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Hulk Smash Avengers #5: Review

May 2012
Fred Van Lente, Michael Avon Oeming

Story Name:

The conversation

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Hulk Smash Avengers #5 Review by (March 8, 2016)
This issue says it occurs after Civil War and World War Hulk. True, but more accurately it's set in the early days of the 2008 Hulk series starring Red Hulk. the Marvel Continuity Project have put it for Red Hulk between the bulk of Hulk #2 (where Red Hulk destroys the new SHIELD helicarrier) and its last 3 pages (where he meets A-Bomb ready for a fight in the next issue). For Iron Man it's between a continuation flashback in the opening pages of #3 (where IM learns that the imprisoned Bruce Banner seems to know something about Rulk) and #4 (where he gets back on the trail of Rulk). For Banner it's between the #3 flashback and later in that issue (where he becomes Hulk and goes after Rulk - they fight in #4).

In a wider context for Iron Man it's between the 2 stories in IM: Iron Protocols. And they lie between the last story arc in the 2005 Iron Man series (before War machine takes it over) and the 1st arc in the 2008 series. And they all fit between World War Hulk and Secret Invasion.

There's some rewriting of the end of WWH going on here. It seemed pretty definite there that Banner *wanted* to be locked up.

Wasp of the Mighty Avengers is wisely nowhere near this battle.

It is absolutely no longer a spoiler to say that Red Hulk is Gen'l Thunderbolt Ross.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hulk Smash Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Iron Man visits Bruce Banner in his high-security cell in Gamma Base. As Banner says, Tony Stark has won the Civil War, been made Director of SHIELD and leader of the Mighty Avengers, and got rid of the Hulk (at the end of World War Hulk) - making sure he can't return by keeping Bruce here. But now Banner hears there's a new Red Hulk in town, and the Avengers can't stop him from raiding SHIELD sites and stealing stuff.

Bruce isn't too happy about being imprisoned so it cheers him up to hear of Stark's problems.

At 1 of those SHIELD sites 2 Communications Majors drive their jeep through a break in the security fence to get video of what's going on. And what's happening is that Red Hulk is fighting some of the Mighty Avengers (Ares, Ms Marvel, Sentry and Wonder Man). Black Widow has him in her sights (literally) but he spots her perch and knocks it down.

Ms Marvel just saves the students by flying them away as Rulk demolishes their transport with the body of Sentry. Red Hulk then comes after her as she's hampered with her charges. But Wonder Man and Sentry distract him with their punches.

MsM deposits the would-be journalists safely (she hopes) out of the way atop a building and flies back to the fray. Sentry and WM are holding Rulk down as Ares rushes at him with a makeshift spear.

Cut back to Bruce Banner and Iron Man. Tony Stark emphasises how dangerous Red Hulk is. He's here because he thinks Banner knows who this new character is. Bruce admits nothing. Tony tries another ploy - going for empathy by comparing their addictions. Tony is an alcoholic 2 years sober, but of course always tempted. He thinks Bruce's rocky life has addicted him to rage - letting the Hulk out is a release, but only makes things worse.

Back at the fight Red Hulk hurls the 3 men away as Ms Marvel swoops down on him. But she fares no better. Black Widow warns them that Rulk has grabbed a missile. He lands amongst them with it, and there's an explosion.

Meanwhile Stark shows Banner some footage of Red Hulk in action. Bruce doesn't think rage is the addiction in the case of Hulks. His green Hulk just wanted to be accepted - to win the approval Bruce never got from his father. But in his opinion Red Hulk seems addicted to power. He figures Rulk's secret identity will be someone from a regimented background who wants freedom.

Red Hulk has leapt out of the explosion and carried the 2 students to a safe distance. He wants them to tell the world he's not a bad guy - he just likes getting his own way. The female student picks up the courage to ask him his name. On a whim he whispers it to her, but tells her she must keep it secret.

Iron Man leaves Banner's cell having heard about the battle, and that his team survived. He tells some accompanying soldiers that Bruce claims not to have known Red Hulk's identity, but now he's figured it out. But he's still not telling.


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Michael Avon Oeming
Michael Avon Oeming
Felix Serrano
Lee Weeks (Cover Penciler)
Lee Weeks (Cover Inker)
Andy Troy (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)



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