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The teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok was released a few weeks ago and one of the character highlights was none other than The Incredible Hulk. Definitely an intentional spoiler alert, the appearance of Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok seems like it will be a fan-pleaser and hopefully an integral part of the story line. For those wanting a Planet Hulk movie it might not meet their expectations but for any Marvel cinematic fans there is high hope and excitement for the reprise role of Mark Ruffalo. This week we’ll take a look at 7 of the most romantic covers featuring our favorite giant green monster.
The Incredible Hulk Vol 3 #82 (Tricia and Bruce Banner)
Although not a true romantic relationship exists between the mysterious magician Tricia and Bruce Banner, she does establish a tragically short friendship with him in this one-shot story. During Bruce’s travel to London he is saved by Tricia, as he almost runs into a bus, while crossing the street. As they part ways Tricia enters a cab that is then bombed by a mystical assassin. Bruce is caught amongst the blast and survives as he morphs into the Hulk, while Tricia perishes in the fire. Her spirit survives in an astral projection and she asks Bruce to hunt down her killer so that her spirit may pass into the next life. The story follows the next 24 hours as Bruce is guided by Tricia. This beautiful issue is told in the format of a hand-written letter which adds an extra romantic charm to contrast the dark shadows of Jae Lee’s signature artwork.
The Totally Awesome Hulk Vol 1 #4 (Lady Hellbender and Amadeus Cho)
Amadeus Cho is an Asian-American character, created by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa, that premiered in Amazing Fantasy #15 (2006). He’s made appearances in the World War Hulk storyline, as well as The Incredible Hercules, and is currently the man behind the green in The Totally Awesome Hulk comic. After the Secret Wars storyline Amadeus used nanites to remove the Hulk from Bruce and infuse it’s power into himself. In this series Cho has made it his mission to contain the mysterious monsters that have been appearing all around the globe. He manages to contain all of them, especially the infamous Fin Fang Foom, but brings about the attention of the universe’s fiercest monster collector, Lady Hellbender. In this issue she plants a few kisses on her new catch as she persuades to get him to stay with her. She eventually has to let him go once she realizes that he belongs on earth, helping the puny humans.
The Incredible Hulk Vol 3 #98 (Caiera and Hulk)
Planet Hulk was a series that ran from Vol 3 issue #92-105 of The Incredible Hulk. Sent away to the far reaches of space by the Illumanti group, the Hulk finds himself on the planet Sakaar. Here he is sold into slavery and is sent to an arena to engage in gladiator style battles for entertainment. The story-line follows his journey with a rag tag group of would-be gladiators and their escape from the arena and into the strange lands of Sakaar. Filled with the mayhem and smashing of a thousand Hulk level battles, Planet Hulk is any puny human’s dream of what the world would be like if inhabited by these gamma radiated gods . One of the fan favorite story lines of the new Hulk series, Planet Hulk was the film that most fans really wanted to see. With the Thor: Ragnarok teaser release, fans might have to settle for some call backs to this story-line, including the gladiator clad Hulk going up against Thor. Hulk Vol 3 #16 – Variant Cover – Leinel Francis Yu – (Betty Ross and Bruce Banner)
In this issue Banner takes the Extremis drug to turn himself into Doc Green, a Hulk that is bent on curing the world of all other Hulks. He felt as if it was for the betterment of the world to cure the universe of the dangers that came with keeping active Hulks around. Doc Green is another alter ego that had been born within Bruce Banner but never released until the Extremis drug was introduced into his system. With the curing of all the Hulks, Doc Sam also plans to rid himself of the Hulk mutation and ultimately die in the process. At the end of this issue Betty Ross makes an appearance and asks Doc Green to release Bruce Banner, just so she can talk to him one final time before he goes on his final, yet fatal, mission.
The Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #418 (Rick and Marlo Jones Wedding)
Rick Jones was the teen that Bruce Banner saved during the event that caused the Hulk mutation. Just to give some backstory to the origin behind the Incredible Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner was the creator of the gamma bomb. During it’s testing a teen had wandered onto the site. Dr. Banner had assumed that the countdown was delayed and ran out into the test field to warn him. As the bomb went off, Dr. Banner had to throw Rick Jones into a bomb shelter while he took most of the radiation force that eventually caused his mutation into the Incredible Hulk. A great wedding cover to any collection, this issue showcases that classic 80’s look to the ceremony. The cover to this issue also has a fold-out that features special wedding guests such as Captain America, She-Hulk, Namor, and Iceman just to name a few.
The Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #124 (The First Wedding of Betty Ross and Bruce Banner)
The original wedding of Betty Ross and Bruce Banner is interrupted in this silver-age classic entitled “The Rhino Says No”. In this issue Betty and Bruce finally try to tie the knot when they are interrupted by the plans of Sam Sterns aka Leader. One of the arch enemies of the the Incredible Hulk, Sam Sterns was also exposed to gamma radiation that mutated his skin, increased the size of his brain, and made him into the criminal mastermind known as Leader. The brilliant plan of the Leader was to wake up the Hulk during his wedding day and have him kill his own bride. The hired muscle for his plan was the Rhino. The Rhino ends up getting in the way of the Leader’s plans by charging Banner and instigating a fight, thus drawing Banner’s attention away from Betty. Don’t worry though, Betty and Bruce eventually get married nearly 17 years later in the next issue of this series. The Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #319 (The Wedding of Betty Ross and Bruce Banner)
Betty Ross and Bruce finally get hitched in this issue. After 17 years of waiting, the two finally get married after the debacle that was their first attempt at a wedding in issue #124 (1986). This year was also a big year for Marvel comics as it marked their 25th anniversary. Betty Ross will always be the one true love of Bruce Banner. Throughout their entire history, Betty Ross has always seen Bruce for what he was and not just what the Hulk had left in his wake. In the most recent comics they have had a rocky closure to their relationship but will always have love for each other so long as the Hulk is still smashing (enemies that is).
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