Robert Bruce Banner was the son of Dr. Brian Banner, an atomic physicist, and his wife, Rebecca. Brian became convinced that his work in radiation had altered his own genes, resulting in what he saw as a hated mutant offspring. Brian Banner drove himself insane with these fears and murdered Rebecca while trying to kill Bruce. Brian was shot by police before he could harm his son.[2]

Bruce graduated high school and studied nuclear physics in Navapo, New Mexico, at Desert State University, at this time he had a brief fling with Monica Rappaccini who he knew as 'Nicky'.[3] With mutants exploding onto the worldwide scene, and the belief that radiation might be the cause of this epidemic, Bruce was invited to work for the United States Defense Department at the nuclear research facility at Desert Base, New Mexico. Bruce's main goal was to create a way for the United States to manufacture its own super-army. Banner went to work immediately, but met with little success.[2]

With General "Thunderbolt" Ross constantly breathing down his neck for results, Bruce took some shortcuts in his research. These shortcuts ended with disastrous consequences. During the preparation for one of his new Gamma Radiation tests, Bruce was dosed with a lethal amount of Gamma rays. These rays, however, did not kill him. Instead, Bruce was transformed into a huge monster. He rampaged across Desert Base and destroyed it completely.[2]

Believing the attack to be mutant in nature, Ross ignored his superiors' orders and pursued the monster that would become known as the Hulk with the remaining men of Desert Base for close to a month. As the Hulk, Bruce eventually destroyed Ross' army in San Diego, California. Following the battle, the Hulk fled into the ocean.[2]

Bruce awoke days later in Australia under the care of Aboriginal people who had taken him in. Bruce vaguely remembered his time as the Hulk. At one point, Magneto himself, assuming the Hulk to be a mutant, visited Banner and offered him a chance to join him in his fight against the humans. Banner declined and asked to be left alone. Magneto reluctantly agreed.[2]

For a time Banner remained undisturbed until Exodus, the leader of Australia's government, decided to push further into the Outback to catch human refugees and Banner was caught in a battle between Exodus's forces and those of AIM who were fighting to protect the refugees. Following the attack, Banner had AIM set up a summit to settle matters peacefully. Exodus was not interested in resolving matters peacefully and attacked the Hulk. After Exodus's defeat, Hulk took control of the country with AIM's aid.[4]

Later, Thanasee Rappaccini, the Scorpion, an AIM agent and daughter of Monica Rappaccini, leader of AIM and Bruce's lover, came to Banner with rumors of missing people. Along with Thanasee, Banner discovered a project to create an army of cyborgs out of the missing people intended to fight against the other mutant-controlled countries of the world. Hulk and Scorpion shut down the project and after getting promises those used in the cyborgs would be restored Banner kicked out all members of AIM from Australia except Monica Rappaccini, much to Thanasee's surprise and outrage.[5]

Magneto once again visited Banner and made promises of leaving the Aborigines, and Hulk, alone if he returned the rest of the country to mutant rule, with those previously in charge having already been punished. Bruce replied he liked being in charge, and that Magneto should stay out of his way or Hulk would make the world over into one where mutants weren't in charge. Magneto replied that would be an... interesting world, then left him be.[6]


The Hulk possesses the capacity for superhuman strength ranging beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being. His strength increases in direct proportion to his anger. The gamma radiation that mutated the Hulk's body fortified his cellular structure and added, from some as yet unknown (presumably extradimensional) source, several hundred pounds of bone, muscle, and other tissue to his body. As Banner, he possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and slight build who engages in no regular exercise.[2]

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