Immortal Hulk #40 introduces a brand new Hulk to the Marvel Universe, one who is created by combining two classic Marvel characters.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Immortal Hulk #40!
A new Hulk was just introduced to the Marvel Universe in the pages of Immortal Hulk #40. The Immortal Hulk series is no stranger to introducing new and strange versions of Hulk characters, like the revamped Devil Hulk, the Red Harpy, and its grotesque new version of Abomination. This new Hulk follows that suit, being a reinvention of two classic Marvel characters, merged together through the supernatural strangeness and weird science that Al Ewing and Joe Bennett have brought to Marvel’s Green Goliath.
Immortal Hulk is a series that regularly tackles the arcane; a departure from the science fiction basis that most Hulk stories are grounded in. As per its title, the series has presented the idea that it is impossible for any gamma-powered hero to stay dead, with Bruce Banner himself dying multiple times throughout the series, only to be revived at nightfall in his Hulk persona. It is revealed that there is a hellish realm known as the Below-Place, home to the One Below All, where Hulks go once they die until they return back through the “Green Door.” A whole host of Hulk characters have returned throughout this series, from mainstays like his best friend, Rick Jones, and regular love interest, Betty Ross, to characters that aren’t usually part of the cast, like the Alpha Flight analogue for the Hulk, Sasquatch. As the series continues, though, both the Hulk and his allies have become increasingly wary of their inability to ever truly die.
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It’s this method of resurrection that was recently utilized to create a new Hulk. Doc Samson, who had just recently been killed during the Leader’s attack on the Hulk and his team, was trapped in the Below-Place. In issue 40, Samson was able to escape through a Green Door, but instead of returning back into his own body, he ended up inhabiting the body of Sasquatch, aka Walter Langkowsi, slain earlier in the series by the new Abomination. The resulting creature is a green, gamma-enhanced Sasquatch with the mind of Leonard Samson, dubbing himself “Doc Sasquatch”.
This reinvention of Sasquatch had been teased by writer Al Ewing back in October, promising a major reinvention of the character. Marvel has already played with the concept of combining heroes to make a Hulk, with their Wolverine-Hulk hybrid, Weapon H. Whereas Weapon H functioned as a brand new character whose powers were derived from Hulk and Wolverine, Doc Sasquatch functions as a replacement for both Sasquatch and Doc Samson, as it is unclear how Walter Langkowski would be revived, or even why he hasn’t returned already like the rest of the gamma-irradiated characters. For now though, Doc Sasquatch is the newest addition to Hulk’s team, and will have to help in their fight against the Leader.
Sadly, the recent Immortal She-Hulk #1 suggested that the Leader has in fact gained control of the Green Door, allowing him to control the body of Rick Jones and even infiltrate the Hulk’s mindscape, suggesting he may be behind Langkowski’s more permanent demise, and perhaps even Doc Samson’s return. With only ten more issues of the series after Immortal Hulk #40, it will be interesting to see what Doc Sasquatch, and the rest of the Immortal Hulk gang, can do against an enemy capable of controlling their very afterlife.
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