is rather uncomfortable with the Life Model Decoys' nature; on the other, they're human enough he often acts as he would around flesh-and-blood humans.
** It turns out [[spoiler:these [=LMDs=] dissolve when they're destroyed; they can't be repaired. Like humans, they only have one life.]]
** [[spoiler:Ross eventually enters [[{{Robosexual}} a relationship with Annie]]. ]]

----