The Hulk is known for his broad personalities, and in order to defeat some of his greatest threats, two of them will have to become one.
Warning: contains spoilers for Immortal Hulk # 45
Just because everyone Hulk it’s an important part of Bruce Banner’s psyche, it doesn’t mean they always agree. While the most famous conflict is of course between Banner himself and the standard, child Hulk, other Hulks have often had problems with Banner, and nothing more than Joe Fixit. While Joe may be the darkest Hulk, he’s not usually the strongest, but that will all change as he sets aside his differences with the other Hulks.
Although usually treated as a supporting character, Joe Fixit has become prominent in the last few editions The Immortal Hulk from writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennet. After the Leader was killed by the Devil Hulk and the Green Scar, and Bruce Banner was abducted, only two Hulks remained. Joe and the baby Hulk usually don’t have the best relationship, because Joe’s selfishness usually gives him a little patience for Hulk’s childhood. However, that changes when the two are forced to trust each other on the run from government agencies that see them only as a dangerous threat. It all came to a head when evil U-enemies came and roasted the Hulk, sending Joe and the Hulk straight to Under the Place.
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Now, u Immortal Hulk # 45, things are scarier for Joe and the Hulk than ever before. Hulk’s archnemesis, the Leader, merged with the One below all to create an eldritch nightmare that rules the lower place. Hulk and Joe initially hope to manage to escape as one of the Green Doors appears that allows all gamma mutates to be revived, offering them a way back into the world of mortals. They try to take it, but the Leader interrupts them, who sends wave after wave of monsters to destroy them. They manage to halve the Hulk in half, which manages to start something in Joe. Before the leader creates them, Joe transforms into the Red Hulk and saves them both. It comes back to life, gray as usual, but now crackling with red energy.
One thing that makes this moment stand out in the history of the Hulk is that this is the first time that any of Bruce Banner’s Hulks has ever turned red. Before, red was the color of gamma mutates like Red Hulk Thunderbolt Ross and his daughter Betty. Although the Red Hulks are usually on par with their emerald counterparts, Joe’s red shape indicates a level of strength that the Hulk rarely achieves.
Significantly, when Joe regenerates in front of the U-Enemy, he specifically uses the pronoun “our” to refer to himself. This suggests that this new Red / Gray Hulk could be a whole new personality. It is possible that there is more than a little tragic Devil’s Hulk in this new personality, because his threatening dialogue and threatening grin are more than reminiscent of the fallen Hulk. No matter who or what you combine it with, this is new Hulk the persona is now the strongest of the strong.
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