I was planning on staying away from this post, as I've complained about Paul Jenkins' run on the Hulk many times over the years. Also, pretty much all my concerns have been voiced by others below. I have to first state that I am one that believes in giving a writer free reign to express their vision of a character, however that should never be at the expence or neglect of the characters history. Any new added ideas or directions must organically flow and fit within the history and scope of the character. With that said, Paul Jenkins failed to deliver.
Not all his ideas were entirely bad, but his follow through and lack of vision caused his run to suffer. Whether one liked or agreed with Peter David's Hulk run, what one can not do is claim that Peter David haphazardly wrote anything to his whim. I'm not a big Merged Hulk fan (the Professor Hulk is not the Merged Hulk that PAD wrote) but what lead to his creation made logical sense comic book wise. Peter David explored and fleshed out the Hulk in a way that no one before had. Bill Mantlo was actually exploring just who and what both Banner and Hulk were, but never took it to where Peter David did. It was a thought provoking 12 year run that was reduced to a memory with a few issues that lacked any real exposition. 12 years of excellent Hulk lore was destroyed in a few panels.
I gave Paul Jenkins the chance to impress me as I do all new writers. I even played the Paul Jenkins 'Make a new Hulk Personality Game'. He introduced the Devil Hulk and never really got to the core of why Banner had that “evil” in him. All those other thousands of Hulks in Banner were introduced for seemingly no reason at all. None played a roll in Jenkins’ run except the Devil Hulk and that was minimal. Some of the Hulks were even ridiculous and did not fit into the history of Hulk lore. Caterpillar Hulk?!? Why would Banner turn into a Caterpillar Hulk?!?
With that said not eveything about his run was bad. I loved his Gray Hulk issue. He at least understood the Hulk is in part Banner's "inner self defense mechanism externalized", something that Bill Mantlo suggested. I liked the idea of General Ryker, who I think can be used effectively if they go back to the core history that Jenkins used to set him up.
All in all I think the lack of knowledge, history and care for the Hulk, caused his run to fail!
Note - I mostly blame the editors for lack of character consistency.
I completely agree with you that Jenkins Professor Personality and The Merged Hulk from PAD were not the same character at all. The Professor was left handed and The Merged Hulk was clearly right handed if readers looked carefully. The Merged Hulk was Banner. I had a hard time believing Banner was locked in a cave all that time. I considered the Professor Recton as nothing but an outright insult to readers as well as PAD's work. I totally understood why PAD was upset. I was upset also because I enjoyed most of the Merged Hulk run alot and wish PAD had not messed it up with The Savage Banner even though I did enjoy The Merged Hulk Banner being with Betty before PAD ruined it with that Ghosts of The Future story. I almost wish he would have never did away with The Merged Hulk and even if most people disagree I still think The Merged Hulk would sure be alot better then what we have now with a dead Banner and a phony Chulk. There were just too many different Hulks. I think an argument could have been made to say That Professor Character came out of the cave just like The Devil Hulk and those other Hulks did. The Professor and Doc Green were so similar they could have just been the same character pretty much even though Doc Green and Banner had the struggle that was missing with the Professor. Other problems with Jenkins run was he never followed up on most of the stuff he started. The Devil Hulk started out interesting but then Jenkins letting 18 months go by and then The Devil Hulk coming back much weaker and looking like Jar Jar Brinks pretty much ruined that story for me. Also the fact that issues were put out late so much also frustrated readers. I will say Ron Garney did great art and made the early part of that run good but after Garney left...... well no comment. I think PAD's Tempest Fugit story helped recton that poor run from Jenkins as well as Jones Run. That might be why we never saw the Devil Hulk again or The Professor except for that brief cameo in Waids run if that was even him. I think there was another brief cameo from Devil Hulk afterward but I can't remember where exactly. I know he was in a video game. The one good thing that came from Jenkins Run was The Order and it was so shocking and sad that Jones Run came afterward.