So, I was looking through World War Hulk #3, and a question was raised in my mind. This will include spoilers to the issue, so for those of you planning to get the issue in the near future, who don't want any of it ruined, leave now. The rest of us will wait. But not too long.
OK, so Dr. Stran - well, hurry up and 'git', already! Damn, you give people an opportunity to leave, and they milk it for all it's worth. As I was saying, Dr. Strange is in Hulk's mind. He wants to talk to Banner. Hulk changes to Banner, he and Strange talk, Strange convinces Banner that its time to end this, and to get out of the astral plane before the Army trashes his body. Except, Banner changes back to Hulk and breaks Doc's hands. Ouch. Where's Night Nurse when you need her?
So what I'm wondering is, what does that scene say about Hulk's state of mind? We all know he's filled with loss, and anger, and a desire for revenge, and anger, and a sense of righteousness, and of course, anger, but what does it mean for the Banner/Hulk situation? I've got three possible theories:
1) Hulk pretended to be Banner. As Strange said, they were in Hulk's mind, their surroundings created by the Hulk's mind. Perhaps the Hulk took advantage of this to fool Strange into thinking he was talking to Banner with a little astral projection trickery?
2) Banner and Hulk are working together. I don't know how fond Banner was of the planet he landed on, or how he felt about being a ruler, with a wife and kid on the way. Maybe none of that means anything to him. But I'm pretty sure he could be angry about the "We tricked you and we're shooting you into deep space" thing. In that case, he could have willingly come out to draw Strange in where Hulk could reemerge and get a hold of the sorcerer.
3) Doc Sampson was right when he suggested to She-Hulk that Banner might never had been the real person at all, that he was always just a form the Hulk hid behind. In that case, the Hulk could bring Banner out at will (or honestly, any other form of the Hulk that we've ever seen), as the situation demands. But he'd still be in control, and could revert to his current form.
The first option would indicate the Hulk's been learning some new tricks, probably from that annoying bastard that keeps saying 'If one must die, let them die well.' Man, that got old after five seconds. The second option indicates Hulk and Banner actually working together, unified in purpose at the very least, like they supposedly were back when Peter David did that "Unify the Hulks" story around #375, and we got the biggest, smartest, strongest Hulk ever, which turned out to just be another type of Hulk. The third option plays off an idea I associate with Paul Jenkins (though it probably is much older than that). The idea that all the Hulks are just different personality types manifested, but they're all Banner in some regard. Except now, it would be that they're all aspects of this Hulk in some regard, but he's the "true" form.
Those are my thoughts. If you have any you'd like to contribute, feel free.