Fear Itself: Red Hulk

I read through another of the Fear Itself collections, this time featuring the adventures of the crimson Avenger none other than the Red Hulk. This is the first I’ve picked up of this series since the reveal of his secret identity, so I was a bit fuzzy on some of the particulars.

The first half of the story has Rulk battling it out against the fear-powered Thing. While this is going on, writer Jeff Parker has the story cut back to M.O.D.O.K. and Zero/One (a villain to this point I wasn’t introduced to but a hybrid human/robot that blames Rulk for her current state) debating whether this would be the time to kill Rulk. Instead, they realize that the Serpent, his herald Skadi and her Nazi legions would most likely take over, if not destroy, the planet. And with them in power, that would put a damper on their own evil plans so M.O.D.O.K. decides to fight the good fight.

I love in comic book stories have the villains switching sides, partially for their own needs but for the greater good. Redemption scenes/stories always warm my heart. And maybe I’m being a little too altruistic, since M.O.D.O.K. tried to kill Rulk. These things happen…

Anyway, Rulk winds up resurfacing at his parents’ old farm in Vermont with his Life Model Decoy sidekick/confidante Annie. This trip down memory lane was interrupted by the alien killing machine Omegex who has a simple mission: ending Rulk’s life.

Good thing Rulk is a master strategist; he turns back into General Ross which is too much for Omegex to comprehend, effectively resolving Omegex’s mission because Rulk was gone.

Where Parker excelled in this second act was visiting Ross’ past. You see that loss of life is something he continually had to deal with, whether it being his father dying in front of him as a child, or his wife’s death. That explains why he’s been so obscenely protective of his daughter over the years. It also give reason for why he’s such a great soldier; he’s detached himself from most of his humanity. With this emotional rebirth, it’s interesting to see what direction they will take with the character.

Ms. Marvel #9

Let’s look at an old issue of Ms. Marvel today! The ninth issue of Carol Danvers’ series introduces us to Deathbird, who plays a bigger role in the Shi’ar royal family. But lets look at her debut.

Poor Carol just has an awful time in this issue. She bails out of a date after finding out that there was an explosion and fire at her apartment. Unfortunately for her, Deathbird has been sent out by MODOK to take her out. Obviously, Ms. Marvel survives because she is awesome.

Carol finds out that someone had ransacked her apartment in order to find some top-secret documents she had. And who wouldn’t want those?

There’s something she’s forgetting about…oh that’s right, she has a day job as editor of Woman magazine, the Marvel Universe’s leading pro-woman publication. We get introduced to her version of Mad Men’s Miss Blankenship–an associate editor–who winds up dealing with some yuppie girl who J. Jonah Jameson promised a job at Woman. Wow, he’s kind of an ass to everyone.

The issue ends with Carol being caught in the crossfires of an AIM civil war, with one side being led by MODOK and Deathbird. What’s interesting about this issue is that writer Chris Claremont introduces us to Deathbird, who plays a significant role in his extended run on Uncanny X-Men. You also get a really cool cover by Dave Cockrum too.