I know I'm a little late in this review, but I was on vacation when this came out and didn't catch it until a week later. At any rate, it was just too good of an issue to pass up.
Red Hulk (aka Doc Samson Hulk) has been quite a force to reckon with since his debut just five short issues ago. There was speculation it was Rick Jones, but that was quickly dispelled as we found Rick to be the new Abomination--excuse me, A-Bomb (the Name Fairy really missed it on this one). Samson Hulk has been basically ripping through everything thrown at him, and smacked Banner Hulk down pretty quickly.
Then along came Thor.
I've never been a Thor fan, but you have to give the guy credit. He's supposed to be one of the strongest characters in the Marvel U, and has died and come back a few times. Now he's supposed to be a pivotal player in this new Hulk storyline and give Samson Hulk his first challenge.
Samson Hulk is supposed to be strong. We get that. He's supposed to be bad. We understand. But where did he get this kind of power? Thor lays into him with everything he has, and Samson Hulk just shakes it off. Then he proceeds to give Thor the biggest beatdown he's ever gotten while conveniently defying every rule ever laid down in every other Thor and Hulk storyline ever written.
He grabs Thor's hammer (supposed to be impossible for anyone but Thor to lift, and even the Banner Hulk couldn't get this puppy off the ground) and the proceeds to jump into outer space to beat the living tar out of Thor. To the amazement of everyone (including Thor himself), Samson Hulk finally ends up throwing Thor onto the moon and leaving here there for dead before jumping back to earth.
Here's a fun trivia fact for you: In what issue did the Hulk first jump to the moon? Go look it up...I'll wait. Back already? Answer: He never has before! It's a new Marvel thing, so don't ask questions!
We end the issue seeing Iron Man show up with his crew ready to give Banner Hulk a hand in defeating Samson Hulk. The man responsible for "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk" shows up ready to give Banner Hulk a hand...shouldn't there be some huge fight in this first? Of course not. And you have to love Marvel's way of always labeling folks in group shots like this? Name one person on that page (besides possibly Ares) even a casual comic reader wouldn't immediately recognize!
As much as I loved this story, here's my concern: Marvel is giving this Samson Hulk what I call "Sentry Syndrome". They make a character so strong right off the bat that it becomes impossible to use them again. They've spent so much time making Samson Hulk seem unbeatable that it will be incredibly unrealistic for him to go down in a simple battle now. He's going to tear through this little team quickly and it'll come down to Green versus Red, and even though he's been spanked by this guy before (and it's as improbable now as ever) I have a feeling somehow the green guy is going to win. I'm not complaining though! Any way you look at it, it's been a great read up until this point.