As the Inversion spreads, our therapist takes on two more cases!
As reports of erratic nearly opposite behavior spreads amongst the super powered community, I am continuing to monitor the situation and report observations as it becomes possible. As noted previously, these reports are based on observations and meta-reviews of eyewitness reports, news articles, and so on. Unless noted, there have been no face-to-face evaluations at this time.
Bruce Banner’s is a long and tragic case that has been documented several times over the years. Alas, it appears to have taken another turn. Hulk, it would seem, is gone, replaced by a larger, possibly armored creature by the name of “Kluh,” nicknamed by some as “Hulk’s Hulk.”
Here, with this report in particular, this writer must stress the secondhand nature of the information and data in my possession. Kluh, whether he is the latest iteration of a Banner’s alter ego or not, is a being that I have no frame of reference for. He has never been in session with myself or any of my colleagues, and never received any kind of psychological evaluation in a hospital, prison, or outpatient facility. The only information I have in my possession comes from the observations and experiences of others.
The details garnered from those indicate that Hulk became despondent and less intelligent than he had been as of late until an unspecified incident, an event that involved him being attacked, possibly by some of the heroes who have been exhibiting unusual behavior characteristics as of late. In reaction to this attack, Hulk changed into Kluh, a metamorphosis not unlike the one Banner would undergo to turn into Hulk, or, briefly, Hulk would undergo to turn into an unreasonable, raging Banner. Kluh was said to be a more cunning and cruel than Hulk traditionally is.
What makes this case unusual, besides the actual physical transformation, is that Hulk has been so volatile over the years and experienced so many changes in personality and presentation, it is impossible for this writer to say with any level of authority that this is related to the seeming personality changes noted in individuals like Captain America (Sam Wilson) or Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler). This could be just another in a series of difficult and tragic happenings for Dr. Bruce Banner and his (usually) green skinned alter ego.
I do, however, feel reasonably certain that Kluh is not the Hulk clone of extraterrestrial origin of the same name.
The mutant supremacist and sometimes terrorist represents another very difficult case to consider; Magneto has, at times, worked with the X-Men, who favor integration over mutants violently overthrowing and destroying humanity. Additionally, most recently, he allied himself with Cyclops as part of a group that seemed to be a sort of middle ground between Magneto’s “classic” Brotherhood and its doctrine of violence and mutant superiority, and the X-Men with its emphasis on peaceful co-existence and slow incremental influencing of public opinion.
Therefore, news that Magneto has acted heroic would seem hardly “out of character.” What does, however, is who Magneto has allied himself with. Even during the times that he has embraced Professor Charles Xavier’s philosophy or approaches, Magneto has remained uniquely dedicated to mutant rights issues and worked only with follow mutants.
However—and it must be stressed that this information should be taken with some degree of incredulity—it appears that Magneto is now working with human beings and super powered, but non-mutant, individuals and this choice has led him into conflict with, amongst, others, Cyclops.
Again, I must stress that Magneto’s allegiances have been mercurial over the years and him being “on the side of angels” is not without precedence. Nonetheless, there are aspects of this current conversion that seem unusual.
Human beings have a tendency to look for patterns or interpret events as fitting established patterns when there is not enough evidence to do so. This writer is human and prone to the same biases. It is with this knowledge that I am tentative to include the above two subjects in my continued study of the strange behaviors and personality shifts that seem to be spreading amongst super powered heroes on villains. That said I feel it would be more irresponsible to not note these two than it is to include them. If sufficient evidence arises that they have not been affected by the same pathogen, mass hysteria, folie deux writ large, etc, I will do my due diligence to immediately note that. For now, however, I feel their behavior should be noted amongst the current crop of more clear cases.
Those interested in these cases and others similar to it recently reported should read the assessments of Doctors Rick Remender & Adam Kubert in the file marked AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #6, available to the public now.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant who sometimes just has to follow his gut.