Published October 20, 2020

Hulkling: The Fast Facts

Who is Teddy Altman, AKA Emperor Dorrek VIII? Read ‘Empyre’ #1, and the shapeshifting hero’s entire origin, on Marvel Unlimited today.

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The Kree and the Skrulls have been waging war for millennia, but the time for an alliance is now. In EMPYRE, these two alien races have united under their new emperor-supreme, the Kree-Skrull hybrid Teddy Altman—better known as Young Avenger Hulkling on his home planet of Earth. With Emperor Hulkling at the helm, the Alliance’s war fleet is now headed straight for Earth, seeking conquest and victory over the telepathic Cotati. But what will the shapeshifter with a heart of gold do next, having served as one of Earth’s premiere Super Heroes?

[RELATEDCrash Course to ‘Empyre’]

EMPYRE (2020) #1 has the answers, available now on Marvel Unlimited. But first, let’s take a look back at how Hulkling got his heroic start, how he gained allies along the way, and where he stands as the bigshot ruler of two mighty empires.


When a mysterious new group of teen Super Heroes appeared to rescue people from a fire, Teddy Altman was among the “Avengers” assembled. Recruited by the reconstituted artificial intelligence of Vision, Teddy was nicknamed “Teen-Hulk” at first, followed soon by “Hulkling,” while the budding team was soon dubbed the Young Avengers. They tried to help their time-traveling teammate Nathaniel Richards, AKA Iron Lad, from becoming another version of his future self, Kang the Conqueror. But they were met with resistance from the adult lineup of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Teddy and his teammates decided that they would instead stick together and protect others in need. Check out Teddy’s first mission in YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #1, and continue with the complete series, and the Young Avengers’ second solo run.


Teddy grew up thinking he was a shape-shifting mutant, but his life changed forever when the Super-Skrull arrived on Earth claiming he was the son of Skrull Princess Anelle, and therefore heir to the Skrull’s imperial throne! Not only that, but Teddy was their last hope to turn the tide against their centuries-long feud with the Kree. When Super-Skrull revealed Teddy’s heritage, he dropped the bomb that Teddy’s mom was actually a Skrull imposter charged by his biological mother to protect him. Teddy came to accept his Skrull parentage, and learned who his father was too—none other than the Kree warrior and Super Hero Mar-Vell, AKA Captain Marvel! For then-Skrull Emperor Dorrek VII, this was a royal family blunder.

Read Hulkling’s full origin story, and some legendary team-ups, in YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #9-12!


As a Skrull-Kree hybrid, Hulkling has powers and abilities from both sides of his heritage. Thanks to his mother’s genes, he can shapeshift—that is, change his physical appearance at will. Teddy more often than not shapeshifts to look like the Hulk, complete with green skin and muscles larger than life. He has impersonated other Super Heroes, and will alter his physiology to include wings, claws, and defensive spikes. Hulkling also possesses super-strength from both his parents. Preview just some of his shapeshifting skills in NEW AVENGERS (2015) #12!


Shortly after working with the Young Avengers, Teddy started dating fellow teammate Billy Kaplan, the magical mystic known as Wiccan. Often flirting while fighting foes, the couple eventually moved into their own fancy suite together while they worked on Sunspot’s New Avengers team.

Like any couple, Teddy and Billy experience relationship ups and downs. And they have survived a lot. From fighting over Hulkling’s late night crimefighting after they “quit” being heroes, to managing the loss of their team members Stature and Vision, to working through a meddlesome period courtesy of God of Mischief Loki, nothing has been able to drive a wedge between their love. But with Teddy’s new role as Emperor of the Kree/Skrull Alliance, Hulking and Wiccan will need to make the leap from long-distance to intergalactic. This couple is on the cusp of change in EMPYRE #1, but for now, read their first flirtations in YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #1, and their most triumphant arc in YOUNG AVENGERS (2013) #1-15.


The Kree/Skrull war has been raging for close to a billion years, and Hulkling is one of many caught in its crossfire. The war began when the Skrulls arranged a contest between the blue-skinned Kree and the plant-like Cotati, both species on the planet Hala. The Cotati were declared the winner, and as such, the Kree retaliated and slew Skrull representatives, including Teddy’s ancestor Emperor Dorrek I. It is this murder that still ignites hostilities today. Thanks to the royal bloodline on his mother’s side, Teddy, known as Dorrek VIII to the Skrulls, is the rightful heir to the imperial throne. When Hulkling was asked to become the Emperor of this Kree/Skrull Alliance, he accepted, and became known as the King of Space in INCOMING! (2019) #1.

To unite the Alliance, the newly minted Emperor attempted a ceasefire between the Kree factions, while powers behind the throne desired to destroy their ancient enemy, the Cotati. Meanwhile, the Cotati grew a garden on the Blue Area of the Moon (now green) as a step toward peace, and allied with the Avengers.

Now, Teddy is about to come head to head with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Read the build-up to the battle of the empires in EMPYRE: AVENGERS #0, and don’t miss how the story unfolds in EMPYRE #1, available now on Marvel Unlimited!

Does Hulkling have what it takes to rule his people? Stay tuned next week for a deeper dive into the Emperor in LORDS OF EMPYRE: EMPEROR HULKLING #1!


Interested in learning more about Teddy’s origin in the Young Avengers? Check out the YOUNG AVENGERS Reading List! Or, how about more on Hulkling’s complicated family tree, the war-torn Kree/Skrull conflict? Check out our recommended "ROAD TO EMPYRE" Reading List, which features introductory series or story arcs recommended by the Marvel Unlimited team.

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