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After She-Hulk, There's One Obvious Hulk Story The MCU Needs To Adapt

She-Hulk, also known as Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), has finally arrived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and luckily for her, she already has a Hulk to teach her the ropes. Although this is very much Jennifer's story, her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is also a key part of it — at least to begin with. This is mainly because he's the reason she gets her powers following the car accident in "She-Hulk" Episode 1. Let's not forget that it's a Sakaarian ship that causes the crash in the first place, and it's clearly looking for the giant green champion who the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) loves so much. Sure, it's looking like Marvel Studios is gearing up to take another stab at "World War Hulk" after "Thor: Ragnarok." But what if they didn't?

When Edward Norton still bore the mantle of the live-action Hulk, the star wanted to take a deep dive into the character's psyche. He told The New York Times in 2019, "I laid out a two-film thing: The origin and then the idea of Hulk as the conscious dreamer, the guy who can handle the trip. And they were like, 'That's what we want!' As it turned out, that wasn't what they wanted." And considering the Hulk has become more of a comedic character of late thanks to Professor Hulk, it's time to get back to the darkness that made him so interesting in the first place. Marvel could do just that by bringing to life one of the character's most intense comic storylines.

Marvel Studios should look to Al Ewing and Joe Bennett's Immortal Hulk

In recent years, there's been one Hulk story that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Al Ewing and Joe Bennett's "Immortal Hulk." The series not only takes a deep dive into what makes Bruce Banner tick, but it recontextualizes the Hulk's powers, his origin, and his place in the wider Marvel Universe. It gets back to the tortured roots of the character, rather than having him as a cog in the well-oiled Avengers machine, as the story sees Bruce as a nomad who roams the United States while trying to keep both hands on his mental steering wheel.

Ewing and Bennett also hold up a mirror to the ugliest parts of society, and how the Hulk reckons with humanity. The first issue sees the Hulk hunt down a man who accidentally kills a 12-year-old girl in a gas station robbery gone wrong — and from there, the stories only get darker. It essentially proposes the idea that while Banner can be killed, the Hulk takes over at night, resurrecting the scientist. It also reveals that the Hulk's worst identity, Devil Hulk, has become the most dominant personality. Oh, dear.

While the MCU has acknowledged Banner's trouble balancing his two personalities over the years, it has never relished in letting the Hulk loose. Sure, he gets to smash bad guys in all the "Avengers" movies, but it's not the same as having him run wild. And what better way to let him off the chain than by analyzing his psyche in a dark, intense story? There have been a number of reasons why we haven't gotten a standalone Hulk movie in the past, but if Marvel manages to make it happen, then an "Immortal Hulk" film could be something special.

Immortal Hulk is intense, but the MCU has pushed the boundaries before

The only problem with adapting "Immortal Hulk" is the stunning body horror that Al Ewing and Joe Bennett weave throughout all 50 issues of their series. It's impressive that Marvel let the duo get away with some of the grotesque imagery on the page — but it truly leaves a mark on the reader, because it's like no other mainstream Marvel series on the stands. Let's take the infamous moment involving the Abomination in "Immortal Hulk" #18, for example. Although Hulk assumes that it's Emil Blonsky, the monster looks different because his head looks like a closed fist. Unfortunately, it's actually two closed fists, and when they unfurl, they reveal the two distorted faces of Rick Jones, who's been experimented on by a nefarious organization.

It's a truly grim revelation, and it's just one of many violent designs that pop up over the course of the series. Although the MCU has dabbled in horror with the likes of the "Doctor Strange" movies and "Moon Knight," depicting graphic gamma-induced transformations and breakdowns might be a stretch too far for the House of Mouse. However, with some clever concessions, Marvel Studios could still bring the story to life. 

If the company did adapt "Immortal Hulk," it might have to swap out the body horror for simple transformations rather than the horrendous designs of the comics. Or at least downplay some of it with clever camera angles and cuts. Hey, if Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) can ruthlessly slaughter the Illuminati in "Multiverse of Madness," there's a way of doing the Rick Jones Abomination without getting too gross.

And there's the added bonus that the story would fit into the Multiverse Saga.

How Immortal Hulk plays perfectly into the Multiverse Saga and beyond

Okay, it's time to address the multiverse in the room. Kevin Feige confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 that the current era of the MCU is titled "The Multiverse Saga," as Phase 4, Phase 5, and Phase 6 build toward "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" and "Avengers: Secret Wars." So, could an "Immortal Hulk" movie fit into that frame? Absolutely. A huge part of the story revolves around the idea that there's a terrifying realm that lurks at the very bottom of the multiverse.

The Below-Place is essentially hell for anyone who's been transformed due to gamma radiation, called gamma mutates, and they pass through a gateway called the Green Door. Although they can come back from the dead, they won't remember their time in the Below-Place. It's ruled by a cruel force called the One Below All, who is hell-bent on wiping out all life in the multiverse so that it's the only thing that exists. It is technically part of its heavenly opposite, the One Above All, but that's where the metaphysical hierarchy of the Marvel universe gets messy.

Essentially, this terrifying entity can possess most gamma mutates to use as its host, although the Hulk eventually manages to cut it off from the rest of the multiverse. The "Immortal Hulk" story would fit in with the rest of the MCU because recent projects — think "Shang-Chi," "Loki," Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," and "Thor: Love and Thunder" – have focused on introducing new realms of existence.

Basically, not only could an "Immortal Hulk" movie slot perfectly into the current direction of the MCU, but it would deliver a completely fresh take on Hulk and Bruce Banner in live-action that would absolutely knock audiences' green socks off.