The Hulk was taken down by the only Marvel hero to frustrate the Marvel Universe more than Deadpool in a truly embarrassing way.
Sometimes Marvel heroes need to be knocked down by some pegs. And within the Marvel Universe, there are few heroes more qualified for that task than Gwenpool, the Marvel fan who became a Marvel-conscious character.
And in 2020 Gwenpool Strikes Back # 4, by Leah Williams, Christopher Hastings, and David Baldeon, Gwenpool showed the Hulk why she shouldn’t be underestimated, even by Marvel powerhouses. While his triumph over the Hulk is one of his most surprising defeats, it is not the first time that the Hulk has been defeated by opponents that he significantly outperformed.
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Gwenpool’s took a admittedly disgusting route to secure a victory over the Hulk. Despite her ability to thwart her enemies into making mistakes like Spider-Man and Deadpool, she took one of Marvel’s most powerful weapons for herself and stole Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.
Now obviously there was a problem. Gwenpool wasn’t fit to wield the hammer, so she found a clever solution to that. Traveling through Marvel history, he encountered the moment when Thor’s arm was severed while holding the hammer. Gwenpool then proceeded to tuck her arm into the severed arm and use it like a glove so she could pick up Mjolnir and knock out the Hulk with a timely pitch. If she hadn’t hit the Hulk with the hammer right after that, chances are she would have been stunned in defeat.
It was a pretty surprising victory for Gwenpool and an embarrassing loss for the Hulk, but this isn’t the first time he’s lost a fight to someone most others would find completely ridiculous. It is the underestimation of the absurd that often leads to the Hulk’s downfall in these scenarios.
For example, the Hulk was easily taken down by the lesser telepathic mutant villain Mentallo. That’s certainly what the Hulk thought when he was captured by the Red Skull. Captain America’s nemesis had plans to brainwash the Hulk and had brought Mentallo on board to do the job. The Hulk laughed at this because he couldn’t really take the threat seriously. So imagine everyone’s surprise when Mentallo began to override the Hulk’s mind by tapping into the only aspect of his psyche that was vulnerable: the memory of Bruce Banner’s abusive father. Had he been left to his own devices, Mentallo would have managed to control him and the Hulk would have had to agree to be the puppet of a joke character.
While characters like Mentallo and Gwenpool may not seem intimidating at a glance, that’s part of what makes them so dangerous and deceptively effective against the kinds of enemies who would rule them out.
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