SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Civil War II” #2, on sale now.
Though a longtime mainstay of the Marvel Universe, aside from a few flashback sequences in “Totally Awesome Hulk,” Bruce Banner has been missing in action since the eight-month jump Marvel’s fictional comic book universe took after last year’s “Secret Wars” event. That changed in this week’s “Civil War II” #2 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez, but it looks doubtful that his return will be a happy occasion for anyone involved.
As depicted in the issue, the latest prophecy from Ulysses — the future-predicting Inhuman at the center of the Marvel event series — depicts a rampaging Hulk slaughtering the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes (Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Thor and Hawkeye are all pictures in his vision). As Ulysses himself puts it, “the Hulk is going to kill you all.”
Captain Marvel — apparently undeterred by War Machine’s death earlier in the series, a casualty of a Ulysses-prompted sneak attack on Thanos — confronts an unaware Bruce Banner at the end of the issue, providing the cliffhanger for the second chapter of the series. It certainly appears that Carol Danvers is intent on curtailing the threat foretold by Ulysses, but it’s also important to remember that this may be a case of mistaken identity — despite being the most famous Hulk there is, Bruce Banner hasn’t actually been the Hulk since some time after “Secret Wars.” Amadeus Cho is the current Hulk, as the star of the “Totally Awesome Hulk” series — where it was revealed that Cho absorbed Banner’s Hulk-ness following a radioactive incident. Additionally, Cho has been struggling with anger issues of his own in the series, though he’s managed to prevent other herese from realizing this is a growing problem.
In an interview with Newsarama, “Civil War II” editor and Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort declined to specify if it was Banner or Cho in Ulysses’ vision, though the answer will arrive sooner than later. “I can’t shed any light on which Hulk that is,” Brevoort said. “You’ll have to find out in ‘Civil War II’ #3.”
No matter what happens between Bruce Banner and Captain Marvel in “Civil War II” #3, it looks like it’s going to be bad news for someone involved. Marvel has already hyped that issue will contain a major death — a higher profile character than War Machine — and has set up midnight sales at comic shops to further promote the story. Whether that’s a result of Ulysses’ vision of an out-of-control Hulk coming at least partly true, or something else entirely, remains to be seen.
More answers will come in less than a month, as “Civil War II” #3 — the third chapter of the seven-issue series — is scheduled for release on July 13.
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