Many Marvel fans around the world, especially the fans of the Incredible Hulk are twitching with anticipation for a new solo Hulk movie. Whether or not this will happen is still open for debate, however given the success of the new iteration of the Hulk in the Avengers movie and the fact that there are still many movie dates still unanounced there is a good chance there is a Hulk movie in there somewhere.
1. Planet Hulk
The Planet Hulk saga is one of The Incredible Hulk’s most emotional stories as it basically centres around the core emotion that is key to the character of The Hulk, anger. In the prologue to Planet Hulk Shield send the big green rage monster on a mission to stop an A.I. that has gone rogue and is in control of a satellite. While in space Hulk becomes trapped in a pod, he is shown a recording, a video message from the Illuminati. The Illuminati are an organisation in the Marvel comics led by the most influential, intelligent and rich members of the Marvel Universe. Tony Stark, Dr Strange, Black Bolt and Reed Richards to name but a few. They use their significant amount of power to control things behind the scenes. The Illuminati announce in their little home video that they are sending Hulk to a peaceful planet, full of game for him to hunt but no intelligent life forms, the pod will take him to this lush planet full of game for him to live off in peace Nobody will be able to harm him and he will not be able to hurt anyone else. However, things do not go to plan, it would be a very short series if they did. The ship flies through a worm hole in space and lands on a planet filled with intelligent life forms. The planet he lands on is named Sakaar and is filled with multiple races of intelligent creatures with their own technology and magic. This is a diverse planet with different cultures and religions, with one emperor ruling over all of these lands and people, the Red King. The Red King is your typical tyrannical dictator who pits the fearsome warriors and slaves against the horrific monsters of Sakaar in a gladiatorial arena for his amusement. What is most interesting about this series is The Hulk finds a home on Sakaar, the other slaves he was made to fight with become his friends. They fight together to bring down the Emperor and bring freedom to millions. For his’ bravery Hulk is appointed king on this planet which he now calls home. He remains disdainful of the “heroes” of Earth but initially feels no need to go back there, everything he wants is on Sakaar. However, we are talking about the Incredible Hulk here so things can’t stay perfect for him for long, the pod that brought him to Sakaar unexpectedly explodes, essentially killing everything on Hulk’s planet. Although, not all is lost the “Warbound”, Hulk’s brothers in arm manage to make it safely to an ancient space craft complete with a weapons forge. Hulk is in deep pain after the death of his wife but vows in rage to return to Earth with his brothers and wage war on those who have brought him this pain.
2. World War Hulk
The World War Hulk storyline follows directly on from the Planet Hulk event, after the devastating event of Planet Hulk which gave Hulk everything he wanted just to tear it away Hulk planned to return to death and exact punishment on those responsible. World War Hulk chronicles just that. Hulk and the rest of the rebellious slaves that took back Sakaar punishing the members of the Marvel Universe who destroyed his life and anyone else who tries to stand in his way in pursuit of this goal. Like Planet Hulk, World War Hulk contains plenty of destructive fun and some interesting and deep character development. It would be glorious to see some of the events of this comic played out on screen in the Marvel Cinematic universe, one aspect of the comic comes to mind, the Hulk pitting the heroes against one another in a fight to the death inside a gladiatorial arena, paralleling the actions of the Red King. If Doctor Strange and Ant-man have been integrated into the MCU by this point the movie would be even more awesome, in fact there is a particular bad ass scene that requires Doc’ Strange’s prescience for it to be in the film.
3. The Skaar storyline
Like many of the best Incredible Hulk story lines in recent years Son Of Banner is a direct result of the events of Planet Hulk. It is revealed after World War Hulk has died down that Bruce Banner/The Hulk has a son, Skaar. It is revealed that Caiera, Hulk’s alien queen back on Sakaar was pregnant toward the end of Planet Hulk, however when the pod that brought Hulk to Sakaar blows up killing Caiera and almost everyone on Sakaar it is assumed that the child died with her. This is proved one when Hulk’s son comes to Earth looking for vengeance against his’ father for the death of his mother and his planet. The real events were that Caiera used her’ old power to preserve her’ child, (or children as it is later revealed) Sakaar was born in the fire of his’ dying planet and was raised killing monsters. Sakaar has a very unique look, he appears like the Hulk, big green and muscular with long hair, a tribal tattoo on his shoulder and a sword on his back. Think Conan the barbarian crossed with the Hulk. However, he doesn’t just posess the abilities of his’ father, he also has the old power of the ancient race which his’ mother belonged to. This means he can turn his skin to stone and manipulate rock in a variety of ways. Skaar hates the Hulk, however it is the Hulk he wants to kill, not Bruce Banner. Therefore when he searched for the Hulk and finds that Banner can no longer turn into him due to a procedure by Thunderbolt Ross to prevent the Hulk from ever surfacing he agrees to help Banner get his power back so that they can settle things once and for all in their Hulked out forms. The following issues lead to a father-son story where Bruce attempts to control his son and teach him with Skaar trying not to get too close. Though the reader knows that deep down Bruce wants to be on good terms with his son, Bruce clearly feels some initial resentment for his’ son as every time he looks at him he is reminded of the worst thing that ever happened to him. The brilliant Mark Ruffalo has already demonstrated that he can portray the character of Bruce Banner excellently and is a perfect fit for the role, these scenes played out by Mark Ruffalo would be brilliant to see. It is a very interesting team up as they are forced to work together though there is clearly issues there. It would be extremely interesting to see another Hulk-like character on screen alongside the already established one.
4. Dark Son (Hiro Kala)
Just when things appear to be getting somewhat more stable for the Green Goliath, he is on better terms with Skaar, he has his’ powers back and his’ team behind him, things start going wrong again. It is revealed that another evil dictator is on his’ way to Earth from outer space. However this time he is related to Hulk, in fact he is Hulk’s other son he knew nothing about. What unfolds is a brilliant story full of twists, turns and emotion. Particularly as Hulk can’t help but feel paternal toward this little monster even though he knows he is evil. Hiro Kala does have his’ issues but nothing excuses his’ horrific actions. The Hulk struggles with the fact that this genocidal maniac is his son (and rightly so) and the fact that he feels he can still help him. What follows is an exciting, explosive and emotional few issues with some fantastic scenes between the two sons. This would play out excellently on screen, but only if Skaar existence is first established as I would argue that the interplay between Hiro Kala and Skaar, particularly the battle in the third act is the strongest element of the story. Incorporating this story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe would add a bit more credence to the character as, although the character has been interesting up to this point, they haven’t explored the whole emotional range of the Hulk and Bruce Banner.