Respect The Immortal Hulk
"Do you know what rage is, Grandmaster? Not the pain of betrayal... the hurt of being wronged by a friend... Pain is loud, you see. Hurt roars and bellows. It only wants to be left alone... to heal... or to die. But rage... rage is silent. Rage is cold. Rage cannot be stopped. And it never. Ever. Dies."
-The Challenger, Avengers #693
This is an idea I had once Hulk came back in Secret Empire, and can finally get around to doing since the feats are flooding in. Essentially, my aim is to make this the most up to date Hulk respect thread available. I will only be including feats of Hulk after his death during Civil War II and will be updating it regularly whenever Bruce does anything noteworthy in his solo or any other canon comic he appears in. If anyone wants to help contribute or notices something that I haven't, feel free to PM me the feat and issue number and I'll do my best to get it here asap. Currently, Hulk doesn't have an abundance of feats, but I figured I'd start early and update it gradually. Anyway, without further ado, let's get to the smashing.
(I'm helping Bagel with this because he's extremely busy, so this is more or less a joint project).
TDB: Normal Text
This, taken from a PM post, basically explains what Immortal Hulk is:
So banner's been killed multiple times, has always come back, and has a healing factor and has always had a slight horror vibe to him, so Al ewing has decided to craft that into a story line, and has made Hulk 'Immortal'. This new immortal hulk cannot die and will always come back, operates during the night mostly, and is usually seen 'in mirrors'. He's very intelligent, Al has said that he's one of the top 5 strongest incarnations, and Al decided that his series will have a lot f a horror vibe, so that's why for the most of the time he was fighting the avengers, he did not say a single word.
With that said, he's kind of like the Green Scar persona, but more twisted and dark. Banner's not really a good person, and this hulk is all the dark thoughts he has and will ever have just waiting to burst out of his skin and smash. Banner will be 'listening' to the Hulk more in this series, and kind of channelling him to be 'the monster that hunts monsters' a prominent theme is whether bruce is man, monster or both. Bruce tried to get hawkeye to kill him, to end the threat of the hulk forever, but this latest resurrection proved that Hulk can never die, and in his words 'I am in hell, and the king of hell lives in my flesh'.
So Bruce can get shot in the head, he'll die, and at sundown, Hulk will wake up and come for vengeance.
So in uncanny avengers, secret empire and recently, everybody who 'ressurected' him simply woke him up and gave him a push in the direction of smashing, and he's only too happy to comply.
anyway, these scans and links should help more:
here's a workblog for Immortal Hulk
So I hear there's a new IMMORTAL HULK tagline circulating - "The Monster Who Hunts Monsters" - from the Next Big Thing panel at C2E2.— Al Ewing Writes Comics And Tells You About Them (@Al_Ewing) April 9, 2018
That's accurate. There are monsters out there, and Bruce Banner is walking the world and seeking them out. But let's not forget... (1/) pic.twitter.com/Iojp035AoP
"Is he man or monster, or is he both?" That's the question that's always lurking in this book. Bruce isn't just a monster looking for monsters. He's a person looking for people - and that line can blur in ways that might not be easy or comfortable, for us or for him. (2/)— Al Ewing Writes Comics And Tells You About Them (@Al_Ewing) April 9, 2018
Anyway - some relevant words from the first issue.— Al Ewing Writes Comics And Tells You About Them (@Al_Ewing) April 9, 2018
"There are two people in every mirror. There's the one you can see. And there's the other one."
"The one you don't want to."
I'll see you all in June. (3/3) pic.twitter.com/V0oXWnfjEE
Al Ewing: This is something that’s been brewing for a while – the last time I was in the Marvel “writer’s room,” way back at the start of last year, we were talking about the Hulk. and I pitched the idea that he was resurrecting so often because that’s just what he does. Like, we don’t need a MacGuffin or magic or Hydra science every time – he just comes back. That’s what he does. That’s what he is. I don’t think it went anywhere at the time, but when I sat down on my own and really thought it through, that led very naturally into the idea that when the gamma bomb went off, Bruce died… and then he came back. T
I had to go through a pitching process to get the Hulk book, but once I did and I had the basic ideas locked in place, I was doing my usual thing — I did it with Iron Man for Fatal Frontier — trawling through the very earliest appearances to get a handle on the primal vibe of the character, and also absorbing any weird synchronicities that came my way. I heard the old Frankie Vaughn song “Green Door” on the radio, and that kind of wormed its way into things. “Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?” There’s a whole thing with the Green Door that’s going to bubble up through the early issues of the book, and end up introducing a new, terrifying enemy for the Hulk, and for the Marvel Multiverse. You’ll have to wait for the July solicits for the first mention of that one…
Ewing: Hulk was locked in by the end of the first sit-down meeting, the day after that “writer’s room” I mentioned. He was definitely on his way back, and we kind of claimed that beat for our own, because we knew it would grab hold of people at the halfway point. And that was very early on – so almost right from the start, we were building a couple of big action scenarios around the return of the Banner Hulk, and you’ll be seeing those play out in month three. Essentially, we had the idea of a whole squad of Avengers against the Hulk, and at first that was going to be all the heavy hitters – which would have been exciting, but would also have had the scent of pro-wrestling to it. Like, if we know the Hulk’s going to beat the hell out of everyone – and we do know that, he’s the Strongest One There Is – it’s much more interesting to pit him against the weak and the wounded, back at HQ. It turns it from an exhibition match into a desperate last stand. (And it is going to be the last stand for a couple of Avengers. There are casualties. You’ve been warned.)
Ewing: It feels like something new, in that I’m not consciously doing anyone else’s Hulk. When I wrote the Maestro for Contest Of Champions, it was very much Peter David’s Maestro – lots of quips, lots of wordplay. But if I’m channeling anything for this Hulk, it’s those very first issues, when he was new and strange and unknown and very much a horror character. I’m kind of opening myself up to all that weird, old, dreamlike stuff and letting it drive the bus a little bit. And one thing that stands out is that everyone was really scared of the Hulk in the very early days, in a way they haven’t been since – they were afraid of what he might do, because they had no idea what he could or would do.
That’s our Hulk. He’s a terrifying mystery – and I’m going to hold off on revealing any of that mystery here. The next three or four issues of Avengerswill answer all your questions.
Ewing: I’m going to jump in and sing Paco’s praises here, as this might be the last time we work together for a little while. He’s a rock – classic and modern at the same time, with energy to spare. I honestly can’t think of anyone better to do the kind of off-beat, fun, wild and crazy cape-comix madness we’ve been getting up to together for the last few years. I know I can throw pretty much anything at him and he’ll make it sing, which gives me the confidence to get really bizarre on occasion. Hulk’s fight with [REDACTED] in issue #686, for example, is one for the ages. And of course, we’ve had inker extraordinaire Juan Vlasco making it all crisp, sharp and electric – those two are the perfect artistic team, and I’m glad they let me hang around for a while.
Obviously Avengers No Surrender has been used to bring back Bruce Banner once again into the Marvel Universe, why did you decide to resurrect the character in Avengers and not in a Hulk book?
We wanted to give the Avengers book something and we wanted to get people excited about it and people were! Without the Hulk resurrection, 1) we’d have to put something in that third month of story and 2) it really gave people this big boost of interest halfway through. Otherwise people would be interested in the start and at the end, there would be a dip in the middle and instead we had the Hulk coming back. We built up to that and that big rampage kept people interested, focused and really excited by it all the way through which is good, if we were to do that again we’d have to have a similar Hulk returns type moment.
Also doing it in Avengers I can start Immortal Hulk issue one; I don’t have to give lengthy explanations of how he died and came back – I can just start issue one. New readers can just come in and if they want to, can catch up on what the Hulk’s been up to. They can read the recent Avengers book, and if they don’t it’s not like issue one where immediately your crushed by continuity from comics you haven’t read. I feel like it’s important, certainly for this series, to start afresh as possible. I wanted to get the resurrection and continuity stuff squared away so I could tell the story I wanted to do in the Hulk book.
How would you describe your approach to Immortal Hulk?
AE: We’re doing it as a horror book and we’re very consistent with the tone, we’re also trying to make it different to what’s come before and what’s already out there. It’s going to be the only Marvel comic that’s going to be striking that particular horror tone. We need to be unique as possible, so that’s what I’m thinking about.
Instead of the usual “don’t make me angry” Is the tagline going to be “don’t kill me you wouldn’t like me when I’m dead?”
Ha ha! Maybe! One thing I’ve tried to bring back is the idea that Bruce Banner can hide; obviously he’s got a well known face. There’s a lot of people who are celebrities and if I saw them on the street, I wouldn’t necessarily know them or be able to place them, I’d say he looks familiar, I wouldn’t immediately say oh that’s the Hulk. We’re bringing back Bruce’s anonymity and his ability to kind of blend in and part of that is that he’s got a lot of experience as a fugitive. So we’re playing up the old TV show, he’s wandering from town to town and we’ve also brought back when night falls, that’s the Hulk’s time, and daytime is Bruce Banner’s time and night is the Hulk time.
The changes don’t necessarily automatically happen at sundown, we make it very obvious that when the sun goes down the Hulk is in charge. We’re getting away from the anger mechanic and we’re going back to the early days when he changed at night. It’s not for the first time that someone’s used this, I know Peter David used this for the grey Hulk and I’ve always liked that.
Would you reckon that this incarnation is more powerful than the rest?
In a sense yeah. I don’t like the whole “who’s stronger” thing, I think that’s a boring story to tell, so I kind of get around it by assuming that the “Hulk is the strongest one there” – it’s like it says on the tin. In terms of one on one battles he’s powerful enough to win. If he’s fighting all of the Avengers then that’s going to be more of a fight, but the fights are less important than the stories, the emphasis on this book is really on the story.
It’s on story; it’s on tone, mysteries and strange happenings and stuff. Yes he’s powerful; he’s one of the more powerful incarnations of the Hulk – I think he’d certainly be in the top five. He might be the smartest version of the Hulk there’s been, but at the same time that’s not the point and that’s not the focus. We’ll see if people like that and go for it. I’m hoping people will be on board for a darker take on the Hulk. We’re focusing less on what he can bench press and more on the monster in the darkness.
Joe Bennett’s drawn the Hulk in the past, what do you think he’s bringing to the character this time round?
From what he’s told me, he’s very inspired by the original Kirby Hulk. He’s bringing a real solidity to it and monstrousness. His Hulk takes up a lot of the page and the atmosphere of the room. When the Hulk’s on the page you know all about it! He’s this huge looming presence. His Hulk’s very scary, he’s a got a subtle grasp of expressions as well. It’s no secret that we’ve got Walter Langowski, Sasquatch from Alpha Flight, coming in as a supporting character.
I’m starting to get pages in from Walter now and his expressions are very subtle. Walter always smiles a lot, there are degrees and gradations you see immediately sense the personality. He has a rule of characterisation for the Hulk, he’s quite sinister in places which is good for our purposes.
You pitched the idea at a creative summit, what’s the atmosphere like at those meetings?
AE: It kind of depends of how many people there are in the room, I enjoy it more when there’s a few people in the room. For Avengers No Surrender it was just the writers and the editorial, the writers rooms are quite febrile and there’s a lot of ideas bursting back and forth and you’ve got to be quick on your feet, it’s very easy to sit back and do a lot of listening and nodding and not actually contribute much! They want people to contribute and bring ideas to the room, not just sitting and listen to ideas.
Whenever I’ve been in the writers room I’ve had four or five decent ideas that people like, you put your idea out there and the whole room kicks it about and it’ll change shape in front of your eyes – so you’ve got to be okay about it. But this one the room thought about and the conversation moved on so I kind of thought about it and took it away from me.
You’ve also created a unique Tumblr account which has pages of Green skin’s earlier days, what’s the idea behind that?
It’s not totally unique, it’s very strongly inspired by a similar account that Matt Fraction did, I forget what that was called. When he was getting ready to do Fantastic Four, he went through the early issues and he’d take panels and just comment on them. I was fascinated by that at the time and I thought when I got the Hulk, you know what I’m going to do one of those. I call it a work blog or a hobby thing, it’s a way of getting into that mental space where I sort of think about the Hulk. So I’ll put up a panel of the Hulk every couple of days but I’ll generally put a hash tag commentary with it.
I look for panels where the Hulk’s very scary or frightening and also when it’s obviously a horror comic. I also focus on the psychology of Bruce Banner and his relationship with the Hulk, the psychology of the Hulk and also the particular trends in the Hulk when he starts to bubble up, like when he started getting into the self-hating phase for a couple of issues. Also when he starts talking about wiping out all of mankind and that’s something that bubbled up and went away again as Stan Lee and the people who was working on the Hulk at the time got more of a handle on the character. One thing I noticed is when the “dumb” Hulk starts to come in, Stan Lee becomes fixated on the Hulk’s clouded brain and I found that I was avoiding those panels because that’s not so interesting to me. My Hulk is very sharp, he’s not stupid and he’s not going to in the third person or doing a baby talk thing, he’s very articulate, like menacingly articulate. Eventually I’m going to run out of interesting panels or I’ll run out of reprints and it’ll slowly die out but not before everything sinks in!
Going back to the very first six issues of the Incredible Hulk, they were all about change weren’t they?
Yes. I’ve carried on my Tumblr past those, I’m kind of fascinated on how the Hulk’s developed, it’s kind of noticeable on the panels where I’m throwing up on the page that they’ve pretty much entered a pattern, he solidified and stabilised even if he’s not quite the Hulk that we’re used to. He’s in a good place when Stan Lee has a good idea what do with him.
The first six issues, every issue was different and it was a new and unexpected thing. The first issue was a straight up horror comic, then it’s starts getting into superhero territory, but even so Hulk is ending stories by threatening to destroy all of mankind and saying the human race will never be safe as long as he’s around, and he’s the only person doing that at the time. If you look at the Sub Mariner he’s in the villain role at that stage but the Hulk’s the hero, the protagonist and he’s also this terrifying monster the scientist hero doesn’t really have control over. There’s this ongoing question, is it Bruce Banner or is it somebody else? Is the Hulk Bruce or not Bruce, or the anti Bruce? It’s this fertile ground and you can go back to the first six issues and it’s all there. There’s just so much there that you can work with.
Writer Peter David explained that Bruce Banner had multiple personality disorder, are you going to pursue that?
AE: I’m definitely going to get into that. I’m thinking that the mental health of Bruce Banner is something I want to explore but it’s a topic that I want to do right, I’ll see what I end up doing but I’m very conscious it would be easy to get that wrong, so I’m being quite careful with that one. It’s definitely something I’m interested in and it’s something quite close to home. The MPD thing is only a part of it. I don’t want to get into a place where the Hulk is explicable; it shouldn’t be more complicated. Since Dissociative Identity Disorder is such a complex topic and even now people are still working on how to understand it as a thing. It should be as complicated as it is in the real world and we’ll see if I actually manage to get it right and hopefully I will.
In what scenario does the Hulk work best?
AE: The first issue is going to plug him into a horror story; more of an EC sophisticated suspense story and the second issue is going to be a mystery as he’s going to be solving a mystery. The third issue is a more standard horror issue, it’s like an exorcism story and four and five we slightly get into more regular Hulk territory there. He has to deal with a big monster. Over the course of the first arc we’re asking that question what scenarios can we put the Hulk into? Is there a limit beyond which it’s no longer a Hulk story? Can you fit him into all kinds of different things? I think you can put into any number of different scenarios and make it work.
What would you say to fans that’ve dropped reading Hulk books and are tempted to come back?
We really are a good jumping on point for fans, if you pick up issue one you don’t really need to pick up anything else. If you’re reading Immortal Hulk then you don’t need to read any other Hulk books. Anytime we bring somebody from the larger Marvel universe we’ll tell you who they are, I really want avoid a thing where readers feel like where they’re missing something.
We really need to avoid that when they have an issue of Immortal Hulk and that’s something that satisfies them and they don’t get to the end of that and think “oh I should have read such and such to enjoy this.” We’re trying to do it completely without crossovers, but we are bringing people from the shared universe. The Hulk is part of the shared universe but we’re going to do it in such a way, like Avengers and Sasquatch, we’re seeing them through the lens of the Hulk. We’re applying our own tone; we’re doing it our way. There has never been a simpler time to get on board with the Hulk and start from issue one and that’s got everything you need.
The July Marvel solicits are out - including IMMORTAL HULK #2 and #3.— Al Ewing Writes Comics And Tells You About Them (@Al_Ewing) April 17, 2018
#2 is a glimpse into Bruce Banner's routine... and a mystery that's killing a small town. And #3 features an old enemy and a strange new threat.
What is... the One Below All?https://t.co/pjmHo6pWZZ
In case you missed them, here's a look at the gorgeous covers @thealexrossart did for IMMORTAL HULK #2 and #3. Needless to say, I'm very happy.— Al Ewing Writes Comics And Tells You About Them (@Al_Ewing) April 17, 2018
Beautiful... but just a little disturbing, too, aren't they? There's something almost hallucinatory about them.
Something haunted. pic.twitter.com/dtzYt54STm
Section 1: Strength
(This is his first resurrection after his death, The Hand 'resurrected' him, but simply just gave him a prod. It's important to note that for this specific resurrection, because of the Hand's influence, he was more susceptible to all that was thrown at him, not that it really mattered)
Uncanny Avengers II #16:
Throws a statue at deadpool
Uncanny Avengers II #17:
- Hulk couldn't be so much as moved by the combined efforts of Rogue with Wonder Mans strength and Cable's TK, even going as far as to overpower Rogue with one arm:
Resurrection 3 [Final]:
Same as above, but with the Challenger.
- Tears apart Enigma pretty effortlessly who can make her density as hard as diamonds, later confirmed that Hulk killed Pod here...
Here's the script for this:
- Crushes General Maverick Red Hulk's hand despite him also wearing an Iron Man suit to better contend with Hulk:
here's the script:
grabs and crushes WM's head:
Here's the script:
- Easily restrains Wonder Man (who appears to be far more powerful than classic days) and seemingly could have torn his head off if he wasn't toying with him):
here's the script
- Later in the same issue Hulk repeatedly shrugs off the efforts of Jane Thor and friggin Hercules, at one point literally ignoring their attempts to restrain him and can shake them off by flexing...
here's the script
Immortal Hulk #5
Chokes and holds back possessed sasquatch, until he gets shocked by who's possesing him. Don't check out the scans if you haven't read the issue.
Section 2: Striking
Uncanny Avengers II #16:
Stomped and KO'ed Deadpool
Same as above, but with HYDRA.
Secret Empire #6:
- Oneshots a barrier that not even Thor wielding Jarbjorn could break...
- Later in the same issue Hulk proceeds to two shot The Thing:
This is the Avenger 684's prelude's look at one of the punches:
- Crushes Captain Glory's spine in one smash:
Captain Glory had previously been able to fight on par with Proxima Midnight and defeated Ebony Maw
- Later in the same issue, Hulk one-shotted Cannonball with a casual slap that had enough force to break Quicksilvers ribs when attempting to catch Sam:
this is the script:
Also worth noting that Cannonball literally dove headfirst into a charging Mjolnir a few issues earlier and was still conscious so he's very durable when blasting...
- Completely mangles Maverick's face in three hits:
script (by the way the script describes it, it was basically done after 2 punches):
- Then proceeds to hit Vision so hard that he literally causes him to start speaking in Binary...
Later confirmed in issue #687 that Vision was more or less rendered 'dead' and needs to be repaired:
Slaps around WM
Him just swinging his hands back hurts Jane Thor and Hercules
Beats down and draws blood from a freaking Elder of the universe who was taking on and beating an entire Avengers team.
Immortal Hulk #5
Draws blood from and hurts Sasquatch, who under Spoiler's possession has unlocked his full power, rivalling that of Bruce's
When he gets bloodlusted, he really puts the hurt on Sasquatch, beating him down and kind of reverting to a savage hulk kinda speech as well. Interesting. Though, from here, there are pretty major spoilers, so don't read this if you haven't read the issue.
Section 3: Durability
Uncanny Avengers II #16:
Cable's best only ticks him off:
neither does Rogue (with WM'S powers)'s
Uncanny Avengers II #17:
Neither does Enigma's
or Rulk's, which literally breaks the armor he's wearing
In fact, Neither do Thor (lightning amped) or Hercules with Rogue, with Hercules hitting him so hard that he hurts himself, WITH A SUCKER PUNCH.
In fact, the only thing to actually hurt him was A freaking Elder of the universe who completely dissolved WM with a blast and was taking on a team of avengers punching him clear into space, and even still, he was laughing all the way.
In fact, the script describes it as equal punch, equal energy attack
Immortal Hulk #5
Tanks possesed Sasquatch slamming him through a wall
Section 4: Resistance
Uncanny Avengers II #16:
The Uncanny Avengers fail at damaging him
Uncanny Avengers II #17:
The Torch's FULL NOVA flame does about nothing but piss him off, even though in this specific resurrection, he's weak to fire
Earlier in the issue Synapse barely affected his optic nerves and it took everything out of her to barely affect his nervous system:
Lightning exhausts himself doing nothing to hurt him, a month before him doing the same produced hundreds of thousands of gigawatts to power a machine
Mentacle, an above Professor X level telepath, was terrified looking into The Hulk\'s brain:
Maverick's repulsors do nothing:
Vision's heat blasts don't do much either:
Rogue can't affect him with her draining:
Him grabbing on to the Pyramoid, which transported and encased everyone else who touched them in crystal, doesn't effect him. In fact, he shatters the Pyramoid.
here's the script:
Section 5: Regen/Immortality
Immortal Hulk #1
once the night comes, turns and heals from banner being shot in the head and dying
Immortal Hulk #2
Instantly Turns to Hulk and heals from his neck being snapped
Immortal Hulk #5
Heals instantly from having Banner's neck cut. Banner died from this.
Takes and heals almost instantly from multiple slashes and stabs possessed Sasquatch gives him. (I included the next pages so you could get a good look at his body to see that he did, in fact, heal.
Heals from being slashed, having his eyes gouged out, and then being stabbed. Though you could take it with a grain of salt, this being after he absorbed sasquatch's gamma
is fast and uses this speed to dodge vision's attacks
can smell lies (Al Ewing confirmed this as an ability)
Immortal Hulk #2
Directs Banner and is smarter than he currently is
Absorbs Gamma. "Eats" it, in his own words