We saw it coming from previews but the debut of KLUH in AXIS #4 was still a shocker and a puzzler.
Bruce Banner’s inner monster has evolved into many incarnations from the gray “Joe Fixit” of Vegas to the Incredible monster to my favorite – Banner in control of Hulk’s body and running the Pantheon from the Peter David era.
In the Hulk by Gerry Duggan it’s Doc Green in control.
But this week KLUH emerged!
You can see the black, armored Goliath with a white mohawk here on the cover.
In AXIS #4 heroes and villains have been twisted by Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom’s “inversion” spell that stopped the Red Onslaught but ignited evil in the Avengers and X-Men.
Executive Editor Tom Brevoort describes the “inverted” Hulk:
“The Hulk, as we see him through most of Issue #4, is passive and not particularly intelligent. He’s sort of docile and, in essence, he’s the opposite of most of the traits that we typically think of when we think of the Hulk. Also inverted though, in a strange manner, are his transformations. Typically it’s that Bruce Banner gets angry and becomes the Hulk. In this instance though, the Hulk becomes saddened and dismayed and transforms effectively into a being that is the Hulk’s version of the Hulk, a being we’ve been calling Kluh!” Brevoort told Comic Book Resources.
“He was an idea that Rick (Remender) hit on, and — I could be misremembering this, but I believe it stems from a conversation between Rick and Gerry Duggan, who is writing “Hulk” and is a friend of Rick’s. They tend to talk about stories and toss ideas around a lot. I believe in one of their conversation they started talking about the idea of the Hulk’s Hulk; what that would be and how cool that could be. In a way, it’s sort of a throwback to the Devil Hulk that Paul Jenkins did years and years ago, which was made up of all the worst traits in Bruce Banner’s psyche that never got let out.”
Brevoort says artist Jim Cheung designed KLUH’s armored look.
The inverted action continues next week in AXIS #5.