"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." - Friedrich Nietzsche
|I know, I know...|
When the Red Hulk debuted 6 years ago, all I could think of was, "The House of Ideas finally ran out of ideas." Everything about "Rulk" (ugh) seemed derivative and ugly and flash-for-cash and I screamed "SHENANIGANS!"
...and then the other shoe dropped.
|Red Hulk was General "Thunderbolt" Ross.|
At first, I'm done. I felt like I was robbed. Ross had been Hulk-hunting forever, now all of a sudden, he IS one? "SHENANIGANS, I say!!"
But then I remember...Ross has always been of two minds with Hulk. On the one hand, it is a dangerous creature that destroys everything in its path. On the other, the unlimited offensive potential was much too great to be ignored, and was begging to be exploited.
Then the Illuminati/Avengers took it all out of his hands and banished the Hulk off-planet.
Imagine what that one act did to Ross. One day's work for Earth's Mightiest put the comic book equivalent of 15 years of military career to shame, the laughing stock of the Pentagon brass. And the stark realization that, in his heart of hearts, he neither wanted to destroy or capture the Hulk, but coveted its power.
Is it any wonder that he gave in to temptation?
|General Ross and his Thunderbolts|
Is it any wonder that he is more feared than Hulk Classic? The destructive power of gamma green, combined with the experienced military strategic mind of army green, wrapped in crimson rage. Unfit to be soldier or Avenger anymore, he assembled his own superhero squad, named after his old moniker and with a dark history of its own: Thunderbolts.
It is as the leader of the new T-bolts that Red Hulk really shines. Not only for his tactical brilliance, but Ross has assembled the most dangerous bunch of broken misfits and created a functioning dysfunctional family, each member looking to fill the hole in their souls. All to redeem his life's work and his honour.
And you can't spell "redemption" without "RED"...