Marvel Comics have had their fair share of story arcs set in a dystopian future where everything has taken a turn for the worst, often resulting in countless deaths of beloved superheroes, and dangerous enemies now in charge of a world gone to hell. In Hulk: Future Imperfect, we see a world not so far away ravaged by radiation, and a popular green good guy gone bad.
The Hulk has seen everyone he loved or been friends with die, and the effects of the radiation have made him stronger and smarter, turning him into a bitter despot called Maestro, ruling over the city of Dystopia with an iron fist. It's the Hulk's darkest timeline, so we've got 10 facts every Marvel fan should know about Hulk: Future Imperfect.
10 Peter David Is Behind The Writing...
Legendary comic book writer Peter David was responsible for the superb story featured in Hulk: Future Imperfect. He was solely responsible for turning the Incredible Hulk's popularity around in the comics, introducing themes that hadn't been tackled before and making the character of Bruce Banner relevant once again.
David was also the genius behind many Spider-Man comics such as Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Man: The Other, and The Death of Jean DeWolff, considered by many to be one of Spider-Man's greatest ever stories. Along with his work on Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Supergirl, X-Factor, and Young Justice, he's one of the best comic book writers ever.
9 And George Perez Is The Artist
The artwork for Hulk: Future Imperfect is often stunning at times, bringing the city of Dystopia and the sprawling Wastelands to life. His character design for Maestro has made the villain one of the most dominant and visually striking characters of all time, and the way each panel is filled with incredible detail is a testament to Perez's talent as an artist.
Not only did he work with Peter David on Hulk: Future Imperfect, he also illustrated David's work on Sachs & Violins. Perez is also responsible for some of Marvel and DC's biggest ever events, including DC Comics' gigantic crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths, and pencilled most of Infinity Gauntlet, however, he left during issue 4.
8 David Intended It To Be A Flip On The Terminator Story
In the Hulk: Future Imperfect trade paperback 1st edition published in 1994, an introduction excerpt by Peter David gave some insight into the origins of the story, and how it was influenced by a popular science fiction movie. David had had a meeting with the then-Hulk Editor Bobby Chase about writing a story set in a Dystopian world.
After thinking about it for a while he decided to flip the idea behind The Terminator. In his own words, David said, "I thought it would be interesting to do what those films had not: take the protagonists and portray them in the future world rather than have denizens of the world come here."
7 It Is Acknowledged As Earth-9200
For all the alternative universes the Marvel Comics Universe has featured, there have been few as dark or disturbing as the one seen in Hulk: Future Imperfect. Every new universe is given a number, and this one is acknowledged as Earth-9200. It hasn't featured in many other comics, but seldom appearances elsewhere make it just as gloomy.
Writer Ivan Velez Jr returned to Earth-9200 in Abominations 4 years after Peter David, showing what has happened to Dystopia after Maestro was vanquished to the moment the gamma bomb exploded on Earth-616. It introduces characters like Abomination and She-Hulk, as well as continuing the story of Janis Jones, Rick Jones' freedom fighting grand-daughter.
6 Who Is Wild Man?
When the Hulk and Maestro first battle across the streets of Dystopia in Hulk: Future Imperfect #2, Maestro mentions a character called Wild Man, but after bringing him up realises that the Hulk hasn't met him yet. Whilst it's never officially confirmed, Wild Man did make an appearance in future Hulk comic books.
There were two characters from 1967 called"Wild Man" Williams and Wild-Man Wilson that both appeared in separate comics, but it's more likely to be the character of Alex Wildman. Wildman made his one and only appearance in Incredible Hulk #416, who was hellbent on destroying the Hulk after voices in his head told him to.
5 The Relic Room Featured Something From The DC Universe
When the Hulk first appears in Dystopia, he meets up with a much older Rick Jones in a room featuring plenty of relics from the world's fallen superheroes and characters, such as Wolverine's skeleton and Silver Surfer's board. Whilst there're tons of cool nods to many of Marvel Comics' much loved characters, there's also a solitary reference to one of DC Comics' most popular superheroes.
In issue #1010 of Comic Buyers Guide, Peter David revealed which of the ideas behind the relics came from him and George Perez, but also how colorist Tom Smith made one of the bricks from the remains of the Avenger's mansion green to resemble Kryptonite - the source of Superman's weakness.
4 What Happened To Betty-6 & Char?
Throughout Hulk: Future Imperfect, we're introduced to new characters that all play a role in the story. Betty-6 was a sex slave chosen by Maestro because of her resemblance to his ex-wife Betty Ross and was sent to have sex with the Hulk, and Char was the daughter of Boz, leader of the Wasteland Survivalists, who was impregnated by Maestro.
After Hulk: Future Imperfect concluded, Betty-6 and Char's story was continued in Abominations. It's revealed that Betty-6 was to be killed by Abomination because she was carrying the child that had a legitimate claim to the throne of Dystopia, so she traveled to Earth-616. Char did too, but was killed whilst still pregnant after a fight with police.
3 Abomination Took Over In Maestro's Absence
It was surprising to not see some of the other Hulk characters during Future Imperfect, but it wasn't long before we were introduced to Abomination and She-Hulk in Abominations. It was revealed that Abomination and She-Hulk (now known as Shulk) worked together to defeat Maestro. They lost, however, and he lost his hand in the process.
The Emil Blonsky of Earth-9200 ended up becoming the ruler of Dystopia with his plan to make Shulk his bride. He tried to kill Betty-6 because she was carrying a child that could take his place as the ruler, but she escaped via Castle Maestro's Time Platform.
2 She-Hulk Almost Killed A Baby
Jennifer Walters of Earth-9200 suffered greatly after teaming with Abomination to take out Maestro. With Abomination losing his hand, Shulk was entombed inside a sarcophagus for seven whole years. She wakes up in Abomination's bed and soon knocks Emil out, learning Betty-6 has gone to Earth-616 carrying the potential child of Maestro.
Arriving to Earth-616 with Abomination's vizir Kaspin, she finds out where Betty-6 is and that she's being looked after by the Abomination of that universe.Upon finding the child, Betty-6 tries to convince her the baby isn't Maestro's, but Shulk doesn't believe her. Upon realising the monster she's become, Kaspin kills Shulk before she does the horrific deed.
1 Rick Jones Past Encounters With Doctor Doom's Time Travelling Platform
Earth-616's Hulk manages to transport to Dystopia thanks to Doctor Doom's Time Travelling Platform and an elderly Rick Jones. As Jones is testing out the device, he says that "he's seen Doc Doom's time machine operate before." In Captain America: Man Out of Time, Jones is responsible for helping to save Cap from the past.
Kang the Conqueror had banished Captain America back to 1945, but after Rick Jones' Avengers ID card started to buzz, he headed to the Avengers' mansion and found a letter that told him exactly what had happened. He was instructed by Cap to pass the letter onto Mr Fantastic so that he could use the Time Travelling Platform to save him.