It seems like Marvel Comics continues to get unnecessarily convoluted to the point where nobody truly understands what is going on anymore. You probably know about Bruce Banner, the man who became The Hulk after getting hit with a nuclear bomb composed of gamma radiation. You know, that guy that lifted a mountain? But in August 2018, someone decided that his backstory was too simple, and had to make it as murky as possible. The result is TOBA Hulk, which stands for The One Below All.
So what does The One Below All mean? It means The Devil, basically. But I guess using a classic name like that would be too easy, so instead we have to deal with a name like TOBA Hulk. It’s from The Below-Place, which is deeper than Hell, apparently. Metaphysical “green doors” serves as a barrier that between Below-Place and the actual world. This incredibly gloomy, cosmic creature consumes Banner.
TOBA Hulk is a version of the Hulk from the Marvel Comics universe. The character was introduced in the storyline that began with “The Immortal Hulk” #4, published in 2018. In the comics, TOBA is said to be the embodiment of all the hate, fear, and anger in existence. It’s not exactly a physical entity per se, but when combined with Hulk’s anger, the result isn’t exactly good.
TOBA Hulk is incredibly strong and durable, capable of destroying entire planets with his strength alone. (This can be seen in Immortal Hulk, issue 25.) He also has the ability to manipulate reality on a massive scale, making him one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. However, he is also incredibly unstable and difficult to control, making him a dangerous threat to anyone who crosses his path.
One of the most interesting aspects of TOBA Hulk is his connection to Bruce Banner’s psyche. In this storyline, it is revealed that Bruce Banner has been carrying around a dark secret for years: he was abused as a child by his father. This trauma has been buried deep within Bruce’s subconscious mind and has contributed to his struggles with anger management and his transformation into the Hulk.
TOBA represents all of this pent-up rage and trauma within Bruce’s mind. When he takes over the body of the resurrected Hulk, he becomes an embodiment of all of Bruce’s pain and suffering. This makes him an incredibly complex character and adds depth to his motivations beyond simply being a mindless monster.
TOBA Hulk’s powers are not limited to physical strength and reality manipulation. He also has the ability to corrupt other beings with his dark energy. This is because the gamma can use people as avatars, so they can be controlled or whatever.
It’s not like TOBA Hulk is overpowered or anything. Being able to destroy planets and manipulate reality is no biggie, right? And sure, it’s totally understandable to have pent-up trauma manifesting in the form of a literal monster. Who doesn’t have inner demons like that?
But let’s be real, his feats make Superman look like a mere mortal. Destroying entire planets with a single punch? That’s some serious strongman competition level power right there. And let’s not forget his reality manipulation powers. He could probably make himself win every lottery in existence if he wanted to. When it comes to TOBA Hulk, you absolutely want to get the entire series (Affiliate Link) in trade paperback form, because if you don’t read it from start to finish, you’ll have no idea what is going on.