Click here for Part 1.
It all leads to an action setpiece at yet another loading dock where Red Hulk goes against the orders in his earpiece and attacks Banner until he overcomes the drug and Hulks out himself. As the rest of the team arrives to help, Hulk finally gets to say those magic words: “Avengers Assemble!” And it’s awesome. Red Hulk is forced to retreat just as the Hulkbusters show up, and Cap convinces Hulk to surrender to them and be taken away.
The double-final reveal checks in with both over-arching villain plots: in the first, all three new villains, plus Doc Samson (Shock! Betrayal!), check in with the fourth player in this affair, some high-ranking mastermind in Washington. In the other, Captain America (who’s really a skrull) calls into his queen to report that “the Hulk has been dealt with. The Avengers are now powerless.”
I was concerned when I heard that Red Hulk would be part of the second season since I don’t really care for the character in the comics, but he was integrated nicely here and I have faith that the writers will bypass any of the problems caused by his character’s introduction, especially since his presence here is only one part of a larger story. We get plenty of new mysteries to work out. Who is the Winter Soldier? Who is the Red Hulk? Who is the mastermind in Washington? (If the mastermind is Dell Rusk, then it would make the most sense if all three were the same guys as in the comics, but I won’t spoil those here.) What did the Soldier add to the Hulk’s blood to create the Red Hulk? (I have my own theory there.) “Nightmare in Red” is somewhat reminiscent of “459” in that it breaks off from the dozen or so storylines of the season to introduce a few new elements for later. EMH has always shown impressive skill at tying old comic stories and characters together with new ones. “Nightmare” weaves together the origins of Falcon, Winter Soldier, and Red Hulk, with a little bit of the “Red Zone” storyline to hold it all together. Most fans—myself included—may not even remember that Falcon in the comics had a lot of history with the Red Skull before meeting Cap back in the 70’s. Winter Soldier and Red Hulk are more recent creations, and having all three of them be lackeys for this guy is just the kind of skillful braiding of storylines that this show has excelled at. But just like with “459” I expect the show to put these storyline on the back burner and return to the Skrull invasion next week.
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";