In 2008, Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines launched a new Hulk series that starred a brand-new RED Hulk. This Hulk was red and the first thing we saw was him killing the Abomination, who has gone toe to toe with some pretty powerful people over the years (of course, he was also defeated once by Hawkeye, but hey, some things are best left unsaid.Sshhh…)
Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness Launched a new Hulk series
Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness clearly had a BLAST showing this new Red Hulk in all sorts of outrageous situations and they involved this new Red Hulk doing really, really well in fights against a whole array of major superstrong Marvel characters.
The Red Hulk easily knocked out the new Abomination (Rick Jones), who goes by A-Bomb…
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The Red Hulk beat She-Hulk easily…
The Red Hulk even punched out the Watcher!
The Red Hulk did really well in battle with the Mighty Thor…
and even managed to unseat the Green Hulk for top bragging rights among Hulks…
Too well for such a new character…
While many fans were enjoying the thrill ride of the series (it was one of Marvel’s best-selling titles of the period), there were some that took issue with just HOW well the Red Hulk was doing in fights with these other characters. It seemed like he was doing “too” well for such a new character.
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However, Jeph Loeb had a plan the whole way. In Hulk #12, he had the Red Hulk handle the Silver Surfer pretty easily and that’s where we learn that this new Hulk has a brand-new power that the old Hulk did not have. The Red Hulk could absorb ANY kind of biological energy, including the Power Cosmic.
While fighting, RED HULK drains people out of energies
Thus, while the Red Hulk is fighting people, he is draining them of their energies. So when he fights the Green Hulk, he is absorbing the Green Hulk’s gamma radiation, which increases the Red Hulk’s strength while reducing the Green Hulk’s strength and thus defeats him. The problem with that strategy is that the Green Hulk doesn’t make logical sense. His “the angrier I get, the stronger I get” doesn’t follow any logical law of physics, and as a result, the Red Hulk could keep draining the Green Hulk and the Green Hulk could STILL have more than enough left for him, depending on just how angry the Green Hulk is.
Anyhow, so that was how the Red Hulk did so well in his fights along.
Bruce Banner removes this ability of Red Hulk
In Red Hulk #25 (by Jeff Paker and Gabriel Hardman), Bruce Banner removes that ability…
He later explains that it was placed there as a failsafe by the Leader (who gave the Red Hulk his powers). If he kept it, he would absorb too much and eventually die.