The original hulk is back in the Marvel Universe, and he may be more unstoppable than ever before.
SPOILERS for Avengers #684 follow.
Marvel has been teasing the return of the Hulk as part of Avengers: No Surrender for months. His revival has been foreshadowed in the final pages of several of the most recent issues of Avengers and in issues #684 it finally happens.
The first part of the issues is drawn by Joe Bennet, the artist of the upcoming Immortal Hulk series. It shows Bruce Banner reliving his transformation into the Hulk and casting it in a new light, saying that the gamma bomb that changed him "opened a door."
Banner remembers all of the times that he believed he had finally died, including the time that he gave Hawkeye two hours that would definitely kill him in case the Hulk ever came back. Even that didn't stick though, as the Hand used its magic to manipulate the Hulk and then Arnim Zola used his scientific abilities to force the Hulk to fight for Hydra. Now, as part of the ongoing competition between the Grandmaster, and the challenger, the Hulk has been resurrected once again:
The Grandmaster and the Challenger, two Elders of the Universe, have chosen Earth for a battlefield in their ultimate game. The Challenger controls the Black Order, the former servants of Thanos, in this game while the Challenger chose to use a newly formed Lethal Legion. Earlier in the series, it was noted that the Grandmaster's Lethal Legion outnumbered the Black Order by one member. The Challenger was unperturbed, as the knew he had an ace up his sleeve. That ace is the Hulk.
The Hulk is now rampaging through the Avengers auxiliary headquarters. He's about to face some resistance from the Iron Hulk – the Red Hulk with the Iron Patriot armor – but he may still tip the balance of the Grandmaster and Challenger's gaze.
Hulk's story will continue in The Immortal Hulk, from Bennet and Avengers: No Surrender co-writer Al Ewing.
"Okay – to begin with, the title character is Bruce Banner, and Bruce Banner is the Immortal Hulk, the World's Mightiest Mortal, the Green Goliath, the Strongest One There Is, etcetera, etcetera," Ewing said when the issue came out. "A lot of people have been a little wary that we're actually bringing him back for keeps this time, so I figure this is as good a place as any to confirm that yes, this is Banner, he's back, he's got an ongoing solo series and he's not going to die again anytime soon. In fact, that's kind of the point."
Avengers #684 is on sale now.
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