Over the last few years, Marvel has been slowly introducing a new generation of more diverse heroes that carry the names of their old school predecessors. With the new series of one-shot comics called Generations, Marvel is asking the question “Is there enough room in the Marvel Universe for the old guard and the new heroes to exist?”
The minor Marvel event, which is tied to a yet-undisclosed part of the current Secret Empire arc, kicked off this past week with Generations: The Strongest which pitted Totally Awesome Hulk Amadeus Cho against Bruce Banner’s Hulk for a couple solid smashes and some introspective conversation.
Many of the Generations pairs have seen their older counterpart killed (Hulk, Phoenix, Wolverine) while others have just seen their namesakes profoundly changed from their glory days of Avenging (Iron Man [Now an AI], Capt. America [Supreme Leader of Hydra], Thor [Drunk, no Mjolnir]). Generations will likely give the new heroes opportunities to get some one-on-one hang time with their namesakes by whisking them through time and space and sending them to signature moments.
In The Strongest, Amadeus is transported to one of the most classic Banner Hulk-style conflicts: Facing off against Thunderbolt Ross and a bunch of tanks in the desert. Since taking the gamma Hulk power away from Bruce using nanobots, Amadeus has mostly fought giant monsters or punched people as part of the Champions. Without Banner as a mentor (Due to his death during last year’s Civil War 2 event), Amadeus has struggled with the Hulk persona as it tends to take over when things don’t go according to plan.
While the story itself seemed fairly self-contained, two hulks hanging out and dealing with a fairly low-stakes conflict or two, the book’s writer and Planet Hulk scribe Greg Pak insists the events of Generations: The Strongest will have a lasting impact on the Totally Awesome Hulk. Pak said in an interview with Previews World, “…every Hulktastic smash has consequence — it all matters. And yes, this story will matter.”
The next Generations book releasing this Wednesday will focus on the two Jean Greys and the remaining one-shots will focus on old/new hero pairs of Thors, Wolverines, Hawkeyes, Spider-Men, Capt. Americas, Capt. Marvel + Ms. Marvel, Capt. Marvel + Mar-Vell, and Iron Man + Ironheart.