Reality has been threatened so many times in Marvel Comics that even space aliens have caught on, evident in Wiccan and Hulkling #1.
Warning: Spoilers for Hulkling and Wiccan #1 ahead!
The Marvel Universe may be vast, but that doesn’t make it perfect – and Hulkling and Wiccan have witnessed firsthand how frustrating one particularly well-known plot hole is for the people who live there. From the omnipresent threat of Galactus to the cosmic eye of the Watchers, Marvel has succeeded in filling an entire universe with monsters, legends, and cultures with such rich histories that it could take a lifetime to learn them all. And yet as these two Young Avengers notice, the entire cosmos seems to keep hitting a little too close to home for comfort.
Despite the name, Hulkling actually has nothing to do with Bruce Banner or gamma radiation; rather, he’s an “Earth changeling” who “looks like the Hulk.” As a Kree and Skrull hybrid, Hulkling’s royal heritage hasn’t just bestowed upon him superhuman strength and shapeshifting abilities – he’s also ended Marvel’s million year-old Kree-Skrull conflict, uniting the Kree and Skrull under his rule and earning the title “King of Space.” Wiccan, his husband and fellow former Young Avenger, boasts powerful reality-warping magic that often earns him the attention (desired or not) of some of the most ancient and powerful forces in the multiverse. As a united front, these two have a considerable say in the goings-on of the greater Marvel Multiverse.
In Hulkling and Wiccan #1 by Josh Trujillo, Jodi Nishijima, and Matt Milla, the witch Agatha Harkness tests the pair’s recent marriage by warping reality around them, giving each of them a partner that embodies the traits they feel the other lacks. Sensing something that could doom the Kree/Skrull Empyre, one of Hulkling’s advisors alerts him to a tampering in reality somewhere in the universe that eludes understanding. “To know [it] is impossible,” the advisor claims, consulting his galactic charts. “It is subtle. Surreptitious.” When asked about who could be responsible, however, the advisor doesn’t even bother to look. “Earth. It’s always Earth.”
It’s easy to forget sometimes that the world of Marvel encompasses so much more than terrestrial superheroes and interpersonal drama: there are vast swathes of space ruled by empires and dynasties such as the Skrull, the Kree, Shi’ar, Badoon, and more. And yet, for all of the lifetimes of conflict and lore contained within this multiverse, Earth always proves to be the cause or solution. While this makes sense from a meta-perspective (no matter how many times Marvel rewrites the origins of its heroes) the bias toward Earth has shown itself to be so constant that even side characters in other galaxies grumble at it.
It is incredibly difficult to fathom what stories from other worlds might be like. Although there is enough history on Shi’ar, for example, to fill books, it is the Earth heroes that we as readers connect and relate to, relegating everything to be seen through that lens. It’s a good thing for Hulkling and Wiccan, though – if even their side characters can spot the plot holes in the Marvel Universe, that will make it easier to safeguard.
More: Newlyweds Wiccan and Hulkling Face Dormammu’s Army in Marvel Preview
Hulkling and Wiccan #1 is now available from Marvel Comics.
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