The Red She-Hulk, for those unaware, is Betty Ross, former wife of Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk. Now operating solo, Betty has strength in the same range as Jennifer Walters, the green She-Hulk, but a decidedly less chipper attitude.
This issue opens with General Reggie Fortean presenting the government’s latest creations, Echelon, or rather a new breed of Super Soldier, with powers like gravity control and “manipulating frequency” (dismantling tanks). Things appear to be going okay until Red She-Hulk shows up to put a halt to the operation. The three operatives of Eschelon appear to be a match for the hero, but that quickly changes.
The government turns to Captain America for help and he turns to… Machine Man? M’kaaaaaay. Machine Man (Aaron Stack) pinpoints Betty’s position, another gorvernment facility that is working on the Eschelon project. Things have not gone the way they were supposed to, though and she has to Hulk Out to fix the situation… but will she go too far?
The art on this book is fantastic! There are two pencilers listed, Carlo Pagulayan and Wellinton Alves, so I’m not sure who drew what, and didn’t notice much difference in terms of style, so either way, they were a good match.
The plot was interesting enough. The idea that the government is sinisterly creating new Super Soldiers, using questionable methods nicely ties into the greater Marvel Universe and is a reasonably realistic idea. Speaking of the Marvel U, the cameos by Cap and Machine Man were nice. Machine Man is an odd choice, but I guess we’ll see how he works into the tale next issue. (There are a bunch of other heroes depicted on the cover, but I don’t know if these are planned guest-stars or simply images to establish her presence in the Marvel U.)
There are two dosiers that explain just who Red She-Hulk and Red Hulk are and how they came to be, so even if you aren’t familiar with them, there is enough info that you can still jump into the story and not feel completely lost. Red She-Hulk… that name is a bit cumbersome. The dossier indicates that they apparently tried to rename her “The Red Woman” and “Hellion” and I guess those didn’t stick. (Yuck to both!) Guess it’s just Red She-Hulk from here on. As far as her personality, she is nothing like the fun-loving green She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters. She’s intense, driven, super confident and tough. She seems well suited for a featured role. There’s not a ton to go on yet, but it’s a solid foundation.
All in all, it’s a nice start, definitely worth checking out!
RED SHE-HULK #58
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Carlo Pagulayan and Wellinton Alves
Cover by Pagulayan and Val Staples