In Episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Hulk is seen on a spaceship heading out to outer space. Showrunner Jessica Gao has since confirmed that Bruce Banner is indeed heading to Sakaar (the planet he went to in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok). Is this a sign that the MCU will soon tackle the World War Hulk storyline?
But wait – who (or what) is World War Hulk? And is this version the strongest compared to other Hulk versions in the comics? We answer those questions and more!
Who is World War Hulk?
Okay, get ready – there’s a lot of explaining coming your way. First of all, World War Hulk technically refers to the title of the crossover storyline that ran in the Incredible Hulk comics (as well as in Avengers, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, and more – it was a Marvel Comics crossover event) in 2007.
Avid comics readers, especially die-hard fans, typically refer to the World War Hulk version of Bruce Banner as World-Breaker Hulk. But basically, World War Hulk and World-Breaker Hulk are one and the same. But for this article, we’ll now use the World War Hulk designation from now on for convenience.
So to answer the question: Who is World War Hulk? He really is just the same Bruce Banner we all love. Fresh from getting exiled on Planet Sakaar, he returns to Earth seeking revenge (we’ll get to that later, we promise).
Is World War Hulk Canon?
Yes, the World War Hulk storyline is canon. And just to be clear, it happened on Earth-616 (where most of the Marvel Universe’s comics characters live).
Sure, as far as Marvel crossover events are concerned, it’s not as lengthy or far-reaching as The Infinity War or Civil War story arcs. But it did happen within the Marvel Comics continuity.
Is World War Hulk A Villain?
Yes, World War Hulk is technically the villain in the World War Hulk arc. But because the comics focuses on him, he’s more of a protagonistic villain, as opposed to being a traditional villain.
Is World War Hulk evil though? No, World War Hulk is not evil. Yes, he’s the villain in the World War Hulk storyline, but he’s not out to kill anyone. He’s just a really angry dude out for revenge. And with good reason.
So why is World War Hulk seeking vengeance? Well, before the World War Hulk arc happened, there was this storyline called the Planet Hulk arc. In this story, Hulk is banished from Earth by the Illuminati (a group consisting of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic, and Black Bolt).
His spaceship crashes on Planet Sakaar, where Hulk would later rise in popularity as a gladiator. He would eventually become the king in that world and later marry. His wife Caiera gets pregnant with his child.
But tragedy would soon strike. The spaceship that brought Hulk to the planet would self-destruct, causing millions of deaths in Sakaar, including that of his wife and unborn child.
Blinded by rage and blaming the Illuminati (who built the spaceship), he heads to Earth, accompanied by his Warbound pals (Miek, Elloe Kaifi, Hiroim, Lavin Skee, No-Name Brood, and Korg), to exact his revenge.
Is World War Hulk Coming to MCU?
There’s no confirmation yet if World War Hulk will be coming to the MCU. Although we can’t really blame the Jade Giant’s fans for thinking it’s gonna happen. After all, Mark Ruffalo, who has played Hulk for a decade now, is totally game for it. Still, no one from Marvel is telling yet.
What we do know is that in Episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Hulk is shown riding what appears to be a Sakaar vessel heading into space. Is the ship heading to Planet Sakaar? And if so, is it a set-up for a World War Hulk storyline in the MCU?
Hulk did spend a lot of time in Sakaar before, as shown in Thor: Ragnarok. Is he paying the planet another visit? And will that visit unleash World-Breaker Hulk? That remains to be seen for now.
Is World War Hulk the Strongest Hulk?
Yes, World War Hulk is the strongest Hulk physically. To explain more, we need to deal first with how World War Hulk came to be.
We all know Hulk gets stronger the angrier he gets, right? Well, imagine how angry he gets if his wife and unborn child are killed. Because that’s what happens at the end of the Planet Hulk arc, paving the way for the World War Hulk saga.
In his anger, Hulk absorbed the radiation of the entire Planet Sakaar. In the process, he also absorbed Sakaar’s Old Power energy, enabling him to release large amounts of gamma energy. Using Old Power, Hulk can literally destroy an entire planet. Yes, that’s why this version is called the World-Breaker Hulk.
Strength aside, World War Hulk also possesses other abilities. He’s trained in various dueling weapons, thanks to his gladiator days in Sakaar. Having been taught meditation techniques by his Warbound comrade Hiroim, World War Hulk can transform from Dr. Banner form at will.
Speaking of Dr. Banner, World War Hulk is able to retain his intelligence in Hulk form. In the comics, he has also been shown to be a top strategist. He can maintain a shared conscience with Banner, but he also can separate his Hulk persona if needed.
World War Hulk is also tougher than other Hulk versions. For one, he can morph his bones and turn them into armor to protect his body and skin.
Of course, he still has the usual Hulk qualities like superhuman leaping ability, near-indestructible skin, otherworldly stamina, and tissue regeneration.
In the MCU, Hulk is last seen playing mentor to his cousin Jennifer Walters in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. We don’t know yet when he’ll appear again if he does at all. Will he be in next year’s The Marvels (the sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel), or perhaps in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (also coming out in 2023)? Until then, any smashing will have to wait.