Hulk Just Got Two Sinister Upgrades

The following contains spoilers for Hulk # 7, now on sale from Marvel Comics.

In the latest Hulk run from Marvel, Bruce Banner has turned the Green Goliath into his deadliest form yet in the wake of Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk. While the latter crafted a cerebral story, Donny Cates engineered a more bombastic, physical journey with the Hulk’s body now a vessel called Starship Hulk – a veritable titan with monstrous potential, with Banner piloting.

As for Hulk’s psyche, it’s locked in the “engine room,” fighting opponents in a simulation that makes it angry. This powers his new frame as the sadistic Banner charts a way forward. However, as usual, the Avengers tossed in their two big guns, Thor and Iron Man. But come Hulk # 7, the Jade Giant got two sinister upgrades to fight back, with one mimicking a powerful X-Men leader, Cyclops.

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In this arc (from Cates, Martin Coccolo, Matt Wilson and VC’s Cory Petit), Thor’s been doing most of the heavy lifting, using the Mjolnir to batter Hulk. However, the hammer, which has Odin’s spirit infused, has been trying to hold Odinson back. It’s all due to the All-Father realizing a dark entity’s been corrupting Banner, causing him to go on this rampage.

It spilled over to the void known as the Black Hand of God, where all parties cut loose like never before. Tony Stark unleashed the full power of his Celestial Hulkbuster and its rockets, but as the Mjolnir pinned Hulk down, Starship Hulk unleashed his first upgrade: a Death Star-like energy blast. This gamma shot came from Hulk’s eyes, just like Cyclops when he’s fighting for the X-Men. It confirms Banner has extra gamma to burn, and may well link to why he poisoned people inadvertently at the El Paso bar.

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This incident is why the Avengers are after him, but clearly, they’ll have to tread lightly. Stark was left petrified as the blast fried major parts of his armor. More so, he could not believe an already powerful Hulk had this extra weapon in his arsenal, leaving the scientist in him curious if there was anything else to be thrown his way.

Well, this was resoundingly answered with Hulk’s second upgrade – a lethal self-defense mechanism. It occurred right after the eye blast, with Iron Man sensing a gamma spike off the charts. Stark’s suit initially tried to siphon the gamma off, but now, he realized there was way too much to handle. In the blink of an eye, Hulk detonated with the power of 3,000 gamma bombs, leaving them all in a crater. Thankfully, Stark survived this Predator-like move, curious if this was calculated or a reflex as Hulk’s rage built. This led to dire consequences: Stark’s armor was incinerated, and shockingly, Thor turned into a Hulk due to his godhood.

But while Stark may feel confident this Norse gamma-god can threaten the Hulk, this may not be the case. And that’s because, Starship Hulk is hiding secrets up his sleeve, waiting to unleash new upgrades when the heroes least expect it. Ultimately, no one knows what other alterations Banner made to this new Hulk, so while Thor and the behemoth smash it out, Iron Man’s best bet is to keep his distance and properly plan the next move against what’s clearly, the most dangerous Hulk they ‘ ve ever faced.

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