After Bruce Banner suffers an accident involving large quantities of radiation, Amadeus Cho finds a way to create his own Hulk Out and become a new Hulk. Unlike Banner, however, Cho loves the power that comes with his transformation and can also stay lucid and intelligent afterward. This leads to the events of the series, in which he becomes an adventurer on call to help with emergencies too large for puny humans. He's backed by his sister Maddie (mentioned but never seen during a previous The Incredible Hercules run).
As part of the Marvel Legacy initiative, the title was rechristened into Incredible Hulk and given the Legacy numbering of #709.
Totally Awesome Hulk'' provides examples of:
- The Adjectival Superhero: Totally Awesome Hulk.
- Admiring the Abomination: Lady Hellbender collects unique and powerful specimens of alien beasts.
- Affectionate Nickname: In issue #4, Amadeus calls She-Hulk "Shulkie", to her annoyed confusion. However, the same issue ends with her calling Cho "Chulkie" (a combo of Cho+Hulk), and Cho is accepting of it when he figures out the joke.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: Amadeus Cho is Korean-American.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: When Lady Hellbender realizes that Cho is just as powerful as the original Hulk, she decides she wants him for her collection... and for herself.
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: Becomes a plot point in issue #5, after Cho learns that he's been transforming involuntarily and can't remember what he did during. This apparently indicates that he's losing control of the Hulk.
- Amazonian Beauty: Drawing muscular yet sexy women is Frank Cho's specialty, and the early issues showcase his ability with She-Hulk and Lady Hellbender, who don't wear much clothing.
- Armor-Piercing Question: After Hawkeye is acquitted of murder for killing Bruce Banner Captain Marvel brings a small army to the Cho's door step to make sure Ammy is OK and won't go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. After assuring her that he was just going to take some time to mourn he then asks:Amadeus: Carol... I was just wondering... If I were go crazy... what makes you think you could stop me?
Carol Danvers [speechless look of abject horror]
- Ascended Fanboy: Amadeus Cho becomes the new Hulk, his favorite hero.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: An eruption of giant mutated creatures appearing all over the world is the basic setup for the series and the Hulk's early goal.
- An Axe to Grind: Enchantress uses Hulk to steal enough uru metal to make an axe similar in power to Mjölnir. Naturally, "Chulk", realizing how cool Hulk with Thor's power would be, plays along with her just until he gets the axe. But, once he does, Thor (Jane Foster) makes him give it back.
- Big Eater: Transforming burns a lot of metabolism, so Cho is constantly hungry — to the point that in the first issue, he delays his first on-panel transformation to finish eating a big meal.
- Casanova Wannabe: Cho can't stop hitting on women — especially in Hulk form. Even women who state that they have boyfrends, or plainly state that they're not interested, don't stop his advances. This stops by issue 7.
- Cast from Calories: Cho needs to consume lots of calories to maintain the mass and energy needed to Hulk Out.
- Catchphrase: Issue #1 gives us this exchange:Gnasher: Gnasher Gnash!
Gasher: Gasher Gash!
Cho: And Hulk Smash!
Cho: Come on, they set me up. How could I not—?
- Chainmail Bikini: Lady Hellbender wears what is essentially an armored leotard.
- Character Shilling: Greg Pak flat out admits it. The reason that Cho showed up in just about every series Pak wrote was because he wanted to create a Korean-American superhero in a starring role, which Marvel lacked. His hope was that by slowly giving Cho exposure, fans would come to like the character and thus it would feel natural when he was given his own superhero identity. Totally Awesome Hulk is the culmination of that effort.
- Collector of the Strange: Lady Hellbender, who collects rare and powerful alien lifeforms.
- Domesticated Dinosaurs: Lady Hellbender uses one as a mount.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Kei Kawade, appears months before Marvel's Monsters Unleashed event as a seemingly random focus in one panel. It's implied he's a major factor in the sudden increase of monsters on Earth, circumstances coming to a head in that event.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first issue really played up the comedy, including a bit with nudity censored by caption boxes. This sort of humour was toned down in the next two issues, and then removed entirely.
- Escapist Character: Deconstructed In-Universe. Amadeus Cho is an Audience Surrogate for all those who would savor the power and invincibility of the Hulk, unlike Bruce Banner. However, as the recurring dream sequences symbolize, he isn't quite as in control as he believes, and being the Hulk comes comes with a lot of responsibility that a kid may not be mature enough to handle.
- Femme Fatale: Lady Hellbender wants to turn Cho into a pure monster, which is what turns her on. She offers for him to look her up if he ever gives in to his beastly side.
- Fluffy Tamer: When Lady Hellbender unleashes her collection of monsters, Cho manages to calm one of them down by simply petting it and displaying no hostility. However, it still doesn't work because Hellbender uses a control disk to shock the monster and throw it into a rage.
- Friendship Moment: Amadeus Cho risks his life to take Bruce Banner's overloaded Hulk power onto himself. This sort of act of friendship is what Cho says the other smart-guy Avengers (namely Iron Man and Black Panther) should have been doing for Bruce in the first place.
- Genius Bruiser: What Cho wants to bring to the table as the new Hulk. He's not only got the power, but the brains to back it up.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: "Hulking out", often depicted as lowering inhibitions in various ways, turns Amadeus into a Casanova Wannabe.
- Horse of a Different Color: Lady Hellbender uses a green dinosaur as a mount.
- Kid Hero:
- The fact that Cho is a hormonal teenager factors into his Hulk transformation. Like Banner, his Hulk is his repressed Id, which in this case makes him cocky and horny, not unlike Mr. Fixit.
- Miles Morales also shows up in issues #2 and #3.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Lady Hellbender gets very excited when Cho uses the peak of his power and savagery. She eventually declines taking him with her when he continues using his brains instead of his brawn—although she is clearly still interested.
- Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Fin Fang Foom, the mightiest alien dragon in all Marvel, shows up in issue #2.
- Karma Houdini: After trying to kidnap the Hulk, as well as dumping all of Earth's monsters back on the planet after she collected her true prize (the Hulk), Lady Hellbender simply leaves with no comeuppance.
- Leotard of Power: Lady Hellbender wears a leotard, covered in layers of plate armor.
- Let's You and Him Fight: After the Enchantress uses Hulk to steal uru metal, a very angry Jane!Thor appears to bring Cho to justice. The fight doesn't last very long, and Cho doesn't really try to fight back. The fighting stops once Cho's sister makes it clear he was used.
- Likes Older Women: Averted when Maddie accuses Amadeus of flirting with She-Hulk. He's turned off by the idea and states that she's "like, forty". She-Hulk isn't amused.
- Mission Control: Maddie, who communicates via a robot that follows Hulk around.
- Monster of the Week: It's stated that Kaiju are appearing all over the world, which Cho insisted on tackling himself, as part of the Hulk's unique specialty.
- Multi-Melee Master: Lady Hellbender uses both a mace and a hook-sword in combat.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk stops a Kiber Fusion Reactor from overloading and killing millions, at the cost of absorbing radiation levels that are too much for even the Hulk to contain.
- Amadeus Cho/Totally Awesome Hulk defeats Fing Fang Foom to impress Lady Hellbender... only for her to decide to capture him as part of her collection instead.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: When Amora the Enchantress tries to seduce him, Cho knows exactly who she is and what she wants and doesn't want any part of it. Even after she forces him to Hulk out and tries to make a deal with his other half, Hulk is only playing along because he thinks it's amusing (and that he might get a cool uru metal axe out of it).
- Obviously Evil: Played With. Issue #2 introduces Lady Hellbender, Gnasher and Gasher (all with Names to Run Away from Really Fast) and She-Hulk is shown battling Gnasher and Gasher, who fit the mold of typical Brutes. However, Lady Hellbender claims to be nothing more than a collector of rare specimens and shows the heroes her collection. Maddie immediately urges Amadeus to Hulk up, because to her it's pretty clear that Lady H is an evil warlord building an army of monsters. Lady H claims, however, to essentially be an alien zookeeper. If not evil, however, she is still extremely selfish and sometimes cruel.
- Power Fantasy: Invoked. The Hulk has always been essentially a power fantasy, but Amadeus Cho intentionally uses the power for this purpose.
- Rule of Symbolism: Cho has a recurring Dream Sequence with him driving a luxury car down a highway, with the Hulk locked in the car's trunk. Cho himself realizes the dreams symbolize his control over the Hulk transformation, which is why he gets an Oh, Crap! moment when one of the dreams has him look in the back seat and realize the Hulk is sitting there. Then after the Hulk takes over, Cho finds himself as the one locked in the trunk.
- Shadow Archetype: Of course, the Hulk transformation acts this way for most people. However, the trick is that it acts differently for each person. When Amadeus Cho begins blacking out and not remembering what he did as the Hulk, it becomes critical for himself, Maddie, She-Hulk, Rick Jones and Bruce Banner to all try and piece together what issues Cho's hulk might bring to the table because while he might not be messed up like Banner, he's his own brand of messed up.
- Split-Personality Takeover: While on Sakaar, Cho is forced to relinquish control over to the Hulk in order to survive—and the Hulk refuses to give control back afterwards.
- Squick: In-Universe. How She-Hulk and Maddie react when Lady Hellbender starts kissing Amadeus.
- Superior Successor: What Cho aims to be in respect to Bruce Banner. In this case, this isn't meant to upstage or belittle Banner, but to finally give the guy a break and let him deal with his issues as a normal human. In short, using all the good of the Hulk with as little of the bad as possible.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Amadeus with Clint Barton over the death of Bruce Banner. At the end of Civil War II's tie in event they meet and while it looks like he's about to kill him, they both break down crying with Amadeus claiming he just wants his friend back. though this was spoiled by solicitations showing Clint post-Civil War II leading a book.
- Unstoppable Rage: Defied. Part of Cho's desire is to prove that rage isn't the only way of tapping into The Hulk's power. However, he does occasionally have "slip-ups" where the berserker rage takes over.
- Villainesses Want Heroes:
- Lady Hellbender wants Hulk to embrace his savagery and power, and is disappointed when he continues to use empathy and reason.
- The Enchantress shows up and tries to seduce Cho, but he's onto her and refuses to take the bait. So she resorts to other measures to lower his resistance.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Maddie, who acts as Mission Control and helps Amadeus with more specialized tasks.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Both Maddie and She-Hulk call out Cho on his womanizing at several opportunities.
- Cho calls out the Avengers when they suggest sending a gamma-overloaded Hulk into the Negative Zone.
- Would Not Hit a Girl: In Issue #2, Cho refuses to fight Hellbender because she's female.