General Thaddeus E. Ross
Adventurer; former assassin, lieutenant general, U.S. Air Force, stunt pilot
Place of Birth
245 lbs. (Ross); 1200 lbs. (Red Hulk)
Blue (Ross); Yellow (Red Hulk)
White, formerly brown (Ross); Black (Red Hulk)
Red Hulk possesses an incredible level of superhuman physical strength, stamina and durability. Unlike the Hulk, whose physical strength is potentially limitless due to the fact that the Hulk's strength increases with his level of anger, the Red Hulk becomes hotter as he grows angrier leaving huge amounts of residual radiation after a heated confrontation. This temperature increase may serve as a hindrance to the Red Hulk but that has yet to be determined.
The Red Hulk can also use his superhumanly strong leg muscles to leap great distances including into orbit around the Earth. The Red Hulk has shown to be nearly invulnerable to physical damage regardless of the cause, and has also shown the ability to regenerate damaged areas of tissue at an amazing rate. It is entirely possible that the Red Hulk also has the Hulk's resistance to extreme temperatures, poisons, and diseases but that, too, has yet to be revealed. However, as in outer space, Red Hulk can hold his breath for an extremely long amount of time and function normally, even under times of great duress.
An attribute of the Red Hulk which isn't known to many is what gives him his tremendous power. Red Hulk is able to absorb radiation, mostly gamma radiation, but he can also absorb other types such as cosmic radiation too. The more he absorbs, the more powerful he becomes.At one time, Ross's mind controlled the form of Zzzax, and hence commanded Zzzax's powers. When his mind returned to his original body, Ross could still release some of Zzzax's electromagnetic energy at will for a time.
Ross has proven himself to be a highly skilled armed and unarmed combatant as well as a master strategist, organizer and leader
General Thaddeus E. Ross was born into a military family. Both his father and his grandfather served heroically in past American wars. As a boy, Thaddeus immersed himself in military history, and he learned how to fly by barnstorming at country fairs.
As a young man, Ross enlisted in the military, graduating first in his class at West Point. He then married Karen Lee, the daughter of his commanding officer at the time. Ross rapidly rose in rank to captain and then major while serving in his first war. Ross made a great reputation as a leader in combat; he received his nickname, "Thunderbolt," when his troops said he "struck like a thunderbolt" when leading them into action.
Ross had risen to the rank of colonel by the time he was sent to his next war, during which he became a general in the U.S. Air Force (Ross never rose beyond three-star general). As he gloried in combat, he was dissatisfied with the "desk jobs" he was given before and after the war.
Ross and his wife, Karen, had one daughter, Betty. However, when Betty was in her early teens, Karen died. (To learn about Betty Ross, click on her name above.)
General Ross came to command Desert Base, New Mexico, a missile base and nuclear research site. He resented the fact that Bruce Banner, a civilian, was appointed supervisor of the gamma bomb project. Moreover, the general had contempt for the nonathletic, intellectual Banner for failing to live up to Ross's own vision of true manhood. Making matters worse, Bruce and Betty started beginning a relationship together. (Click on the place and character above to learn more about them.)
Later, Banner was transformed into the Hulk as a result of intense radiation exposure during the first test of the gamma bomb. The savage Hulk quickly became a menace, and General Ross began his long career of hunting down the Hulk. Banner's frequent, unexplained absences made Ross suspect Banner of treasonous activity and of a possible alliance with the Hulk himself. To prove his suspicions, Ross brought Major Glenn Talbot to Desert Base as the new security chief. The Pentagon designated Ross as head of Operation: Hulk. (To learn more about the above operation and character, just click on their names.)
At times over the years, Ross succeeded in capturing the Hulk or Banner, but more often the Hulk thwarted the general's attempts to capture or kill him, or, even if captured, the Hulk soon managed to escape. Embittered by these failures, Ross grew even more determined to put an end to the menace of the Hulk.
In addition to the Hulk, Ross found himself in conflict with other superhuman foes, most notably the Leader and the Abomination. However, these menaces were defeated by the Hulk, forcing General Ross to regard the Hulk with a grudging respect. When Banner actually did gain control of the Hulk, Ross reluctantly approved Bruce and Betty's wanting to marry. However, the Leader sabotaged the process, transforming Banner back into the savage Hulk before they could be wed. Ross himself was injured in the ensuing conflict. (To learn about the above characters, just click on their name.)
General Ross was greatly pleased when Betty decided to marry a military man, Talbot, after she had come to believe that she would never have Banner as her husband.
Ross led a team of Hulkbusters to pursue the Hulk into the Arctic Circle where he was captured by the Gremlin. Ross was freed by the combined efforts of Glenn Talbot and Air Force colonel Jack Armbruster. However, in the process, Talbot was captured in his place and presumed by the others to be dead. As a result of his capture, Ross was relieved of command of Operation: Greenskin and replaced by Armbruster. Though officially on leave, Ross often accompanied Armbruster on Hulkbusters missions. After Armbruster was killed, Ross and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clay Quartermain led a team that rescued Talbot. (Click the highlighted names above to learn more about the characters and team.)
Ross then rededicated his command post as Gamma Base, focusing even more on gamma research. However, injured when the Leader took over Gamma Base, Ross was pushed into a nervous breakdown by Moonstone, who used her psychiatric skills to crumble his psyche. Ross spent a length of time under the care of Doc Samson. During this time, Betty and Glenn Talbot were divorced, the funding for Gamma Base was canceled, and Glenn Talbot died while trying to kill the Hulk. (Click on the characters' names above to learn more about them. Note: Beware of Moonstone's bio page picture: very form-fitting outfit.)
Ross eventually recovered and returned to active duty. He set out to avenge Talbot's death, as well as getting revenge on the Hulk for his nervous breakdown. Ross was unable to regain funding for hunting the Hulk, but the President made him a special adviser at the Pentagon on matters relating to the dangers posed by the Hulk. However, soon after, Banner regained control of the Hulk, and the President pardoned him for all of his past offenses.
However, still convinced the Hulk was a menace, Ross made an alliance with both the Abomination and M.O.D.O.K. This effort, too, failed; when Betty Ross learned of these events, she was appalled, accusing her father of treason. Overwhelmed by shame, Ross nearly committed suicide in his office in the Pentagon. However, he instead dropped out of sight, during which time he was dishonorably discharged. Ross became a drifter, sinking increasingly further into insanity. (Click on the highlighted name above, to learn more about the character.)
Ross's old ally Clay Quartermain enabled Ross to participate in an experiment that would give him the powers of Zzzax. However, the experiment went awry and Zzzax absorbed Ross's consciousness, after which the Ross-controlled creature attacked Bruce Banner and Rick Jones. Ross/Zzzax fled after being forced to recognize that he himself was now a monster, and Ross's mind returned to his own body. Still retaining some electrical powers, Ross sacrificed his life, using that energy to destroy the mutant Nevermind which had briefly terrorized Gamma Base. (To learn about the above characters, just click on their highlighted names.)
Ross's body was taken by the Leader, who had the Soul Man restore it to a semblance of life as a nearly mindless servant, and placed it in the Redeemer armor after its previous occupant's death. He was recovered by the Troyjans, who fanned the spark of life within him and brought him to the Leader's Freehold Base where he eventually regained his memories and personality. (To learn about the characters and group above, just click on their names.)
Not long after this, Ross was restored to his previous position of Air Force General.
General Ross blamed Bruce for Betty's apparent death from radiation poisoning and went on to lead a new incarnation of the Hulkbusters. However, while pursuing the Hulk, he confronted the Abomination and learned that it was actually the Abommination who had poisoned Betty. Afterwards, Ross made his peace with Banner.Later, Ross was coerced into working with General Ryker against the Hulk, but ultimately Ross helped the Hulk free himself and defeat Ryker's plot. Soon after, Ross pushed the Hulk into seeking out and badly beating the Abomination. After using his former enemy to gain the vengeance that he himself lacked the power to accomplish, Ross allowed Banner to leave in peace. (To learn about the above character, just click on his name.)
However, eventually General Ross had a change of heart and considered Banner to be a threat again. Ross again allied himself with M.O.D.O.K. and was given a place in a group founded by the Leader called the Intelligencia. Their creation, the Red Hulk, worked closely together and were involved in several schemes (such as the assassination of the Abomination). Later, the Intelligencia wanted to send a message to the Red Hulk that he wasn't as untouchable as he believed, so Ross met the Red Hulk in the Redeemer armor. Ross was intending on killing the Red Hulk, but the Red Hulk's rage was too great and it was General Ross who was actually killed. (Click on the character and group's names above to learn more about them.)
To learn more about General Ross, click on the following link, http://marvel.com/universe/Ross,_Thaddeus.