What I Think About Stuff-6 reasons why the Hulk is the most tragic superhero in comic book history (and 1 why he is the greatest) [Collaboration with Dimitris Morakeas]
The world of comics is an overall colorful, upbeat place that leaps up out of the page and slams itself against your eyeballs every month. Tragedy is something that never sticks to a superhero. Spiderman lost Gwen Stacey but got to bang Mary Jane after all. Batman had his parents violently murdered in front of his eyes when he was a kid but he got to be Batman, which balances out. But the Hulk has never caught a break. Not. Even. Once. The Hulk just abides and endures, like a Gamma-Powered Jesus or a mean, green Big Lebowski.
I’m, like, always angry, man
You wouldn’t think of that, not if you’ve seen him toss a god-alien around like a ragdoll. Most of you probably think the Hulk just punches shit and screams in the third person. What has the Hulk ever been through that’s so terrible, you ask? Why, nothing less than…
7. Being constantly persecuted for just existing by every single person ever, up to and including himself.
“Why is there a woman in this panel? This isn’t a kitchen!” unpublished Stan Lee quote
The Hulk has been nuked, shot into space, ejected into another reality, nuked, struck by the Hammer Of Thunders and then nuked again . The US army has spent billions of dollars in personnel and experimental technologies just to subdue (never mind contain) him. The world’s greatest scientific minds and sorcerers have banded together time and time again just to get rid of him. The Hulk has been a bigger drain to the Earth 616’s resources than every occupation attempt ever. But the biggest threat to the Hulk has been none other than Bruce Banner himself.
Bruce Banner has created the only means to not only contain but nearly kill the Hulk in the first dozen issues is the final nail in the coffin, which makes it better than pretty much every Iron Man suit ever. Imagine being hated so damn much that even your subconscious keeps trying to kill you.
The fact that the suit ended up in a ditch somewhere, forgotten by everyone is proof that the Marvel writing staff just like torturing the poor guy, when in fact they could have just had him beaten to death in the 60’s.
If Hulk was a video game in the Marvel universe, he would be E.T.
Why the Hulk’s got it worse:
When comparing this instance of persecution in the Hulk’s case against, say, Spider-Man (another character known for being caught up in a hate-love-hate again relationship with everybody), you will find that Spiderman’s death (or near-death, whatever) was never the result of open conspiracy or machination by everyone. In fact, even at his lowest ‘holy shit, I’m gonna die’ point, Spiderman was only targeted by his enemies and outright Marvel-Universe dicks, while remaining generally beloved by the public (and himself).
6. Being spared the sweet release of death by a cosmic entity.
Comic books are a cornucopia of marvels, filled with mind-boggling designs for impossible technologies. It’s only reasonable that the Ultimate Machine would look like fucking nothing.
Nobody knows the trouble Hulk’s seen, nobody knows but Uatu.
When The Leader teams up with the Hulk (because reasons) Uatu has his home invaded by two cosmic-powered beings. After The Leader steals the Ultimate Machine and kills himself by attaining omnipotence, the Hulk is nearly killed in the process. Uatu, abandoning his role as the ultimate daddy-figure of the Marvel-Universe, chooses to step in and save the Hulk’s life at the last second.
Thanks a lot dude
Uatu saving the Hulk allowed him to live a long and fulfilling life of:
- Having to cope with the dead of three of his newly wedded wives.
- Having to come to terms with the fact that one of his sons was imprisoned until the heat-death of the universe on multiple counts of genocide
- Having every non-human creature that ever cared about him die in his arms EVERY GODDAMN TIME.
- Having to experience multiple instances of betrayal by every single one of his friends, sometimes even twice.
We should stop here before this article starts turning truly tragic. Suffice it to say; even Superman would have probably given himself kryptonite full-body massage instead of even living a tenth of the crap the Hulk has gone though.
Why the Hulk’s got it worse:
Than the Ghost Rider
Another character known to be feared by every superhuman in the Marvel Universe (mostly because of his ridiculously undefined superpowers, which make him near-omnipotent), the Ghost Rider nearly had his soul ripped out of his flesh by Satan, only to be saved by A Dude We Are Sure It’s not Jesus. Being saved by the Son of God allowed Ghost Rider to go back to his long road to redemption on his bitching motorcycle and put his life back together. Even if it was for just a little while.
Dude, like, totally not Jesus man.
5. Being denied a release from his torment by a very close friend for no adequately explained reason.
“Hulk don’t wanna be nobody’s wife!”
After Doctor Banner realized that he couldn’t control the Hulk, he sought to excise him from his body, by removing the gamma radiation that was sustaining the Hulk, so he could die from cancer.
|Obvious Breaking Bad reference|
That’s when the Silver Surfer enters the scene, offering to help Bruce Banner end his torment. However, after a five-panel lover’s spat, Hulk punches the Silver Surfer and unfriends him on Facebook, making the Silver Surfer change his mind and leave Banner to suffer in his own private hell.
Have you met Bruce Banner? Dude keeps bitching about how he would like to stop being the Hulk and when he isn’t bitching, he threatens everyone with complete universal annihilation just he can be the Hulk again. To top that off, the Silver Surfer is supposed to be good friends with the Hulk and yet he has never once mentioned that he can save him from his torment since the 70’s, even though the Hulk keeps saving his sorry ass like, all the time(like that time the Silver Surfer was enslaved and put to work as a gladiator).
Why The Hulk’s got it worse:
Than everyone else.
The Sentry is a stupid fucking kid that drank the wrong serum bottle while sneaking around a high-security research installation. Rogue is cursed to wear cool gloves for eternity and would have died a virgin, if not for the numerous innovations of the erotic industry. Phoenix is a bitch, but she can pull a death-reset whenever she feels like it, the Thing likes to bitch and moan about how good it would be to be soft and pink again, but he always jumps back to being an orange golem and have you ever heard Tony Stark bitch about how awful it is to have suit of armor that flies and shoots lasers?
The Hulk is the ONLY character with this problem. Being offered redemption and denied it for no reason whatsoever.
4. Being essentially the living, breathing cure for everything, with no-one ever acknowledging it.
Seeking a way to save his world’s failing ecosystem, a visiting alien botanist seeks a solution on Earth, because God knows we are the best at maintaining our own planet’s endangered species. After a tiff with the Hulk, he discovers that the gunk under his fingernails is the compound that will save his world.
And that shit is canon.
That was in the 70’s. In the 60’s, the Hulk’s blood turned out to be the cure for grievous injury
the HIV virus
and by the time Planet Hulk rolled in, the Hulk’s blood could make the barren earth fertile.
It’s only a matter of time before his farts turn out to be the ultimate source of unlimited clean energy, really.
This is not a secret, kept in the deepest sub-levels in the Pentagon, kept secret by pharmaceutical companies, or covered up by Big Oil. Pretty much everyone who has ever met the She-Hulk knows this. Hell, the She-Hulk whose life was saved thanks to a Hulk/Banner blood transfusion!
Everyone knows the Hulk is the best thing that ever happened to everyone, but nobody bothers mentioning it out loud.
Why the Hulk’s got it worse:
Than Reed Richards.
Reed Richards is the Homer Simpson equivalent of the dysfunctional Fantastic Four household. He’s a barely passable husband, a shitty father and a bullying friend. He keeps making shit up, but most of those are forgotten six pages into the issue, break down at critical moments or are outright ridiculous. If Reed Richards lived in our world, he would have been stricken from the record of academics in every civilized world ever, just for being a massive dick.
And yet, every time Reed Richards makes some barely-working everyday piece of crap, it makes the news.
3. Being bullied by nameless space-village idiots, finding love and then losing it, all in a day’s work.
The Hulk is an unstoppable machine of destruction that has sent gods crawling back home to their mothers. The Sentry unleashed the combined power of a million exploding suns and still failed to take him down. What if you knew that there was an entire race of creatures who treated the Hulk like the village idiot and had their kids kick dirt in his face and that their princess was the only creature that survived making out with the Hulk AND saving his ass?
After being severed by Banner (following his voluntary mental termination) in the aftermath of being alienated by every single one of his friends and allies (because beating people up does not build trust) and being abandoned at an inter-dimensional crossroads by Dr. Strange, the Hulk finds himself alone and threatened by mysterious creatures that beat him up like a green-skinned stepchild just for trying to save a captive princess in a castle.
For extra sadness, the princess bears a striking resemblance to his first dead wife
After said princess unleashes an oil tanker’s worth of whup-ass on their red asses, the Hulk realizes (in true 80’s no-gurlz-allowed fashion) that he cannot abide living in a world where he had been rescued by a woman and abandons her. While this is not proof of the Hulk’s troubles, it is evidence that Marvel’s writers hate him so goddamn much that they make spontaneously turn him into a misogynist just to fuck his life up some more.
Why the Hulk’s got it worse:
The Beak is Marvel’s uselessest character ever (rated #2 in Cracked’s own worst X-Men Ever article). His only superpower (besides being a hollow-boned human that looks like a bird made out of soft tissue) is his power to Deus Ex Machina, or make friends and have them fight for him.
We swear to God, we aren’t making this shit up.
So Beak is the perfect example of a bullshit last-minute save, except he is also loveable somehow. People can’t help but put their necks in line for his deformed ass, but can’t wait to try and kick the Hulk around.
2. Being burdened with acute multiple personality disorder for the sake of narrative convenience
At last count, the Hulk has 5 known personalities. What most people DON’T know is that these are just the personalities we’ve seen so FAR. At last count, over a hundred different Hulks have been documented to reside in the Hulk’s brain, most of them just aching to get out.
Imagine being you. Now imagine that you are the most powerful being in the known Universe, with the ability to punch Time itself. You’re a pretty nice person, which is probably why we aren’t all dead yet. Now imagine that just behind your eyes, there’s a serial killer with godlike powers who can annihilate all life on Earth by luchtime.
Now imagine that along with this guy, there is also a guy who’s nothing more than the personification of your inner guilt, another whose plain rage on legs, another one who’s a downright bastard, a pimp, a clown, a mustache-twirling supervillain
|Evil Rancher Hulk is the worst of the lot.|
and God knows what else, all of them just itching to get out. Imagine having to live with that, while trying not to be too mad at everybody for constantly trying to kill you.
Fratricide in action.
Why the Hulk’s got it worse than:
The Sentry’s darker half/ archnemesis/ counterpart is the manifestation of his repressed homosexual urges. And while the Void is reportedly capable of annihilating the Universe, all it takes to make it go away forever is for Robert Reynolds to admit he likes cock, thus making his continued existence the weakest excuse in the Marvel Universe, by far.
The Hulk, however, has nowhere to go, nowhere to turn to and no way to dispel those horrible, horrible creatures in his mind. He’s alone with the monsters.
On the plus side…
1. The Hulk gets to kick the shit out of everyone at least twice and cosplay as a yeti, too.
There’s a reason why Hulk is so popular, mostly because everybody is his bitch. Nobody can ever keep him pinned. The Hulk dishes it out like it’s nobody’s business and if Garth Ennis wrote the entire thing, he would probably have the Hulk burst into Valhalla to do Thor’s mom while he was at it.
“It is pimpin’, being green”
Plus, there is the fact that Hulk don’t give a shit. Take for example, Hulk’s idea of how camouflage works.
“Why do these suits smell like masturbation and tears, Rick?”
The Hulk, a creature that eats Cruise Missiles and craps pineapple grenades, considered that the only way to infiltrate a Tibetan village in order to stop a crooked Chinese general was to disguise himself as a giant white monkey. And while he got caught 5 panels in, nobody really gave a shit. Because the Hulk saved the day the only way he knows how.
The Hulk’s got it better than:
Just for getting to punch the everloving shit out of everything in his way.
Dimitirs Morakeas irregularly maintains a blog, while majoring at manipulating the basic facets of everyday life, through dabbling in the occult science od economics. People tell him it;s a doomed field and that currency is certain to be replaced with bottle farts in the next ten years, but he just won't listen. Visit his blog at: http://aitherontd.blogspot.gr/
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