WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Incredible Hulk #717 by Greg Pak and Carlo Barberi, in stores now.
For the better part of three years, Amadeus Cho has been the Marvel Universe’s first and foremost Hulk. The gamma power of Bruce Banner was his to control thanks to nanobytes that allowed for a transference of powers while maintaining his intellect, but there were still certain… anger control issues.
As we saw thought writer Greg Pak’s run on Incredible Hulk, Amadeus was at war with himself. Deep inside, he fought for control of the Hulk. On the one hand, there was Amadeus, who wanted nothing more than to be Earth’s champion, and a good-natured hero. On the other, there was the dark side of the Hulk, the one that was all anger and raw power.
Both vied for control of Amadeus’ body, and it all reached a boiling point in writer Greg Park’s final storyline on the title, “World War Hulk II.” After spending some time on the planet Sakaar, Amadeus returned to Earth — but the Hulk was now fully in control. Worse still, he declared war on all of the world’s superheroes. In the final issue of the story, Incredible Hulk #717, Amadeus manages to defeat the Hulk, and regain control of his body — but it comes at a cost, and it leads to a whole new look and status quo for the character.
In the issue, Amadeus’s friends and his sister fight the Hulk in order to stop him, and to give the young genius a chance to regain control. Thanks to the injection of counterbots, the original nanobots are negated, and Amadeus slowly starts to lose the power of the Hulk, giving Amadeus the chance to overpower the Hulk persona. But when he has the chance to get rid of him for good, the idealistic hero instead chooses to absorb the Jade Giant, and to accept that the rage the Hulk represents is a part of him. The fight for control is over, and the counterbot process is stopped.
As a result, Amadeus has lost some of the power that made him the Hulk, but not all of it. He’s still a green, muscular giant, but not as large as he used to be. Plus, he looks more like himself, his Hulk form now resembling him more than before. “I’m not the Hulk anymore,” Amadeus remarks. “I’m just…”
“Cho,” Carol Danvers finishes for the young hero.
It’s unclear if that’s the name this new version of Amadeus will utilize going forward, but we do know that his new look is one that will stick. After all, in Marvel’s August 2018 solicits, the cover for the upcoming Champions #23 revealed a new costume for Cho (and new armor for Ironheart), who now fights with this new physical form.
Amadeus’ adventure as a Hulk is reaching the end of its first chapter, but a new one appears to be beginning. Now, Bruce Banner is set to return as the Immortal Hulk in June, meaning that there will be more than one Hulk once again running around in the Marvel Universe — but there will always be just one Amadeus Cho.
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