WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Hulk #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
The saga of the Immortal Hulk is over, and with that end comes a new era in which Bruce Banner has finally regained control of his life. Although he might be the weakest of his various personas, Banner is undoubtedly the smartest, and it is his intellect that makes him the most dangerous of them all.
Deep within Bruce Banner's mind, the Hulk pounds away at a metal door while Bruce and a vision of his former wife and love interest Betty Ross argue about keeping the brute locked away. After an incident in El Paso left a devastating body count in its wake, any sympathy that Bruce once had for the Hulk has evaporated. This is coupled by the resentment Bruce has for the Hulk regarding their respective lifespans.
As he explains in Hulk #1 (by Donny Cates, Ryan Ottley, Frank Martin, and VC's Cory Petit), there will eventually come a day when Bruce Banner's life will come to an end, while the Hulk will live on forever. The brute is effectively immortal, and there is no known way of permanently killing the creature. It is this revelation that has pushed Bruce to taking a no holds barred approach when it comes to his own desires, no matter who gets hurt along the way.
Bruce Banner is now courting a career in mad science as well as villainy, and it is not his first time doing so. After previously being separated from his alter ego, Banner became obsessed with recreating his more monstrous half, something which drove the U.S. government to enlist the Hulk's service in stopping him back in 2011's The Incredible Hulk #1 (by Jason Aaron, Marc Silvestri, and Michael Broussard).
In this issue, Bruce Banner has effectively weaponized the Hulk's unstoppable frame while maintaining complete control of the powerful creature. As such, there is no hope of outwitting the beast, nor of diverting his attention, considering the genius level intellect of the man who is pulling the strings. It might be the Hulk's strength tearing through Iron Man drones and punching its way into top secret facilities, but it is Banner who commands it with a callous disregard for anyone who stands in his way.
It isn't clear quite yet what Banner's ultimate goal in all of this is, but there is no question that he has reached a kind of breaking point. Whether caused by his fractured psyche or a twisted spirit doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, at least not as long as Banner is still wreaking havoc from within the Hulk's body.
In either case, it doesn't look like there is anyone who possesses the means to keep Banner from reaching his mysterious goals. In his new state, it appears that the Hulk is now more unstoppable than ever.
KEEP READING: Marvel Theory: Professor Hulk Isn’t Gone in Shang-Chi, Bruce Banner Is Lying - But Why?
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