Hulk has clashed with other Marvel heroes, his most famous battles are with The Thing – and the two titans are heading for a rematch.
Spoiler Warning for Immortal Hulk #40
Part of the Hulk’s appeal has always been that he doesn’t play well with others. Though Hulk usually means well, his destructive anger often leads other heroes to assume he’s more of a nuisance than a potential ally. While Iron Man famously has a number of suits to deal with Hulk, even heroes sympathetic to him, like the X-Men, have their own Hulkbuster armor. One hero has had more clashes with Hulk than any other though… and he’s ready to clobber the great green brute one more time. Immortal Hulk #40 sets up a rematch between Hulk and his most well-known rival, the Thing.
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The Hulk’s latest adventures from writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennet have seen the Leader possess the Green Scar, kill Devil Hulk, and torture Bruce Banner, leaving only the Savage Hulk and Joe Fixit as the only personas left to keep them all alive. Savage Hulk wakes up in a space station where he is being held by a government organization. A government agent tells Hulk that even shapeshifting back into Banner won’t free him as the chains binding him will adjust in size. Internally, this earns a laugh from Joe Fixit, who easily breaks free in Hulk’s most disgusting transformation yet by bursting from the Hulk’s chest. The naked Joe wrestles a gun from a guard and knocks out his captors. Joe then uses the stolen gun to blow a hole in the space station, jettisoning him toward Earth’s orbit. A group of former Hulk villains look on and comment that they can pinpoint where he’s going to land and will send someone to meet him. Hulk crashes on Coney Island where he’s confronted by none other than Ben Grimm.
This rematch has been at least a year in the making, as a mind-controlled Hulk crashed The Thing’s honeymoon. While the Thing won that fight, other fights between the two haven’t been so kind to the Brooklyn bruiser. While their first fight in Fantastic Four #12 ended in a draw, their rematch thirteen issues later ended with a decisive victory for the Hulk. Most of their fights have ended this way, with either a tie or with the Hulk winning. Even when the world was on the line in World War Hulk, the Thing lost to Hulk’s Green Scar persona. When looking at their powersets it makes sense why Hulk wins so often. Ben Grimm is strong, but his strength only weakens as fights drag on and he gets worn down. The Hulk on the other hand can take blow after blow and only get stronger as his rage rises. It takes a hero with powers like the Scarlet Witch to beat Hulk.
Still, even with the lopsided nature of their brawls, this upcoming bout has the potential to be more balanced. The Thing did win their last fight, and after expending so much energy to survive his fall to Earth, the Hulk isn’t exactly in fighting condition. Ben even comments on this, telling Hulk that he’s smart enough to know he’s in no condition for a fight. But this is the Hulk, and he’s rarely one to turn down a fight.
Seeing the two duke it out in Immortal Hulk is an exciting prospect either way. The series has been such a unique take on the Hulk mythos with its focus on examining how terrifying the Hulk can be. What will a horror-tinged Hulk Vs. Thing fight look like? Readers may only get a tease of Hulk and Thing’s rematch in Immortal Hulk #40 but they can expect fireworks in the next issue.
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