Monday, October 1, 2012

Better Luck Next Time


Name This Marvel Villain??

Professor Kerwin Kronus, the Temporal Man, didn't seem like the type of character to have a vendetta against the Hulk. At first, he had the best of intentions. Retained by General "Thunderbolt" Ross, he'd devised a way for Bruce Banner to travel back in time, so that Banner could make adjustments to prevent the accident that caused his transformation into the Hulk.

And Banner succeeded, but at a terrible cost. Banner originally became the Hulk because he rushed out of the military bunker at a gamma bomb test site in order to warn a kid who had driven onto the site--Rick Jones--about the bomb's imminent explosion. Banner had been able to get Rick to safety behind a protective barrier--but in the process, left himself exposed to the bomb's radiation. This time, he planned to make sure he reached the barrier in time. But the plan was flawed. Banner did indeed reach the safety of the barrier--but to do so, he had to let Rick fend for himself, instead of seeing to his safety. Consequently, this time, it was Rick who was caught in the explosion, resulting in his death:

When Kronus retrieved Banner and brought him back to his own time, Banner was indeed cured of being the Hulk--but he was unable to live with the guilt of being responsible for Rick's death. In a delusional nightmare, that guilt manifested as Kronus, who appeared in the dream as a super-powered villain bent on taking revenge on the Hulk for ruining his life's work. The battle played out viciously, with Kronus using his "powers" over time to daunt the Hulk's attacks against him:

Finally, the Hulk was able to close quarters with Kronus and pummel him. Yet, as the Hulk suddenly turned back into Banner, Banner was horrified to see the face in Kronus' smashed helmet--Rick, once again killed by Banner's hands.

Waking up screaming, Banner bolted back to Kronus' time shuttle, transporting himself back to the incident at the test site--but this time, he let history happen as it originally did before, thereby saving Rick. And Banner, returning to his own time, announced dejectedly to Kronus and Ross that he was still cursed as the Hulk.

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