Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

Back in 1985, Bill Mantlo, Mike Mignola, Gerry Talaoc, Jim Novak and Bob Sharon told an Incredible Hulk story that would change everything, despite being a Secret Wars II crossover. Incredible Hulk #312 told a haunting story of Bruce Banner's birth and his life, including the influence of his father, Brian Banner.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

A nuclear scientist who feared that his work meant any children of his would be genetic monsters,

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And saw in Bruce Banner's intelligence as a young child, a monstrosity in his midstImmortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

Seen through Bruce's eyes as a destructive monster.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And one that beat his wife, and Bruce's mother, Rebecca Banner as well.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

From this abuse, came the Hulk, in Bruce's mind long before the gamma bomb that would transform him. Brian would later kill Rebecca and be placed in an asylum for the insane. And years later would see a graveyard reunion for the pair that went as well as you may expect.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

With Brian Banner still suffering the same delusion.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And eventually leaving a beaten down Bruce Banner in the graveyard.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

 

 

A few years later, for the famous Incredible Hulk #377, Peter David and Dale Keown would pick this thread up again. With Bruce and the Hulks being psychoanalysed by Doc Samson. And revisiting a certain monster, reprising scenes from five years before.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And this tie showing us the murder of Rebecca.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers) Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And revisiting that graveyard as well.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

Later in the run, with Pater David and Gary Frank, we learned more about those times – and threats.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

As well as one very special promise…Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

That he would go to hell to burn in the tar pits unless he behaved himself. And indeed with Peter David and Andy Kubert, gave us an Incredible Hulk #-1 and what really happened in that day in the graveyard.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

…revealing that Bruce Banner accidentally killed Brian Banner. Later in the series, with a little help from Mephisto, the two were reunited in hell.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

…though the promised punishment was not eternal.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

There have been a number of revisitations since. Flashbacks for the Hulk when fighting his own son at the conclusion of Planet Hulk.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

Smashing the construction set…

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

…beating Rebecca…

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

…beating Bruce. And that was just the beginning.

During the Chaos War storyline, Brian Banner returned from the dead and faced the Hulk again alongside the Abomination, and Brian was transformed into a creature resembling a mix of the Guilt and Devil Hulks.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

Recently in the Immortal Hulk, Brian Banner returned, possessing Sasquatch…

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

…and then becoming part of the Hulk himself.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And now the Hulk has indeed gone to Hell. Very literally. With no Mephisto trickery. At the conclusion of the previous issue, we saw Brian Banner there.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

 

And in today's Immortal Hulk #12 we got a new history for Bruce Banner. A replacement of the construction set.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)The death of Rebecca… and Brian…

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

And some further motivation, however warped, for Brian Banner's actions on Earth.

Immortal Hulk #12 Rewrites the Story of Bruce Banner's Father One More Time (Spoilers)

 

And the idea that the Hulk was planned by something a long, long time ago – before his birth…

Al Ewing has, if nothing else, been doing his reading. With Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose and Paul Mounts, Immortal Hulk was Marvel's most critically acclaimed title last year and the new issue shows no stepping back in that regard.

IMMORTAL HULK #12
(W) Al Ewing (A) Joe Bennett (CA) Alex Ross
"HULK IN HELL" PART TWO!
•  It whispers through many mouths. It destroys with many hands. Its only weapon is hate.
•  It wears human souls like masks on a stage to work its will on the world – but in the lowest hell, underneath all others, all the masks come off…
•  …and THE ONE BELOW ALL is revealed.
Rated T+In Shops: Jan 23, 2019
SRP: $3.99

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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