Take 10

Take 10: Hulk Family (& Friends)

The greatest guys and gals to pal with the Hulk and live to tell the tale

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. For a guy who's always saying he just wants to be left alone, the Hulk has made quite a few friends over the years. Indeed, for Rick Jones to the Warbound and every Pantheon in between, the Green—and sometimes Gray—Goliath seems to be a magnet for interesting hangers on. As announced this past weekend at Fan Expo Canada, a number of these folks will star next year in the gamma-powered HULK FAMILY one-shot. To mark the occasion, the Secret Cabal has elected to run down their preferred pals of the Hulkster. For each bud you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!
 

10. CRACKAJACK JACKSON First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #182 (1974) Relationship With The Hulk: Homeless man who befriended the Hulk, teaching the Jade Giant to write and cook beans before dying at the hands of his son, the villain Hammer. Why He Makes The List: "Crackajack Jackson's greatest skill wasn't his ability to play the harmonica—though he was really good at that—it was the way he could get inside your heart and make you a better man, woman, child or gamma-irradiated monster. He taught the Hulk to love refried beans, and for that, even though he only appeared in one issue ever, we'll never forget him." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v2 #181—To prepare for the coming of Crackajack Jackson, Hulk engages a debuting Wolverine!

9. THE PANTHEON First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #368 (1990) Relationship With The Hulk: Peacekeeping organization founded by immortals led for a time by the Hulk. Why They Make The List: "Too many sprawling secret organizations in the Marvel Universe can be a bit dull because they're just filled with dudes wearing beekeeper hats or green t-shirts, but the Pantheon stood apart with a cool theme—the heroes of Greek mythology—and fun members possessing distinct quirks and powers. From insufferably invulnerable Achilles to dim-witted bruiser Ajax all the way down to clairvoyant nudist Cassiopea, the Pantheon didn't lack for personality. The fact that the friggin' Hulk, not exactly Captain America by any stretch, was their leader only emphasizes what a unique group the Pantheon was." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v2 #390—Hulk and the Pantheon storm Trans-Sabal!

8. THUNDRA First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #129 (1972) Relationship With The Hulk: Female warrior from the future who battled the Hulk and later produced offspring using his DNA. Why She Makes The List: "From a far out future where super-strong women rule the Earth and a subjugated male populace seeks to overthrow them, Thundra is one lady who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to fight for it—literally. When she first travelled to the 20th century, Thundra sought the Thing as an ideal mate and challenged him to a slugfest hoping that would prove romantic, much in the same way most kindergarten courtships take place. More recently, Thundra repeated her "punch/kiss" strategy with the Hulk, and scraped some skin cells while he wasn't looking so she could impregnate herself. Sassy!" – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS FOREVER #6—In a possible future, Thundra serves as one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes on a world overrun by Martians!

7. JIM WILSON First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #131 (1970) Learn More About Him…here Relationship With The Hulk: Teenage runaway who found in the Hulk/Bruce Banner a kindred spirit and became Banner's companion and confidante. Why He Makes The List: "Hulk's been through a lot in his life, obviously, but fortunately, he hasn't always had to go it alone. For many years Jim Wilson was one of Hulk's few friends, a rare person the aloof beast could trust. When Jim succumbed to AIDS in the 90's, Hulk was there with him at the end. And truly, whether you're a 10-foot-tall super hero or average human, dear friends are priceless." – Secret Cabal member Agent M Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v2 #106—Jim Wilson has Hulk's back against the sinister Sandman!

6. HIROIM First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK v3 #94 (2006) Learn More About Him…here Relationship With The Hulk: Shamed shadow priest who became part of the Hulk's Warbound on Sakaar. Why He Makes The List: "Among a group as rowdy as the Warbound, it's always nice to have a level head like Hiroim keeping things straight. This stone cold warrior got his start as one of the Shadow People's best and brightest, but got the heave ho from their order when his ego got a bit big for his shadow britches. After that, he spent his life on Sakaar trying to make amends for his hubris by fighting the good fight wherever he could find it and provided a much needed voice of reason during the Hulk's tenure as the Green King." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v3 #101—Hiroim joins the Hulk on his siege of Crown City!

5. AMADEUS CHO First Appearance: AMAZING FANTASY v2 #15 (2006) Learn More About Him…here Relationship With The Hulk: Young genius saved from shadow agency that killed his family by the Hulk. Why He Makes The List: "The 7th Smartest Person in the Marvel U., Cho was the winner of the Fan's Choice in AMAZING FANTASY #15, in which he—and his coyote pup—debuted. He's since become a fan favorite and was one of the Hulk's strongest—if smallest—allies in World War Hulk, among of the few who believed the hero was still buried inside the monster. If Banner knew all his friend had done, surely he would say, 'Rock me, Amadeus…'" – Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v3 #106—Amadeus Cho seeks allies for the Green Goliath as World War Hulk hits Earth!

4. KORG First Appearance: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 (1963) Learn More About Him…here Relationship With The Hulk: Stone warrior who became a member of Hulk's Warbound on Sakaar. Why He Makes The List: "Did you know this guy once fought Thor? Yep, definitely the oldest of Hulk's friends—chronologically, if not by amount of time known—this stony creature with a heart of pyrite was the Hulk's…well, rock, while Hulk was stranded on Sakaar. More than just a big, hunking rock-guy, Korg also showed his investigating skills during World War Hulk when he was paired up with the NYPD while looking into the death of his ally. KSI – Korg Scene Investigation. Make it happen, fans." – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v3 #96—Korg and the Warbound battle alongside the Hulk!

3. DOC SAMSON First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #141 (1971) Learn More About Him…here Relationship With The Hulk: Superhuman psychiatrist who has befriended Bruce Banner and attempted to help him control the Hulk over the years. Why He Makes The List: "Given that the Hulk is the Marvel Universe's ultimate headcase, it makes sense in a way that he'd attract the Marvel Universe's premiere (and only?) super-psychiatrist. There's a bizarre brilliance to the concept of a super-strong headshrinker with green hair who can let you know your hour is up with a gamma-powered punch to the noggin if you haven't made a breakthrough, and Doc Samson is a character who has sustained a nice niche for over 35 years now. Whether he's conducting a group therapy session inside the Hulk's head or counseling the X-Factor team, Samson remains the most super shrink around." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HULK v3 #44—Doc Samson pursues the Hulk!

2. SHE-HULK First Appearance: SAVAGE SHE-HULK #1 (1980) Learn More About Her…here Relationship With The Hulk: Cousin of Bruce Banner who received power similar to the Hulk when he gave her a blood transfusion to save her life. Why She Makes The List: "We coulda just changed Hulk's gender and left pretty much everything the same when it came to She-Hulk, and for awhile that was the case, but the big green gal has evolved over the years and become a much richer character for it. Sure, Shulkie's big, green and full of enough rage and power that she gives her older cousin a run for his money, but she's managed to retain her social graces, good looks and bountiful brains after going green—no small feat." –Agent M Spotlight Comic: SAVAGE SHE-HULK #1—The origin of the Savage She-Hulk!

1. RICK JONES First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK v1 #1 (1962) Learn More About Him…here Relationship With The Hulk: Teenager whose actions inadvertently led to the creation of the Hulk, has been Bruce Banner's on-again, off-again friend and companion ever since. Why He Makes The List: "For everything he's done wrong, Rick Jones has made up for it with something good. He went for a joyride through the desert and needed to be saved by Bruce Banner from an exploding Gamma Bomb, turning Bruce into the Hulk. To atone, he helped bring together Earth's Mightiest Heroes—the Avengers! Another good thing he did was help end the Kree-Skrull war. But then he grew a mullet. Ah, Rick Jones, way to keep the scales of justice balanced." – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: TALES TO ASTONISH #69—Rick helps the Hulk battle the Leader!

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