I didn't mind it, but I also don't hate Jeph Loeb the way a lot of comics fans seem to. I'm also not a hardcore Hulk fan, so that probably factors into it. I started reading again with Planet Hulk after not reading any Hulk since the Peter David days.
As for who it was, it seemed like the obvious choice to me. I did feel like the ending was needlessly complicated, what with the stuff they did to take that character out of the running early on, but I suppose if they hadn't done that they couldn't have milked the mystery for the last year.
What was more surprising to me was the identity of the Red She-Hulk. That character never crossed my mind, though bigger Hulk fans may have had it figured out the whole time.
I was okay with it. Would have preferred it to have been Glenn Talbot as had been theorized on various sites when the mystery was first introduced. It would have made "better" sense to me, plus they brought Talbot back from the "dead" during the storyline (only as a red herring as it were), but he was RIGHT THERE. Although I guess kudos for going against the grain of the typical lower ranking soldier being the one who gets mutated/changed/etc at the behest of the higher ranking official and instead having it be the General who is willing to become something he hates to combat something he hates more.
The real problem to me is this: It was a good storyline that stretched into a terrible crossover that was handled horribly. I've read crossovers held between many more *unrelated* titles that went back and forth much better than this one did between two *related* books with writers who were supposedly on the same page and headed to the same "destination." Total fail on readability between the two books.
So now where do they go with it? Suddenly we've got at least 6 gamma-powered heroes running around and suddenly the Hulk doesn't seem so cool or unique anymore (to me anyway).
They're doing the same thing with Wolverine and even Deadpool at the moment. Waaaaaay too many variants of a character water down the original and make me much less interested in following the continuing adventrues of any of them. Dropped "Incredible Hulk" as soon as the crossover was over, dropped "Hulk" because McGuinness was no longer doing the art. (Have dropped all Wolverine and Deadpool books as well).
Gonna take a lot of changes in how Marvel does things to get me back on any of these characters in the future.
FANTASTIC art on the "Hulk" book though. Ed McGuinness could draw the phone book and I'd buy it. Other than Cap and Amazing Spider-Man (both of which are hanging by threads with me) whatever he moves onto next will be one of the few Marvel books I'll buy.
"You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face." Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comic's "Manhunter")
My big issue with the Red Hulk is that everybody immediately thought it was Ross, and Loeb et. all were like, "No, no, no, it's somebody else, look - Ross is dead." A good story is good even if the readers figure out the ending ahead of time. There was no reason to be so deliberately misleading after people guessed the right answer.
One of America's premiere literary minds dead at 71. link: http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/books/12/28/obit.sontag.ap/index.html Susan, we barely knew ye. R.I.P. [Edit]: I recently read her last book, Regarding the Pain of Others.