Of all the foes the Incredible Hulk has faced in his Marvel Comics history, few would have suspected Korg to be capable of defeating the Jade Giant.
Although they may be depicted as allies within the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Incredible Hulk and the battle-tested Kronan known as Basket got off to quite the rocky start in the comics. Before becoming tight-knit friends, the Hulk found himself at the mercy of Korg, who was equipped with just enough of an edge to give the Jade Giant a possible defeat.
After being “betrayed” by his former friends of Earth in the classic Planet Hulk storyline, Hulk finds himself stranded on the alien war world known as Sakaar located within deep space. It’s not long before the Hulk finds himself having to hold his own against other fearsome fighters in gladiatorial matches organized by the planet’s emperor, the Red King. These alien champions include the likes of Miek, No Name of the Brood, Hiroim the Oldstrong, Arch-E-5912, and Korg. Possessing massive levels of strength and stamina, Hulk makes for a natural combatant on the planet while the new arrival simultaneously begins to win over his fellow competitors. Once the Hulk eventually wrestles control of Sakaar from its former malicious leader the Red King, Korg and his fellow “Warbound” pledge their undying loyalties to the gamma-irradiated monster known as the Incredible Hulk.
An additional story hidden in the back of 2011’s Incredible Hulks #620 features the Hulk and Korg becoming acquainted in the aftermath of the Red King’s death and a hostile takeover of Sakaar. Entitled “Inductive Reasoning,” the backup story by writer Brandon Montclare (Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur) and artist Simon Bisely (X-Men Unlimited) sees Hulk and Korg face off in the deserts of Earth. After continuing to instigate the brawl, Korg finally relents from his previous calm demeanor and lets the Hulk have the full extent of his strength. During the intense battle with Hulk, Korg is reminded of flashbacks to his original encounter with another powerful Avenger Thor, who easily deterred the Kronan race away from Earth.
Korg Will Do What Is Necessary To Keep Hulk In Check
In the end, Korg takes the advantage by catching Hulk off guard and literally goes for a low blow, hitting the monster below the belt and effectively removes the green-hued hero from the fight. While Korg is allowed to momentarily bask in the defeat of Sakaar’s newfound king, Hulk threatens to do even worse to the “Stone Man of Saturn” if Korg repeats his secret move again. This bout is about more than just keeping each other in shape and honing their fighting moves. Korg understands the raw capacity for destruction that his gladiator brother is capable of. The Kronan muses to himself about his relationship with Hulk. “I love him like a brother. But he can lose control. And if Hulk ever falls into the absolute madness on which he always teeters…he’ll need someone to pull him up. Or take him out.“
Longtime rival and Fantastic Four powerhouse Ben Grimm aka the Thing may have to put his conflict with the Incredible Hulk aside, but Hulk has a much more adept rock-skinned sparring partner in Basket.
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