Wait until you hear about the Incredible Hulk from the Marvel Universe of 2099 if you thought that character was a complete beast. Although the two Hulks are identical, Hulk 2099 is a touch different and a lot more ferocious for the sake of new characters. Like many comic book anthologies, Hulk 2099’s tale debuted in 2099 Unlimited.
In reality, he is a person named John Eisenhart who Gerard Jones and Dwayne Turner invented. Compared to the Incredible Hulk, this version of the Hulk is larger, spookier, and has more scary characteristics. Intrigued? So, keep watching as we delve into the history of this terrifying creature.
Hulk 2099 Origin: John Eisenhart – the in-control Hulk
In one of the numerous scenarios that can occur in the multiverse, the story of Hulk 2099 and John Eisenhart takes place in the year 2099. The world of 2099 is considerably dissimilar from our own. The heroes we so adore are long gone, and businesses now control a large portion of American society. It is a really bleak world where these corporations control with an iron hand and use violence and open force to compel people to do what they want. Since these businesses established their headquarters in Los Angeles, the environment there is more suited to their operations. Why is that? Well, a group of “eco-terrorists” in 2076 detonated California’s fault lines, forming a moat that cut off Western California from the rest of the nation.
In this miserable dystopian society, John Eisenhart is a man with a successful career. He is a jerk and a top dealmaker at Lotusland, a studio that makes movies. He will stop at nothing to obtain what he wants, which is for people to give up their story rights without receiving any type of compensation from the films that are produced. The absence of movie theatres in this future society is another intriguing aspect.
People use virtual reality equipment to view movies, which gives them the impression that they are in the scene themselves. This time, he has been instructed to rob the Knights of Banner, a band of warriors, of their tale rights. They are a small number of people who continue to make an effort to lead traditional lives free from corporate pressure.
When John arrived at the land of the Knights, Lone Mountain, in his flying car, he saw them in the middle of a lesson. There was a line of men throwing swords right next to the heads of another group of men, kind of like an axe throw, except the aim is not to hit the target.
Their leader, Aeneas, then gave a motivational speech to the men there. He told them that they have learned a valuable lesson here. The men who threw the swords have learned to trust their abilities as swordsmen, while the men who were standing as targets have learned to trust their brothers. It all seems very dangerous and misguided, for a lack of better words, to John. I mean, obviously, loyalty and bravery don’t matter to a man like him, so it is understandable that he doesn’t understand their actions.
Anyway, he tries to speak to Aeneas and convince him to sell their rights to him so that his studio can make a movie out of it. But Aeneas is not just a tribal man; he is quite smart and refuses to be exploited like that. He doesn’t want to be bought with an option fee. He says, “No money will distract us from our true mission to raise true warriors… to fight the values of your civilization.” This only angers John. So, he does the most normal thing ever. He reaches out to a kid in order to find the weaknesses of the tribe.
The poor kid, Gawain, is caught up in the middle of it. John paints a beautiful fairy-tale life about the big city with its blinding lights and how Gawain can end up becoming a big shot, just like John, if he tries. He gets swayed, and influenced by John’s sweet words and his super cool car, starts spilling the beans about his community. He tells John that the Knights were named after the Legendary Hulk – Bruce Banner.
John doesn’t respond quite positively to that and calls Banner a ‘pathetic radiation freak.’ Turns out that Banner was the reason gamma radiation was outlawed. The use of gamma radiations was banned since the radiations were deemed uncontrollable. This is where Gawain spills the biggest secret. He says, “They’re not so uncontrollable anymore. Not since Aeneas’s experiments.”.
This gave John the hook, line, and sinker he needed. The story of the Knights of Banner became more of a cult-like religion, based on his pitch to his boss Audra, and the use of the illegal gamma rays made it easy to shut the Knights down. He told her to send out a security force that goes by the name Sweet Dreams. I think it is quite a fitting name because that is exactly what the squad does. It puts its targets to sleep forever.
That’s exactly what happened with the Knights as well. Sweet Dreams, the team, came to arrest the Knights, but they resisted. They claimed, “What we do here is RIGHT. We will not toss ourselves into your corrupt and tangled judicial system to attempt to prove it to you. We are WARRIORS. We are MEN. We will fight for our beliefs.”. And so they did. That’s how they all ended up dead. John tried to stop the massacre by driving his car into the battlefield, but they just fired on him. Why would a kill team care about casualties?
Obviously, seeing all this, Gawain had also realized that John had played him. So, in his thirst for revenge, he goes to get the gamma ray machine that his tribe had been using. John goes to stop Gawain and the two end up in a scuffle. During the scuffle, the gun drops to the ground and hits something, resulting in it shooting out gamma radiation. The gamma rays immediately hit John, who then turns into the Hulk. This Hulk is massive. He is blue and extremely menacing. He kind of reminds me of Venom, especially because of his unusually long lizard-like tongue and razor-sharp teeth.
Later on, the reality of his actions hits him, and he thinks, “Then I only knew what I’d done. I only knew what CIVILISATION had made me. And it made me angry. It made me very angry. It made me what the Knights had tried to create.”
While those thoughts are going on in his brain, we see a pretty neat transition where he turns from man to monster on will, using his anger. Yeah, Hulk 2099 can turn into the Hulk at will. While he will carry the burden of the death of the entire tribe of Knights, he made it his mission to search for Gawain, who was the lone survivor of the massacre, and to ensure that this kind of thing never happens again.
Meanwhile, he continues to be a dealmaker in his regular human form. His boss, Audra, tells him that a huge savage man came out from the hills during the Sweet Dreams attack on Lone Mountain, and she wants to get the rights to his story. Now, Audra doesn’t know that John is the Hulk. So, she gives him access to the files and records kept by Sweet Dreams. He wanted to use the records to find Gawain when he saw another kill order. This time, it was for a woman named Quirk. Quirk’s real name is Naomi Soon-Li Torrijos-Washington.
She is a singer-songwriter who adores the 1990s and misses the old days, when there were movie theatres, public education, and Madonna. Why were they after her, you ask? Well, this singer-songwriter was no ordinary one. She only sang songs with subliminal messaging about the music industry. Now, this is something that these big corporations can’t have because it might lead to an uprising at some point. So, their solution is always to nip things in the bud by using Sweet Dreams to give their targets life-long sweet dreams.
While she has an intense discussion with her boyfriend about how he should also be writing subliminal songs like her, the Sweet Dreams squad breaks in. They start firing at her when Hulk 2099 bursts into her house. This leads to an intense battle scene where this bigger, stronger, and scarier Hulk is just tossing tanks while the squad tries to fight him. Then, while fighting Sweet Dreams, he says, “Yeah. I’ve seen their power before.
Civilisation’s power. But they’ve never seen MY power. They’ve never seen the POWER OF THE HULK”. And all hell breaks loose. He starts destroying things left and right. He picks the literal ground and throws it at the troops. The troops start using real artillery in retaliation. “Remember the old stories about the Hulk? How—when he got angry—he only got stronger? Guess what? They were true.”
Then, he destroys all that there was around him and rescues Quirk. An understandably scared Quirk asks him, “What are you? WHAT ARE YOU?”. To which he replies, “I am a MAN.” Get it? He calls himself a man because that is what the Knights of Banner were, and now that he is the Hulk, he is a product of everything they stood for. Yeah, it was an intense comic with so many action-packed scenes in it. Now, let us move on to his story arcs.
Amazing Story Arc Of Hulk 2099
After appearing in the Marvel Unlimited anthology, Hulk 2099 became quite popular and received his own story arc in the comic Hulk 2099.
The first issue of the comic is called No Exit and it starts off with John in his Hulk form. He is planning on fighting a mysterious corporation that has been using security droids to keep people out. He looks at all this righteous fighting as a way to cleanse his conscience, a way to “…wash away the blood of my past corruption…” Meanwhile, back at Lotusland Entertainment, his workplace, his colleagues oversee the production of the movie on the Knights of Banner.
Suddenly, the owner of the studio, Audra, shows up as a hologram and informs them that all production is to be stopped immediately. This causes panic and chaos all around the company. But John isn’t bothered by any of it. He has managed to find and save both Gawain and Quirk.
He was planning to cash out his stocks in the company, take Gawain, and set him up with some health cultists in the desert area who would keep him safe. Quirk was supposed to look after Gawain while John went to get his share of the money in the company. However, John drove her away, so he had to take the kid with him all the way to Hollywood.
He tells Gawain to stay in the car while he goes to the office and gets his company shares. In his office, he tries to contact his boss, Audra, to ask her what is going on, but the interactive system they use for contact says that she will no longer be available through that exchange. So, he asks the interactive system to cash out his employee shares instead. However, just then, the studio’s mood management expert, Dr. Phil, shows up. He questions John about the Knights of Banner and how people are suspicious that the group might be connected to a scheme to recreate the Legendary Bruce Banner.
John outright denies knowing anything about it. He tells Phil that all he knew was that the Knights lived by a warrior code which would make for a good film. Using Gawain, he found out about the group’s illegal activities using gamma rays, allowing him to report them. Dr. Phil keeps raising his suspicions and John keeps shutting them down by claiming to know nothing about the boy or the activities of the Knights. While the two of them were talking, a man named Draco burst through a wall. Draco is a big-headed cyborg-like man, who looks like a reimagination of the Leader, and now, he is the new owner of Lotusland.
Just then, the security squad Sweet Dreams burst through the doors screaming, “This isn’t New York, Draco! And you aren’t Alchemax! You don’t just take over a studio by force in California!”. Draco responds, “I know the rules, Prole. I’ve been staging this takeover for weeks through finance and law… I only use force as a finishing touch!” and Draco’s security droids enter the scene to fight Sweet Dreams.
John leaves the battleground and contemplates going full Hulk, but decides against it. He focuses on his main goal, getting Gawain out of this place and heading to the desert where John, himself, belongs. So, he makes a run for the parking lot where Gawain is. Unfortunately, some men from Sweet Dreams see him running and go after him. He leads the security forces straight to Gawain.
He tells Gawain to get down, but Gawain is, after all, a Knight of Banner. So, despite the deep loss John caused him, he still tries to save John from the security forces by throwing himself in front of him. The tragedy continues as Gawain, the last of the Knights of Banner, falls to his death. This breaks something inside John, and he transforms into the Hulk. Then, he goes back into the company premises with a single motive – to get revenge on Draco.
In another part of town, Quirk had been captured by the security droids. One can only imagine how John would react to that information. I assume that it would be completely heartbreaking for him to find out that he failed to protect the two people he had vowed to protect, all in one day.
The next issue picks up from the fight between Hulk 2099 and Draco. Draco is extremely impressed by Hulk’s strength and tries to recruit him instead. He claims, “I will soon own this city… this entire so-called nation! Work for me, and you’ll never lack for anything.”
This only makes the Hulk angrier. He attacks Draco but Draco pulls a slick, manipulative move. He uses John’s co-worker, Keisha, as a hostage to stop the Hulk. Surprisingly, even though John lacked morals, his Hulk form was morally ethical. This causes him to stop and question his next move. In that time, Draco gets the Hulk captured and put into a contraption, so that Dr. Phil can study his brain.
Meanwhile, the captured Quirk is flown over Los Angeles by a droid and unceremoniously dumped in front of security personnel, probably from Sweet Dreams. She would’ve been killed when suddenly the wall bursts and tribal-looking men wearing graphic-looking animal masks show up. They capture Quirk saying, “By the spirits of the forest we declare you—warriors of the Human Tribe!” Back at the studio, Hulk tries his best to break free from his bondages while Dr. Phil gets ready to analyse his brain.
Phil made sure to get an audience of the rest of the employees of the company as well. Hulk uses their presence to his advantage and tries to motivate the workers to unite with his cause and help him. He keeps his attention on Zamora, the virtual reality master at Lotusland, because he has the authority to motivate and lead the rest of the employees. He reminds Zamora how the corporate world has taken his creativity from him. During their conversation, Zamora remembers his lived experience of how politicians and leaders have been ruining lives.
He manages to flip the script and get the employees on his side, while Dr. Phil tries to give Hulk a booster. A fight ensues between the employees and the security guards. Hulk realizes that the employees don’t stand a chance without muscle power on their side and tries to get out of the contraptions he is in. Zamora, although hurt, manages to pull out the wires which control the contraptions holding Hulk captive, thus freeing him.
The employees head to the administration building and start to destroy the studio while Hulk goes after Draco. Draco calls Hulk a savage and says, “You destroy my investment—with no purpose—with no profit—only your worthless emotions!” which is funny, because they had just been blasted with two million volts by Dr. Phil and it had only made him angrier. And we all know that an angry Hulk is a strong Hulk. He starts to throw Draco around and beat him up when Draco suddenly disappears. Draco goes into hiding to lick his wounds while Hulk goes to find Quirk.
Draco and his half-computer brain are having a tough time comprehending and processing this setback, when someone shows up at his doorstep, insisting on meeting him. The stranger says, “I would advise you to meet with me, Draco. You and I share a big, green enemy. And there is much of value you might learn from the master of genetics… the Golden One.”. The man who shows up at Draco’s door is the same person who kidnapped Quirk.
So yes, there is a new rival in town, and Hulk must battle them both. I won’t reveal the plot further and let you, our dear viewers, experience this dystopian novel for yourself. However, I will share a rather sad fact. While the comic is really good, it only lasted for 12 issues. Marvel concluded the story of Hulk and tied up all the loose ends in a comic called 2099 A.D. Apocalypse.
In the 2099 A.D. Apocalypse, we see everything happening through the lens of a news studio. There is chaos everywhere, all around the country, that the news channel is showcasing. One of the SHIELD satellites gave the news channel footage of Hulk, the last wild man of the American West, the independent man who was instrumental behind the downfall of the corrupt studio system in the separatist state of California.
However, as per the footage, SHIELD had cornered Hulk, and their behavior suggested that a shoot-to-kill order had been put out for Hulk. Turns out, Hulk had lost everything, his friends, his home, and possibly even his humanity, by this point. So, he did not really put up a fight. He just stood there as the soldiers gunned him to his death. And that, dear viewers, was the sad demise of Hulk 2099.
What Makes Hulk 2099 Super deadly?
Most of the abilities possessed by the Incredible Hulk are the same as those possessed by Hulk 2099. For instance, both have the super strength to lift and destroy things worth 150 tons. Another similarity between the two is that Hulk 2099 also becomes stronger when he is angrier, just like the Incredible Hulk.
However, unlike the Incredible Hulk, there is a limit to his capacity to amp up; as he controls the Hulk and can alter at will, this would imply that he lacks the same savagery the previous hulks possessed. This explains the morality and humanity that John Eisenhart’s Hulk possesses. In the Incredible Hulk, Banner was the sweet, gentle, and moral soul. At the same time, his beast was an uncontrollable force of nature. The opposite was true for Eisenhart and his beast.
Hulk 2099 is also similar to Wolverine, as both of them possess the power of regeneration. He can cut through steel and other metals with his sharp teeth and claws. He also possesses a tongue that is superhumanly powerful, although a little weird to look at. Like the Incredible Hulk, Hulk 2099 is also incredibly durable. It can withstand tiny missiles, bullets of all calibers, and temperatures that are both exceedingly high and extremely low.
That was the story of Hulk 2099 – a brave, independent man, the last wild man of the American West. He fought the corporations till his last breath and managed to defeat them, even though he lost everything in the process. The beast was a man of great morals and ethics, and I’m sure if the Knights of Banner had been alive, they would’ve been proud of what they created. It’s a shame that readers didn’t enjoy the comic as much, and it had to be cancelled so soon. Have you read the comics? What did you think about the character? Let us know in the comments below!