Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Grilled Cheese Chronicles - Red She-Hulk


Welcome to a new column here in the Weekly Crisis, called the Grilled Cheese Chronicles! Sometimes I come across things in the comic book world that really get my inner fanboy raging, and there's only way to calm myself down: grilled cheeses! The angrier I get, the more grilled cheeses I demand from my mother to quieten me and stop my rantings. The final verdict on whatever cause me to rant is decided on a scale of one through five grilled cheese rants. One grilled cheese is for indifference, two means small amounts of rage, three translates to mild rage, four stands for great rage, and five grilled cheeses is what it takes to stop me from vomiting-blood levels of rage.

Today's topic is: Red She-Hulk!

Ahh, Red She-Hulk, because one different colored version of an established character was not enough. Many face-palms were heard around the world when this was announced, and to this day I am cringing on what this character is going to bring to the Marvel Universe at large. To say this character looks and feels stupid is an understatement. Hit the jump as I take a closer look at the new gamma-powered lady.



Meet She-Hulk, The Third



Let's start with the obvious: do we really need a new She-Hulk? There's already the original flavor, Jennifer Walters, which is a pretty interesting character if of itself and had her own ongoing series that was canceled last year. Another She-Hulk (the All-New All-Savage kind) called Lyra, introduced not very long ago, a character from the future that decided to stay in the present that had her own mini series and will now be appearing as back-ups in the pages of Incredible Hulk.


I guess if we follow logic, since the Red Hulk is villain, so is going to be the new Red She-Hulk, at least to give readers something different. Look, I'm all for creating new and original characters, but creating evil versions of established characters by just giving them a color-swap and (in this case) a change of clothes is far from original. It's sad when I have to be specifying what color-version of a character I'm talking about.


It's Raining Hulks



Not to mention the fact that there's already a bunch of gamma-powered beings running around the Marvel Universe. If we are to believe upcoming images, there's at least seven variations of the Hulk. Seriously, here is the whole list of Hulk-type characters:


Hulk (Bruce Banner, although from what I hear he was unpowered recently. Let's see how long that lasts. )
Red Hulk (Unknown)
A-Bomb (Rick Jones. Yes, that Rick Jones)
She-Hulk (Jessica Walters)
Savage She-Hulk (Lyra)
Red She-Hulk (Unknown)
Savage Hulk (Skaar, the son of Hulk)


And that's without counting either Doc Samson or the OTHER son that Hulk has (currently appearing in the pages of Son of Hulk), or older villains like The Leader and Abomination. If this trends continue, Marvel will need to have a "House of Hulk" event where the Scarlet Witch says "No more Hulks" just to downsize the amount of Hulks running around. Although the upcoming World War Hulks (yes, plural) may possibly take care of that.


Personally, I think it also robs the uniqueness of the character to have so many other characters that have the exact same power-set. Imagine if there were a bunch of Spider-Men running around New York City, only with slightly different costumes and personalities fighting against each other. If that sounds familiar to you, it's because you read The Clone Saga.


Anyway, Red She-Hulk just happens to be the latest one in that line, but she also has something else working against her...


The Bad Girl Look



Seriously. Look at that thing. It covers only slightly more than what Witchblade wears, except that it is somehow made of magic fabric that tears only in the non-questionable areas (must be the same material as Hulk's purple pants). I know what you are thinking, this could be just a promotional image, showing when she transforms and breaks her clothing. While I agree that COULD be, the other artwork that we have of her has her wearing the same outfit. Look...


I don't want to sound like a total nerd when I say this, but if that is indeed her final costume, it just looks completely not functional. This is not a "Batman couldn't carry all that in his belt!" complain, but rather a "how is that thing not going to fall apart in the middle of the inevitable fight she is going to get in" one. I have a feeling this will end up being like Supergirl's outfit, where artists will have to dance around the fact that Red She-Hulk's clothes are constantly falling off her body.


On the other hand, I'm sure teenage boys around will want to buy this book. And that's always a good thing, right?


Code Red


The color of the character is equivalent to a venomous frog's skin pigmentation, telling me to stay away as far as I can. And I plan to do just that, but it still annoys me to see a character that could have easily been conceived in the heyday of the excesses of the early 90' be created almost 15 years later. For all I know, I could be very wrong, and Red She-Hulk is going to be an extremely compelling character with her own unique characteristics that sets her apart from all the other Hulk-related characters, but that sounds very unlikely.


And you are probably thinking "But Matt, you don't read the RULK title anyway!", and you would be right. If the character stayed in the Hulk title, then this wouldn't be that big of a deal but I also have a feeling that won't happen. Red Hulk has started to slowly bleed into other titles, and even appeared as part of the Marvel 75th Anniversary variant covers. Not just on the variant cover, but on the outline around it...



Grilled Cheese Count


3 Grilled Cheeses
to quieten my mild rage. A lot of the rage stems from frustration that such a seemingly ill-conceived character, with a lot of the worst qualities that plagued the previous two decades of comics, is getting such a big promotional push from Marvel.


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32 comments:

brandon said...

at this point I would rather have a third colored hulk - grey preferably than another She-Hulk. any way you cut this its messy.

Klep said...

I ask again, why does Jeph Loeb still have work?

Ryan Schrodt said...

Personally I'm looking forward to the greedy orange Hulk (Orulk) and the compassionate indigo Hulk (Indulk), though once they hit the undead black Hulk (Bulk), they'll have jumped the shark.

Kirk Warren said...

@Ryan - Behold! I give you Rainbow Hulk! The only one capable of stopping the impending Blackest Hulk.

PMMJ said...

So we still don't know who Red Hulk is? And they expect us to care when we do find out? I was more curious about Mutant Zero than this kerfluffle.

Andrenn said...

Only 3? I'd give this a 10. I absolutely despise this design and new character. I refuse to believe a grown man designed this. Now if little Tom the 13 year old boy who can't get dates designed this then maybe I'd understand but no grown man could look at this and think "Yep, that's a solid design"

Zdenko said...

AS for the identity of Red She-Hulk there are 2 options: Thundra. Or Victoria Hand. You can see that she's in Dark Reign-The List: Hulk in pretty much the same outfit as that busted abomination of a costume. Hopefully, Wolverine will splice off the heads of both Red pretenders.

Primewax said...

Pfft. I'm just gona keep reading Herc and stay away from post-WWH Bruce or Jenn adventures. And that sucks, because She-Hulk is awesome. Maybe Red She-Hulk will take over the monthly, and Jenn can go back to the Fantastic Four where she belongs.

smkedtky said...

I know I'm in the minority here but, for what it is, I've been enjoying the Red Hulk stories (except for the name Rulk). Yes, they are ridiculous and border on (and often cross the border of) bad fan fiction but I think that it is a case of being so bad (for me) that it's come back to good, again. It's losing legs and can't go on forever but at least its fun. Likewise, Jeph Loeb (and I'm not defending him, his work hits both ends of the spectrum and speacks for itself) doesn't take himself too seriously here. The book is mindless but I can't say that I'm not entertained (and after 20+ years, I have definitely read worse HULK stories than this).

Flip The Page said...

If it weren't for the follow-on "she-hulks" comic coming out after world war hulks I could probably live with red she-hulk (we got an abbrev yet? she-rulk?). But the second there's a change of her stupidity being constantly in the face of my favourite hulk (Lyra) it makes me have a coronary from endless grilled cheeses.

Van said...

I don't disagree with you at all. Judging from the cover of Hulk #15, I wonder if that's Elektra? Could be... well, it'll be ^&%#ing stupid either way I suppose.

Kirk Warren said...

@Flip the Page - hard to say what to call her. We already have a red skinned She-Hulk, but she goes by the name of She-Hulk, making me confused over what to call She-Hulk. Ya, the Hulk lined is so messed up right now.

Matt Ampersand said...

@Ryan: There already is an Indigo Hulk, but it was called The Infraggable Krunk, and he appeared in The Justice Friends bits of Dexter Labs.

And there's also the upcoming SMASH! by Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld, who is basically the PURLK (Purple Hulk)

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/preview2.php?image=solicits/imagecomics/200904-advance/smash_cvr.jpg

@Kirk: Haha, that's an awesome image.

@PMMJ: Man, I'm still disappointed with the Mutant Zero reveal. But I'm sure once they finally decide to reveal who RULK is, it'll be pretty stupid too.

@Andrenn: It's 3 on a scale of 5

@Primewax: I don't see She-Hulk coming back to the FF any time soon. I loved the Byrne issues when she was part of the team though.

@Van: You know, I didn't even want to mention the Elektra bit, because that's just too stupid an idea. But the thought had crossed my mind...

smkedtky said...

...and lets not forget the Bulk from NEXTWAVE.
PS - Please tell me that SMASH project w/ Loeb/Liefeld is a joke...please?

Ryan K Lindsay said...

This whole thing just screams meh to me, but then I don't think there are many great Hulk stories to be told. I think he would work better as a guest star and stuff, and he will definitely never get an Iron Man or TDK level movie, sadly, him and the Punisher just aren't made for the flicks.

I'm also glad this didn't devolve into major Loeb bashing. I don't get the vitriolic hate. Sure, he produced some dreck, but does he not have enough credits built up from Long Halloween, DD: Yellow, Hush, or the classic movie Commando. Again, none of that is perfect, but man people spew hate for his blood. It escapes me, too many people HATE comics creators. It's funny/weird/scary.

I don't read Hulk, but I don't see how they'll make the Rulk reveal interesting.

Primewax said...

I don't hate Loeb. Quite the contrary, he made me like Superman again with Superman for All Seasons and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. But sometimes he comes in and rethinks a frachise into the toilet.

As far as the outfit goes, in the original Red She-Hulk article on CBR, Loeb states that "We worked a long time on what it is that she wears because we didn't want her to be wearing what Jen wears, and we didn't want her to be wearing a white torn shirt. What she has on is very specific." I wonder how long that brainstorming session lasted.

Matt Ampersand said...

@smkedtky: If it is a joke, no one has gotten it yet.

Daryll B. said...

If you told me 3 years ago that I'd respect Audrey Loeb with her "Blue" Hulk vignettes in MiniMarvels more than Jeph Loeb's Hulk work in the main universe, I would have laughed at them.

But look 3 years later and here I am...sigh...

Can I throw my hands up in frustration now and ask this be put in the "Parody" section?

My Grilled Cheese just went bad over this....

btownlegend said...

This is why normal people feel comics are for kids.

Flip The Page said...

@Matt Liefeld knows just how to screw up when he's on the upswing. I've actually been appreciating him lately with his 'actually pretty' youngblood stuff and then he throws out something as horrifying as that. Perhaps I can blame Jeph Loeb, eternal crap-pile of comicdom (well outside of Hush kinda)

Bill said...

Hmm it's ice cream sandwiches for me. In fact, those are a regular feature of my poker games for when you take a really bad beat.

But I'm with Ryan on the "I don't think there are many great Hulk stories to be told" thing. The Hulk fans I know just kinda like to see a pissed off strong guy break stuff.

KaraokeFanboy said...

I thought World War Hulk was great, up until the last page when I realized I'd been hosed into a launching pad for spin-offs. Whatever's happening now, I don't care, and that's the worst casualty of that war.

cubman987 said...

It looks to me like she is wearing Domino's outfit....

Primewax said...

I think Brian Clevinger, writer of Atomic Robo, has the best Hulk variant in his 8-bit Theater webcomic:

"Sulk no feel pretty. Sulk go listen to The Cure."

Anonymous said...

The Red She-Hulk just looks like Purgtori without wings.

Anonymous said...

Red She-Hulk is Domino. When she appeared at the end of Hulk 15, her torn clothing is extremely similar to Domino's outfit (look at the zipper that runs all the way down). She also shows up holding Domino's from the bar splash page.

Not conclusive proof but enough to make the leap.

mrpeepants said...

looks like Empowered suit.

Anonymous said...

red she - hulk is domino so i guess theres gonna be a lot more sites like this one in the future , what i dont get is the complaint of "too many hulks " has anybody read x-men lately ? they're like 500 x-men now & more on the way cause of the current necrosha storline . i rather like what marvel is doing right now by blending all the characters together we are getting to see some rather interesting battles that werent done before ..thor vs doctor doom ...x-men vs norman osborn(green goblin) ..heck even banner (who i always thought as a wuss) training skaar by taking on ALL his old enimies . this whats its all about ...you have to keep the ideas coming sure you gonna have a few stinkers but something gotta come out of all this work . the "siege" storyline is coming up soon & marvel promises to tie most of whats going on up so let just see whats happens . oh by the way i agree on the red she-hulks costume though debuting your new character in rags isnt really a good ...but hey the green hulk did it .

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