20 most upbeat superhero stories

14 of 21

Variant cover of The Totally Awesome Hulk, Volume 1 (Image via Marvel)

8. The Totally Awesome Hulk

While Marvel hasn’t undergone a universe-wide reboot, a la DC’s New 52 event, recent shakeups have introduced new names and faces to familiar superhero titles. Kamala Khan is now Ms. Marvel, rather than Carol Danvers (who herself has taken over the Captain Marvel title). Nadia Pym is effectively the new Wasp.

Of course, if you step even a little sideways into another universe, you can finds tons of new characters. In one dimension, the young Miles Morales is Spider-Man, while another leads you to Gwen Stacy as the popular Spider-Gwen (by the way, that universe also has a black woman as Captain America).

And then, there’s the Hulk. Many associate the title solely with the unfortunate and highly irradiated scientist, Bruce Banner. However — spoiler alert — Bruce has been facing some serious roadblocks lately. Namely, he’s dead. I’ll bring my shoe into a fine dining establishment, have the chef cook it up in a cream sauce, and eat it in one sitting if Bruce Banner really, truly stays dead. But, as it currently stands, the original Hulk is out of the equation for the time being.

Enter Amadeus Cho. Young Amadeus is incredibly smart and carries a pretty tragic backstory. His parents were killed by villains and he’s been more or less on the run since. He gets in with the Marvel version of Hercules and Athena for a while, and even manages to cross paths with the X-Men.

Recently, thanks to something something science and something something nanites, Cho has managed to transfer Banner’s powers to himself. He goes about being a superhero with the help of his sister, Maddy. However, like any other young person out to prove themselves, he can step over the line into irresponsibility.

Despite the drama and tragic backstory, The Totally Awesome Hulk, Cho’s ongoing series, is a genuinely fun and adventurous read. Beyond its funny and endearing writing courtesy of Greg Pak, the series also boasts gorgeous visuals from artist Frank Cho.