- I always suspected that Talbot was an L.M.D. Like with the Ross L.M.D., the Leader wasn't going to let anyone assume command other than himself. This Talbot probably didn't even know he was just a thing. The Glenn Talbot I knew and respected was and will remain dead. In the end, everything is as it should be. I won.
- -- Red Hulk
Appearing in "Who is the Red Hulk?"
- Cosmic Hulk (Destroyed)
- Doc Samson (Leonard Samson) (Only in flashback)
- Glenn Talbot LMD (Destroyed)
- Abomination (Emil Blonsky) (Recap)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Recap)
- Fantastic Four (Recap)
- General Ross LMD (Appears in Flashback)
- Clay Quartermain (Only in flashback) (Corpse)
- Indiana (Only in flashback)
- Gary (Only in flashback)
- Washington, D.C. (Main story and flashback)
- Pentagon (Only in flashback)
- Gamma Base (Only in flashback)
- Hulkbuster Base (Only in flashback)
- New York City (Only in flashback)
- Russia (Only in flashback)
- Dimitri (Only in flashback)
- New Jersey (Only in flashback)
- Scotch Plains (Only in flashback)
- Monument Valley (Only in flashback)
- Los Angeles
- White House
- Redeemer Armor (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Who is the Red Hulk?"
Thaddeus Ross feels his life flashing before his eyes. He recalls the old adage that you only live once and disagrees. He remembers the first time that he died. He was sixteen years old and was putting on his own barnstorming show three to four times a day. During one such show his old plane caught fire and crashed. He was legally dead at the scene, but came around in the ambulance. They told him that due to his injuries he would never walk again, but he beat the odds and regained his mobility.
Thaddeus Ross wakes up in the smoldering lab of the Intelligencia's Hellcarrier lab after being stripped of his powers and left behind by his daughter, the Red She-Hulk. As he crawls through the facility he is approached by what he thinks is Bruce Banner in his Hulk form, however, it turns out to be the cosmic powered Hulk robot instead. As the robotic mockery of Banner bellows into Ross' face, he thinks about how he needs to find Banner. His mind drifts back again...
Ross thinks back to the day of the Gamma Bomb test just moments after the bomb went off with Bruce Banner on the test site. He is furious that they would set off the bomb with a man standing at ground zero. He then orders his men to get out and look for a trace of Bruce Banner.
He recounts how he first met the Hulk sometime later outside of the home of his daughter Betty Ross. This gray-skinned monster somehow knew his name, as at the time Ross didn't know that the Hulk and Bruce Banner were on and the same. He recalls how, when the Hulk shoved him aside and leapt away, he saw the raw power in the man-monster and coveted it.
The Hulk robot picks Ross up and threatens to smash him. Unafraid, Ross dares the construct to do its worst. As it begins trying to crush him with its hand, Ross' mind drifts back again.
Ross thinks back to all the years he battled the Hulk after his first encounter. No matter what Thaddeus had done, the Hulk always won and made him look the fool. This made him furious as what made General Ross look foolish made the United States Military look foolish. He supposes this is why he first worked with MODOK in unleashing the Abomination and setting him against the Hulk. He recalls now how MODOK used his mental powers to peel back his mind, but that didn't change his decisions to side with the terrorist.
It was later during the Hulk's battle with the Abomination that his daughter Betty Ross realized that her father was responsible for releasing the Abomination. As this was an act of treason, Betty demanded he give her a good reason why, warning him not to lie to her, else she would never speak to him again. This struck Ross speechless, and it was then that he saw a bit of himself in his daughter, and hated it.
Later, as he faced being dishonorably discharged, Thaddeus Ross spent time reflecting on his life in his office. He contemplated committing suicide, but decided against it because not only was it the coward's way out, but it would be an admission that the Hulk had finally won.
While the Hulk robot continues to try and crush Thaddeus, he uses his ability to absorb cosmic energy to siphon the needed power out of the robot. This restores his ability to transform into the Red Hulk once more. Growing in size, Ross grabs his attacker's head.
Ross thinks back to the second time he had died. It was at the Hulkbuster Base under the command of Bruce Banner. Stripped of his rank, Thaddeus Ross sought to redeem himself by helping out in the facility, ultimately sacrificing his life to save Betty. Dying in her arms, his last words were that he loved her.
It would have been a good death, had his body not been later stolen by the Leader who used technology to bring him back to life. Although there was one drawback: He was a mindless drone, but still the Leader installed him as the new Redeemer. He was killed yet again during a subsequent battle with the Hulk. However, he was denied death a third time when the Troyjans used him to test their resurrection technology. Not only was he brought back to life, but his mind was completely restored.
This gave him another chance with the military and with his daughter. However, having tasted power to match that of the Hulk, he became more determined than ever to be the one to destroy him.
Having regained his full strength, the Red Hulk proclaims that this battle has come to an end and uses his immense strength to rip the Hulk robot in half.
In the subsequent years, Betty was murdered by the Abomination. Not long after this, the Hulk was exiled into space. Thaddeus Ross was not only left without a daughter but left without a war to fight. He stumbled into alcholism and depression. Things suddenly changed on the night that Captain America was assassinated. He was watching the footage at a bar when suddenly, all of the patrons were suddenly put into a deep trance. He was then approached by the Leader and MODOK. They appeal to his opinion that the United States is broken and offer to replace the current government and place Ross in charge, offering to revive Betty if he agrees to help out. At first, Ross wouldn't accept their offer, but when the Leader and MODOK warned that the Hulk will return, it caused Ross to rethink his position.
Sure enough, the Hulk did return and declared war on the world for his exile. Thaddeus was there to combat the Hulk. When the heroes of New York used defense satellites to take down the Hulk, they were unaware that the satellites had been hacked by MODOK who used Samson's Catherxis Ray to siphon the needed energies from the Hulk. Then through then using Life Model Decoys posing as SHIELD agents recovered Banner and took him to a base that was secretly run by AIM, not SHIELD like everyone else was led to believe. They then used the technology there to transform Ross into the Red Hulk.
He was then sent out to carry out the directives of the Intelligencia: He killed the Abomination to avenge the death of his daughter. He brought down the SHIELD helicarrier so it could be co-opted by his fellow conspirators, giving them a mobile base of operations. They hit a snag when the LMD posing as Thaddeus Ross was damaged, and discovered by SHIELD agent Clay Quartermain, necessitating that Samson kill him. This started a downward spiral, starting with the green Hulk defeating him in Monument Valley. He was then abandoned by his co-conspirators as a failure. Wanting to get back at them, the Red Hulk was forced to seek an alliance with Bruce Banner in order to shut the Intelligencia down. Their alliance started with hunting down and destroying the Ross LMD, setting in motion the events that led to the end of the Intelligencia's plans.
The Red Hulk is on the flight deck of the Hellcarrier where he runs into the Leader, who is try to flee the ship. The Leader tells him that his plan will come to fruition as a LMD of Glenn Talbot will be addressing the nation from the White House the final component of their take over of the United States. Hearing this, the Red Hulk realizes that he can still get what he wants out of the situation. Grabbing the Leader by the throat, he uses his absorption powers forcing the Leader to return to his human form and stripping him of his intelligence. With the Leader neutralized, the Red Hulk then leaps off.
Moments later, from the Oval Office, as the LMD of Talbot addresses the nation on live television, the Red Hulk appears and decapitates the android, declairing that he is in charge now.
WORLD WAR HULKS RAGES ON! Not a dream. Not a hoax. THE ORIGIN OF Thaddeus Thunderbolt Ross aka THE RED HULK. ‘Nuff Said.
Pre-Modern Age (50+ Years Ago)
- Thaddeus Ross crashes his plane while doing a barnstorming show at the age of 16. (Page 1)
- The birth of the Hulk, as originally seen in Incredible Hulk #1. The flashback in this story recounts events from Hulk Gray #1-2. (Pages 4-6)
- The montage of Ross/Hulk Battles (Pages 8-9). Specific conflicts cannot be identified as the representation in this story is very generic.
- Incredible Hulk #287-289: General Ross commits an act of treason by allowing MODOK to unleash the Abomination. (Page 10-11)
- Incredible Hulk #291: Thaddeus Ross contemplates suicide, decides against it. (Page 12)
- Incredible Hulk #330-333: Thaddeus Ross sacrifices his life to save Betty at Gamma Base. His body is stolen by the Leader, this last fact was not revealed until Incredible Hulk #400. (Page 13-14, Panel 1)
- Incredible Hulk #397-400: Ross is resurrected as a mindless slave of the Leader, becomes the new Redeemer. He is killed again battling the Hulk. (Page 14-15)
- Incredible Hulk #455-466: Ross is resurrected by the Troyjans and reunited with Betty (Although this is not revealed until Incredible Hulk #464) (Page 16)
- Incredible Hulk #466: Betty Ross dies of radiation poisoning (the fact that the Abomination was responsible was not revealed until Incredible Hulk #474) (Page 19, Panel 1)
- Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #91: The Hulk is exiled into space. (Page 19, Panel 2)
- Captain America Vol 5 #25: Captain America is assassinated (Although resurrected later in Captain America: Reborn #5), Thaddeus Ross joins the Intelligencia. (Page 19, Panel 3 to Page 22)
- World War Hulk #1-5: World War Hulk. Ross clashes with the Hulk, Earth's heroes take him down with the unknown assistance of MODOK. (Page 23-24)
- Banner is taken to the AIM run Gamma Base and imprisoned, Ross is transformed into the Red Hulk. This takes place prior to Hulk Vol 2 #1.(Page 25-27)
- The Red Hulk kills the Abomination in Hulk Vol 2 #1 (Page 26)
- Takes down the SHIELD helicarrier in Hulk Vol 2 #2 (Page 26)
- Is forced to kill Clay Quartermain in Hulk Vol 2 #4 (Page 26)
- The Red Hulk is defeated by the Green Hulk, then abandoned by the Intelligencia in Hulk Vol 2 #6 (Page 27-28)
- The Red Hulk allies himself with Bruce Banner, seen in the flashback in Hulk Vol 2 #21. (Page 27-28)
- Red Hulk and Banner destroy the Thaddeus Ross LMD in Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1 (Page 29)
- The events of Hulk Vol 2 #19-22
- The events of this story.
This story features a series of flashbacks that revisits many points in the life of Thaddeus Ross. These flashbacks affect the chronology of the following characters:
Thaddeus Ross flying a barnstormer as a youth.
General Ross hunting the gray Hulk
The first half of this page recaps the events of Incredible Hulk #291, General Ross decides against committing suicide.
General Ross is approached by the Leader and MODOK.
Ross allows the Intelligencia transform him into the Red Hulk
Red Hulk and Samson murder Clay Quartermain.
Red Hulk and Banner destroy the Ross LMD
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.
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- Discuss Hulk Vol 2 23 on the forums
- 4 Images from Hulk Vol 2 23
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