We have talked about how the Hulk suddenly became immortal in recent developments in the Marvel Comics Universe that predated the current ‘No Surrender’ arc.
The story of Hulk siding with the bad guys upon his resurrection was a surprise to many. But even hardcore self-righteous fans will agree that the Hulk Vs vision fight was something to be cherished, the writers at marvel seem hell-bent to include hulk in every major story arc. If the world changes, for the better or for the worse, the readers and writers both look for new ways to present the Hulk.
The iconic green giant is a staple of the Marvel comics and perhaps one of the greatest comic characters ever created we had only just witnessed the hulk slaughter through his fellow Avengers and now we see a future hulk as chained and kept as a dog by the all mighty Thanos.
While the backstory of the Hulk always being immortal without the Hulk ever knowing it made no sense, fans were finally warming up to the theory and accepting this immortal version of the Hulk. And just when things were getting right on track after Marvel Comics’ latest debacle with the Jade Giant, they dropped another huge bomb on their readers. Turns out, the Immortal Hulk isn’t that immortal after all. He can be killed. That is just what happened in Thanos #17.
The Hulk has always been unkillable. Even time cannot have its way with him anymore. The Hulk has been beaten, flayed, burned to a crisp, poisoned, bombed over and drowned and he still manages to survive no matter what. The Hulk’s immortality has been sort of a curse no matter how you look at it. In the pages of the Thanos run by Marvel Comics, this curse manifests in an even greater light.
The supervillain was pulled into the future timeline of the mainstream Marvel Continuity. It is a desolate timeline where Thanos is now the only living being of the universe and now its proclaimed ruler. The only other sentient creature that serves Thanos now is the Hulk.
The young Thanos is visited by a Ghost Rider who chains him up in the chains of Damnation and transports him to a tower. A TOWER BUILT BY THE BONES OF THE CELESTIALS. There the young Thanos enters a throne room. The throne room is the head of Galactus.
Yes, even the mighty Galactus falls to Thanos in the future of the Marvel universe. It is in this throne room that Thanos meets his mighty future self. And the man who serves the future Thanos? Frank Castle as the Ghost Rider. The Punisher’s Ghost Rider is perhaps the most cynical view of the character we have ever seen. Of course, the entire idea that the cruel Punisher now has demon-like powers does not make him less scary. The personality goes rather well, but it is what he shows the young Thanos that really shocks us.
The Punisher is also there. Frank Castle is the last of the Ghost Riders. As a former Herald of Galactus, Frank Castle’s Ghost Rider also has access to the Power Cosmic. The Punisher doesn’t qualify as truly sapient. He is just serving Thanos as the Mad Titan pleases. The other ‘Dog’ in Thanos’ arsenal is none other than a chained Hulk.
But how was the mighty Bruce Banner made to tow the line by Thanos? As it turns out, the Hulk has quite a tragic story within this timeline. The Hulk wanted to be killed. He asked Thanos to help him die and be freed from his eternal misery. Thanos refused to kill him and turned him into his servant.
The sight of Hulk as Thanos’ dog trying to eat scraps laid down in front him is enough to make even the most hardened of men cringe. The beast is reduced to a feral animal, with a white beard hanging from his green-skinned face, the hulk is the only survivor of a time long past, a time only we readers are privy to. The Jade giant is reduced to a mindless mongrel looking towards Frank castle for sustenance.
The entire premise is so heartbreaking that it makes us realize just how far into the future we are. The contention of the old Thanos is simple. Since the Mad Titan was cursed to live and he would never receive the embrace of death, the tyranny of the Dark Quadrant went on a rampage throughout the universe, whenever Thanos came across a threat, he could not immediately overcome he just waited and eventually he was able to accumulate enough power to even take that threat down.
That is how Thanos wins, he outsmarts, out lives and out strategizes everyone else. But the young Thanos is adamant and demands a fight, the older Thanos says his piece of the conversation and walks away, giving us the impression that he doesn’t want to argue with his young self, he just wants to get things done.
And then the miracle happens. In Thanos #15, the Incredible and Immortal Hulk dies. But if you think his death was quick and peaceful, you got another thing coming.
In case you still can’t figure it out, here’s a heads up. Thanos has managed to kill each and every opposing force not just on Earth but the entire universe. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four, Spiderman, the Asgardians and the other God Pantheons along with the Celestials and Galactus are all dead, killed by Thanos as he began his war for universal conquest.
But recently it was revealed that the Bruce Banner is Immortal and cannot be killed. So, it stands to reason to believe that Bruce Banner could survive Thanos’ Onslaught. But his survival as the Dog of Thanos is filled with dark events. The Hulk survived by apparently feeding on his friends and family and eating the leftovers from King Thanos’ table.
During the events of the Thanos comics the old Thanos keeps on repeating the fact that he needs the help of his you get a version, the younger Thanos is arguably confused by this and hence firmly refuses before he is provided with more information. Moreover, the younger Thanos believed this all to be a trick and he does not want our waste his energy fighting battles for imagery.
But the older and future Thanos is unmoved, it feels like this has happened before and then he simply tells the younger self that he must go and prepare for Battle for he must face the fallen one. The younger Thanos is a little taken aback for the reason as to why would the older Thanos be so worried about one battle when has conquered the universe with pure strength. And then the portal opens and it is revealed what lay behind it.
As we see the older Thanos step out in full battle garb there is a horde of enemies approaching his position led by none other than the Silver Surfer. The Fallen one is not one enemy, it’s a horde of Thanos’ defeated foes coming for revenge.
The Silver Surfer arrives in exact revenge on Thanos for destroying the Universe. Enter the Hulk. Bruce, in his Hulk Form, unleashes his power on the Surfer only to be held by the neck in one swift strike. Bruce Banner ten transforms back to banner after the Silver Surfer manages to remind the Hulk that there is still a good man inside him.
The Silver Surfer manages to stand his ground as the Bruce Banner keeps pounding him. His powers amplified by the Power Cosmic and the Mjolnir, the Surfer still has compassion left in him for his old buddy even though he has been away for thousands of years. Bruce Banner dies suddenly when a magical attack from an Asgardian weapon finally kills the enormous green rage monster and puts an end to his extremely harrowing tale.