• Columns 

    Character Spotlight: Rulk Redemption

    By | August 31st, 2010
    Posted in Columns | % Comments
    Article originally written by Patrick Mitchell
    He’s screaming because nobody sees that he is the greatest character in the history of comic books. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but he’s certainly not the worst.

    I know many of you reading this will gasp at the notion and say “Pat, how can you say something so horrible?” My first response will be, “Don’t call me Pat. We aren’t that close, random reader on the internet.” Then I would of course go on to say my reasons.

    Check behind the cut to see exactly what those are.

    First of all, the Hulk is a ridiculous character to begin with. Though I love and cherish the creation that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby has given us, you can’t get around the fact that the Hulk is a bit silly. There is nothing wrong with it’s silliness and that feeling is usually drowned out by the terrifying power this monster has and the destruction he causes, but when you hear about a big hulking green monster with ripped purple pants you can’t help but muster a lil’ giggle. Jeph Loeb finally wants to play up on the ridiculous and people get all up in a hissy fit saying, “He’s ruining the Hulk and all it’s greatness blabbity blabbity blah.” But check this out… no seriously, check this out: Mr. Loeb and Ed McGuinness created their own character to do this with. They didn’t ruin the Hulk. If anything they ruined the Red Hulk, and it’s not like he was great to begin with. He was always a jerk, even before he was the Rulk.

    And why can’t he be a jerk? Not every villain has to have a back story of their hard lives when they were a kid and a life of crime was the only thing he or she could turn too. Some people are just assholes. You guys know what I’m talking about. Remember that bro on Friday? The one with the upside down visor, slicked back hair and Abercrombie and Fitch polo? The one who wouldn’t leave your girlfriend alone at the bar? Oh and he had that really bad cologne. Yeah, a real dick. Do you think his father trained him in the art of douche baggery from way back when? No! His father is a very nice man, whose never seen this side of his son.

    The jerkiness may also be a side effect of being “Hulked Out”. Whenever someone is Hulkified, their personalities change. So why can’t the red Hulk have a not-so-nice one? Everyone’s genetics are different and people react differently to certain things, whether its medicine, food, etc. Is it so far fetched that another Hulk will not turn out to be a mindless baffoon and instead turn into a monster with a standard I.Q. and a bad attitude? And this isn’t the first time it has happened. (i.e. She Hulk)
    I will grant the fans that the Rulk wasn’t completely original and turned out to be an existing character, but they made (stop here if you don’t know who the Red Hulk is yet but come on its been months man) (I’ll give you a little more space to still consider not knowing and I seriously can’t believe you don’t by now) “Thunderbolt” Ross a bigger threat than he’s ever been. Ross has always been a Hulk-centric menace, but since he’s gained his powers he’s been kicking ass and taking names like no other, all over the Marvel Universe. And that may not appeal to many because you say, “There’s no character development, where’s the character development, I want my character development,” but his character has been developing since 1962. We know the ins and outs of Ross through many different writers, and now it’s time for something different. And if that means making him look exactly like the Hulk, but a redder version, then let’s do this, baby. We got two more years until the apocalypse. Bring it on!

    Continued below

    “But he’s too powerful. He was able to defeat the Hulk, Thor and take the Silver Surfer’s cosmic surfboard” you say. And I reply back with, “And?” The more powerful the villain is the greater the triumph for the hero when they are defeated. And as I recall, there is a villain in the DCU entirely devoted to causing tragedy for the hero to overcome and become a greater hero. Isn’t that messed up?
    Ross has been a normal man for most of his life. Though he is self made, he always has to rely on machines to do his military work, which can be very frustrating in the superhero realm. Now he is finally given immense power and able to do the things his superheroes can do. Who wouldn’t take full advantage of that and beat up every person you ever hated or did you wrong? I know a weak human like me with little willpower would. And this may seem chidlish for a man whose been a part of the military for as many years as Ross has, but you must understand that the radiation he withstood to become a Hulk warped his personality, as it did with Bruce Banner. Since he’s a military man, he’s always been a rule follower. Now he lives above the rules and can do whatever the hell he wants. For example:
    Who has the balls to punch the Watcher? I know I don’t (but that may be because I haven’t hit puberty yet). All he’s doing is watching the Earth, he’s not hurting anybody. But Ross hates everything super heroes, magic and alien related so much that he wants to destroy them.

    Now Mr. Mathew Meylikhov brought up a very valid point about the Red Hulk here. In the article he discusses the fact that Ross has an amazing mustache and the Rulk does not even though they are the same person. I must agree with this because it is true, but I also must say that the Rulk also doesn’t have eyebrows either. What about his hair and nails? They turn black whenever he tranforms. How can a normals man’s body structure handle insane bone and muscle growth multiple times and sustain it for long periods? How come we have been fooled by these simple things for almost 50 years? Because its fiction and we have to accept things like this in order to enjoy stories.

    If anyone is still reading this, thanks for stickin’ around.

    And please don’t hate me, fellow MC writers.


    //TAGS | Character Spotlight

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