July 23, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #320: Hulkling

We've covered the twins who weren't really twins in the Young Avengers, but one had a boyfriend there that became something more on multiple levels.

The Young Avengers, as I have noted, were not what they appeared to be at first glance.  Their powers were not what they appeared to be, or their origins were not quite correct.  True, all of them had connections to various Avengers, but not always the ones they appeared to at first.

Hulkling was a prime example of that last part.

In the first issue of Young Avengers, we had a group of young heroes who appeared an awful lot like many of the original Avengers.  I’ve covered a number of them so far, but when it comes to characters who really weren’t what they appeared to be, Teddy “Hulkling” Altman may take the cake.

On the surface, Teddy looked like another Hulk.  He could change into a larger, greener, stronger version of himself to fight the forces of evil.  True, his transformations didn’t seem to be emotionally connected in any way, but that sure is Hulk-like, so he gained his powers from gamma radiation, right?

Um, no.  Not in the slightest.

See, Teddy was being raised by a single mother.  He was more or less this superstrong shapeshifter from birth, so he never much thought about it.  Then one day he met the Super-Skrull, and that led to his true origin.

See, Teddy wasn’t a gamma-irradiated teenage boy.  He wasn’t even human.

Apparently at some point during the Kree-Skrull War, Captain Mar-vell of the Kree (along with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch)  were captured by Skrulls and taken to the Skrull homeworld.  Somehow at some point, a Skrull princess conceived a child by Mar-vell.  Mar-vell and the others escaped, not knowing the princess was expecting.  She gave birth to a boy, and her father the Emperor ordered the child destroyed since it was an abomination.  Instead, a chambermaid took the child to Earth and posed as his mother.

Teddy was the child, and his “mother” was the chambermaid.

All that means is Teddy is a potential leader for both the Kree and the Skrulls, most notably as Skrull royalty.  He could be the one to unite the old space enemies, having gained his superstrength from his Kree father and his shapeshifting from his Skrull mother.

Oh, and as I said in the Wiccan entry, he and Billy had a romantic partnership going.

That royalty thing would come back as Teddy, the more reluctant superhero of the pair, would sometimes but not always join whatever teams Billy called home.  But hybrid Kree-Skrulls would come down, offer him the Sword of Space (that is not a joke, that is it’s legitimate name), and given his legacy, Teddy could very well be a space emperor.

Oh, and some recent stories show him becoming one with Billy as his court magician.

See? He does have a Sword of Space.

Granted, Teddy’s new role opened up a lot of storytelling possibility as a means to bring Earth’s heroes out to space in alliances bigger than the Kree, the Skrull, or the humans could handle all on their own.  Something like that shows a good deal of potential, but for now, he’s just some kid from the suburbs who became a space king.

You know, that old story.