Hulk has been a notable Marvel character since the 1960s and still is one of the most important parts of the Marvel Universe. Of course, in true comics fashion, Hulk gained a lot of versions of his character, and one that excited fans was The One Below All Hulk, which first appeared in the Marvel comics in 2018. In this article, we will discuss the nature of TOBA Hulk and explain the character’s powers in the Marvel Universe.
The One Below All Hulk, or simply TOBA Hulk, is an entity or a dark cosmic being that “devoured” Bruce Banner, who fell victim to the Gamma Bomb. When Banner was hit with the Gamma Bomb, he opened a Green Door that led to TOBA’s lowest point of reality, which then infused itself with the green monster. The One Below All eventually took over and destroyed Banner’s body and consciousness in an alternate universe, taking over and destroying all life in the Multiverse. Its powers are unmatched and couldn’t be “graded” by any power system in the Marvel Universe.
We will discuss this topic more by mentioning how The One Below All and Bruce Banner crossed paths, how TOBA became TOBA Hulk and explaining its powers. If you are interested, stay with us until the end.
The One Below All Hulk origins in Marvel Universe
As you can see from the starting points of this article, TOBA Hulk is more than an interesting character. Marvel Universe is full of out-of-world beings and entities that are a constant danger to Earth and its population. TOBA is an entity that resides in the Below-Place, the bottom layer of reality and the “bedrock” of Hell, and a dark counterpart to the One Above All. TOBA’s mission is to destroy everything in the Multiverse and remain the only presence.
The entity is the source of the mutagenic third form of gamma energy, which means that it can use gamma mutates, like She-Hulk and, in this case, Hulk, to act through them and use them as avatars that he can control. Because TOBA is the dark side of The One Above All, it’s a creature that doesn’t have a mind on its own, which makes it unhinged and even more dangerous. Lack of its own mind leads TOBA to possess only terrible desires, leading to destroying everything in its sight, so TOAA can rebuild and erect a new cycle and creation of the world.
We mentioned that TOBA is closely related to Hulk through gamma energy, especially with the monster itself. Everything started with Brian Banner, Bruce’s father and one of the most notorious Marvel characters of all time. Fans know Brian Banner from Bruce’s origin story, who neglected his wife and newborn son over experiments and research looking into gamma radiation. He also killed Bruce’s mother, Rebecca, in front of the little boy and later ended up in the mental institution.
Of course, Brian Banner’s story doesn’t stop there, and during the research of gamma energy, he gains a vision of The One Below All and learns that the evil entity is looking for him. This event prompted Brian to stop the research; years later, his son made much bigger progress in investigating gamma radiation. Indeed, Bruce created Gamma Bomb that exploded, opening Green Door to the metaphysical barrier in Below Place, and infused his DNA with gamma radiation, transforming into Hulk for the first time ever.
As always, Marvel Universe is full of violence and conflict; this time, a new war is on the horizon. Chaos War featured many powerful creatures and heroes fighting against the foe called Amatsu-Mikaboshi, a Japanese God of Evil. The Gods of Asgard and Olympus join forces to defeat the evil force, including Hulk.
While fighting evil forces, Hulk accidentally kills his father, Brian, and immediately forgets about it. However, Brian’s soul ends up in the Below Place, and TOBA uses his soul and personality to plan on destroying all of the Multiverse, attacking Bruce Banner. After a few used avatars of gamma mutate like Jailbait, and Sasquatch, possessed Brian makes the dead Walt Langkowski insane and sends him on a rampage, which makes Hulk intervene. Bruce drains Walter’s gamma power and, without knowing, takes Brian’s possession as well.
Possessed, Brian lures Bruce to Los Diablos Military Base, where a gamma bomb explodes, but Absorbing Man drains Hulk’s gamma energy, including Brian, which makes the Green Hero much weaker.
After the Gamma Flight group arrived at the scene, which dead possessed Absorbing Man used to absorb all radiation around the area of the Gamma Bomb explosion and allowed TOBA to open the Green Door and send everybody to Below Place.
So how TOBA became Hulk, and what is TOBA Hulk? Well, when Bruce entered the Below Place, he was separated from Hulk. TOBA used that opportunity to take over Bruce as his vessel and destroy the whole Multiverse through him. However, Hulk faces the manifestations of Rick Jones and Ross, which enraged him and transformed him into Savage Hulk.
In the end, the member of the Gamma Flight, Puck and Absorbing Man, save the day by absorbing gamma energy from Brian and transferring it into Hulk, who uses his powers to disperse The One Below All and find its way to merge with Bruce. Finally reunited, Bruce and Hulk escape the evil realm and close the Green Door.
However, this isn’t the end of TOBA Hulk because the continuation of The Immortal Hulk from the 2018 comic book storyline, particularly issues 18 and 19, Bruce Banner dying at the hands of Betty Ross, who is now a vicious and bloodthirsty Harpy. Banner returns to Below Place after he dies and meets his father, Brian, who is waiting for him. After many years have passed, the possessed Bruce Banner starts to destroy everything in his wake.
With the possession of the body of Hulk, The One Below All became TOBA Hulk, a devourer of the strongest beings in the Multiverse. Franklin Richards, Galactus, Mister Immortal, and many other powerful beings are defeated by TOBA Hulk. It killed and destroyed until it became the only presence in the cosmos. The destruction continued for billions of years, but the gamma-mutated villain Leader started meddling with the timeline and made things worse; now, TOBA wants to absorb Bruce Banner and Devil Hulk to become complete.
It ultimately fails when Hulk, with the help of Joe Fixit, arrives at Below Place and brings the Fantastic Four and Jackie McGee to assist them. Fixit and Savage Hulk split into separate beings and rip Leader from The One Below All. After a deep conversation about who Hulk really is,
Hulk decides he will choose his own path and takes everyone and the Leader to escape the Below Place. The One Below All, without anyone’s personality, is left alone and a mere counterweight to TOAA once again. Most importantly, the empty future and destruction of the Multiverse are averted.
TOBA Hulk is no more, and Bruce Banner merges with its alter Hulks and becomes complete.
TOBA Hulk’s powers and abilities
From the Immortal Hulk comic book storyline, you can imagine how TOBA Hulk is powerful. Being the dark counterpart of the TOAA, TOBA shares the powers of its other side, which is essentially nigh-limitless and unrivaled power.
In this case, TOBA Hulk is as strong as he is and combined with Hulk’s powers, TOBA Hulk truly has unrivaled strength. Not to mention that The One Below All is stronger when it feels the anger and sorrow of others. We saw what TOBA Hulk could do to most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, to Franklin Richards, Mr. Immortal, and Galactus, and even when restricted by the Green Door, fans suggest that TOBA’s power equals Memphistos.
All in all, TOBA Hulk is a manipulative, gamma energy mutant with unrivaled and nigh-limitless power that can only be rivaled by The One Above All. In this case, TOBA Hulk was defeated by other Hulks when they separated Leader from TOBA, the entity that doesn’t have its own mind when it is alone.
If you want to check out more about TOBA Hulk and its powers, definitely reach out to The Immortal Hulk comic book released in 2018, written and developed by Al Ewing, Joe Bennet, Alex Ross, Kaare Andrews, Clayton Crain, and Sal Buscema. This Hulk story is one of the best comic releases by Marvel Comics in the last decade or so, and it is truly and absolutely the story of Bruce Banner and Hulk that we haven’t seen before.