The signs are all around that the Totally Awesome Hulk is coming to the MCU, which will make the first appearance of Amadeus Cho and his transformation into the Hulk detonate.
Shortly after Avengers: Endgame hit theaters, I predicted that the modern Marvel comics would be the source material going forward in the MCU. We saw Falcon take Captain America’s shield, Carol Danvers and Spider-Man recreate the cover to Avenging Spider-Man #9, Hawkeye became Ronin, and there was even an Asgardians of the Galaxy namedrop to boot. Three months ago, I wrote in “The New Direction of the MCU?” that the pieces were in place to have Thor Odinson lose his worthiness and bring about the rise of Jane Foster’s Thor, Goddess of Thunder. Lo and behold, that was the biggest news maker of San Diego Comic-Con.
As I look for signals of what’s to come for the MCU, I believe that Cho is ready to make his onscreen debut and eventually take up the mantle of the Hulk.
In Endgame, Bruce Banner and his alter ego reconciled and became one. In the comics, that merging of personalities became known as Professor Hulk. But that’s not exactly what transpired on the big screen. In the comics, Professor Hulk was more intelligent and sophisticated, but he retained the anger and ferocity of the Green Goliath. Endgame, however, presented a Hulk/Banner combination that was peaceful, happy, and hip. If you’ve read any of the modern Hulk titles from the past four years, that’s more typical of the Totally Awesome Hulk.
Thanks to Cho, Banner was “cured” of being the Hulk. Cho then used his own modified version of the formula and gained the power of the Hulk without becoming the monster old comic fans know and love. Speaking of those old comic fans, they universally hated Totally Awesome Hulk, but that’s not the demographic Totally Awesome Hulk was geared towards in the first place.
Speaking of being aimed at a younger audience, the MCU’s action-comedy formula is very much on the family-friendly side of things. As we’re seeing with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, Disney/Marvel is definitely marketed at the teenage and under market. As the original Avengers actors gradually step down, it is logical to assume that when Mark Ruffalo’s contract expires, the onscreen Bruce Banner will give way to Amadeus Cho, who would make for a teenage-friendly Hulk.
All that being said, here are the two comics you will want before the live-action Cho reaches screens.
The 2005 version of Amazing Fantasy #15 has been on the rise so far this year. Three of the last four sales at the 9.8 grade have been for $300 or more. A new record-high was established in June when one reached $365, which tops the 2015 mark of $335. That boosts the 90-day average to $319. Keep in mind that a year ago, it averaged $252. Likewise the graded 9.6 is just shy of a record high when one sold for $175 in May.
While Totally Awesome Hulk #1 isn’t raking in the same figures as Amazing Fantasy #15, the 9.8 standard edition has doubled in the past year and set a new high sale. In May, a copy went for $100, making three of the last four sales for over $80. Most recently, one sold for $85 on August 3.