Hmm. I've been waiting for the trade on Jeph Loeb's Hulk series, so I haven't read any of this Red Hulk stuff since issue 1. I heard there was a big status quo changer for She-Hulk in this issue, and with Red She-Hulk supposedly being tied to Jen Walters, I decided to read this ahead of my pickup of the eventual trade. Jeph Loeb keeps things nice and clear, but this isn't exactly a complicated story. That said, not a lot happens either, and in fact I don't really see this book having progressed very much since issue 1. It is interesting that Hulk has been re-numbered and put back to its original Incredible numbering in the middle of such a big, sprawling story.
The crux of the story consists of Doc Samson, She-Hulk, Peter Parker, and Ben Urich heading out to a secret Gamma Base where at least one mastermind stands revealed; MODOK! I dig MODOK quite a bit, so I'm happy to see he's at least somewhat responsible for creating Rulk. It doesn't seem he retains much control over the red giant though, since Rulk does whatever he wants, including draining Bruce Banner of his gamma radiation. Supposedly this means Banner can never turn into the Hulk again, but I'm not sure if I can believe that. Spidey naturally shows up to fight (mostly just avoid) Rulk, and there are some nice bits of humor in Loeb's dialogue for the web-spinner. I was happy to see Rick Jones as the new Abomination/A-Bomb again, although I'm not sure that is exactly a good move for the character. The other big reveal is that MODOK has somehow split Doc Samson's personality into an evil "Samson" and the good "Leonard Samson." I think this is a big mistake, since one of the coolest things about Doc Samson is that the gamma treatment worked better on him than any of the other gamma guys. Now he's the same as all the rest. If Jen Walters ends up being the Red She-Hulk, then her uniqueness is gone too. At the close of the issue, Red Hulk is playing coy about the fates of Samson and She-Hulk, Urich won't reveal who Red Hulk is, and things are basically just like they have been. It seems reading this in trade is the right way to go for such a decompressed story.
Ed McGuiness' art is a ton of fun, as always. She-Hulk, Doc Samson, Spidey, MODOK, Rulk, everyone looks great. There is a ton of over the top action and the cartoony destruction looks bright and exciting. I look forward to the eventual trade to see how this turns out.