Iron Man has a suit for everything, and that includes battling the Hulk, but even his suits need upgrades once in a while.
SPOILERS for The Immortal Hulk #6 and #7 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennet, Ruy Jose, and Paul Mounts follow.
Iron Man developed the Hulkbuster armor to deal with Bruce Banner's other half when he got out of hand. In a recent confrontation with the Hulk, Tony Stark broke out a new version of the Hulkbuster armor, but it turned out to have a short lifespan.
The Immortal Hulk has revealed that a malevolent, incorporeal entity with the face of Brian Banner, Bruce's abusive father, is at work in the Marvel Universe. It first possessed Sasquatch and the, when Hulk absorbed the energy from Sasquatch to depower him, moved onto the Hulk.
At the same time, the Hulk has become more intelligent, sinister, and vengeful in its activities. These acts of vengeance have attracted the attention of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and the Avengers arrived at the end of The Immortal Hulk #6 to deal with the problem.
Iron Man is wearing a new version of the Hulkbuster armor and is The Immortal Hulk #7 he pits it against this new "Devil Hulk."
The Hulk makes short work of the new Hulkbuster armor, tearing it apart while Stark is still wearing it. Thor tests his might against the Hulk as well but he quickly realizes there's something different about the Green Goliath.
"He...he is stronger than he was," Thor tells Captain America in The Immortal Hulk #7. "Vastly so. He...he sees the naked souls of men...smells the lies in our hearts, hidden even from ourselves...You live in the mortal world, Steve Rogers...of science and law, of what you can perceive…...but I live in a world of legend and symbol. The world of the gods. I am suggesting, Captain...that in its rage, its pain, in the shadow of its armageddon…...your world may have produced something very close to a god. Or a devil, perhaps."
In the end, Iron Man calls in an orbital laser strike that takes down the Hulk. banner's body is left behind, seemingly dead, but the Avengers can see that it has already started to heal. They give the body over to Thunderbolt Ross, and his Hulk task force decides to take drastic measures to prevent another Hulk rampage.
What do you think of Iron Man's short-lived new Hulkbuster armor? Let us know in the comments.
The Immortal Hulk #6 and #7 are on sale now.