In Gamma Flight #2, some dangerous Hulk foes make a comeback, demonstrating the escalating fears around gamma mutates.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Gamma Flight #2, on sale now from Marvel.
With such tremendous strength and uncontrollable rage, it’s no surprise that the Hulk has amassed his fair share of enemies. Whether it’s other gamma mutates, the military or any number of miscellaneous villains, Bruce Banner’s alter ego is hunted and hounded wherever he goes.
In Gamma Flight #2, by Al Ewing, Crystal Frasier, Lan Medina, Antonio Fabela and VC’s Joe Sabinothe Hulk’s most specialized foes, the Hulkbusters made their return.
When they debuted in Chris Claremont, Archie Goodwin and Herb Trimpe’s Incredible Hulk #148 in 1972, the Hulkbusters was a task force, led by General Ross, designed to hunt and capture the Hulk. This task force consisted of soldiers across the US military, including Bruce Banner’s rival, Glenn Talbot. It took a while for the Hulkbusters to reach their modern incarnation, as the group was initially just a military task force without their traditional suits of armor.
Over time, however, the Hulkbusters gained some technological advantages, creating these giant suits of armor for the soldiers to combat the Hulk. The Hulkbusters have generally stood as a testament to the hatred and misunderstanding that the Hulk receives from those in power. The Hulk is deemed so dangerous by the military that an entire task force has been funded to get rid of him.
Eventually, Bruce Banner himself became the leader of the Hulkbusters, forming his own special task force in 1986’s Incredible Hulk #317 by John Byrne. At the time, Banner was physically separated from the Hulk, so he assembled a group of specialists to be his new Hulkbusters. This team went after Rick Jones when he became the Hulk, along with the original Hulk. Even after Banner’s team fell apart, the Hulkbusters kept coming back, typically as soldiers in armored suits working for the US military.
In a way, the Hulkbusters spread their influence to Iron Man, who famously created his special Hulkbuster Armor. The Hulkbuster suit, which first appeared at the end of 1994’s Iron Man #304 by Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood, was designed for the clear purpose of taking on the Green Goliath. While Iron Man himself was never part of the Hulkbuster program, the Hulkbuster Armor does hold the same size and shape as the Hulkbusters of the US military. Both suits of armor are made to battle the Hulk and have the same appearance.
In Gamma Flight #2, the Hulkbusters made a fairly dramatic return. At the time of their appearance, the Hulkbusters arrived to stop a fight between Gamma Flight and Skaar, the Son of the Hulk. It makes sense that the Hulkbusters came to stop this fight, since the battle consisted entirely of gamma creatures, who were causing a massive amount of damage in the streets of Austin, Texas.
Of course, the Hulkbusters weren’t particularly successful in their mission, as they were torn apart by Skaar. While the Hulk’s son destroyed the Hulkbusters’ armor, Gamma Flight disappeared, making the Hulkbusters seem pretty inefficient.
In the future, it will be fairly interesting to see the Hulkbusters in action. Gamma Flight and the rest of the gamma mutates will probably make more big moves in the future, so the Hulkbusters would naturally be there to stand in opposition.
As the number of gamma mutates has increased, it makes sense that the Hulkbusters would return, possibly increasing in numbers. Now, instead of just hunting the Hulk, the Hulkbusters are going after every gamma mutate. With this many gamma mutates, it’s clear to see that the Hulkbusters will need to expand, potentially becoming big opponents for Gamma Flight and their allies.
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