Alternative versions of the Hulk

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Alternate versions of the Hulk
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
See also Hulk in other media

In addition to his mainstream incarnation, Hulk has also been depicted in other fictional universes, in which Bruce Banner's transformation, behavior, or circumstances vary from the mainstream setting. In some stories, someone other than Bruce Banner is the Hulk.

Bruce Banner[edit]

Alternative versions of the character have appeared in a number of Marvel storylines.

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the Age of Apocalypse alternative setting, Bruce Banner was never exposed to gamma radiation, therefore, he did not become the Hulk. Instead he became a member of the Human High Council, where he as a scientist became a weapons designer. However he also yearns to become a mutant so he sold himself to Mikhail Rasputin, one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse, to give him mutants to test on to gain superpowers. He succeeds in his experiments and he can now transform in to a creature resembling the Grey Hulk. He was used as a mole in the Council, but was discovered by Susan Storm and Ben Grimm because the patterns of Bruce's injuries were identical to those sustained by the Hulk.[volume & issue needed]

Later Banner would try and redeem himself. He would jump out of the human high council ship in an effort to prevent it from getting struck by a gamma missile of his own creation. After jumping out of the celestial ship as the Grey Hulk he would cause the missile to detonate allowing the human high council to escape earth. He would then fall back to earth, land in the collosseum, and emerge as the Green Hulk. There would be no further mention of the Hulk in the Age of Apocalypse material.[1]

Exiles[edit]

Numerous alternate versions of the Hulk have been indeed present in the Exiles series.

A crazy version of the Hulk have been attacking Canada. He was stopped by the Exiles and Alpha Flight. This little situation there features the first appearance of the rogue reality jumpers known as Weapon X. He was presumed dead after this.

Another evil version of the Hulk looked a lot different from the other. This version has a long ponytail and wears a "Peace Out" costume, but he still retains his gamma radiation looks and strength and his famous smashing abilities. He teams up with an evil Firestar and was recruited by the Timebroker to stop an evil Hyperion. It succeeds and they both join Weapon X. When Hyperion has gone even crazier than before, Hulk attacks and Weapon X began to fight with each other. Later on after Hulk's death, Firestar commits suicide when she incinerates herself and a teammate. Hulk was killed when Hyperion brutally fights him until he weakens, then Hyperion shoots his eye beams at Hulk, melting and destroying him. His body is sent back to his reality, where his funeral is held.

A conqueror version of the Hulk, in his gladiator outfit, killed Annihilus and most of the superhumans, took full control of the Annihilation Wave, and decimated the Earth as this happens. He has been apparently knocked unconscious by the Exiles. It is unknown if he survived that time. This version is even more insane than the other alternate versions of the Hulk. While the Exiles have been dealing with Proteus, Hulk's Annihilation Wave killed many of the superhumans which shouldn't have happened if not for Proteus. A new version of the Exiles have been present showing the surviving superhumans and they all have 1 goal: to stop Hulk and his Annihilation Wave, in which they apparently succeeded.

Age of X[edit]

Bruce Banner was a scientist who was under contract from the United States government to build a device that would depower any mutant. However, during the testing phase one of the mutant volunteers began to panic. Her powers caused the machine to go off prematurely while still in the gamma spectrum. The mutants were killed and Banner was bombarded by gamma radiation. The combination of the radiation and the fact that some of the mutants' genes were imprinted on him as well, caused Banner to transform into the Hulk. Because of his exposure to mutant genes Banner holds a deep murderous resentment for all mutants, to the point that he volunteered for a suicide mission to detonate a chemical bomb that would destroy the entire mutant stronghold, forcing his former teammates to sacrifice their lives to detonate the bomb early. He was incinerated by his own bomb, when one of his former teammates, Spider Woman, (in this case, called Redback) uses Steel Corpse's (also in this case, this reality's Iron Man)' severed glove to destroy the bomb.[2]

Amalgam Comics[edit]

The Skulk is a hero of the Amalgam Universe. He is amalgamated with the Hulk and Solomon Grundy.

Bruce Banner was a scientist working with gamma rays. He was testing his gamma bomb out in the desert, but a tall figure walked out into the testing area. When Banner went out to see who it was, the man turned out to be Solomon Grundy. The bomb went off fusing Grundy and Banner together. When Banner gets angry he becomes Grundy, but the creature made a name for itself, calling itself Skulk.[3]

Earth X[edit]

The Earth X series featured a vastly different take on the character, one in which the Hulk and Bruce Banner have finally achieved separation. However, they still rely on each other, with Banner becoming a blind child who sees through the Hulk's eyes. In an interview in Comicology Volume I: The Kingdom Come Companion, Alex Ross said that the design of Earth-X Banner and Hulk was based on the appearance of Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur.[volume & issue needed]

The End[edit]

In other tales, possible futures for the character have been shown. Using a post apocalyptic wasteland as a backdrop, the Peter David written Incredible Hulk: The End one-shot features an elderly Bruce Banner as the last surviving inhabitant of Earth, the story concluding with Banner dying of a heart attack, thus leaving the Hulk as the last living being on the planet.[4]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, Bruce Banner disappears in Australia, where he befriends an Aborigine tribe, and attempts to control his dark side. When the mutant rulers of the Earth attack his tribe he retaliates, and eventually conquers Australia with the aid of Advanced Idea Mechanics.[volume & issue needed]

Maestro[edit]

Main article: Maestro (comics)

Set in a post apocalyptic future, the Hulk has mutated into the dictator The Maestro ruling the remains of humanity with an iron fist.[5]

Infernal Hulk[edit]

In one alternative reality, Bruce Banner and the Hulk were magically separated. Bruce became the new Sorcerer Supreme, and the Hulk was cast into hell. However, while in hell, the Hulk became corrupted by the demonic beings he encountered, transforming him into a demon himself. Now completely evil, he escaped from hell and attempted to kill Banner. With help from the mainstream Hulk, Banner tricked the "infernal" Hulk into shattering the Eye of Agamotto, causing him to be thrown back into hell.[6]

Marvel Comics 2[edit]

In another take, The Hulk is shown to still be active in the alternative future of the MC2 universe. There, he is shown as an amalgamation of his three main transformations; He has the strength of the Savage Hulk, the attitude of the Grey Hulk, and the intelligence of the Professor Hulk.[volume & issue needed]

He's also shown to have fathered a son named David by an unknown spouse.[volume & issue needed]

He was later seen within the pages of Last Hero Standing, where Loki manipulated him into attacking the heroes. When he was freed of his manipulation he was critical in punishing Loki by forcing him into the voided dimension that Thor had opened a rift into, Hulk informing Loki that he was ruined on Earth because of Loki's actions and he therefore had nothing to lose by ensuring that Loki would be punished for eternity.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Zombies: Dead Days[edit]

In the series Marvel Zombies, the Hulk has been infected with a virus which makes him into an undead zombie (he is actually infected by the zombie Fantastic Four). Although he still retains his strength and invulnerability, he no longer heals, is losing weight because of his now-deteriorating tissue, does not feel pain and now craves human flesh. The zombie Hulk's transformations are physically controlled purely by his appetite — after feeding, he transforms back into Banner, who is also a zombie, until the hunger returns. When Hulk first transforms back into Banner, his stomach starts to burst. He is directly responsible for killing the Silver Surfer by biting off his head. Later he joins Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Giant-Man, Wolverine and Luke Cage as the Galacti after killing and consuming Galactus.

Marvel Zombies 2[edit]

Another zombified version, though he's still the same, of the Hulk appears and kills the zombified Iron Man.[7] He also kills the zombies Jean Grey, Hawkeye, and Firelord. He is once again killed by Spider Man, Wolverine, and Giant-Man.

Marvel Zombies 3[edit]

Hulk makes a cameo appearance in Marvel Zombies 3' when Machine Man, Ultron, and Jocasta travel to Earth 2149, killing winged zombies (zombie Beak, Angel, Vulture, and Falcon altogether). He also makes another cameo appearance when Vanessa Fisk explains to the 3 androids how the Silver Surfer died, and how the zombie Kingpin, who is, surprisingly her husband, created a zombie empire forming a huge alliance.

Marvel Zombies Return[edit]

A second Hulk appears in the reality the Marvel Zombies of the original series are teleported to, known as Earth-Z. This version's life appears identical to his core counterpart up until the events of World War Hulk. When he reaches the Moon to attack the Inhumans, he is infected by the zombie Giant-Man, and his allies killed. Oddly hungry, he heads back to Earth and begins eating people, and ultimately infecting the Sentry, who sets about forming a team of Zombie Avengers to eat humanity and wipe out any competition or resistance from other heroes, infected or otherwise dead. Hulk later is cured of his hunger by the Zombie Spider-Man and joins his New Avengers. The team succeeds in killing the Zombie Avengers and ending their plan to eat the multiverse, sacrificing themselves in the process. Ultimately, the nanite infused Sandman killed Hulk.[8]

Old Man Logan[edit]

This reality is set 50 years in the future after many of the costumed villains and criminals joined forces. The result is the death of most of the various costumed heroes and the conquest of the United States. In the case of Bruce Banner, excessive exposure to gamma radiation via nuclear weapons used during the conflict render him insane and results in another incarnation of the Hulk. Banner rapes his cousin Jennifer Walters and sires a progeny that possesses average human intellect, green skin and similar powers to themselves, though at lower levels. They form the "Hulk gang" that rule the entire west coast of the country, a domain formerly held by the Abomination. Banner, along with his children and grandchildren, live in a collection of caves and trailers, forcing those that live on the west coast to pay them rent in order to be allowed to live. Aside from affecting his sanity, the radiation Banner is exposed to earlier alters him physically. Even in his normal state, Banner possesses at least some degree of all the Hulk's superhuman abilities. After Logan returns home and learns his wife and children have been slaughtered by the Hulk gang, he proceeds to fight and kill all of them. He eventually confronts Banner himself and the two begin to fight, with Banner initially holding his own due to his strength. Logan soon gains the upper hand and impales Banner with his claws, which angers Banner enough that he transforms into the Hulk. The excess radiation has created a different incarnation of the Hulk, one in which Banner has complete control. Banner's Hulk form, while physically older, is much larger than any previous incarnation and is several stories tall. As the Hulk, Banner eats Logan whole and believes he's killed him. However, Logan's healing factor allows him to withstand the assault and heal the injuries sustained. He eventually claws his way out of Banner's body through his back, causing massive internal injuries to Banner that end up killing him. Logan spots Banner's grandson, Bruce, Jr. and spares him. Logan takes the boy to raise in an effort to someday help combat the various villains that still rule the country.[9]

Ruins[edit]

In the Warren Ellis series Ruins, a dark flip to the Kurt Busiek tale Marvels, the accidents, experiments and mutations that led to the creation of Super Heroes and super humans, instead led to terrible deformations and painful deaths. Here, Bruce Banner's story went exactly the same with his 616 counterpart, but when he was caught in the middle of the gamma bomb explosion, instead of transforming into The Incredible Hulk, his whole body opened up from the gigantic tumours that appeared inside it, pushing most of his organs and skull outside his body, and giving Rick Jones cancer. He didn't die, and was put in an underground vault by the CIA, codenamed "the Hulk".[10]

Ultimate Hulk[edit]

Several different versions of the Hulk appear throughout the Ultimate Marvel imprint. The first appears in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #2 (2001), written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Phil Hester. In the Ultimates series, Bruce Banner works for S.H.I.E.L.D., attempting to re-create the super-soldier formula that created Captain America. He injects himself with an experimental version of the formula, turning into the green-skinned Hulk, and rampaging through New York, and is only stopped through the combined efforts of Spider-Man and a S.H.I.E.L.D. battalion led by General Ross. This version of the formula is eventually expelled from Banner's body, and he is no longer capable of transforming into the Hulk. However, Banner later combines Captain America's blood with his previous Hulk formula, and injects it into himself (Ultimates #4). This Hulk is depicted as willfully murdering hundreds of people, and in some cases eating them. This version of the formula also appears to remain in Banner's system permanently.[11] The Hulk is used by SHIELD as a weapon against the Chitauri, but the identity of the Hulk becomes public and Banner is sentenced to death by nuclear warhead, which he escapes and becomes a fugitive.

Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk shows that after escaping the execution attempt, Banner travels through France, Ireland and India, seeking a means to control the Hulk within. In Ultimates 2 #11, Bruce Banner appears in Washington D.C. He proclaims himself "in touch with [his] inner sociopath" before allowing a Crimson Dynamo robot to step on him. He immediately transforms into the Hulk and rips the droid apart. He then continues to aid the Ultimates against the Liberators in issue #12, by defeating, dismembering, and finally eating the Abomination.[12]

He then appeared together with Iron Man in their own mini-series titled Ultimate Human, focusing on Bruce Banner approaching Tony Stark about the possibility of using the Iron Man nanites to control the Hulk transformations. The Leader is introduced as Pete Wisdom, a scientist after the blood of both men, for use in the creation of a superhuman. This series depicts the Hulk's physiology as almost infinitely adaptive to adverse conditions, including simulations of hostile extraterrestrial environments such as the surface of the planet Venus. It also described him as generating carbon Fullerenes in his skin structure, adding to his durability.[13]

In issue #4 of Ultimate Origins, which takes place 15 years before the Ultimate timeline's present, Bruce Banner is shown to have been hired by the U.S. Government and Nick Fury as part of a project to secretly recreate the Super Soldier Serum. At a covert lab in Dover, New Jersey, Bruce works alongside fellow scientists, Hank Pym, Franklin Storm, father of Sue and Johnny Storm, and Richard Parker, father of Peter Parker.[14]

Bruce believes that he has come up with the correct formula for the serum, but needs to test it out. Eager to try his results on a human subject, Banner synthesizes his serum and injects himself with it. The serum turns him into the Hulk for the very first time. Banner goes on a rampage inside the laboratory and eventually destroys the entire complex, (Bendis said that the Hulk didn't kill them, but) accidentally almost killed Richard Parker, along with his wife Mary, who had brought an infant Peter along with her to visit Richard.[15]

In Ultimate Hulk annual, a naked Hulk comes into a restaurant demanding food, Princess Zarda (Power Princess) who is already at the restaurant fights and defeats the Hulk. After the fight, the two form a bond and go to another restaurant before renting a motel room and having sex.[16]

During Ultimatum the Hulk appears in New York and is convinced by Spider-Man to help him rescue people. When demons start appearing they go to the home of Doctor Strange, only to learn that his body had been possessed by Nightmare. He then starts to torture them. Hulk in response heats the Orb of Acmantata, which causes an explosion. He survives and is recruited by the remaining Ultimates and X-Men to stop Magneto. In Magnetos Citadel he and Colossus are tasked with destroying some of the citadels machinery. They try to stop Mystique and Sabretooth from escaping, but fail. Hulk survives Ultimatum, and is later seen in Ultimate Comics: X in a soup kitchen as Bruce Banner in New York. He is convinced by Karen Grant to be their "enforcer" in a new team sponsored by former Director Nick Fury.[17]

During the European crisis involving the Children of Tomorrow, Hulk was convinced by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Flumm to attack the Children in exchange for the safety of Betty Ross, currently in custody. Hulk was unleashed in Children's base, The City, but the Maker (Reed Richards) managed to calm him down and convince him that he was being used. In that moment, the US government launched an ineffective nuclear attack on the City, and the Children detonate an anti-matter bomb in Washington, D.C. in retaliation. When the Ultimates finally turned the tide, the Maker injected the Hulk with Giant-Man serum, turning him into a giant juggernaut, although he was defeated and put into sedated custody beneath the Triskelion once more.

Bruce was freed by the mysterious woman called Kang, and convinced him to steal the Infinity Gems with which he battled the Ultimates. After the arrival of escapee Reed Richards, the heroes escaped, but Captain America decided to be left behind in order to stop the villains, although he was defeated by Thor.

While not the original Hulk, "Nerd Hulk", as he has been code named, is a clone created by Tony Stark's older brother, Gregory from Banner's stem cells. He has retained Banner's Hyper-Intellect as well as the monster's brute strength. Captain America proved this to be a severe disadvantage as it took away the rage that gave Bruce Banner his boundless strength and unpredictability, allowing Rogers to best Hulk in combat with relative ease. Hulk later joined the Avengers in confronting the Red Skull in Alaska. "Nerd Hulk" found himself completely terrified of the Cosmic Cube wielding Red Skull. However, the Black Widow (Monica Chang) forced him to confront the Red Skull head on, and he at first appeared to be successful in crushing the Cosmic Cube. This was quickly revealed to be an illusion created by the Red Skull, who then blasted the Hulk away, sending him flying into the sky. After a team of Avengers are sent to protect a potential target of Ghost Rider they begin to suspect he is not a mutant as they once believed. In order to learn more about their new target Nerd Hulk and Monica Chang question a caged man in a Spider-Man costume they refer to as "Spider." He reveals the origin of Ghost Rider and informs him the Rider's next target is the man that sent the kill order, the Vice President. Since he hates the code name "Nerd Hulk" he decides to change it to simply, "Banner," and since he became a full staff member. In Ultimate Comics Avengers 3, he becomes a vampire thanks to the leader, Marcus. He later kills Perun, but Captain America takes his hammer and teleports all the vampires, Avengers, (and the Triskelion) to the Middle East. As all the vampires die in the heat of the Sun, Blade impales Marcus, killing him, and Cap takes Perun's hammer and beheads the vampiric Hulk clone.[18][19]

In Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 another different Hulk appears, and is established to be the original Hulk, created before Bruce Banner. Dr. Leonard Williams was working on the super-soldier formula in England with Dr. Bruce Banner as a human test subject, and somehow became the first incarnation of the creature. He was believed to have died in the unexplained destruction of his lab, but in fact, Williams escaped to South America, where he became a drug lord under the alias of Tyrone Cash. S.H.I.E.L.D. located and blackmailed him into joining them, lest his wife and son, who believed him to be dead, be informed of the truth.[20] He participates in the battle to defend the Vice-President (arriving in a nice car with two women, claiming there is a sexual tension between him and Black Widow and asking to be called Mister Cash). He tries to defeat Blackthorne but is defeated twice and nearly killed if not by the intervention of Ghost Rider.[21][22]

In the mini series Ultimate Mystery, elderly, wheelchair-bound Dr. Samuel Sterns, a member of Roxxon Brain Trust is transformed by a modified version of the Hulk serum gathered by Doctor Octopus (in an attempt to trap his creation: a rogue female clone of Spider-Man).[23] She, under the alias "Dr. Julia Carpenter'" is caught and almost experimented on, but was stopped by Spider-Man, while Sterns injects himself with the serum thus changing into a version of the Hulk. Sterns is later defeated by both Spider-Woman and Spider-Man.[24]

Other Hulks[edit]

For the Marvel 2099 imprint, Gerard Jones and Dwayne Turner created a new version of the character. First appearing in 2099 Unlimited #1, John Eisenhart, a selfish film producer in "LotusLand" (future Hollywood) is inadvertently exposed to gamma radiation by the Knights of the Banner (a cult worshipping the original Hulk) who intend to create a Hulk of their own. As the Hulk, Eisenhart finds himself representing freedom to a closed-off society. A Hulk 2099 series was published for 10 issues.[volume & issue needed]

In the Bullet Points mini-series, Peter Parker finds himself on the test site for a Gamma bomb and absorbs a large dose of gamma radiation, becoming the Hulk. In a further twist, later in the series, in an attempt to find a cure for Peter, Dr. Bruce Banner examines specimens taken from the test site and is bitten by a radioactive spider, becoming Spider-Man.[25]

In the DC-Marvel Crossover "Batman vs the Incredible Hulk", Banner infiltrated a Wayne tech project as a lowly technician to get close to an experimental gamma-ray gun. The Joker attempted to steal the gun but was nearly thwarted when Banner transformed into the Hulk, although he bought time by tricking Hulk into fighting Batman, who only just managed to defeat the Hulk by tricking him into inhaling knockout gas. When the Hulk reverted to Banner, Bruce Wayne surprised him by offering Banner full access to the project. The Joker's real reason for stealing the gun was to fulfill a bargain with the Shaper of Worlds, who was stranded on Earth and needed the gamma-ray's powers to treat a disease he had acquired that was driving him mad. When the Joker finally succeeded in stealing the gamma-ray gun, its power was insufficient but the entity realized the Hulk contained the key to his power being restored, forcing Joker to kidnap the Hulk instead. Although the plan succeeded, with the Shaper subsequently making the Joker's dreams real, Batman and the Hulk were able to team up and defeat the Joker, Hulk keeping the Joker's creations occupied while Batman provoked his enemy into over-using his powers to the point that he was left catatonic.[26]

In Incredible Hulk vs Superman, the Hulk and Superman face each other early in their respective careers (to the point that Banner's identity as the Hulk is still secret), with Lex Luthor attempting to provoke a battle between the Hulk and Superman by using a Hulk Robot to create the impression that the Hulk had abducted Lois Lane and Betty Ross. At the tale's conclusion, Luthor attempts to destroy Superman and the Hulk with Banner's Gamma Gun, but Superman and the Hulk are able to work together to destroy the gun.[27]

In the DC vs. Marvel crossover series, the Hulk is one of the chosen champions selected to compete for the survival of their worlds, briefly helping Superman defeat Metallo before the two of them are pitted directly against each other. Although they are relatively equal in terms of raw strength, Superman manages to prevail in the final fight.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hulk: Broken Worlds Book 2"
  2. ^ Age of X: Universe #1
  3. ^ Doctor Strangefate #1 (April 1996)
  4. ^ Hulk: The End (August 2002)
  5. ^ The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #401 (January 1993)
  6. ^ Incredible Hulks Annual #1
  7. ^ Marvel Zombies 2 #5 (April 2008)
  8. ^ Marvel Zombies Return #4-5
  9. ^ Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size #1
  10. ^ Ruins #1 (Aug 1995)
  11. ^ Ultimates #3
  12. ^ Ultimates 2 #12
  13. ^ Ultimate Human #1
  14. ^ Ultimate Origins #3
  15. ^ Ultimate Origins #4
  16. ^ Ultimate Hulk Annual
  17. ^ http://www.comicvine.com/news/wolverines-son-vs-sabretooth-in-ultimate-x-5/143095/
  18. ^ Mark Millar (w), Steve Dillon (p), Andy Lanning (i). "Blade Versus the Avengers" Ultimate Avengers 3 1 & 2 (October & November 2010), Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Mark Millar (w), Steve Dillon (p), Andy Lanning (i). "Blade Versus the Avengers" Ultimate Avengers 3 5 & 6 (October & November 2010), Marvel Comics
  20. ^ Mark Millar (w), Leinil Francis Yu (p), Gerry Alanguilan (i). "Crime and Punishment, Part 2 of 6" Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 2 (July 2010), Marvel Comics
  21. ^ Ultimate Comics: Avengers #5
  22. ^ Ultimate Comics: Avengers #6
  23. ^ Ultimate Mystery #4
  24. ^ Ultimate Mystery #4
  25. ^ Bullet Points #4 (April 2007)
  26. ^ DC Special Series #27 (Fall 1981)
  27. ^ Incredible Hulk vs Superman #1 (July 1999)
  28. ^ Marvel versus DC #3 (April 1996)