Why Marvel’s first sob is the strangest there is

Doctor Strange and the Defenders just met Marvel’s very first Hulk, and they’re one of the strangest creatures Marvel Universe has ever seen.

WARNING: The following are huge spoilers for Defenders # 3, now on sale from Marvel Comics.

The latest incarnation of Doctor Strange’s Defenders has been sent fast back through time and reality itself, as they chase one of Marvel’s first villains, despite not having control over where or when they end up. So far, they have fought against the devil of worlds and lovecraft wizards of the sixth cosmos amidst stunning and terrifying landscapes, but nothing could have prepared them for their latest destination or whatever they find there.

IN Defenders # 3 by Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez and VC’s Joe Caramagna landed the defenders right in the middle of a prehistoric unknown reality, where they encounter Marvel’s very strange first Hulk.

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When Doctor Strange first assembled his new team of defenders, the group was torn back through time by the same wild magic used to bring them together. This mysterious transport left them stranded in the sixth cosmos, the reality that preceded the modern Marvel universes. After driving Omnimax back and stopping the devourer from occupying Galactus’ home world Taa, the team was once again drawn further back to the fifth cosmos. This time, the defenders faced the old, evil wizard Moridun. When Harpy defeated the villain, she and the others were again torn through reality.

Unlike their previous travels, the defenders do not tumble through a mysterious portal, but rather a massive green door. These ethereal passages have been one of the most important parts of Immortal Hulk saga that serves as a means for all Gamma Mutates to resurrect after death. This time, the ride through the green door causes Harpy to wake up in her human form to Betty Ross. The rest of the heroes lie unconscious in a colorful but barren desert. Despite the current state of her countrymen, Betty is not alone in this new world, and she comes face to face with a Hulk with four faces.

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This wild new figure stands just as tall as any other Hulk, except due to lack of neck. The hulk here has four heads embedded in the torso, each carrying a vastly different feeling on its otherwise identical face. Not only that, but each of them speaks in word bubbles filled with only one shade of CMYK color. The fact that the monochrome speech patterns match the same magical colors that the defenders individually embody may mean that this new Hulk is connected to the team in some way.

Unlike the sixth and fifth cosmos, which had their own history before Defenders, the fourth cosmos has only ever been mentioned once before in the 2017s Ultimater 2 # 100 by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman, Filipe Andrade and Marco Lorenzana. Also known as the Pilgrim, the fourth cosmos is anything but a total mystery at this time, though it may change very soon thanks to its most prominent inhabitant.

There may not be much readers can say for sure about this shocking new Hulk, but there is no doubt that they will have an important role to play in the next chapter in Defender’s story. Whether they are associated with the heroes themselves, the fourth cosmos as a whole or the gamma energy that has been so inextricably linked to the Hulk is yet to be seen, but this Hulk has only just begun to reveal their secrets.

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