Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Incredible Hulk #5 While the name ‘Abomination’ should be incredibly familiar for Hulk fans, it seems as though the villainous title is getting a complete overhaul of cosmic proportions. This isn’t to say that Emil Blonsky has become some kind of god, but rather the position as an ‘Abomination’ opposite an established ‘Hulk’ has taken on a new meaning, and in doing so, has effectively redefined the Hulk’s newest, and perhaps strongest enemy.
In the current state of Hulk comics, the Hulk is taking on an enemy called the Eldest. The Eldest is an ancient creature who’s essentially the mother of monsters, and she wants the Hulk. While it’s interesting to see all her children – who are increasingly horrific – as they go after the Hulk, what’s more interesting is her newly-established relationship with the One Above All.
The One Above All is more than just the ultimate cosmic god of the Marvel Universe, but was also the main antagonist in Immortal Hulk. At least, a version of them was. In the Immortal Hulk series, it’s revealed that the One Above All and the One Below All were the same entity, with the One Below All described as the One Above All’s ‘Hulk’, the same way the iconic green Avenger is Bruce Banner’s ‘Hulk’. While that made sense at the time, given the One Below All’s residence in the Below-Place – which only gamma-mutates had access to – that revelation takes on a whole new meaning now that it’s been revealed that the Eldest is the world’s first ‘Abomination’.
In The Incredible Hulk #5 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Travel Foreman, the Hulk is battling a monster who resides in the swamp along with Swamp-Thing to save a girl who’s been following the Hulk on this most recent horror-filled adventure. Afterward, Betty Ross comes to him with a message from the Eldest, as she is also a gamma-mutate called Harpy, and therefore is involved in this conflict as well.
Betty tells Bruce that the Eldest wants to make a deal with him, that she can offer Bruce a new body separate from the Hulk, just as she can offer Betty a new body separate from Harpy. Before leaving Bruce to consider the offer, Betty says that the Eldest is, “the first Abomination, born against the will of the One Above All”.
The Hulk and the Abomination have a rivalry in Marvel Comics that goes back decades, as the Abomination was effectively the ‘evil Hulk’ in a number of their stories. But, now that the Hulk’s lore is getting fleshed out in ways Marvel fans wouldn’t have thought possible upon reading Hulk comics from a few decades ago, it makes one wonder if the conflict between Hulk and Abomination is one that’s been raging in one form or another since the dawn of time. Immortal Hulk already established the Hulk’s otherworldly importance, and made very direct parallels between Bruce Banner/Hulk and One Above All/One Below All. Could it be that it’s now the Abomination’s turn, and that the Eldest has filled the role of the first ‘Abomination’ who exists opposite the first ‘Hulk’? Based on the evidence given so far, it seems the answer to that question is: yes.
It seems as though the Hulk and Abomination were fated to be enemies, and are perhaps just the latest iteration of a cosmic conflict that’s taken place since the dawn of time, and on a multiversal scale, which would mean that the Hulk’s new (and strongest) nemesis was just redefined in Marvel Comics canon in a big way.
The Incredible Hulk #5 by Marvel Comics is available now.