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Red Hulk

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

General Thunderbolt Ross transforms into the Hulk, a creature he swore to destroy.

Yes, just like in Moby-Dick, where it was revealed Captain Ahab was secretly a werewhale. At least the whole "who is the Red Hulk" mystery isn't a thing any more.

(Also, that "werewhale" thing was just a joke, but it turns out someone wrote an entire series of books about it? Get down with your bad self, Ron Vitale!)

This figure is the 80th Anniversary Hulk mold, just done in new colors. Hasbro sure is milking this mold for all it's worth, aren't they? 80th Hulk, Retro Collection Hulk, Grey Hulk, Maestro... in a little over one year, they've hit pretty much every edition of the character who could reliably use this body as a repaint (aka, the ones who don't wear shoes and shirts). It does create some homogeny, but at least you know what to expect.

The only new part of the sculpt is the head, because simply repainting any of the existing ones wouldn't have been enough. Red Hulk was co-created by Ed McGuinness, so the face still shows traces of his influence. The mouth is open to show how angry he is, with the jaws fully parted and the lips curled back more on the left than the right, because asymmetry is dynamic. It's still weird that his mustache disappears when he Hulks out, right? Like, it's Thunderbolt Ross' only defining visual trait, so clearly they took it away to keep us from guessing who the new Hulk was, but what's the in-universe explanation?

The figure's colors are wonderful. The red is deep and solid, not as toyetic and plasticky as previous attempts. There are subtle shadows airbrushed on to make him look larger, and his pants, are so dark as be verging on black, rather than the blue they used to be. His beady yellow eyes stand out against the shading around then, and his finger- and toenails get dark red apps, rather than being left the same color as his skin.

Red Hulk moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. He's also got those extra pec hinges that only move back instead of forward, making them useless for having him perform a big clap-attack. [If you think you're having a big clap-attack, consult your doctor --ed.] The figure includes your choice of alternate hands: open or fists. Sure, Red Hulk is more likely to use accessories than non-Red Hulk, but that would have cost extra tooling dollars. He's already so big that he has to man-spread to fit into the packaging.

This release is a Target exclusive - yes, just like the last Red Hulk Legend. Allegedly it came out around this time last year, but if so, it certainly never showed up in any stores anywhere or engendered even a single word of discussion. First time we ever heard a thing about it was when it showed up at Canadian TRUs that August. It still hasn't made it to store shelves, but it was finally listed on Target's website, which is why you're reading this now. Like Monkey Boy said, 2020 underscored just how ill-prepared retailers were for even a slight hiccup in their distribution model, and though he's a fine toy, Red Hulk is one more victim of that.

-- 04/05/21

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