Comics
Published May 22, 2019

4 Marvel Heroes Who Lived Shared Existences

It’s hard enough to handle one personality – how about multiple?

Asgardians of the Galaxy #9
ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2018) #9

As the War of the Realms continues its assault on Midgard, Marvel’s heroes, from Thor to Spider-Man to Ghost Rider, are doing their part to stop Malekith and his forces from achieving victory over the last of the Ten Realms. The war has not been without loss – Valkyrie, the Asgardian warrior and member of the Asgardians of the Galaxy, died by Malekith’s sword at the end of WAR OF THE REALMS #2. ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9, on sale now, will delve into the fate of her host, Annabelle Riggs.

Annabelle and Valkyrie were teammates in the Fearless Defenders, and when Annabelle died during a mission, Valkyrie looked to the sorceress Clea to resurrect her. It was successful, but with a price. From now on, Annabelle and Valkyrie were linked, sharing the same body, and therefore sharing their very existence.

Valkyrie and Annabelle are not the first two beings to have been drawn together into a shared existence to become a hero. Here are four other examples of arguably the most intimate of Air BnBs.

Mar-Vell and Rick Jones

Captain Marvel #17
CAPTAIN MARVEL (1968) #17

Linked together by the mysterious Nega-Bands, Rick Jones and Mar-Vell shared the same space in our dimension. When either of them clapped the Nega-Bands together, Mar-Vell and Rick would switch places. One of them lived on Earth while the other waited in the Negative Zone. Thanks to a psychic link, the two were able to communicate with each other, making switching back and forth to protect the Earth easier.

Much like Annabelle, Mar-Vell’s life depended on his link with Rick. Mar-Vell could only stay in the “positive” dimension for three hours at a time. Any more and it would have been fatal. If Annabelle didn’t have Valkyrie as a “living-world” host, she would still be in Valhalla. With Valkyrie now gone, does this mean Annabelle can no longer return to the land of the living?

Sleepwalker and Rick Sheridan

Sleepwalker #1
SLEEPWALKER (1991) #1

Sleepwalker is a member of the “dream police.” His job is to protect the dream world from any entities who dare try to corrupt it. During a battle with a villain named Cob Web, he found himself trapped inside the mind of college student Rick Sheridan. When Rick slept, the two could communicate within Rick’s dreams, and Sleepwalker could access the real world and use his powers for good.

Even though Rick and Sleepwalker didn’t switch bodies like Valkyrie and Annabelle, their relationship relied on one of them incapacitating themselves. Rick had to be unconscious for Sleepwalker to appear, and when Rick was awake, Sleepwalker waited in Rick’s mind, trapped. While Annabelle and Valkyrie looked okay on the surface, the constant back and forth must have caused at least a small bit of resentment.

The Hulks

Incredible Hulk #375
INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #375

Ever since he transformed, Bruce Banner has had to deal with not just one, but up to four different versions of the Incredible Hulk inside of his psyche. There was the savage but kind green Hulk. There was the smart, arrogant Gray Hulk. The Devil Hulk does the things no other Hulk can, because of how wrong they are. There’s Professor Hulk, taking the best traits of the others and combining them into one.

Looking into Bruce’s head is similar to looking at the world’s most dangerous game of tug-of-war. The use of the word “incredible” doesn’t do Bruce Banner justice when you think about it. The fact that he’s still able to function on any level at all with the constant struggle within his subconscious is unparalleled.

No, Valkyrie and Annabelle never had to fight over “whose turn it was” (a few times they pushed each other out, but those are few and far between), but knowing someone was in the back of your mind watching every move you could eventually even make an Asgardian exhausted.

Spider-Man and the Symbiote

Amazing Spider-Man #258
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #258

When Spider-Man returned from the Beyonder’s Secret War, he looked completely different. After finding what he assumed was an extraterrestrial material, Spidey created a whole new costume, which was all black and could respond to his mental commands. Unfortunately for the Wall-Crawler, the suit was part of an alien raced called the Klyntar, who chose hosts with whom to form symbiotic relationships.

The start of this bonding process began while Peter slept. The symbiote would form around Peter’s body and go on patrol; all the while, Peter remained unconscious. It wasn’t until Mr. Fantastic ran a test on the suit when Spider-Man learned the truth and quickly disposed of it. Unfortunately for Spidey, a Klyntar can really hold a grudge.

Unlike Spidey and the symbiote, Annabelle and Valkyrie worked to coexist. It’s relatively easy when your goal is to keep a person from dying, not to form one being with them.

Looking back at what these Marvel characters have had to give up for others, it puts the term “sharing with others” into perspective. One teen shared his physical space in our dimension. A college kid uses his dreams and a doorway for a Super Hero. A doctor has a subconscious doubling as a hotel. They all had shared existences, just like Annabelle and Valkyrie did.

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9 will give fans a resolution to theirs. We can only hope it’s a good one.

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Paolo Villanelli, is on sale now online and at your local comic shop.

Asgardians of the Galaxy #9

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