Marvel’s Future Dystopian Hulk You’ll Never See On The Big Screen

mark ruffalo hulk

Marvel’s multiverse has obviously given us a lot of chances to see different versions of heroes and villains, but I can just about guarantee there’s at least one version of the Incredible Hulk you won’t see on the big screen–John Eisenheart, aka Hulk 2099. The reason you’ll never see a big screen adaptation of Hulk 2099 is that one of the guys who created him, Gerard Jones, survives as one of the most disgraced people in professional comic books.

Hulk 2099

hulk 2099

There’s a good chance you’re familiar with Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, from the animated Spider-Verse films if nothing else. Well, it wasn’t just a future Spider-Man that Marvel Comics came up with in the early ’90s when they launched the 2099 line, but a whole mini-universe of futuristic heroes and villains including X-Men 2099, Punisher 2099, and Hulk 2099.

Kind of looking like what you would get if you merged the original green goliath with one of the xenomorphs from the Alien films, Hulk 2099 made his first appearance in 1993’s 2099 Unlimited #1

By 2099 there’s a reclusive cult called the Knights of Banner who worship the original Hulk. John Eisenheart, an ambitious movie studio executive, seeks the Knights out not to join them, but in hopes in securing the rights to adapting media about them.

When they refuse, Eisenheart contacts the police. He has a change of heart at the last minute and he returns to the Knights, hoping to save them. One of the Knights sets off a gamma device during the battle with the police, and Eisenheart is transformed into Hulk 2099.

The Search For Gawain And Beyond

hulk 2099

Unlike his modern day predecessor, Eisenheart manages to maintain a secret identity. He also transforms into Hulk 2099 and back at will along with keeping his intelligence while doing so.

His adventures continue in 2099 Unlimited, focused mainly on his search for Gawain–a young member of the Knights of Banner who survived the attack by the police but was captured. Along the way he meets his new sidekick, the aspiring pop star Quirk.

Eventually 2099 Unlimited continued its run without the green guy, who graduated to his own solo title–Hulk 2099.

Every issue of Hulk 2099–and every chapter of the green guy’s adventures in 2099 Unlimited–was written by a guy named Gerard Jones. That brings us to why we suspect you’ll never see Hulk 2099 on the big screen.

Gerard Jones

Working prominently in superhero comics between the late ’80s and early ’00s, Gerard Jones’s work went far beyond Hulk 2099. The writer worked on such titles as Green LanternJustice LeagueBatmanPokémon AdventuresDragon Ball, and more.

In December 2016–21 years after Jones last worked on Hulk 2099–comic book fans were shocked to learn Gerard Jones had been arrested and charged with distributing and possessing images of child sexual abuse. Tens of thousands of images and videos were found on devices in his San Francisco home.

Jones pled guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison. He was released in 2022.

TDK

nathan fillion suicide squad

As horrible as Jones’s crimes were, what do they have to do with Hulk 2099 showing up on the big screen? I offer the example of The Suicide Squad‘s TDK.

Nathan Fillion played TDK, aka The Detachable Kid, in 2021’s The Suicide Squad. There is no The Detachable Kid in DC Comics, but there is the infamously ridiculous character Arm-Fall-Off-Boy whose powers are grotesquely similar to TDK’s. In fact, long before anyone knew who Fillion was playing in The Suicide Squad, he was rumored to be portraying Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.

So why didn’t James Gunn just give him the name Arm-Fall-Off-Boy? It isn’t like it’s that much more or less ridiculous than “The Detachable Kid.”

My theory–and admittedly I have no hard proof of this–is that Gunn gave him a different name because if he had called him Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, then somewhere in the credits we would all be able to see something along the lines of “Arm-Fall-Off-Boy Created By Gerard Jones and Curt Swan.”

Because it was Gerard Jones who wrote the story that introduced Arm-Fall-Off-Boy in 1989’s Secret Origins #46.

Don’t Hold Your Breath

hulk 2099

Gerard Jones co-created Hulk 2099 on a work-for-hire basis and that–coupled with the fact that the character is a variation of another guy created three decades prior by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby–means he would likely have no leg to stand on in demanding any compensation from Disney for putting the future Hulk on the big screen.

But Marvel does generally at least include a credit mentioning who created who in their films, and I very much doubt they would tolerate Gerard Jones’s name within a thousand miles of one of their flicks.

And the media seems to bear that out. In spite of Spider-Man 2099 appearing all over cartoons and video games even before Oscar Isaac voiced him in the Spider-Verse films, Hulk 2099 has exactly one non-comic-book appearance in all media–as a playable character in LEGO Marvel Super-Heroes 2.

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