After conducting some extensive research via my twitter account (@chadventure). I have discovered that you people, you internet people, want to see more cheeseburgers. I am more than happy to oblige.
On to the review!
After the events of World War Hulks, I've been more than a little cautious about reading anything that says "Hulk" on it. I haven't been a fanof the Red Hulk. He was arrogant, hateful, and seemingly unstoppable. Couple those traits with the fact it took way too long for us to find out who he was, I lost interest pretty quickly. The character didn't seem to have any legs to me. I assumed he wouldn't stick around after the events of World War Hulks. As you can see from the cover of this issue, I was wrong. Granted, he's getting the stuffing beat out of him by Thor...but I was still wrong.
What I quickly learned is that I was wrong to treat this as Red Hulk centered issue of the past year. The status quo for the character has changed in a big way. He's been humbled and drop down a couple of notches on the power scale. He's at the mercy of his former rival and looking for purpose. He's everything that he was not before. He's changed so much that I'll even go out on a limb and say he's likable. (gasp!)
I credit this change to the new creative team, Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman (good last name). You may know them from their work on the recently canceled, yet insanely awesome, Atlas series. Putting this creative team on this book makes sense, as it's full of sci-fi threats and complex characters. That's their bread and butter! Kudos to the editor that called these guys.
Atonement is a big theme in this issue, as the Red Hulk knows he screwed up during the events of World War Hulks. Everybody hates him, and for good reason. When doomsday weapons built by The Leader and MODOK (his evil partners in crime from WWH's) start to terrorize the world, it makes sense that he would be willing to help stop them. This is his chance to change how people perceive him, maybe even how he perceives himself. It's a great idea and is providing some really compelling moments.
While Jeff Parker has written the Red Hulk to be a likable character, a feat which is Herculean in my mind, Gabriel Hardman really distinguishes this book as "not your typical Hulk book" with his art. I've found most Hulk books tend to have giant faces, or full body muscle flexing battles that take up the whole page. This isn't the case here. Instead of seeing the Hulk smashing in one giant panel, you'll several panels and poses of him in action. By putting the Hulk in smaller boxes, we actually get to see more of him than normal. It's more interesting to the eye and leads you on the visual path that a comic should. It's great stuff.
This series has taken a turn for the better. If you felt burned out by the events of World War Hulks like I did, then give this series a shot. Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman have given this character a stay of execution and it's worth your time to read it.
That's all for now guys!