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Totally Awesome Hulk

The Marvels
by yo go re

Gamma radiation is friend to all children!

To save Bruce Banner from becoming the center of a radioactive meltdown, Amadeus Cho absorbs the original Hulk's powers, leaving Banner stable and Cho green around the gills. Cho's determined to be a better Hulk, and puts mental safeguards in place to prevent him from losing control.

Amadeus Cho is an underrated character who deserves more attention. At age 15, he entered the Excello Soap Company's Brain Fight online quiz show, and half an hour after he won, the company blew up his house. Turns out he was the seventh smartest person on the planet, and the contest was set up by the sixth, looking to eliminate any upcoming competition. On the run, Amadeus' life was saved by the Hulk, and he decided he owed Hulk, considering him a friend - not Bruce Banner, Hulk. Basically, he'd be the modern-day Rick Jones, if Hulk didn't keep spending all his time banished or dead or otherwise unavailable.

Totally Awesome Hulk is the Build-A-Figure for the (first?) series of Captain Marvel 2 figures, which is less unrelated than it seems: after "Civil War 2: Tony's Still on the Wrong Side," several teen heroes got fed up with the adults and struck out on their own as a new group of Champions. Amadeus joined the team, which also boasted Ms. Marvel as a founder; thus, a connection! Buy six of the seven figures in this series (Iron Man is great, but he doesn't have a piece) and you can assemble a younger, hipper Hulk.

After the 2015 Secret Wars crossover, Marvel's story timeline jumped forward eight months, to give the characters time to deal with the ramifications and get back to having adventures. But that meant at first Cho just showed up as the Hulk, with readers having no idea why for several issues. The book was drawn by Frank Cho (no relation), so this toy copies his art with its sculpt. Not even the Ares figure was this strongly based on its source art!

Amadeus is just a teenager (despite what that weird Savage Land story showed), so his Hulk isn't as big as Bruce Banner's. And thus his toy isn't as big as the standard Hulk body, either: he's still more muscular than any real human, but compared to the other recent Hulks, he's got a swimmer's physique. And yet, they still managed to save money by reusing molds. How's that possible? Endgame Hulk. Still tall and ripped, by not to comicbook levels of exaggeration, so put that body with 616 figures and suddenly it looks younger and smaller. Smart re-use!

The figure's entire legs are new. Rather than shredded jeans, Totally Awesome Hulk wears some kind of nano-tech swim trunks. This toy interprets them as tighter than they usually are - they're not stretchy, they're designed to fit him. Like shorts. The patterns on the outside of the legs have been shifted down slightly, so they don't get broken by the thigh joints, and there should be gold trim around that panel in the center, but this is still good. Technically that band around his left forearm should have a little touchscreen on it somewhere - it dispenses SternTech nonobots that help him regulate his Hulkritude.

Hulk's skintone is a very bright, vibrant green, something straight out of the crayon box; that's why he doesn't look like a copy of the movie figure, but rather his own thing. Well, that and the lack of body hair. The shorts are a much lighter purple than most Hulks wear, but it's balanced out by the extra darkness of the textured panels. His gold belt contrasts with it all.

Thanks to his pointy little faux-hawk, Totally Awesome Hulk stands over 8½" tall. He moves with swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist waist, balljointed ribs, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a barbell head. Like the previous BAF, he's got either clutching hands or fists. If giving Build-A-Figures related accessories weren't illegal under international law, they could have also included "Kegger," the Olympus Group B-98 Beta Robo Drone (like if a HERBIE had a baby with an Alexa) that followed him around to keep tabs on him, or possibly some mini monsters in jars.

We'd still really like a plain Amadeus Cho, from back when he was running around being a sidekick to Hercules - heck, Peter Parker's arms and legs, Jimmy Woo's jacket, and you're nearly there already! Maybe the tracksuit torso if you want him to be a bit older. It wouldn't take a lot of work, and there'd probably be room left over in the budget for his coyote, Kirby. Until then, the Totally Awesome Hulk quite nearly lives up to what is, let's face it, a rather hyperbolic name.

Captain Marvel | Photon | Ms. Marvel | Marvel Boy | Karnak | Commander Rogers

-- 11/15/23

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