The modern Marvel Hulk is defined by the strange way it communicates with its internal identities, a skill that was granted to it by Doctor Strange!
Despite his reputation as the strongest superhero in the Marvel Universe, the Hulk actually has several superpowers that have nothing to do with physical strength. Thanks to the gamma radiation radiating from his body and fractured psyche, Dr. Bruce Banner can invent unique powers for the various Hulks he transforms into. These include the ability to see ghosts and astral spirits like Doctor Strange, the power to breathe underwater, and a powerful healing factor that can actually resurrect you from death.
One ability that the Hulk possesses that was not provided by Banner is his ability to exist in a kind of dreamy "mental landscape" when he is not active in the physical world. Because Banner has multiple personalities, and each personality manifests as a different Hulk, everyone can interact and even have conversations with each other in Banner's mind. Banner himself can have "mental conversations" with the Hulks, all thanks to a magic spell cast by Doctor Strange.
Before Doctor Strange's intervention, Banner and Hulk were able to communicate with each other, but in a much more limited way. Writer Peter David showed the two leaving messages for each other in mirrors or even arguing as the Hulk transformed back into Banner (or vice versa). However, all of this took on a whole new dimension in The Incredible Hulk No. 370 when the Hulk met Doctor Strange.
At the time, the dominant Hulk was the gray-skinned Hulk who liked to call himself "Joe Fixit." Slightly less powerful than the green-skinned Hulk, Joe was much smarter and automatically transformed into a Hulk at night. While he initially hated Banner, the two personalities achieved a strained understanding, which was tested when Doctor Strange had Banner ask the Hulk for help in one case. To facilitate the discussion, Strange cast a spell that allowed Banner and the Hulk to meet on a mental plane in their shared consciousness.
The mental landscape seemed like one of the strange dimensions that Strange traversed, and even contained symbolic representations of the Hulk's fractured psyche, including a closed door into which Joe and Bruce had unconsciously trapped the Green Hulk. Finally, this door opened, and allowed the Green Hulk to escape (and manifest in the physical world). However, the most surprising thing is that this "mental landscape" persisted even after the green giant's adventure with Doctor Strange was completed and exists to this day.
While the mental landscape was originally intended to allow Banner to have a “conversation” with the Gray Hulk, this space was soon filled with many other Banner personalities. These included the wild Green Hulk who fought the Gray Hulk for dominance. Later, the green and gray Hulks fused with Banner's psyche to create a new personality: the so-called "Professor" or "Smart Hulk". While this person thought he was Bruce Banner, he later found himself in the mental landscape once Banner's human personality was reasserted.
Ironically, some of the Hulks that appeared on the mental landscape never manifested in the real world. Chief among them was one of the original "Devil Hulks" who appeared as a yellow reptilian creature who tried to seduce Banner into relinquishing control of the physical body by building an idealistic fantasy world within the mental landscape where Banner was a scientist. respected with a happy family life However, when the other Banner Hulk personalities reappeared, he realized the truth and rejected the offer.
More recently, Banner has been chatting with a new "Devil Hulk" (actually, a more paternal Hulk that Bruce created to be a father figure), Joe Fixit (now manifesting in Bruce's human body), and the classic Hulk. green (whom Banner has really started to develop a liking for). His "conference calls" are a striking representation of Banner's fractured psyche, but they also help establish the nature of the Hulk's different personalities and how they relate to him. Therefore, what may have been a convenience spell for Doctor Strange has since become one of the primary means of communication between Bruce Banner and his various Hulk beings.
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