Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Hulk (2008)
aka: Red Hulk

Go To

Hulk is a 2008 series by Marvel Comics comic launched in the aftermath of World War Hulk. Initially written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Ed McGuinness, the series ran for 57 issues, with Jeff Parker taking over with issue #25. After issue #57 the series was retooled to Red She-Hulk.

After the events of World War Hulk, a new red-colored hulk has appeared.

Hulk (2008) provides examples of:

  • Alien Blood: The Red Hulk has glowing yellow blood.
  • Anti-Hero: Red Hulk is violent, almost sociopathic and trigger-happy.
  • Asshole Victim: Abomination most certainly had his fate coming, as weirdly-written as it may have been.
  • Broken Record: The little girl who survived the Red Hulk / Abomination fight can only say "red" to herself over and over again.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Banner, after getting the gamma drained out of him by Red Hulk. This might actually have been worse than leaving him all Hulk-y, since, without the threat of turning into the Hulk all the time, Bruce could come up with some very nasty ideas. It got to the point Norman Osborn tried to re-expose him to some gamma because he considered the Hulk easier to deal with.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jeff Parker did his best to give Rulk what was coming to him for all the behavior of the early issues - effectively dropping Ross' Karma Houdini Warranty. Unfortunately, this was not good news for anyone around Rulk...
  • Catchphrase: Under Loeb, Red Hulk was prone to yelling "I'm my own man, my own monster!"
  • Character Death: Clay Quartermain, a long time supporting SHIELD agent, is killed in a Red Hulk attack.
  • Clueless Mystery: Red Hulk's identity is revealed in issue #22. In the meantime, there's numerous fake-outs, switches, and unreveals as to just who this new Hulk might be, over and over again. Same with Red She-Hulk.
  • Create Your Own Villain/Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: 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.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Red Hulk 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: 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.
  • Energy Absorption: The Red Hulk can absorb various forms of energy, including gamma radiation and cosmic energy, to boost his strength. He's even able to use this on living beings, allowing him to permanently rob gamma mutates of their powers.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • The Red Hulk, to the Hulk, initially.
    • Red She-Hulk is the to She-Hulk.
    • The Red Hulk also forms a counterpart to the Defenders consisting of himself, Baron Mordo, Terrax and Tiger Shark, called the Offenders.
  • Gathering Steam: Averted. Unlike Banner, getting angry causes the Red Hulk to overheat and collapse.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Red Hulk has glowing yellow eyes.
  • Groin Attack: She-Hulk delivers a glorious one to Red Hulk, after realizing he wasn't her cousin, meaning she didn't have to hold back.
  • Heroic Red Ring of Death: The angrier Red Hulk gets, the hotter he gets, until he overheats.
  • Hero Killer: The Red Hulk murdered Clay Quartermain, a long time supporting SHIELD agent.
  • The Insomniac: 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.
  • It's Personal: One of the first clues (and genuine clues) about Rulk's identity is the sheer devastation around his fight with the Abomination, leading Samson to note it was clearly something very personal.
  • Knockout Gas: Bruce is in a prison where if he ever tried escaping, his room would flood with gas. What the people who made the cell didn't count on was Bruce being able to hold his breath long enough to hulk out.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Issue #30.1, "The Whale", points out Ross and Fortean's similarities to Captain Ahab, and to each other. Ross is aware of the parallels; Fortean isn't.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Red Hulk's identity is a big mystery in Jeph Loeb's run. Not so much anymore, given a lot of merch and adaptations are pretty clear about just who Rulk is when he's not hulked out.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Iron Man, She-Hulk and Doc Samson are investigating the Abomination's murder when the Winter Guard shows up and tell them to buzz off. She-Hulk, a trained lawyer, starts a fight for no real reason. Only the fact that a little girl shows up to distract both parties stops Jennifer from starting a potential international incident.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Red Hulk tries doing this in issue #2, pretending to be more bestial than regular Hulk, but Iron Man points out it doesn't work, since he already knows this Hulk is intelligent enough to use a gun.
  • Red Is Violent: The Red Hulk is even more ravaging than Hulk himself.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Red Hulk is Thunderbolt Ross.
    • Rick Jones, last seen at the end of World War Hulk being impaled by Miek, turns up alive... and then he turns into a new Abomination.
    • Issue #6 has it turn out Samson has turned evil and knows who the Red Hulk is.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Red Hulk's Energy Absorption 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.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The Red Hulk berates the Savage Hulk as a "brainless coward" who doesn't have what it takes to beat a ruthless opponent who will stop at nothing to win. The Hulk bites back with this:
    Hulk: Red Hulk thinks Hulk is stupid. Red Hulk hurts everybody. Red Hulk likes to kill. Red Hulk is bad Hulk. Green Hulk stops Red Hulk here!
  • Snap Back: Over the previous few years in Incredible Hulk, a new Hulk persona called the Green Scar had shown up, far more of a Genius Bruiser than the typical Hulk. In the early issues, Bruce goes back to turning into the Savage Hulk without comment (in World War Hulks, Greg Pak explained it as the Green Scar being sealed away in Bruce's mind).
  • Two Beings, One Body: The Compound Hulk in Hulk #30.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: When the Red Hulk starts overheating, the heat is extreme enough to melt sand, let alone the effects it can have on his opponent.
  • The Worf Effect: Issue #1 has a particularly egregious version, wherein the Abomination is shot to death by the new Red Hulk to establish how dangerous it is.

Alternative Title(s): Red Hulk