Hulk #1 Review (Retro)

As promised, I’ll begin my retro-reviews with Hulk #1 (expect #2 and #3 in the next week… and I will continue current reviews from Hulk #4 where I ended up beginning… eh, confused yet?). Enjoy, and be sure to check out the ‘Comic Reviews’ section to check for updates. Oh, and as always, these reviews contain many SPOILERS, you have been warned!

Rather than beginning in real time, the issue starts with Doc Samson recounting the story of a murder, specifically the murder of the Abomination. First of all, Samson has short hair now, wears a black shirt instead of his trademark red, and has sideburns (his hair is still green)… Playing the role of Sherlock, with She-Hulk as Watson, the two act out the events of the murder, the “story” shows a green hulk, or more accurately the flashbacks are in shades of green. Apparently this Hulk attacked the Abomination head on, beat him to a pulp, and then finished him off with an extra large revolver type weapon! He also leveled the surrounding village (this all take place in a town named Dimitri, Russia, 100 miles from Odessa).

At the end of the flashbacks we go to back to Samson, surrounded by She-Hulk, General Ross, Iron Man, and one Commander Hill from S.H.I.E.L.D. Ross scoffs at the theory at first, but Samson reminds everyone that this creature is also leaving a trail of Gamma radiation, and is so hot his footsteps are turning the sand into glass (!). The decision is made to exhume the remains of the slaughtered Abomination, when…

The Winter Guard shows up! As a fan of Iron Man, especially the Busiek era, I always loved this nationalistic, Avengers-esque team of Russian superheroes. Consisting of (this time around at least), the Russian Captain America copy – Red Guardian (even has the shield!), Ursa Major the giant bear… thing, Darkstar, and my favorite the armor suited Iron Man rival – Crimson Dynamo. By the way, She-Hulk does ask why Darkstar and Red Guardian have come back from the dead, and Iron Says they’ve been replaced (Eh… what?). McGuinness does do an outstanding job depicting the group though. They have come to retrieve the body of the Abomination, Emil Blonsky. Of course the S.H.I.E.L.D. party and the Winter Guard can’t get along, and after Samson get’s into it with Red Guardian, he  starts the ensuing battle with a punch to Red Guardian. Ursa Major and She-Hulk square off, Iron Man is paired with Crimson dynamo, amd Samson takes on the Red Guardian. The fight is about even with, and I say that cautiously… the S.H.I.E.L.D. group does appear to have the advantage but the combat ends abruptly with Ross shooting his gun into the air, and announcing that there is a lone survivor, a witness of the murder, and it is a child. To everyone’s shock, the kid repeatedly says “Red” in Russian!

Flash to Alaska, where a post-transformation (shredded pants, no shirt) Rick Jones is struggling through the snow, only to come across a heavily damaged  oil pipeline, to which he says “Rick Jones… What’ve you gotten yourself into this time?!”

Back to Samson, who is now alone with Ross in a Jeep and entering Gamma Base, (take note that they are both are required to pass several retina/body/etc. security scans to get into the Base).  The checkpoints end at…  the cell of Prisoner #113, Bruce Banner! “I was wondering when you were going to ask for my help…” is the final words of the issue, coming from Banner of course. He looks great, especially the round glasses, and he is in a glass cell, so you can see the reflections of Ross and Samson on the final page. It then ends with a “WHO IS THE RED HULK?” and “To Be Continued”.


  • Writing 8/10 (A mystery is a great, even if commonly used by Loeb, idea.. Samson makes a great detective)
  • Art 8/10 (EDEX, or McGuinness and Vines… are just a great team, the perfect collaboration for a new Hulk!)
  • Cover 10/10 (A PLETHORA of variants are available, five at my last count, plus ten originals from an auction at Wizard World, great for collectors, and all the artists do an excellent job with their various interpretations)

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July 2008

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