I’m back today with a highly-specific guide for “pledgeonaut” Patrons of CK. This one also spun out of last week’s update to my Guide to She-Hulk, because it’s also a Guide to She-Hulk! No, not that She-Hulk, the other She-Hulk – it’s a Guide to Red She-Hulk!
Be warned: Even though the guide itself is careful not to spoil details of Red She-Hulk’s secret identity while covering pre-reveal issues, I’m talking about it openly in this post.
Honestly, it was only a secret for nine months 12 years ago! But, I think it was a fun secret executed well, so I try not to ruin it for people who might be coming to the run for the first time.
Marvel was going through an interesting period from 2005-2012 where at first they were revitalizing lines and characters purely out of the business instinct to stay alive, but then they started adjusting them even more due to the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
To me, this began with the period of Bendis launching New Avengers through the death of Captain America at the end of Civil War, with House of M sandwiched between them. Despite Marvel using the “All-New, All-Different” tagline since the Bronze Age, this was the first time in a while that the main 616-Marvel Universe felt like a truly new and different place.
(A lot of that was down to the sales and popularity pressure from the Ultimate Universe, which at that point was threatening to subsume the main one.)
One result of that period was character lines that felt larger than they used to. Marvel’s major Silver Age characters feel encouraged to reinvent their casts and build their own huge events. That was certainly true for Hulk, which went from a Marvel also-ran to one of their hottest titles on the strength of Greg Pak’s “Planet Hulk” storyline, which spun into the line-wide “World War Hulk” event.
In the wake of that, Pak and Jeph Loeb had more leeway than ever to expand the scope of Hulk comics. Suddenly, there were a lot of Hulks and Gamma-powered characters. We had Bruce Banner as Hulk, Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk, Doc Samson, Rick Jones as A-Bomb, the newly-birthed Skaar, and even Lyra – Hulk’s daughter from a potential future!
(Spoilers begin here.) [Read more…] about New for Patrons: Red She-Hulk AKA Harpy