WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD: I have been reading comics for many years and thought I had seen everything but Incredible Hulk 7 gave me quite a surprise. Writer Jason Aaron has really done something with the relationship between Bruce banner and his alter ego the Hulk that has never been done. He has killed Banner and introduced the idea that the creature instead of the man may have been the calming part of the Banner/Hulk. Well when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the character the Hulk back in 1962 Bruce Banner was the normal mild mannered scientist who heroically save a young man from a Gamma Bomb and got the full blast of Gamma radiation that later turned him into the Hulk.
Stan Lee shared some of the thinking that went into the creation of the Hulk. “I combined Jekyll and Hyde with Frankenstein,” he explains, “and I got myself the monster I wanted, who was really good, but nobody knew it. He was also somebody who could change from a normal man into a monster, and lo, a legend was born.” Lee remembers, “I had always loved the old movie Frankenstein. And it seemed to me that the monster, played by Boris Karloff, wasn’t really a bad guy. He was the good guy. He didn’t want to hurt anybody. It’s just those idiots with torches kept running up and down the mountains, chasing him and getting him angry. And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to create a monster and make him the good guy?” The rest is history and the Hulk quickly became one of the most popular Superheroes in comic history.
The Hulks cry “I am the strongest one there is” and “Hulk smash” is well known by Marvel readers. He is known as the angry monster and yet in one story of a fight between the Hulk and Thor (Thor 385) the god of thunder the Hulk was the one that broke off the fight leaving Thor to face the fact that he was the real angry prideful one that time. Dr. Doom, who separated Banner from the Hulk, in the issue 7 suggest that the Hulk side of Banner was the side of his personality that kept him sane. Well for years we thought that the Hulk was the angry one and Banner the sane and rational part of the psychic of Banner/Hulk.
What is the direction Aaron is going we don’t know but I can’t imagine a Hulk without a Dr. Banner. The storyline concludes with Banner being destroyed in the blast from his new gamma bomb, but it is implied that he has been ‘re-absorbed’ into the Hulk due to their proximity when the blast took place. Perhaps that is what we are going to see in the future. If true we may see the dynamics of the Bruce/Hulk relationship change forever. This is great reading and Marc Silvestri’s art is wonderful in the comic. Next issue is a month away recommended reading. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt