Title: Hulk #14
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Art: Ian Churchill and Mark Farmer
The fact that Marvel expects people to pay $3.99 for the Hulk title now that there is no Bruce Banner/Green Hulk or Ed McGuinness art in the book blows my fucking mind. At least while McGuinness was drawing the book I could understand why someone would pick up this God awful comic. But Marvel replaces Mcguinness with Ian Churchill (with Jeph Loeb still “writing” it) and expects people to still buy it? That’s like DC replacing Greg Rucka AND J. H. Williams III with Tony Daniel and thinking that people won’t notice and still pick up Detective Comics.
This book has become completely useless. Now that the main character of the title is the Red Hulk, who is one of the worst characters ever created, why the Hell bother reading it? Well, unless you are reading it to see how much more of a train wreck it can become that is.
This entire issue is narrated by the Red Hulk and it is trying so fucking hard to clever and crime noir-ish that it’s just brutal. Loeb is not Ed Brubaker so he should just stick to writing his silly, terrible dialogue and childish jokes like he’s used to. Another great Loebism that pops up in this issue is his relying on the fact that if he throws as many characters into the story as possible nobody will notice how truly terrible it is.
So here’s the gist of it. Domino, from X-Force, see’s the Red Hulk’s secret identity so now Rulk (how vomit inducing is that name?) thinks she must die. He chases her for a bit and then loses her. So the logical thing to do is to gather a group of random Marvel characters to help him track her down. But how will he get these random Marvel characters to help him? Well, he’ll bribe them of course. Now this is where things start becoming quite unbearable.
We all know the Loeb doesn’t give two shits about continuity so this all should come as no surprise. Here is the list of people who Rulk wants to gather up as a tram and the things he is bribing them with:
Bribe: One Million Dollars
The problem with that logic: In the Deadpool comic he is now independently wealthy. He actually has more money than he knows what to do with. Why would DP help Rulk for even more unnecessary money? To add insult in injury not one god damn thing that comes out of Deadpool’s mouth is at all witty or funny. Shocking , I know.
Character: The Punisher
Bribe: Access to “the whereabouts of every dirt bag in the witness protection program“
The problem with that logic: I really don’t think the Punisher would give a rat’s ass. He already knows everything he needs to know about the people he is going after. And why trust Rulk? Punisher has never been a team player so why would he agree to join a team?
Character: Crimson Dynamo
Bribe: “Just got off the boat and needs political asylum”
The problem with that logic: Where the fuck did Loeb pull this shit from? Dynamo is currently appearing in Invincible Iron Man and is quite happy helping Tony Stark from Russia. He even gave Stark the Dynamo armor to use. Why is he all of a sudden “off the boat” and “seeking political asylum” in his armor no less?
Bribe: Rulk “worked out a side deal that’s nobody’s business but his own”
The problem with that logic: Thundra was part of She Hulk’s Lady Liberator’s team who hunted down and beat the shit out of Rulk. What reason would she have to now all of a sudden become chummy and help him? Knowing Loeb’s genius writing I am sure that this “side deal” that they worked out has something to do with Rulk fucking her brain’s out. Oh, you don’t think that Loeb would write something so completely juvenile? You must have missed that Ultimate Hulk Annual that he wrote.
The problem with that logic: Do I really need to go into it?
And if that wasn’t enough characters for you he throws in the entire X-Force team including Wolverine. Fucking brilliant.
So while great comics like Agents of Atlas and Runaways are being put on hiatus Marvel is still publishing the piece of shit known as Hulk because people are buying the hell out of it. If you are one of the people who are buying this book and enjoying it while critically acclaimed books are being canceled by Marvel then I sincerely hope that you are not reproducing. Then again I shouldn’t really worry about that. It‘s not like you will probably ever get the chance to, right, fanboy?
Oh, to answer the question of “Why do I put myself through this torture?” Well, I do it for you guys. You’re welcome.