Off My Mind: The Revelation of How Hulk and Banner Were Separated

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Posted by G-Man (18922 posts) - - Show Bio

Hulk and Banner, they're two sides to the same coin. You can't have one without the other yet that's exactly what we have since the current INCREDIBLE HULK series by Jason Aaron was rebooted with a new #1. In the final issue of FEAR ITSELF, we witnessed Hulk easily getting rid of Banner.

Being separated or rid of the Hulk is what Banner has wanted from the beginning. It was something that simply couldn't be done. Bruce Banner is one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. He's tried everything he could and most likely has discussed his problem with the other brains in the Marvel Universe as well. The times Banner and Hulk have been separated ended with disastrous results. The two were fated to remain together. I recently discussed the time Doc Samson was able to separate them, the process that was involved and the problems that resulted.

This time, it was Hulk that took the initiative. He found someone and made a deal with this person to be free from Puny Banner. Somehow Hulk has been successfully separated from Banner. The explanation is pretty simply but you have to wonder how come no one has been able to do this before? Is this a logical solution or is there more to it than we've seen? There will be some spoilers from INCREDIBLE HULK #5. Be sure to read that issue before continuing below.

== TEASER ==

Hulk had enough of the endless struggle with Banner. Pushing him deep down in the recesses of his mind, Hulk went out asking anyone with intelligence if they could help rid him of Banner. He apparently went to the Mad Thinker, the Tinkerer, Red Ghost and Baron Zemo but all refused or were unable. Finally his last choice brought him to Doctor Doom.

Doom is a brilliant man and Hulk figured he could cater to his ego by offering him the chance to succeed where Banner's intellect failed. Doom agreed, not for bragging rights but a price to be named later. Doom had an idea how to separate the two, it would require brain surgery and some cloning.

That's right, Doom performed brain surgery on Hulk. He could pinpoint which parts of the brain contained Hulk and which contained Banner. He cut out the Banner parts and placed them in a body cloned from the DNA Hulk and Banner shared. Thus, Banner would live completely separated from the Hulk and Hulk would be free (with a seventh grade education).

Who knew Doom was an expert at brain surgery and cloning? The solution to the Hulk/Banner problem couldn't be this easy. It would be bizarre that Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Hank Pym and all the other smarty-pants in the Marvel Universe couldn't figure out that all it would take to separate them is a little brain surgery (and cloning). In the past when Hulk and Banner were separated, Hulk was left as a vessel of pure rage. There was no intellect at all to drive or control the body. That is different now.

The problem is, Hulk, Banner, the Grey Hulk, etc, have all been different aspects of Banner's mind. Banner essential had gamma-irradiated multiple personalities. Who knew these different personalities were actually isolated in specific sections of the brain and could be removed? What about other areas of the brain that perform normal functions? How could Banner and Hulk be complete with only a portion of a shared brain?

The freed Banner obviously isn't thinking clearly. Doom suggested that he could manipulate the brain to change certain aspects of Banner. Hulk insisted to simply separate them right down the middle but because this is Doom we're talking about, how much can he be trusted?

Banner has been obsessed with re-creating the Hulk. Could there be a flaw in his cloned body? We have to assume that the rest of the brain must have been cloned as well in order to justify how two separate bodies could function with only half a brain. Banner is acting insane and it has to be a result of Doom's attempt.

The idea is a bit of a stretch, even for comic books. How could different personalities be contained in specific areas of their brain? How come no one else ever thought that this could be the solution to freeing Banner?

Banner and Hulk may be separated for now but there's no way this is the solution they've both been looking for since the beginning. Doctor Doom performing brain surgery allows him to live up to the 'doctor' part of his name but it just isn't a plausible solution to permanently separating Banner and the Hulk.

#1 Posted by The Cyan Lantern (227 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, it does come off as a stretched. But how can you complain when the series has been successful so far

What could be a bigger stretched is if Banner can go Hulk. Why not really, it's 50/ 50 right. If Hulk can be at full strength but not so smart, why can't Banner be smart but not so much Hulk strong. Make him grow but be smaller in comparison and more human looking.

#2 Edited by Eonidas (9 posts) - - Show Bio

"You won't like me when I'm.. separated"

#3 Posted by saoakden (1021 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, Brain Surgey and Cloning? I honestly did not see that coming. I thought it had something to do with Nul or making a deal woth the devil. Something supernatural I guess, but Brain Surgery? Now that's an interesting twist. It might explain Banner's insainity to an extent.

#4 Posted by leokearon (1785 posts) - - Show Bio

My main questions is what about all the other Personalities like Joe Fixit and The Devil Hulk, which body are they in?

#5 Posted by Spiderslike (646 posts) - - Show Bio

The cloning part I can accept because I think it solves the problem they had the time Samson split them. Letting Hulk keep their original body and giving Banner a fresh one instead of trying to make something work that you took apart. The brain surgery is a stretch but we really don't know how Hulk's brain really works and memories are stored in a physical part of the brain. It's not to hard to believe that Hulk and Banner have their memories stored in different places considering they don't often remember each others lives.

#6 Posted by Grim (2082 posts) - - Show Bio

SUPER Stretch. Giving them each only a portion of the brain would cause some problems. Im no neurosurgeon, but im fairly certain different parts of the brain do different things. if your missing half your brain, your probably missing some functions. Hulk might manage, but Banner wouldnt.

Cloning another half a brain wouldnt make sense either. If you remove a part, clone it, and then put it back... well, its the same thing isnt it?

It feels like The logical thing would have been to clone Banner, and then negate the hulk parts from one, or the reverse. The process used seems flawed on a pretty basic level, which is that it either did nothing, or it took away brain matter from both of them. Or magic. Magic would have been a pretty easy way out. This thing trying to logic it is just too far out there.

#7 Posted by g33ky monk3y (117 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven’t caught up yet, only read the first issue and I was pretty intrigued. Doom being capable of brain surgery isn’t a stretch; he’s supposed to be one of the smartest people on the planet. I don’t know the “process” that he took, but it would make more sense if he cloned Hulk/Banner and then performed the surgery on both. In any case, the original and the clone would have complete brains. Also, Doom shouldn’t have too much of an issue getting something like this done, what with his level of magical and scientific skills. I’m just more interested in which is the original body, Hulk or Banner, or why Banner wants Hulk back. Sorry if that’s already been addressed. I’ll go read the series and catch up now.

#8 Posted by Wingfoot (98 posts) - - Show Bio

Hi !

What will remain of the Hulk without Banner ? "Hulk can't be defeated, Hulk is stronger than anyone !" Yes, and ? "Hulk is smart and unstoppable. But smart !" Yeees... another thought ? "Hulk had a girlfriend once. Hulk is sensible. But smash !" I'm sorry but... "Do you want Hulk kick your ass ? Little man is stupid !"

The stupidiest idea of all history of stupidity.

Hihane washte.

#9 Posted by Top Flight Security (143 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to know how Doom got past Hulks healing factor. It's like he would have to keep cutting Hulk's head in order to perform the surgery. Very interesting.

Trying not to put more on my pull list.....wife getting won't like it when she's angry....

#10 Posted by Kuro_San (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I didnt noticed anything but the awesome Adamatium Chainsaw, Ash from the Evil Dead could use that monster

#11 Posted by HellionVulcan (3923 posts) - - Show Bio

The whole idea is stupid to me its why i couldn't read it .

#12 Posted by MooseyMcMan (135 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic books.

They get pretty silly.

#13 Posted by SpidermanWins (3963 posts) - - Show Bio

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Brain Surgery? ON THE HULK?

#14 Posted by Oedipus_Rex (40 posts) - - Show Bio

How come no one else ever thought that this could be the solution to freeing Banner?

Really? You can't figure that out? Personal and professional ethics come to mind right off the bat. Then again, maybe that's too much of a real world consideration. Cloning never seems to be as much of a moral quagmire in the comics as it is in real life.

#15 Posted by G-Man (18922 posts) - - Show Bio

@Oedipus_Rex: But he did go to some questionable smart people too. No one thought of this. Plus, there's the whole bit about everything Banner in one part of the brain and everything Hulk in another. I just didn't think multiple personalities worked like that. And, what about the other Hulk personalities?

#16 Edited by pspin (894 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce Banner and the Hulk are like that couple in high school that have been spending two years "will they/ won't they" then junior year finally get together only to breakup at the end of the year and when senior year roles around, as much as the try to deny it, everyone knows they will get back together because they are in love and "just right for each other." But brain surgery, wow, didn't see that coming.

#17 Posted by DEGRAAF (7918 posts) - - Show Bio

Im actually very happy with the explanation. Anyone short of Doctor Doom doing this would be disappointing. I think they could have had him do some kind of voodoo ritual or something to better explain why no one else could have done it (needing science and magic to separate them) but i like the explanation bc it all started with science i think it should have been able to be fixed by science.

I could see the likes of Reed, Pym, Banner, and maybe even Hank (Beast) coming up with the same solution but none of them could predict how the end result would effect Banner, Hulk and the surrounding environment which is cause enough not to do it. Doctor Doom is the only one that wouldnt be worried about the consequences.

#18 Posted by mettlekm (417 posts) - - Show Bio

aren't the overlapping brain thingamagics cloned? Also, Doom's word is his bond. Meaning he doesn't outright lie. So i'm sure he left something out of the conversation. OMITted.

#19 Posted by NeonBlade (172 posts) - - Show Bio

Multiple missiles ineffective. Molten Lava, ineffective. Black Bolts scream. Ineffective. Punches from the Sentry? Nothing doing. Doom using a scalpel equal Hulks thinking cap removed?!....Ok....*mega facepalm*

#20 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (35174 posts) - - Show Bio
@Wingfoot said:

Hi !

What will remain of the Hulk without Banner ? "Hulk can't be defeated, Hulk is stronger than anyone !" Yes, and ? "Hulk is smart and unstoppable. But smart !" Yeees... another thought ? "Hulk had a girlfriend once. Hulk is sensible. But smash !" I'm sorry but... "Do you want Hulk kick your ass ? Little man is stupid !"

The stupidiest idea of all history of stupidity.

Hihane washte.

Clearly you'r not reading his book and you have no idea what your talking about
#21 Posted by dravenmort (14 posts) - - Show Bio

I think with the other smart guys in Marvel, the issue came down to maybe ethics. Perhaps their ethical mind wouldn't allow them to see the solution of taking an adamantium powered chainsaw to Hulk's head?

Yes, its a stretch, but aren't most things in comics? Also, I know Hulk said split even, 50/50, but where in the book did Doom say he was just cutting their brain in half? It read like he was cutting parts out, dissecting..

Also, this gives an explanation as to why Banner went mad scientist/Dr Moreau on us. Doom tampered with his mind. No they didn't say it, but it will come back around to that, I'm sure.

#22 Posted by celticcat (11 posts) - - Show Bio

You don't think with Marvel doing this with Hulk is the reason why Rulk was turned good because they are going to turn Hulk into a villain? I know how Ross became good because of his daughter Betty pleading for him to be given a second chance but maybe they had this storyline in mind beforehand, separate Banner from Hulk, Hulk can't handle it and becomes a mindless monster, turns bad and goes on another rampage and defeats (again), everyone in his path so it's left up to Rulk, with Banner's help, who can beat him, to stop him, maybe Colossus/Juggernaut can help too, just a thought, any comments on this theory?

#23 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1667 posts) - - Show Bio

Humanity, out of ideas? Again?

#24 Posted by notarandomguy (316 posts) - - Show Bio

you keep asking why anyone though of that before? really? .-. is cause this freaking doom we are talking about D: !!! Stark is busy he'll never think or really care about the hulk after Planet Hulk or now after he rebooted himself, Reed? He has his morality complex and his way of being a good stupid sorry butt, no writer ever tough of making Reed thinking something like what Doom tough case Reed wouldn't screw around with science if its something immoral after he ''cloned'' Thor, and Pym.... He just doesn't care but Doom.... Victor always thinks of everything, if he was a good guy, he might as good as batman, he considers every possibility, has a plan for almost everything.... and plus, he is a little evil and is able to seee things beyond the moral the do-gooders do

#25 Posted by thanosrules (546 posts) - - Show Bio

Doom is awesome. Period.

#26 Posted by Wingfoot (98 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87: I read comic books since 1978 so, about what I'm talking about... I like the Hulk though, but really hate what Marvel do with the character, especially since "World war Hulk".

I have my point of view, you have yours. That's it.

#27 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (35174 posts) - - Show Bio
@Wingfoot said:

@spiderbat87: I read comic books since 1978 so, about what I'm talking about... I like the Hulk though, but really hate what Marvel do with the character, especially since "World war Hulk".

I have my point of view, you have yours. That's it.

You said "What will remain of th hulk without banner?" and what we'r getting is clearly not what you said 
#28 Posted by mikeclark1982 (422 posts) - - Show Bio

um, how is it that hulk has been seen as indestructible, but doom hacked his dome open? what in the world? that is like saying you are immune to every disease, but a simple ear infection can kill you!

#29 Edited by Outside_85 (10320 posts) - - Show Bio

I will hazard a guess that there is a specific reason that Doom is doing this, and I'll almost put money on that whatever favor he can get out of the Hulk is secondary in comparison to the mayhem he will cause by separating the two (and that its the reason why none of the others would do it).

#30 Posted by Wingfoot (98 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87: Okay champ', you're right and I'm wrong. Live long and prosper.

#31 Posted by BloodTalon (443 posts) - - Show Bio

@mikeclark1982: Wolverine has been shown cutting the Hulk multiple times so why would an adamantium chain-saw not work?, plus he was not that angry more or less just disagreeable when Doom did this.

There are lots of problems if you want to nitt pick like those mentioned in the posts before yours but cutting Hulk's head with that adimantium chain-saw not one of them

#32 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

Banner should just go to the psychiatrist, get his multiple pd cured and BAAAMM, Banner can turn into the Hulk at will retaining his intellect without ever again anyone doing any PIS or CIS related stuff, to go back again or to change anything. THE END

#33 Posted by friendlyNeighborhoodSpidey (32 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't put it past Doom to give a "simple" explanation to Hulk who would fall for it, but in reality it's much more complex. Hulk's healing factor is interesting, would it regenerate the other half of his brain? And I'm curious to see what watered down Hulk abilities might be in the new Banner. In any case I'm sure Doom has a plan for both. A stupid Hulk without the ability to switch to Banner might be easier to control (lead) especially if he owes you a favor. Now what would that favor be...

#34 Posted by Lvenger (21284 posts) - - Show Bio

People are forgetting this is a comic book. Men fly, shoot energy blasts, fight cosmic beings from outer space and creatures from ancient mythology. I think a little brain surgery and cloning can't hurt. Though how the Hulk can be conscious during all that I don't know.

#35 Posted by SadiaVicious (136 posts) - - Show Bio

I've already made a surgery like this in real life. That's how I've excluded my beast form from me.

You guys are all amateurs. (JUST KIDDIN')

#36 Posted by illmatic06 (54 posts) - - Show Bio

You guys seem to forget that Reed and Skrull Pym engage in questionable cloning and brain surgery in the creation of Ragnarok during Civil War. Cloning and medical experimentation is so common in the Marvel U ( Mr Sinister, Jackal, Weapon X Program, High Evoluitionary, I am not sure why many find to be far fetched. I actually find it kind of revolutionary. The only issue I see is how to limit the healing factor, but Doom could simply use inhibitors to limit the healing rate. I assume that how they do surgery on all those folks with enhanced healing ( Wolvie, Dpool, Sabertooth, Herc, and so on).

#37 Posted by DedrabbiT (587 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, uh how is brain surgery possible with his healing factor? Did he have a muramasa scalpel or something?

#38 Posted by Maki_P (275 posts) - - Show Bio

Brain Surgery? Shit. No wonder Banner is so nuts right now. He's Brain Damaged! I knew there was something wrong with him, whatever Banner or Hulk like to believe they're 2 parts of a poor man's cracked psyche.

#39 Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee (12674 posts) - - Show Bio

The brain surgery is a little rash...I can see it happening but there would have to be some sort of magic involved...straight brainsurgery and cloning just seems silly and unnatural...

#40 Posted by Spiderslike (646 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the reason no one used this method is because most of the time they tried to remove the HULK not BANNER. Always trying to cure the transformation by taking away the trigger or source of the change etc. but always leaving behind some factor that made Banner able to become the Hulk in the first place. We saw in World War Hulks Banner simply became Hulk again by absorbing more gamma but Doom removed whatever factor made that possible when he made Banner's new body. I don't think he did anything to Banner's brain at all I think that like many super beings who lose their powers he simply lost it. The same way Wolfsbane changed when she lost her powers. She could express her Id through her wolf form but when she lost it she became wild person because she lost her normal method of release and needed a new one. Remember Banner had a terrible childhood and killed his father by accident it has taken less to make a supervillain.

#41 Edited by LaserLambert (636 posts) - - Show Bio

if Banner's problem could be solved by CLONING then there wouldn't be a problem. how many people can clone in the Marvel universe? too many. if all he had to do was make a duplicate body of himself and then put his mind into it and that would be done with the whole Gamma radiation thing why would no one know that? or does the radiation exist solely in the parts of the brain Doom removed? not to mention how stupid the idea of surgery on the hulk is. doesn't he have super regenerative powers like wolverine?


#42 Posted by Dedpool (376 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's kind of interesting that it was Hulk that made the deal. Ever since Planet Hulk we've had a very intelligent, if still primal Hulk. I like the fact he's not a three word senetence spewing buffon. I would actually say they should find a way to make it so that they can finally co-exist in some way, like in the Avengers cartoon. I'd say let them have the internal conversations and have Banner be the comscience to the Hulk. When they need some extra brains, he can turn back to Banner.

#43 Posted by dewboy01 (1499 posts) - - Show Bio

Weren't they seperated once back in the 80's comics?

#44 Posted by dewboy01 (1499 posts) - - Show Bio

yep! I found it, there were seperated early since issue 320-322.

#45 Posted by TerryMcC (307 posts) - - Show Bio

The crack about the purple pants, which I didn't think anyone in the Marvel Universe noticed... them always being purple that is, was almost satire.

#46 Posted by Grimoire (566 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought it was a bit of a far stretch idea too. First thing that I thought of was how could Doom cut out Banner from the Hulks mind and prevent his incredible healing factor from erasing the surgery in like 2 seconds. Even if he delayed it with lets say metal from the Muramasa blade like Daken's claws that stop the healing factor it would still come back more sooner than later and repair the damage.

Plus this would show that in that universe anyway that the human brain is completely known and is no longer a mystery which makes you wonder if Dr. Doom will tell Banner at some point that when he looked at his brain that the piece of tissue that makes a person religious was gone so that's why he's Atheist. lol

#47 Posted by sparty-dbq (850 posts) - - Show Bio

How does Doom even have the intellect to perform brain surgery? Isn't he still half-retarded or something from what Banner did to him in Fall of the Hulks/World War Hulks?

#48 Posted by BatClaw89 (144 posts) - - Show Bio


#49 Posted by The Impersonator (5620 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait a minute! What about the real Banner? If Banner is the clone, then does that mean he's not real? O____O

#50 Edited by Punisher007 (56 posts) - - Show Bio

Adamantium chainsaw! That has to be on Ash's birthday wishlist.

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