10 Thoughts Review on Hulk #25 by Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman

1. Jeff Parker takes over for Jeph Loeb as he tries to make Rulk an interesting character.  It’s an uphill battle, but this book is at least interesting and forth following.  Way to go Jeff.

2. In this issue, we have Bruce Banner and Steve Rogers trying to rehab “Thunderbolt” Ross and the Rulk into a soldier rather than a general.  The slow changing of Ross due to captivity and a sensory depravation chamber really make the character interesting and give me something to look to for future arcs.

3.  The logic behind Ross not simply turning human again, that he got a truly great sendoff when the world thought he was dead and it can’t get any better, is absolutely top notch and utterly neccessary as it covers the most obvious way out for Rulk.

4. Not being able to absorb energy anymore, as the Leader and MODOK (who doesn’t love MODOK!? I’ll brain ya!) coalition made it so that that would kill him is another nice, logical cover.

5. Ross hating Banner, but grudgingly respecting, while not being willing to follow Steve Rogers is right in character.  A general learning to follow orders is interesting.  I wonder if Parker can rehab Rulk enough to make him a valuable field leader for a team one day.  He clearly has the strategic mind.

6. The first Rulk mission where he has to fight weird bio robots that spread through touch is really well-handled with his bravado, as is Iron Man whupping on him to prove a point, but I don’t buy Tony not being aware these things spread through touch and having countermeasures prepared.

7. The art here is just standard “Heroic Age” Marvel fair. I’d like to see a bit more experimentation here, but it’s by no means anything less than good.

8. I’m not a fan of the Rick Jones A-Bomb story mostly because I hate Rick Jones as A-Bomb.  I’m a big Jones fan, but this is an unneeded and hopefully very temporary phase for the character.  He’s interesting as the human who rises above his circumstance.  I get the potential in having him be an unstoppable monster, but if he’s unstoppable, he loses his original appeal.

9. Rulk is reportedly going to be an Avenger… and I just don’t buy him on the main team, although he might fit Secret (which sucks anyway).

10. <b>Rating: 7/10</b> – This is a good comic and great transition to making Rulk interesting.  Ross’ issues with the authority of others and great power are an interesting interplay, especially when Rogers more than Banner is who he’s set against.  I’ll be getting this for at least another few months and it’s looking like this book will find its way to my pull list.

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