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Comic Book / Hulkling

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No relation to the Incredible Hulk.note 
"Uh, it's like Changeling. Or Earthling, I guess. But with more Hulk. Well, I think it's cool."
— Hulkling, Weirdly-Named Hero, New Avengers (2015) #11

The Young Avengers' shapeshifting powerhouse. The child of two warring empires. The wielder of the star-sword. The one true love of the Demiurge. The King of Space.

Theodore "Teddy" Altman, born as Dorrek VIII and better known as Hulkling, is a Marvel Comics character created by Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung, first appearing in Young Avengers #1 (April 2005).

Raised by a single mother, Teddy grew up hiding a major secret about himself — namely, that he was a shapeshifter who could transform his scaly green body into any appearance he wanted. But that wasn't all...

Unbeknownst to him, Teddy was the secret love child of Kree soldier Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel) and Princess Anelle of the Skrulls, conceived during The Kree/Skrull War. To keep him safe, Anelle's handmaid took the child, and raised him on Earth as her son Teddy Altman.


During his teen years, Teddy became a founding Young Avenger, alongside Patriot (Eli Bradley) and Wiccan (Billy Kaplan), the latter of whom would become his longterm romantic partner — making them one of the first same-sex relationships in mainstream American superhero comics.

Together, Teddy and Billy would later join Sunspot's Avengers Idea Mechanics —later forming a splinter faction with Squirrel Girl, after getting kicked off the team— before (temporarily) retiring from the superhero scene to focus on their personal lives...

... until he was summoned by the unified Kree-Skrull Empire to be their new Emperor, to lead them in an attack against Earth. It soon turned out that he was actually trying to save Earth from the incoming Cotati invasion, helping the Avengers and the Fantastic Four fight them off with the combined Kree-Skrull forces. (But not before eloping with Billy in a hasty wedding ceremony.) When the dust settled, Teddy effectively became the king of space, and took Billy as his official consort with a proper wedding attended by virtually all of the Marvel Universe.


Hulkling appears in:

     Notable Comic Books 

     Video Games 

Hulkling provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: In the interim between The Children's Crusade and Vol. 2, when the team had supposedly disbanded, he secretly takes up superheroing again.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Like Billy, he'd been idolizing the Avengers before becoming a Young Avenger.
  • Battle Couple: With Wiccan, his boyfriend and teammate.
  • Berserk Button: While Teddy genuinely doesn't have any anger problems, there is one situation in which he is near-guaranteed to hulk out: if someone is threatening Billy in any way, shape, or form. Teddy actually threatened to rip Quicksilver's legs off for endorsing Billy's desire to go to Latveria, and there was no indication that he wasn't being deadly serious.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Teddy is kind and gentle, but don't push him the wrong way.
  • Birds of a Feather: Both he and Billy are superhero fanboys and polite kids who were ostracized at school for various reasons.
  • The Big Guy: Because of his shapeshifting, he's one of the physical powerhouses of the team.
  • Body Horror: Mother turns his shapeshifting powers against him as his arms and legs fuse together, his mouth disappears, and then he's turned into a tangled mess in the shape of a chair.
  • Child of Forbidden Love: The product of a forbidden affair between two members of warring races. He is actually destined to end said war.
  • Child of Two Worlds: As the child of the Kree Captain Marvel and a Skrull princess, he is eventually destined to end the ancient Kree-Skrull war. As a result, both factions want him to eventually lead them. He rejects both, choosing to stay on Earth... until the events of Incoming!.
  • Excelsior: In his latest jaunt through space, Teddy was abducted by an order of Chivalrous Space Knights born of mixed descent who were hunted to the brink of Extinction by their parent species. To accept him as their leader after the destruction of both races throne worlds, Hulkling had to prove his worth by drawing the cosmic/mystic sword Excelsior from the proverbial stone.
  • The Chosen One:
    • As far as the Skrulls are concerned, he's the prophesied Savior who will reunite the fragmented Skrull empire. This is why Xavin attempts to save him in the Secret Invasion crossover.
    • In New Avengers, he turns out to be the subject of a prophecy of the Knights of the Infinite, a group of Kree-Skrull hybrids.
  • Distressed Dude: Leah and Mother kidnap him and he becomes their hostage. Mother turns his shapeshifting against him to keep him from escaping.
  • Emotional Bruiser: He's not afraid to shed tears if affected by the issue at hand.
  • Future Badass: During his time with the New Avengers he meets a version of himself called King Hulk, who aside from being a large, bemuscled sort is also apparently an actual king, Of All Of SPACE.
  • Gentle Giant: In YA #1, the newspaper's caption for him was "Teen-Hulk was very polite" and showed him comforting small children.
  • Healing Factor: Due to his heritage, he can heal very quickly. His organs automatically rearrange themselves to avoid pain as well.
  • Heroic Build: Subverted: he's very tall and muscular because he used his shapeshifting powers to look more like the handsome jocks he saw in his high school locker room.
  • Hope Bringer: He's this to the Skrulls, who believe that he can reunite their fragmented empire.
    Xavin: To not believe in you, the savior, the uniter, is to not believe in hope.
  • Hulking Out: Pointedly averted — even in battle, Teddy is quite levelheaded and rational. Well, unless his boyfriend's in danger.
  • Human Alien: His true form looks like a Caucasian human (or more accurately a pink Kree).
  • Human Alien Discovery: In his teens, he discovers that he's the child of two powerful warring alien races and is destined to unite them.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: Looks human, but is basically a Skrull under the hood. When a Mad Scientist tries to vivisect him, his internal organs spontaneously rearrange themselves to avoid being cut.
  • Hybrid Monster: The child of a Skull-Kree union and has tremendous power thanks to it; though he's really not all that monstrous. Most of the time, anyway.
  • In-Series Nickname: Teddy is short for Theodore.
  • Interspecies Romance: With the very mutant Wiccan.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In his backstory, he was very self-conscious about the fact that he was different from other people and desperately wanted to blend in.
  • King Bob the Nth:
    • Much to his own surprise, he's also Dorrek VIII, heir to the entire Skrull Empire.
    • In later stories he's also descended of the very first Kree/Skrull hybrid, Dorrek Supreme. And is thus entitled to rule all of space.
  • Living a Double Life: He eventually goes back to superheroing on the street but has to hide that from Billy because the latter is very touchy on the topic. They eventually both get back into the superhero life.
  • Love Martyr: He can ignore his own tragedy to support his boyfriend, to his own detriment.
  • Nice Guy: Teddy is genuinely kind, caring, and selfless. Kate describes him as "all sweetheart."
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: Being a Kree-Skrull hybrid, he doesn't have a lick of human DNA in him. However, his default form happens to be that of a pink Kree... which is essentially a Caucasian human as far as looks go.
  • Parental Abandonment: His grandfather, Emperor Dorrek VII, wanted him killed at birth. His grandmother Empress R'Kill had one of her servants flee to Earth with him instead, where she raised him as a human child with no knowledge of his ancestry.
  • Prince Charming: Loki suggests that Teddy is really this, having been created by Billy's Reality Warper powers to subconsciously fulfill his fantasy of meeting and falling in love with this type of character. Of course, this is coming from Loki. Prodigy dismisses it as "existential nonsense".
  • Really Royalty Reveal:
    • Is revealed to be the last surviving descendant of the original Skrull royal line. The Super-Skrull hoped to put him on the throne to reunify the fragmented Skrull Empire.
    • He's also considered one along the line of Kree/Skrull Hybrids related to Dorrek Supreme, his order of loyal knights also coming to crown him their king and unify their ancestral races.
  • Refusal of the Call: Is very reluctant to claim his birthright and take up the prophecy on that whole reunifying-the-Skrull-homeworlds schtick, and stays on Earth instead of going with either Kree or Skrull. Other characters call him out on "running away from his duties."
    • The 2019 anthology Incoming ends with Teddy taking up the mantle of Emperor of the unified Kree/Skrull races, and launching their armada toward a shared enemy on Earth.
  • Secret Legacy:
    • He is the son of the Kree Captain Mar-Vell and the Skrull Princess Anelle. As such he has both a super-heroic and a royal legacy.
    • Also Teddy is the chosen one of a Space Knight order's prophecy possibly being the reborn hybrid king Dorrek Supreme destined to unify the races of Skrull and Kree.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: He has a true form and, technically, two preferred forms; he's equally comfortable in his true form and his battle form, and can be seen lounging in the latter nearly as often as the former:
    • True and Preferred: His Kree heritage gives him his default form, as evidenced when Kl'rt uses technology to force Teddy to revert to his original form in order to prove to Teddy that he's truly a Skrull... and Teddy stays exactly the same.
    • Preferred: His preferred form during a fight, after he stops patterning himself after the Hulk, is quite reptilian in appearance. He keeps his blonde hair, but gains green and possibly scaly skin, armored shoulder plates, and claws. He also frequently grows leathery dragon-like wings when he needs to be airborne.
  • Straight Gay: He has few stereotypical gay traits.
  • Super Strength: He's very strong, due to his alien heritage. This is part of why he calls himself "Hulkling."
  • "Take That!" Kiss: When a homophobic terrorist keeps insulting him, he responds with this.
  • Tell Me About My Father: To the Super-Skrull, who had known his father when he was imprisoned on the Skrull homeworld. Later, he meets a man he believes is Captain Mar-Vell, but is actually a Skrull sleeper agent programmed with his father's memories and genetics.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: He assumed he was a mutant, only to find out that he's actually a Skrull-Kree hybrid.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: He's very supportive to a boy who is related to an infamous Reality Warper and has a lot of baggage over that.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Subverted. Despite calling himself "Hulking," he's actually quite the Emotional Bruiser and doesn't really draw strength from rage... unless, of course, if you really piss him off. Lampshaded when Captain America asks him if he has any "anger issues."
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: His core power along with Super Strength. He initially used it to look like a young Hulk, but later takes to adopting a more reptilian humanoid form when not in his normal shape.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Thanks to Loki, he was paranoid that Billy unknowingly warped reality to create him. He gets over it, deciding that it ultimately doesn't matter.
    Billy: So you think [Loki] was lying about us?
    Teddy: I don't care if he was lying. We're not.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Billy and Teddy's time in the New Avengers ended with a gift of a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park, bought and paid for by Roberto de Costa. The next time Billy and Teddy are seen again 3 years later, they're living in a tiny loft in one of the outer boroughs of New York.
  • Winged Humanoid: When he wants to be, he can sprout a pair of wings.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Teddy doesn't actually "Hulk out", but that doesn't make him any less scary when pushed.


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