Hulk is about to go up against the terrifying One-Below-All, but a new revelation from Galactus’ past suggests it can’t ever be truly defeated.
Warning: contains spoilers for Defenders #2 and Immortal Hulk #49!
The Hulk is about to face his greatest battle of all time as the acclaimed Immortal Hulk reaches its fiftieth-issue finale and the Jade Giant faces off against the One-Below-All – but a recent revelation about Galactus‘ past suggests this battle may actually be impossible to win. In Defenders #2 (from Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez), Doctor Strange’s new team are tumbling back through past versions of Marvel’s multiverse, landing in the Sixth Cosmos, where the man who would become Galactus was born. There, they meet his mother, Taaia, who shares an old legend that suggests Hulk’s ultimate enemy may be beyond any traditional notion of defeat.
Hulk’s foe is the One-Below-All, a horrific force of hate and violence that exists in the Below-Place – a dimension below reality, and seemingly below the multiverse itself. The One-Below-All loathes anything different to itself, and plans to hollow out the Hulk and use his body and mind to end the cycle of creation forever, preventing the process by which one multiverse-encompassing ‘Cosmos’ leads to the next. Needing a personality to work through in the meantime, the One-Below-All has possessed Hulk villain the Leader, and Immortal Hulk #49 saw Hulk, his Sunshine Joe persona, and Jackie McGee plunging into the Below-Place to rescue Bruce Banner and defeat the composite evil holding him prisoner. The problem is, it seems this has all happened before.