Hulk and Thanos have fought each other both in the comics and onscreen, but one popular Marvel writer actually established that the two share another more unusual connection in Hulk’s old girlfriend Marlo Chandler. Marlo was once a huge part of the Hulk comics, albeit barely seen lately, and later demonstrated that she had a troubling bond with an even bigger Marvel heroine, Lady Death!
That’s right, the personification of death by Marvel has a peculiar obsession on one of Hulk’s supporting characters-to the point where when she appears to others, Death literally takes on Marlo’s look. Long-time Hulk writer Peter David created this very questionable honor, showing that it really started with the childhood of Marlo.
During his Captain Marvel race, David discovered that after she escaped a life-threatening fall that made her to feel happy instead of frightened, Marlo developed a fascination with death. Throughout her adolescent years and young adulthood, she kept pursuing this sensation, generally by dating dangerous men. The key reason she started dating the Hulk when he met her in his gray “Joe Fixit” character was basically this action. While this friendship did not survive, Marlo continued with the Hulk on good terms, and later became friends with Betty, the wife of Bruce Banner.
Marlo has started dating Rick Jones, a neighbor of Hulk’s, who proposed to her. The journey to their wedding was marked by disaster in typical Marvel fashion, especially when Marlo was stabbed and killed by a woman who might have been the mother of Rick. Fortunately, the Leader’s Hulk adversary managed to bring Marlo back to life (although in a vegetative state), and Rick finally coaxed Marlo back to full consciousness. At Rick and Marlo’s engagement, Lady Death ends up making an unlikely appearance. Death left a wedding present for the pair, hoping that Rick and Marlo would have a long and happy life together, and then decided to leave before “that Thanos creep” showed up.
Though Marlo seemed to have just a passing connection with Death, later comics would reveal that their connection was far deeper in fact. Death used Marlo as her actual avatar in a later Captain Marvel storyline (written by Peter David), allowing her through Marlo’s body to punish a villain. This encounter left Marlo with some of the lingering presence of Lady Death, allowing her to have a “Death Wish” ability to practically match her spoken wishes that distorted reality. When Marlo jokingly wished she was dead, and almost died for good, this proved incredibly troublesome. Luckily, Marlo hoped later that the Death Wish would abandon her, ridding her of her unwelcome talent.
Death herself, however, has proven that she appears to have a curious affinity for Marlo when she decides to pose in Marlo’s presence to other people while she wants to speak to them. She did this while she spent some time with Ben Reilly, Spider-clone, Man’s and warned him that his soul would become irreversibly corrupt if he died again (after being revived numerous times). Strangely, in Marlo’s shape, Lady Death seems more benevolent, demonstrating that the former girlfriend of the Hulk may have had a good impact on one of Marvel’s most powerful celestial forces.