Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Walt Simonson
Release Date: July 25, 2012
Brian Michael Bendis has chosen issue #28 for a more character-focused piece amidst the madness that is AvX and I will admit it was a nice pace-shift. Avengers has been mired by odd shipping schedules compared to the main book which has made it feel completely out of sync with the entire event, and while this book still is not ‘caught up’ to the main story, it does not feel completely out of place. Thunderbolt Ross is on full display in this issue, focusing as much on the mind of the Red Hulk as the brawn and really fleshing out his piece of the AvX conflict. This issue is well written and well paced, with Bendis really understanding what motivates this Hulk and the complex character that he is. More often than not Red Hulk (or any Hulk) is simply a weapon of mass destruction and this issue does a good job of focusing on the tactical side of General Ross. For that reason alone, I enjoyed the story, though I did feel at the end that I really know nothing more about the Avengers Vs. X-Men conflict. From the perspective of a tie-in, I always feel a little hollow when the book doesn’t amplify anything in the primary title and while this is a decent comic in its own right, as a tie-in I found it lacking.
Walt Simonson continues his arc of Avengers with this issue and it is some of the best I’ve seen from him yet. The man is a legend, there is no disputing that, but with Avengers #28 he showed a level of consistency I haven’t seen in these past few issues. His heavily stylized artwork fits with the brawling madness of the Red Hulk very well and I thought this was a script very well paired to his skills. The last couple issues had me doubting if I wanted to read any more current-Simonson work, but this issue has removed all of those thoughts from my mind.
In the end, this book is a solid issue focusing on the Red Hulk. Non-fans of the character won’t find much in this one, nor is it essential reading for Avengers Vs. X-Men, but it is a decent comic in its own right.