When the Hulk went to war with the Marvel Universe, not every hero opposed him, and four made up his team of allies, the Renegades.
Marvel’s 2007 crossover World War Hulk lived up to its ambitious name. In Greg Pak and John Romita Jr’s main series and its spin-offs, the Hulk waged war against anyone who stood between him and revenge against the Illuminati, which included most of the rest of the Marvel Universe. The Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men all felt the wrath of the Hulk at his maddest and strongest.
However, not every Marvel hero opposed the Hulk. Some sided with him and his Warbound. Dubbed the Renegades by Thunderbolt Ross, this quartet attempted to keep the Hulk from going too far after he picked a fight with the entire world. Now, we’re taking a closer look at these heroes and why they sided with the Hulk.
Amadeus Cho, Marvel’s Genius Hulk Ally
Amadeus Cho being on the Hulk’s side was not a surprise. He established himself as one of Bruce Banner’s staunchest allies and later became a Hulk himself. Cho’s connection to Banner and his alter ego began in his first appearance when the Hulk saved his life in Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa’s story in 2005’s Amazing Fantasy #15.
That connection was solidified in World War Hulk. After learning that the Illuminati exiled the Hulk, Cho was seemingly the only person on Earth who believed that he wasn’t a killer and could be reasoned with. Cho brought the Renegades together. With his direction, they were able to minimize the collateral damage in Manhattan during the war, sometimes with the Warbound’s help.
While Hulk and the Warbound rejected them, S.H.I.E.L.D. deputized Cho and his team to continue mitigating the Hulk’s damage. Cho’s belief that the Hulk wasn’t a killer was vindicated, but he wasn’t able to convince him to abandon his grudge against the Illuminati in exchange for sanctuary. The Renegades disbanded after the war, but Cho did maintain partnership with one team member.
Angel Felt Regrets from Marvel’s Strangest Team
While the rest of the X-Men fought the Hulk during World War Hulk, one of the team’s founding members was on his side. Cho recruited Angel and Hercules because they were part of The Champions. That super-team once misjudged the Hulk’s attempt to get his cousin, future She-Hulk Jennifer Walters, to safety as one of his rampages and regretted it.
Angel’s primary contribution to Cho’s cause was monetary. Anticipating that his funds would be frozen if Angel aided the Hulk, Cho hacked his accounts in advance, using them to buy the team an amphibious flyer for transport. He also purchased a chunk of the New Mexico desert to give the Hulk a sanctuary if he could talk the Hulk down. Angel wasn’t happy about this or how Cho dismissed him as a trust fund baby, but he still lent a hand. Angel tried to be a voice of reason, advocating that the Hulk seek justice and not vengeance.
Marvel’s Incredible Hercules, the Hulk-Level Demigod
While Angel was seemingly dragged along on Cho’s mission, Marvel’s Hercules was vocal about making amends with the Hulk. The demigod, and former Avenger, also sympathized with the Hulk’s rage over the death of his wife Caiera the Oldstrong. He had a similar experience in Ancient Greece that led to his Twelve Labors.
After the Hulk lost the war, Hercules encouraged Angel and Namora to take S.H.I.E.L.D.’S amnesty deal. He intended to atone for siding with the Hulk over the lie that the Illuminati was responsible for Caiera’s death. When his half-brother was put in charge of his punishment, Hercules changed his mind and teamed up with Cho to fight him and S.H.I.E.L.D., leading to a long-term partnership between the pair in The Incredible Hercules, which eventually ended with the pair joining an Avengers team together.
Namora Brought Marvel’s Atantean Royalty to the Hulk
Namora is the only member of the Renegades without a personal connection to the Hulk. The revived Golden Age heroine only met the team by chance, when they traveled to Atlantis to seek Namor’s assistance. He refused to get involved in either side of the conflict with his former Defenders teammate, dismissing Cho’s plan as “moronic.”
The Hulk’s plight resonated with Namora personally. She too was abandoned by her friends, after being trapped in suspended animation for 50 years. She appreciated that the Hulk had people who stood by him and joined their ranks. Her powers allowed her to work in tandem with Angel and Hercules. Some sparks flew between her and Hercules, a romance they would pursue in the Incredible Hercules, which made Amadeus a third wheel.
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