WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Immortal Hulk #24, by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Belardino Brabo, Marc Deering, Roberto Poggi, Paul Mounts and VC's Corey Petit, on sale now.
As Immortal Hulk has revealed, the Marvel Universe is about to enter its ninth incarnation, complete with a new set of cosmic beings. However, there are other key comics that tie into the end of all things taking place, namely the History of the Marvel Universe and King Thor, which both depict battles and struggles at the end of all things.
Now, Immortal Hulk #24 has revealed that the Devil Hulk will be alive at this exact moment, joining the All-Father Thor in what could reshape the next universe.
In Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo's Thor #16, King Thor seemingly confirmed that he would be present for the death of the universe, and in his solo title, he's fighting Loki the Necrogod to ensure the universe lives on at the end of time. We also know Thor would survive and become a lonely god, emotionally withering away and ready to die after eons of watching over the realms. But with this new revelation, Devil Hulk is looking to make his presence felt and remake things in his own twisted way.
The Hulk meets the Sentience of the Cosmos at the end of time in Immortal Hulk #24's epilogue, the entity which helped birth to Galactus and which seems to be linked to the One Below All. This supernatural thread is connected to the Green Door and now, it appears gamma may even be tied to the birth of the Fantastic Four, with Devil Hulk being destined to be the universe's ultimate destroyer. That role could've presumably gone to Galactus, but in History of the Marvel Universe, we saw Galan of Taa pass that mantle onto an older Franklin Richards, the architect who was then charged with building the Ninth Cosmos.
At the end of time, the Devil Hulk -- wearing Bruce Banner's skin -- tells the Sentience that he actually killed Franklin billions of years before, and he's all that's left -- the strongest there is. He wants to be the new creator since he has already fulfilled his role as destroyer, even killing the minor immortal hero Mr. Immortal. Before the Sentience could find a solution, however, Devil Hulk literally consumes him, more or less confirming he's the last remaining entity in the universe as we know it.
We have no clue where Thor is, but Devil Hulk seemingly reigns supreme, and he clearly wants to create the next reality in his twisted vision. This has been his ultimate goal all along, and it's something which makes sense give how the One Below All has been tied to his powers.
All of this could be part of a larger plan to make the One Below All surpass the One Above All as the ultimate deity in the Marvel Universe, creating existence in his grim image. This version of the Hulk could be tied to Knull, the symbiote god, but until Absolute Carnage reveals what happens to their combined form, there's no guarantees anything will happen there. What we do know for sure, though, is Devil Hulk is at the end as the last beast standing, and there may literally be no one else around to stop him.
Immortal Hulk #25 is by Al Ewing, Germán García, Chris O’Halloran and Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose and Paul Mounts. It'ss et to be released on sale Oct. 23.