The Hulk’s Disgusting New Form Proves His Body Horror Is Here To Stay
The Hulk’s crude new form in Devil’s Reign proves that while Immortal Hulk may have recently come to an end, his obsession with body horror lives on.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Devil’s Reign #2!
The latest issue of Marvel Comics reign of the devil apparently proves that the PontoonRecent body horror links are here to stay. While body horror is not always a theme seen in The Incredible Hulk comics, the recently concluded Immortal Hulk The series pushed the envelope on the form of the green rage monster, delivering some truly gruesome scenes. In that lore, this new issue features a different version of the Hulk from another reality who similarly wears gruesome additions to his body. Combined with the new Marvel Pontoon series, which already features similar body horror moments, it seems like Immortal Hulk had a lasting impact on how the character will be portrayed moving forward.
Having recently concluded Immortal Hulk, Al Ewing and Joe Bennett portrayed many gruesome scenes, including featuring the Devil Hulk – one of the darkest and strongest incarnations of Bruce Banner. Almost every issue featured some sort of scene in which the Hulk’s body was twisted or transformed in all sorts of gruesome ways, placing it largely within the body horror genre. Now, despite another focus with Bruce Banner controlling the Hulk like he’s never done before, the first issue of Marvel’s new Pontoon Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley’s series still sees the Hulk horribly ripping his arm apart to escape an adamantium cage created by Iron Man. Associated to Devils Reignit is Many-armed Hulk suggests that even though Immortal Hulk is over, his vision of Hulk’s grotesque physiology will continue.
Despite Devil’s Reign #2 by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto not featuring the main Hulk as part of Mayor Kingpin’s campaign to ban all superheroes in New York, another Hulk from an alternate reality is introduced instead. Wilson Fisk replaced several villains to become his Thunderbolts to help stop the Avengers and other heroes resisting the New Powers Law, including Doctor Octopus. After helping Fisk co-opt Purple Man’s powers, Doc Ock gains access to Mr. Fantastic’s Dimensional Gate, creating his own dark Fantastic Four across different realities. While the first two members are versions of Wolverine and Ghost Rider who respectively have adamantium and flaming chain arms as “octopus” tentacles, the last member is a Hulk with extra coarse, deformed arms protruding from his body, continuing the body horror aspects of the character which begins with Immortal Hulkwhere Hulk continually gained and lost limbs.
With Pontoon continue to subject the Jade Giant to visceral wounds and reign of the devil treating his body as capable of randomly sprouting limbs, it’s clear that the body horror themes so prevalent in Immortal Hulk have had a big and lasting impact that other creators seem to be inspired by. While that’s not inherently bad, it certainly confirms a new era for the Hulk. A few stories before Immortal Hulk had presented similar ideas, but Bruce Banner’s other self is generally depicted as withstanding any impact unscathed, where Immortal Hulk pointed out that while he can survive almost anything, he does so by quickly healing terrible injuries, rendering his body tragically unstable.
hulk and body horror themes have apparently become intrinsically linked within the pages of Marvel Comics, providing additional dynamics beyond the classic theme of an out-of-control monster. While it’s unclear just how far Cates and Ottley will go with the gruesome elements of their new Pontoon series, they certainly got off to a good start. Likewise, while the new Octopus Hulk will likely have a brief stint in the Marvel Universe that will likely only last for the duration of reign of the devilit will no doubt be fun to be disgusted by him all the same, especially with the implied promise that even if Immortal Hulk may be over, its most compelling images are here to stay.
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