- —Bruce Banner[src]
Dr. Bruce Banner, Ph.D. a.k.a. the Hulk is an American theoretical physicist, famed for his work into the studies of nuclear physics and gamma radiation. He was recruited by General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross and the US Army to develop the first Gamma Bomb. During its first live test he was bombarded with a massive dose of gamma rays while saving Rick Jones, a kid who was out on the test site. He was mutated into a green behemoth, the living personification of rage, fueled by pure physical strength and would come to be known as the nearly mindless "Incredible Hulk". Fearful of the damage that Hulk could inflict, as well as fleeing from the military, he went on the run. He later found a home among the Avengers, "Earth's Mightiest Heroes", for a short time.
Robert Bruce Banner is the son of Dr. Brian Banner, an atomic physicist, and his wife Rebecca. Although Rebecca deeply loved Bruce, who returned her affection, Brian hated their child and was driven by an insane jealousy of Bruce for being an object of Rebecca's love. Further, Brian believed that his radiation work had altered his DNA and given him a mutant son. These factors led to Brian abusing Bruce physically. One of the people who helped Bruce cope with Brian's tantrums was his paternal cousin Jennifer Walters, with whom Bruce used to spend summers in the public library reading for hours, losing themselves to books.
Bruce's life reached a turning point when Brian murdered Rebecca, and he was placed in a mental hospital. After that, Bruce was raised by his aunt and father's sister, Susan Banner, who understood his great pain and rage over his childhood sufferings. Susan raised Bruce with love and care, as if he were her own child. Susan never wanted to deal with her brother after what he had done to Bruce and Rebecca. Bruce, grew up as a highly withdrawn, intellectually gifted youth, in fact, a child prodigy. His father's abuse caused Bruce to start to develop dissociative identity disorder which would go undiagnosed for years, partly due to the fact his D.I.D. was suppressed.
The first sign that Bruce was developing mental problems due to his childhood abuse manifested when Bruce began talking to an imaginary friend he called the "Hulk". He had even begun to mutter to himself in conversation with his imaginary friend. Concerned, his aunt Susan took him to mental health professionals who assured her that these were merely coping mechanisms and they would eventually go away. Unfortunately for the world, they never did and the Hulk endured as Banner's imaginary friend for years. Bruce also began secretly working on explosives in an abandoned warehouse as the Hulk suggested that they blow up the school as a means of venting his frustrations. Bruce, however, changed his mind and refused to blow up the school, which did not sit well with the Hulk. Over the next few nights, unknown to Bruce, when he slept, the Hulk took control of his body and planted a bomb in the school set to go off in the morning. When Bruce realized what had happened he rushed to the school to try and disarm it but found that nobody would listen to his warnings. Crashing into the boiler room, Bruce managed to get down into the basement in just enough time to disarm it. Caught down in the boiler by some of his fellow students, they immediately figured out what Bruce had done and jumped him. The principal then closed the school for the day and locked Bruce down in the boiler room where he was beaten until the authorities arrived. After Bruce was released from the hospital, Bruce's aunt moved him and her out of town in order for Bruce to avoid jail time. Unknown to Bruce, his aunt was approached by Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross, a representative of the military who pointed out to her that the bomb, while sophisticated, was not constructed properly, but the work impressed the military who informed Susan Banner that they would invest in his education in the hopes that he could become a great weapons designer who could work for the military.
After fifteen years of confinement, the doctors believed that Brian was ready to rejoin society. Despite his reluctance, Bruce let his father temporarily stay with him. During this time, Brian began acting strange, causing tensions to escalate between the two. After Brian lashed out at his son, blaming him for his insanity, Bruce left to visit his mother's grave since it was the anniversary of her death. Brian followed him and started harassing Bruce, calling him a mutant and a monster. The confrontation quickly became physical, and Brian knocked Bruce down. While on the ground, Bruce pushed him back with his foot. Brian stumbled back and the impact of his head on Rebecca's gravestone killed him. Bruce blocked the memories of Brian's stay with him and his subsequent death, making himself believe that, as the two of them fought at Rebecca's grave, Brian had simply beat him and left, later being killed by muggers.
After graduating from Science High School, Bruce studied nuclear physics in Navapo, New Mexico, at Desert State University as the star student of Professor Herbert Josiah Weller. He also studied for a time at Harvard University. He later transferred to Pennsylvania State University where he briefly worked with Canadian student Walter Langkowski finding a similar interest in gamma radiation. He also worked with Peter Corbeau, and Raoul Stoddard. It was during his time at Penn State that Banner found inspiration from noted scientist Albert Einstein and like the famous scientist, bought a wardrobe consisting entirely of purple suits.
As a young student, Bruce first met another student with a brilliant mind; Tony Stark. Ever since, they both attended Dr. Derenik Zadian's "Forward Thought Conference" at Oxford University. This would lead to a life-long scientific rivalry between the two. They also became best friends. They eventually teamed up and joined the Avengers.
Bruce obtained his doctorate in nuclear physics at Caltech, alongside Philip Sterns, who later became Madman. Eventually, as an adult and a genius in nuclear physics, Banner wished to pursue philanthropic brands of science, but couldn't receive any financial funding for his projects, and thus in lack of other options, went to work at a United States Defense Department nuclear research facility at Desert Base, New Mexico. There Banner met General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross, the Air Force officer in command of the base, and his daughter Betty Ross. Banner and Betty eventually fell in love with each other. Banner designed and oversaw construction of the "Gamma Bomb" or "G-bomb," a nuclear weapon possessing a high gamma radiation output.
Becoming the Hulk
Banner was present in the instrumentation bunker at the test site for the first underground test detonation of the Gamma Bomb. Observing that a civilian had breached security and entered the restricted test area, Banner told his colleague Igor Starsky to delay the countdown while he tried to escort the civilian to safety. Starsky, secretly a Soviet agent, did nothing, confident that Banner would die in the explosion, bringing the project to a halt. Reaching the civilian, a teenager named Rick Jones, Banner threw him into a protective trench.
Before Banner could get himself to safety, the Gamma Bomb detonated, and intense waves of radiation reached the surface. Banner was irradiated with highly charged radioactive particles. Bruce died, but the Gamma Bomb had created a metaphysical barrier called the Green Door that connected Earth with the Below-Place, the bottom layer of the Multiverse. The Green Door brought Bruce back to life, but the time span between his death and resurrection was so short, his death went unnoticed. The Gamma Bomb also caused Bruce to alter his body, causing him to frequently transform into the vastly powerful, grey-skinned, humanoid monster whom General Ross named "the Hulk."
At first Banner changed into the Hulk at sunset and reverted to human form at dawn. However, Banner's body eventually changed so that his transformations into the Hulk were triggered by the release of adrenaline when he became intensely excited or angry, no matter what time of day or night it was.
Usually, the Hulk possessed little of Banner's memory and intelligence and was easily enraged. While the military attempted to contain the Hulk, he thwarted their every attempt, with Rick Jones, feeling responsible for Banner becoming the Hulk, trying to help keep him away from the military. The Hulk ultimately thwarted an attempt to destroy America by the Gargoyle, another being mutated by gamma radiation. The Hulk changed back into Banner and help cure the Gargoyle, who helped Banner escape back to the U.S., where, with the help of Rick Jones, he maintained his identity as the Hulk a secret and attempted to keep the Hulk contained at night.
When Bruce next turned into the Hulk, his skin was green, a skin tone that remained the most constant for the Hulk. Banner became a target of the so-called Toad Men, who sought to invade Earth. Although at first their attempts to exploit Banner's intelligence made him appear to be a traitor to his country, Banner was able to use his might as the Hulk to thwart the Toad Men's invasion and thereby clear his name.
In an effort to control his transformations, Banner began using a Gamma Ray Projector to force transformations into the Hulk and Banner vice-versa; however, his Hulk persona was reluctant to transform back into Banner. After the Hulk was shot into space and passing through a radiation storm Rick Jones briefly found himself able to control him. They worked together to stop the Circus of Crime. Jones' control over the Hulk faded away. The Hulk's transformations were not limited to nightfall after this adventure.
The Hulk next foiled a hoax perpetrated by the Russian agent Boris Monguski (Mongu) aimed at trying to learn the secrets of the Hulk's strength, saved Betty from the underground ruler Tyrannus, and battled the Chinese General Fang. When Gamma Base was the subject to sabotage, the Hulk was blamed and the Fantastic Four were called in to deal with him. This led to the first of many clashes between the Hulk and the Fantastic Four's Thing. In the aftermath, the scientist Karl Kort was ultimately held responsible. Shortly thereafter, the Hulk prevented Metal Master from invading Earth.
Hulk, along with other heroes from different time periods, were then abducted by "Doctor Doom" from an alternate future where Ultron had successfully taken over the world. Doom asked the heroes to help him free the world from Ultron's control to which they complied. While Vision and Iron Man distracted the A.I. Avengers Hulk, alongside Black Widow and Captain America, infiltrated the Avengers Tower, but were ambushed by Ultron's Black Widow and her Bio-Slaves, and managed to decapitate the Hulk using Captain America's anti-gravity shield. Despite that, Hulk was able to survive that through Bruce's head emerging from the neck. Banner explained that he had done experiments to rid the Hulk from himself, which might have caused further mutations. Banner then reattached Hulk's head to his body and the two heads began fighting the reactivated Bio-Slaves. As Ultron's factories began shutting down thanks to the heroes' effort, Doom recalled them and revealed that he had taken over Ultron's system, becoming the new ruler of the world. He tried to send the heroes to their respective time, but Thor managed to evade that and hide within this timeline. Arriving to Asgardia Doom sent billions of Ultron Droness to attack them. They were hardly able to destroy one ship carrying the sentinels, as other ships arrived. Luckily, Iron Man managed to free the imprisoned Asgardians who then joined the battle. After that the heroes went to Doom who was revealed to have been a Doombot and was convinced by Vision to free the imprisoned humans and become their kindhearted leader. Afterwards, all of the heroes returned to their times.
The Sentry met the Hulk and found that somehow his powers soothed the Hulk's raging temper. They were partners for a time, battling the Sentry's eternal enemy, the Void. Eventually Sentry had to erase his existence from the minds of the world, and the Hulk forgot about his one-time partnership with the Sentry for many years.
The Hulk became a pawn of Loki, who tricked the Hulk into battling his half-brother, Thor. This plot was foiled, leading to the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp joining forces to form the Avengers and defeat Loki. The Hulk was a founding member of the group and together they clashed with Doctor Doom. The group's mistrust in him became apparent when they were manipulated by the Space Phantom, and coupled with Mephisto in the form of a snake speaking lies to him, prompted the Hulk to quit. The Avengers began hunting down their unpredictable former ally. The Hulk found an ally in the Sub-Mariner, and clashed with the heroes, Thor in particular, but the Hulk was defeated and disappeared in the water.
The Hulk soon resurfaced in New York City seeking revenge against the Avengers, clashing with them as well as the Fantastic Four, leading to a rematch with the Thing. The battle ended with Hulk being swept away in the New York harbor. The Hulk resurfaced back in New Mexico, where he was tricked by the Avengers into aiding them in preventing the Lava Men's attempt to eradicate human life on Earth's surface.
While hiding out in a cave near Hollywood, the Hulk was disturbed when the Green Goblin's plot to use the Enforcers to kill Spider-Man encroached into his hiding spot, leading to a brief clash between the Hulk and Spider-Man before the Hulk fled the scene. Later, the Hulk was manipulated into battling his former Avengers comrades, Giant-Man and the Wasp, by their enemy, the Human Top.
Back at Gamma Base
Banner continued his stint as a scientist at Gamma Base. Meanwhile, General Ross suspected Banner of being a spy and having some sort of connection with the Hulk. The base soon became the target of the Chameleon who had been hired to steal a new experimental robot tank designed by Banner. Banner's attempt to stop the spy was complicated by the arrival of Lt. Glenn Talbot, who shared General Ross' suspicions, at Gamma Base. When the military decided to move Banner and his tank to another base, the Chameleon's employer, the Leader, deployed his Humanoid to steal it. The Hulk battled the Humanoid and prevented it from stealing the device, but Banner himself was arrested by the military under suspicion of having something to do with this attempted theft. Banner remained a prisoner until Rick Jones revealed Banner's double identity to the President of the U.S., earning him a pardon.
Banner went to Astra Island with his new experimental Absorbatron device. The island was attacked by Leader's Humanoids, but Hulk defeated them. The battle ended with Banner being captured by Communist agents. Banner refused to work for the Communists and the Hulk freed himself and the other captured scientists. Thanks to the sacrifice of one of these scientists, the Hulk was able to fight his way out of Russia and ended up in Mongolia. There Banner was picked up by thief Kanga Khan, who attempted to hold Banner for ransom for safe return to America. Glenn Talbot, believing him to be a traitor, was sent to retrieve Banner, but the Hulk left Talbot behind and returned to the U.S., where Banner was arrested.
Banner was again pardoned by the President and was allowed to return to Astra Island for another test. The Leader's Humanoids attacked again, and the Hulk and the Absorbatron were once again captured. Banner used one of the Leader's devices to bring the army to the site. By the time they arrived, Hulk had sent the Leader fleeing. The military drove the Hulk back, only to find a seemingly dead Banner when they searched the site of the battle.
Rick Jones stole Banner's body and attempted to revive him in his lab. Another bombardment with the Gamma Ray Projector triggered a transformation into the Hulk, but for the first time ever, Banner's mind possessed the Hulk. This came at a cost: if the Hulk ever reverted to Banner, he would die due to a shrapnel fragment lodged in his brain. The Leader showed the power of the stolen Absorbatron to potential buyers by sending a gigantic Humanoid to attack Gamma Base. The Hulk and Rick Jones were knocked away from the battle when General Ross fired his new "Sunday Punch" missile destroying the giant Humanoid. When the Hulk and Rick sought refuge in one of Banner's secret labs the military followed them. Banner sent Rick out to hold up the military during an air strike. The Leader teleported the Hulk away, seeking to form an alliance with him. The military assumed that their assault had atomized the Hulk.
The Hulk refused to ally himself with the Leader. Realizing something was wrong, the Leader bombarded him with more gamma radiation and removed the shrapnel from his brain. He then sent the Hulk to the Watcher's home planet in order to steal the Ultimate Machine. There the Hulk clashed with the Amphibion, an alien who also sought the Ultimate Machine; after the Hulk had bested the Amphibion in combat, he was returned to Earth. The Leader took the Ultimate Machine from the Hulk and attempted to use the device. The Leader's plan backfired, as the machine seemingly killed him.
Learning that Rick Jones was a prisoner of the military for refusing to reveal the Hulk's true identity, the Hulk attempted to seek a Presidential pardon for his friend. In Washington, D.C., he was ironically attacked by the last weapon Banner had invented for the military: the T-Ray. The T-Ray transported the Hulk to the distant future of Earth-6676, a post-apocalyptic world ruled by King Arrkam. There, the Hulk battled his enforcer, the Executioner. Ultimately, the effects of the T-Ray wore off and the Hulk was returned to his native Earth-616.
Outed as the Hulk
Rick Jones, believing Banner dead, revealed the Hulk's true identity to General Ross and Glenn Talbot. Learning that the Hulk was alive and well, Talbot hounded the Hulk again with Banner's replacement, Konrad Zaxon. This prompted Rick to also tell Betty about Banner's double identity. Ultimately, the Hulk killed Zaxon for trying to use the Hulk as a battery for weapons he hoped to use to take over the Earth. The military chased after the Hulk, not knowing of Zaxon's true plans.
The Hulk, fleeing from Captain America, had a brief clash with Hercules. Then, the Hulk was used as a pawn by Tyrannus who was then at war with another underground dweller, the Mole Man, over the Fountain of Youth. Later, the Hulk was caught in the middle of the Secret Empire agent Boomerang's attempt to steal the new Orion missile, taking Betty as his prisoner. The Hulk managed to defeat Boomerang and then repeatedly battered him to an unrecognizable stoop saving Betty. The Hulk sought out the Avengers in New York, only to be hounded by the authorities. While in New York, the Hulk was hounded by Spider-Man who sought to capture him in an attempt to earn membership in the Avengers, a mission in which he would fail due to his sympathy for the Hulk.
Number One of the Empire attempted to use the Sub-Mariner to destroy the Hulk; however, this plot failed, and Number One accidentally blew himself up. A spy for the Empire sent the Orion Missile off its testing course to impact with New York City. Banner redirected the missile to explode harmlessly in the ocean. Getting into a battle with the Leader's Hulk-Killer android, the Hulk eventually short circuited the Hulk-Killer, although Rick Jones was injured in the fight. For his part in stopping the Orion Missile from destroying New York, the Hulk was hailed as a hero and received a full Presidential pardon; however, the media frenzy frightened the Hulk off. The Hulk was attacked by Boomerang, seeking a rematch, seemingly ending in Boomerang's death.
A Menace once more
The Stranger attempted to use the Hulk to wipe out most of humanity hoping that the survivors would build a better world before leaving for the stars. Not wishing to be a menace, Banner attempted to kill himself with a powerful burst of gamma radiation. Banner was arrested by Glenn Talbot and locked up, leaving the spy Emil Blonsky to be mutated into the Abomination. The Hulk battled the Abomination, whom the Stranger found more useful to his goals.
The Hulk attempted to force the Silver Surfer to take him into space. The Hulk was next captured by hunters in the employ of the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary attempted to advance Banner's evolution by ten million years to use him to keep his invading New Men at bay.
The Hulk was then tricked into helping the Lords of the Living Lightning capture Gamma Base. The Hulk turned against them for threatening Betty and put an end to their organization. In the aftermath the Hulk was once again believed to be dead. The Hulk fell under the control of the Puppet Master who had him attack Rick, estranging him and the Hulk for a time, and then sent him after the Sub-Mariner. Coincidentally, this was at a time after Namor had been exiled from Atlantis and was seeking an alliance with the Hulk. The clash between the two ended in a giant tsunami that ruined the Puppet Master's base and reverted the Hulk to Bruce Banner. Not recognizing the Hulk in his human form, the Sub-Mariner returned to the sea.
Loki once again attempted to use the Hulk as his pawn, transporting him to Asgard, leading to a clash with the Warriors Three, the Executioner, and an army of Trolls. Odin banished the Hulk into the deep reaches of space where he clashed with the Space Parasite.
Hunted by everyone
The Hulk was captured by the US military, now fully backed by his longtime ally, Rick Jones. Banner was targeted by the newly restored Rhino, who was seemingly killed in a fuel truck explosion. Briefly back in human form, Banner was shot by crooks, but he transformed back into the Hulk when being chased by police. The Hulk next battled the Missing Link, an irradiated prehistoric man sent to attack America by Chinese communists. The Link was seemingly destroyed in an explosion when it reached critical mass despite interference from Glenn Talbot, Nick Fury and his Russian counterpart Yuri Brevlov. During this battle, Rick Jones was injured by the Hulk and then taken in by Captain America to become the new Bucky.
Attracting the attention of the Mandarin, the Hulk was tested by the villain who hoped to work with him, but the Hulk rejected the offer, trashed the Mandarin's castle, and escaped. The Hulk accidentally freed the evil Inhumans led by Maximus, who attempted to overthrow Black Bolt's rule of Attilan. The Hulk wanted nothing to do with their rebellion and easily trounced them. Black Bolt offered the Hulk a place with the Inhumans, but after realizing that the other Inhumans feared him, the Hulk left the hidden land.
After a battle against Fin Fang Foom, the Hulk was dogged by the Chinese military. The Hulk hitched a ride on an experimental rocket which crashed in the Antarctic. Banner awoke in the Savage Land and got captured by the Swamp Men who attempted to sacrifice him until he was rescued by Ka-Zar. Hulk clashed with the alien robot Umbu the Unliving and destroyed it with Ka-Zar's help and saved the Earth. Banner suffered from exposure to Umbu's radiation. Having detected the destruction of Umbu, the Galaxy Master captured the dying Banner and revived him. The Hulk battled the Sagittarians on a distant world and the seemingly destroyed the Galaxy Master, freeing its slaves.
Many unhappy returns
The Mandarin sent the Sandman against the Hulk, resulting in the Sandman being fused into glass. The Hulk was once again captured by General Ross. With the Hulk in captivity, the Leader returned alive and well and offered his services to neutralize the threat of the Hulk once and for all. To this end he trapped the Hulk in a Plasticine prison. Betty freed the Hulk, but by then it was too late to stop the Leader from attempting to use the base's nuclear weapons to jump start World War III. Although Bruce Banner stopped most of the missiles, the Leader launched a second one, prompting Banner to become the Hulk again to stop it.
Rescued and restored to health by Lady Dorma, a rival for Namor's affections. The Sub-Mariner defeated the Hulk in underwater combat when Mistress Fara convinced the Sub-Mariner that Dorma was romancing another man. Washing up on the shores of Costa Salvador, Bruce Banner found that the island had been taken over by Maximus and his evil Inhumans. The Hulk clashed with them, and Maximus retreated. Fleeing to Florida, the Hulk ended up battling the Glob, a creature the Hulk would destroy before realizing it was much like him.
No happiness for Bruce Banner
Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four developed a cure for Banner's condition that worked to a degree. Banner gained the ability to transform into the Hulk at will while maintaining his intelligence. Vowing to never become the Hulk again, Banner proposed to Betty, who accepted. Sadly, the Leader recruited the Rhino and fired a gamma ray during Bruce and Betty's wedding, again causing Banner to turn into the Hulk. The Hulk clashed with the Rhino and the Leader, hospitalizing General Ross and destroying his home. The Hulk escaped, and Glenn Talbot vowed to Betty that he would destroy the Hulk.
Returning to the desert, the Hulk was sought out by the X-Men who were seeking one of Banner's inventions that could heal their injured leader, Professor X. Although they briefly clashed, Banner returned long enough to give the X-Men what they needed to save their leader.
Banner agreed to work with Glenn Talbot to try and stop a radioactive comet threatening Earth. This meteor turned out to be the Absorbing Man, whom the Hulk defeated. Banner's body was captured by a cult that sought to release their demonic masters, the Undying Ones. The Hulk was sent into the realm of the Night-Crawler along with Barbara Norriss. Doctor Strange came to the Hulk's aid to stop the Undying Ones. Barbara Norris sacrificed herself so that the two heroes could escape.
The Hulk once again became a pawn in the ongoing war between Tyrannus and the Mole Man. This time Tyrannus attempted to win the Hulk's cooperation by making him befriend his robot Mogol. When the Hulk learned that the creature was really a robot, he considered it a betrayal and destroyed him, and left Tyrannus' realm. Trying to get the surface, the Hulk nearly caused a massive earthquake by effecting fault lines on the west coast, leading to a clash with his old team, the Avengers. The Hulk was targeted by the Leader who revived the Glob and sent him after the Hulk in a plot that ultimately ended in failure.
Rick Jones sought out his old friend to find a way to separate himself from the Kree soldier Captain Marvel, but a student protest set Banner off, leading to a clash with Captain Marvel. Another former colleague, Dr. Raoul Stoddard, succeeded in splitting the Hulk from Banner, sending the Hulk on a rampage to destroy Banner. The Hulk fled the military and hid out in the slums of Los Angeles and befriended the young Jim Wilson while Banner, the military and Iron Man attempted to track down the Hulk in order to re-merge Banner and the Hulk. After again merging the Hulk with Banner, the military asked Jim Wilson to stay with them to keep the Hulk under control. Wilson was also targeted by the terrorist organization Hydra who also sought to control the Hulk. This plot ended in failure; however, Jim was seriously injured. Betty Ross suffered a nervous breakdown from the stress of dealing with Banner's double life as the Hulk.
Have Hulk, will travel
The Hulk ended up in the nation of Morvania and helped the resistance remove its dictator, Václav Draxon. Trapped in the future and seeking revenge against the Avengers, Kang the Conqueror sent the Hulk back in time to World War I to kill the Phantom Eagle. The Hulk foiled this plot and successfully returned to his own time.
The Hulk and the Abomination were enslaved by Xeron and traveled the stars to hunt down and kill the creature known as Klaatu. Although the Abomination attempted to kill the Banner/Hulk, the crew's captain Cybor seemingly slayed Klaatu. The Hulk and the Abomination clashed, sending them crashing back to Earth. The Hulk clashed with the Sandman, who tried to force a blood transfusion with Betty to stop himself from turning into glass. The defeated Sandman lost in a whirlpool, while Betty was transformed into glass as a result of the transfusion.
In the South American nation of San Diablo, the Hulk and the Silver Surfer were recruited by the Sub-Mariner into a group called the Titans Three to destroy a weather control device that threatened Earth. This led to a clash with the Avengers until the Sub-Mariner's scientist Ikthon could repair a flaw in the device. Confused, the Hulk fled the scene.
The Leader sought to exert the Hulk to the point where the monster would die of a heart attack. He created psycho projections and led him towards the hospital where Betty Ross was, threatening to shatter Betty's fragile glass form. Thanks to interference from Jim Wilson, the Leader's plot was foiled.
The Hulk was captured by the military with aid from Mister Fantastic and Charles Xavier; however, he was teleported away by the insectoid Psyklop. Psyklop sought to shrink the Hulk down in size and use him as a power source to bring his masters, the Dark Gods, to Earth. The Avengers interrupted, causing the Hulk to shrink out of sight and get transported to the Microverse world of K'ai. On K'ai, the Banner persona was restored, and the Hulk joined a rebellion led by Jarella against the evil warlord Visis. The Hulk and Jarella formed a relationship and they were prepared to wed when Psyklop found the Hulk and brought him back to Earth. With his savage state restored, Psyklop's base was smashed and the Hulk escaped.
With vague memories of his adventure on K'ai, Banner was taken back to the military when psychiatrist Leonard Samson came up with a dual solution for curing Banner and restoring Betty to human form. Samson was successful in this; however, he used the siphoned gamma radiation to mutate himself into a gamma spawned Adonis. Samson romanced Betty Ross, making Banner so jealous that he purposely bombarded himself with gamma radiation and again became the Hulk to fight Doc Samson. When Betty vocalized concern for Samson over the Hulk, the Hulk fled the scene.
The Hulk became the new pet project of the Parrington family. The Hulk was targeted by the Enchantress, who turned the Parringtons' daughter Samantha into a host for Valkyrie to battle the Hulk. The plot ended in failure and Samantha reverted to normal. His next rampage through New York made Banner the subject of a military manhunt. He was rescued by Doctor Doom, who smuggled Banner into Latveria in order to exploit his brilliant mind and then sent the Hulk out with a bomb in order to annex neighboring countries into Latveria. This was opposed by Doom's childhood love Valeria, and led to a battle between Doom and the Hulk. The Hulk fled when he realized Valeria could have been harmed if the fight continued.
Doctor Strange recruited the Hulk, the Sub-Mariner, and the Silver Surfer to stop Yandroth from setting his Omegatron to destroy Earth. They formed a loose knit team of heroes known as the Defenders. The Hulk answered a call from the Avengers to help to stop Ares and the Enchantress from fulfilling a prophecy that would have given him mastery over the entire world. The Hulk later ended up in Egypt, where he was talked into taking a part in a movie being filmed there. Banner was fired from the movie set and was caught in the middle of the Horusians God-Spawn battle, destroying their champion, the Colossus.
The US military-built Project: Greenskin, aka Hulkbuster Base, as a specialized facility to capture the Hulk. Upon its construction, General Ross was replaced with a robot by the Leader. The Leader was disguised as Glenn Talbot in the hopes of not only destroying the Hulk but replacing the President and Vice President with robot duplicates. The Hulk foiled the Leader's plot, and in the aftermath of the battle, Doc Samson lost his powers. The Hulk fled into the desert, briefly encountering a mirage city that would vanish as quickly as it appeared.
The Hulk was again captured by the military and cured by Peter Corbeau. Jarella transported herself to Earth to seek the Hulk. She was followed by an assassin sent by Lord Visis. To save her, Banner re-exposed himself to gamma radiation and again became the Hulk. When it was determined that Jarella's presence on Earth risked the planet's destruction, Jarella willingly returned to K'ai. Sedated at Project: Greenskin, the Hulk battled the High Evolutionary's exiled New Man, the Inheritor, when the creature came seeking radiation to prolong its evolved state. When the Hulk came across Lorna Dane, he confused her for Jarella and captured her. Lorna was saved by her fellow X-Man, Havok. Betty heard Bruce calling out for Jarella, prompting her to begin a romance with Glenn Talbot.
Banner sought out Henry Pym in Washington D.C. to find a means to shrink small enough to return to Jarella's world. There, Banner learned Pym's talk had been canceled; this enraged him so much that he transformed into the Hulk, who went on a rampage. The Hulk ultimately saved Washington from Senator Morton Clegstead who, while trying to find a cure for cancer via gamma radiation, had mutated into a massive pile of ooze. Returning to the Nevada desert, the Hulk was captured by Project: Greenskin and S.H.I.E.L.D. Banner was put on trial for the Hulk's rampage in Washington, D.C. Lawyer Matt Murdock (secretly Daredevil) represented Banner. It seemed likely that the Hulk would be sentenced to death until Reed Richards offered to try and cure Banner with his Nega-Gamma Gun; however, this only strengthened the Hulk further, allowing him to escape.
The Hulk broke into Pym's lab and consumed one of his shrinking formulas. This caused him to shrink to miniature size, and he was captured by the Chameleon, who was then working for Hydra. The Hulk attempted to escape Hydra's clutches with the help of Ant-Man; however. the unstable formula shrank him down to the Microverse. As he shrank down to size, he ruined the fantasy world created by the Shaper of Worlds for the former Nazi Kronsteig. Finally reaching Jarella's world, the Hulk, with Banner's intellect restored, again helped Jarella overthrow Visis. Pym's formula then wore off, sending him back to Earth.
The Hulk was reunited with his fellow Defenders fighting Dormammu in Rutland, Vermont, stopping Xemu the Titan's attempt to change children into members of his long dead race, and lastly foiling a plot by Necrodamus to sacrifice the Sub-Mariner in order to free the Undying Ones.
The Hulk was reunited with Jim Wilson, after which he learned of Betty's coming marriage to Glenn Talbot. He was forced to battle a Leader-controlled Rhino. The Rhino and the Hulk were launched into space and ended up on the High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth, where they were embroiled in a battle between the New Men. During this adventure the Hulk met Counter-Earth's Bruce Banner, who was married to Betty Ross and had a son, Bruce Jr. The conflict ended with the Hulk and the Rhino being shot back to their own Earth. With their ship blasted out of the sky en route to Earth, General Ross forced the Abomination to go out and keep the Hulk away from Betty and Glenn's wedding. The Abomination lost the fight, but he succeeded in his task. Learning that Betty was heading to Niagara Falls, he pursued her.
The Hulk got sidetracked when he was recruited by Doctor Strange to rejoin the Defenders in searching for the Silver Surfer, clashing with Calizuma. The group ended up in the realm of the Undying One, battling their leader the Nameless One and rescuing Barbara Norris. They next clashed with the Enchantress and Executioner, ending with Barbara being revived as the Valkyrie. The Defenders were then called to clash with the Omegatron, which, with the Valkyrie's aid, they destroyed.
Birth of the She-Hulk
One day Banner went to visit his beloved cousin, Jennifer Walters, who had become a Los Angeles-based lawyer. At that time Walters had been defending a hood named Lou Monkton, whom gangster Nicholas Trask had framed for murder. While Walters drove Banner to her home, one of Trask's henchmen shot her. To save his cousin's life, Banner improvised an emergency blood transfusion. The transfusion of Banner's blood mutated Walters, causing her to become the She-Hulk.
Separated From the Hulk
Leonard Samson captured the Hulk and succeeded in separating Banner's psyche and atomic structure from the larger atomic structure of the Hulk. The Hulk's body, with all personality and memory removed, was inert until Samson stimulated the brain within the body. This new incarnation of the Hulk escaped and became a greater menace than ever before.
Banner became leader of a new Hulkbusters task force which he headed from Gamma Base. Banner finally married Betty Ross, believing himself free of the curse of the Hulk. During the honeymoon, Bruce became gravely ill and was hospitalized. Due to his separation from the Hulk, Bruce's body began to lose molecular cohesion. The Hulk's body soon followed suit and he was defeated by the Avengers. With the aid of the synthezoid known as the Vision, Bruce was re-merged with the Hulk. The original Hulk persona assumed control of the body; however, the reintegration was unstable, and an attempt to stabilize, and possibly cure, Bruce in a nutrient tank resulted in the Hulk returning to his original gray incarnation who only manifested at night.
Rick Jones absorbed the excess gamma radiation and became a light green Hulk-like creature when he was pushed into the nutrient bath by General Ross, who was attempting to sabotage the experiment and kill the Hulk. Bruce reasoned the best way to cure Rick was to use the machine from the Hulk's Cave to change himself into the Hulk. Little did he know that this was a subliminal suggestion placed by the Hulk himself, who, once free, smashed the machine to avoid turning back into Banner. Complicating matters, the Leader arrived, having followed the Hulk in hopes of regaining his faded intellect. When he found the machine destroyed, the Leader made a deal with the now-smarter Hulk to transfer Rick Jones' gamma radiation into himself. Shortly after, a dishonored Thaddeus Ross managed to take control of the energy creature Zzzax. Ross and Jones were defeated and the radiation energy was transferred from Jones to Sterns which caused an explosion in the lab leading to the Leader's supposed death.
Little did either the Hulk nor Banner know that the Leader had survived and sent the vampiric Half-Life after him. The Hulk tore off Half-Life's limbs close to daybreak before the villain could pull himself together.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. Council decided they had enough Gamma bombs so that Banner was no longer required and ordered Agent Quartermain to murder him. The mutant bounty hunters X-Factor managed to locate the Hulk and freeze him in place before placing a call to S.H.I.E.L.D. After transporting the Hulk back to Gamma Base, Quartermain went against the orders of the Council before blowing up several large explosive charges that wiped out Gamma Base. Quartermain took Banner and Rick Jones away from S.H.I.E.L.D. While on the way to the government stash of gamma bombs, Betty Banner was released from the Leader's captivity to help stall them. She revealed that she was pregnant with Banner's child. The Hulk decided to keep Betty safe, despite her being Bruce Banner's wife, not his. The quartet made their way to the government facility, but they found out -- too late -- that the Leader's henchmen Rock and Redeemer had already taken a gamma bomb. When the Leader detonated the gamma bomb in Middletown with the Hulk at ground zero, the Hulk was assumed to be dead.
In reality, the Hulk had been transported to Jarella's world moments before the detonation. There, the Hulk helped a group of minor wizards to overthrow the "Grand Inquisitor" in return for a spell which was promised to rid him of Bruce Banner for good.
When the Hulk returned to Earth, he took a job as an enforcer at a casino. Calling himself Mr. Fixit, the Hulk spent several months without reverting to human form. It was during this time that he met and dated Marlo Chandler, who would one day marry Rick Jones. Banner eventually returned and the Hulk's life as Mr. Fixit soon came to an end through the machinations of the Maggia.
Banner found Betty working in a convent when he was attacked by Prometheus, an agent of a team called the Pantheon. The stress and anger of being unable to get to Betty caused the Savage Hulk persona to resurface and sent Bruce's psyche into turmoil. The Grey Hulk managed to keep the Green behind a mental door, but knew that since he had been unleashed once, it was only a matter of time before the Savage Hulk would take over.
When the Hulk was needed to fight the Super Skrull, the Grey Hulk convinced Banner to bring him out instead of the Savage Hulk. The Gray Hulk managed to outsmart the Super Skrull and managed to save Betty. Inside Banner's mind, the Gray Hulk and the Green Hulk were fighting for dominance. Through hypnosis, Samson created the green intelligent "Merged" Hulk - an integration of Banner's separate personalities.
This incarnation of the Hulk joined the Pantheon. The Pantheon were led by Agamemnon, an immortal offspring of an Asgardian and a human. Unknown at the time was that centuries earlier, Agamemnon had offered any of his offspring to the alien Troyjans in exchange for the ability to pass his godhood down to his descendants.
As a favor to their friend Jim Wilson, the Hulk and Rick agreed to help out at an AIDS benefit concert with Rick headlining and Hulk providing security. The concert was disrupted by the drug-addicted assassin Speedfreek, who was sent to kill one of the concert attendees. Jim was stabbed defending the man, and the Hulk got rid of Speedfreek before he could kill anybody.
During one of his missions with the Pantheon, the Hulk fought alongside a rebel force in Trans-Sabal against both S.H.I.E.L.D. issue Mandroids and the government mutant team X-Factor. Tran-Sabal's dictator, Farnoq Dahn, had promised the US government energy assistance if they helped him keep his place as unchallenged ruler. He was exposed as a psycho when he tried to win the war by tying a mother and child to two separate missiles and threatened to launch them if the Pantheon did not withdraw. The Hulk and X-Factor, working together, stopped him. The tyrant was forced to face his people for the crimes he had committed, but most of them still saw him as a god and bowed at his feet. He was then shot and killed by a traumatized Rick Jones.
Pantheon member Atalanta was shot down in the Himalayas by the Troyjan warrior Trauma, so the Hulk, Ulysses, and Hector were sent to find her. Trauma found Atalanta and confessed his love to her before the Hulk showed up and brought down an avalanche on top of him.
During this time Marlo was killed by a woman posing as Rick's mother. Because the Leader shared a mental bond with Rick, he offered to bring her back to life. The Leader attacked the Pantheon's headquarters, The Mount, using both his gamma soldiers and the U-Foes to distract the Hulk so that he could ask Agamemnon for help against Hydra. Agamemnon agreed to help, and the Hulk left in anger. Agamemnon betrayed the Leader by sending the Hulk to Freehold in order to kill him. The Hulk crashed into Freehold during the middle of the Hydra invasion and when the Leader was trying to resurrect Marlo. Overcome with anger, the Hulk ignored Rick's pleas to stop and destroyed the machine because he thought that the Leader was lying and taking advantage of his grieving friend. The Leader was seemingly killed in the battle. The Hulk knocked the helmet off of Redeemer, saw the resurrected General Ross, and realized his mistake.
When Agamemnon felt it was time to venture out into the world to reconnect with the common people, he appointed the Hulk as his replacement. On his first mission as leader, he traveled to the Amazon to investigate a new company that was cutting down the rainforest. There, he was jumped by the Juggernaut, who was working as an enforcer for the New World Order (NWO), and their leader the Red Skull. The Hulk was captured and brainwashed into fighting the Avengers, believing that the Juggernaut was Banner's own abusive father. The Hulk was able to shake off the mind control when the Juggernaut praised him, and he realized that Banner's real father would never have shown such kindness. The psychic backlash released the creature Piecemeal from his holding container.
The Hulk began showing signs of instability when he began referring to himself as "Hulk" or "the Hulk" instead of "Bruce." As a favor to a former Pantheon member Perseus, the Hulk traveled to Loch Ness to investigate reports of a monster in the lake, which turned out to be Piecemeal. The Hulk was about to defeat him when the Madman interfered. After Perseus was killed, the Hulk killed Piecemeal and appeared to kill the Madman, but no body was found. Using his new power as leader of the Pantheon, the Hulk led a strike against a maximum-security prison to free an ex-girlfriend who had been falsely imprisoned.
Trauma returned and kidnapped Atalanta to make her his bride. With the help of the Silver Surfer and the Starjammers, the Hulk and the Pantheon attacked the Troyjan home world. Upon arriving they were all shocked when Trauma's father, the Troyjan leader, Lord Armageddon, told them the truth about Agamemnon. If they tried to take Atalanta back, then the Troyjans would take back the extended lives of the entire Pantheon. The Hulk, not caring about the deal, attacked Trauma, accidentally impaling Trauma on his own shoulder spike. With his last words, Trauma pardoned the Pantheon and asked his father to let them all leave in peace.
- You don't know what lies ahead for you. I do. Listen to me, Bruce... they're going to take it all away. You're going to end up with nothing and no one. Why go back to that... when you can stay here and have everything
The Hulk was taken into the future by Rick Jones' granddaughter Janis to fight his future self, Maestro. Maestro was a tyrant who had killed all the heroes and villains on earth and named himself emperor of the post-apocalyptic world. He had the intelligence of Banner and was twice as strong as the Hulk, their first fight ending with the Maestro breaking the Hulk's neck and keeping him prisoner for the next few days as his wound healed. After the Hulk confirmed that he couldn't defeat his future self in a straight fight, Maestro was killed when the Hulk sent him back in time to ground zero at the moment the gamma bomb that created him had gone off, having determined that only a ground-zero nuclear blast would be enough to kill him. After killing Maestro, the Hulk was sent back to the present, haunted by the thought of losing control and becoming Maestro.
Betty moves in
Soon after this, Rick and Marlo were married. At the wedding Betty told the Hulk that she wanted to move into the Mount to be with him. After the wedding, the Hulk was attacked by the disgraced Skrull warrior Talos the Tamed. In an effort to gain back some honor, Talos wanted to be killed by Earth's strongest warrior. The Hulk refused to fight because of how well his relationship with Betty was going and he did not want to risk losing his temper again. Later, the Hulk received news that his old partner Jim Wilson was at an AIDS protest that was getting out of control. He took him back to the Mount to give him treatment, but despite the advanced technology, Jim still died.
Trial of Agamemnon
Having discovered the truth about Agamemnon, the Hulk and the rest of the Pantheon made him stand trial. Agamemnon resurrected all of the dead Pantheon warriors to kill everyone in the Mount. Agamemnon tried to escape, but he was instead killed by Atalanta, which brought an end to the undead warriors. Achilles, still loyal to Agamemnon, tried killing teammate Ulysses, but the bullet ricocheted and hit Betty. The Hulk became so angry that he reverted to Bruce Banner's body with the Hulk's brain, apparently the result of a psychic failsafe he had created during the initial merging of his personas to prevent the return of the Savage Hulk. Even in his human form he gave off enough gamma radiation to make Achilles vulnerable, and Ulysses killed him.
Betty's death and resurrection
The Pantheon fled their former base, and the still mindless Bruce was taken into custody and temporarily placed in the care of Doc Samson while Betty was treated for the bullet wound. Nick Fury took Banner into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody because he was a fugitive. During Bruce's transport, Betty died, and her soul was given the chance to go to heaven. First, she wanted to visit Bruce to see if he still loved her. He calmed down when he saw her and was able to transform and escape. After seeing how important she was to him Betty decided to live and returned to her body. The Hulk visited the destroyed Mount and saw a hologram set up by Paris, telling him that he was now the leader of the Pantheon and that the Hulk had been fired from it.
Living in Florida
Living under the last name Danner, the Hulk and Betty moved to a small town in Florida. To hide his green skin, the Hulk wore bandages all over his body and claimed to be a burn victim. Soon after their move a child was killed by a gigantic shadowy figure, and the Hulk was suspected of the crime because of his size. Upon investigation, the Hulk found out that the true killer was a deranged old man living in the everglades with the Man-Thing, and rescued a child. A few days later the Hulk and Betty offered their help to a young pregnant homeless girl. While at the clinic protesters attacked, and the girl was shot and killed. The Hulk offered the girl's father his help in bringing her killer to justice. They learned the killer was just a kid who had accidentally shot her when someone pushed him. The father revealed himself to be Speedfreek and tried to kill the kid. The Hulk hurled a car battery at Speedfreek, which covered him in battery acid, burning most of the skin off his face and causing him to flee.
The Hulk learned that the Abomination was fighting cops in the sewers of New York and decided that it was his problem. The homeless were being cleared out because the police commissioner was working for a drug lord who needed the sewers for new drug routes. While the Hulk confronted the Abomination, the cops used the opportunity to clear out the homeless by killing almost all of them. The Abomination snapped and started killing all the cops, then took his battle with the Hulk to the surface. They crashed through the Daily Bugle before the Abomination jumped onto a news copter and crashed it. He used the opportunity to escape while the Hulk was distracted.
Ghosts of the future
An army squad led by Matt Talbot captured Betty. After the Hulk saw Matt shoot Betty in both legs, he went so far over the edge that he reverted to his Banner form, and Banner was taken into custody. During a jailbreak Bruce, still with the mind of the Hulk, ran towards a grenade and nearly died when it went off. He was able to transform into the Hulk before he could be killed, but a shrapnel fragment was left in his brain, extremely hindering his intelligence.
Seeking a device to remove the shrapnel, the Hulk traveled to the Leader's Freehold. With the Leader dead, the hidden arctic sanctuary Freehold had been placed in the care of Omnibus. Omnibus believed that there would eventually be a nuclear war that would kill everyone on Earth, so he decided to speed it up by ordering terrorist attacks across the world to cause strain on global relations. He had also mentally controlled many high-ranking government officials including Talbot which explained his insane behavior. Jailbait overheard Omnibus' plan and exposed him to the people of Freehold and he was sentenced to death. The Hulk decided that the best way to save the world would be to pose as Maestro and claim to be the man behind the terrorist attacks. A psychotic Thor was sent to defeat him. It was a close battle until an atom bomb was dropped on top of them. The Hulk was believed dead by most of the world, but he had actually used a hidden Pantheon base to survive.
Traveling through Alaska, the Hulk ran into Janis and took her to an unused Pantheon, He was then mentally ordered by Onslaught to find and kill Cable. Cable and Storm were able to free the Hulk from Onslaught's control, and they joined the rest of the heroes in New York for the battle against Onslaught. The Hulk and Banner were separated after he destroyed Onslaught's body. Banner was among the heroes who sacrificed themselves to destroy Onslaught, and the Savage Hulk was again unleashed on the world. Banner was seemingly killed when Onslaught was destroyed, but like all the other heroes who had seemingly sacrificed their lives, Banner had actually been transported to the Counter-Earth pocket dimension created by Franklin Richards.
In this new pocket-universe, Banner and the new heroes were reborn. He lived a new life where he had gone to State University with Reed Richards, Victor von Doom, Tony Stark, and Henry Pym. Along with Tony's friend Conner "Rebel" O'Reilly they formed the Atomic Knights of the Round Table. Banner worked with them on an exosuit project; however, none of them could decide how to use it. Banner shifted his focus to gamma radiation research instead. After university, he began working for Stark Industries.
Stark Industries became a target of the terrorist organization, Hydra, secretly funded by Victor von Doom. At the time Banner was creating a gamma bomb for the military which Hydra set off with Banner inside. The resulting explosion mutated Banner into a new incarnation of the Hulk. He clashed with Stark in his new persona as Iron Man. The Hulk escaped and was later manipulated by Loki to attack the newly formed Avengers at their Avengers Island headquarters. The battle injured many of their members, decimated their base, and caused a breach in its power supply, the powerful gamma core. The Hulk aided the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the Avengers in containing the breach and saving the eastern United States from destruction.
The Hulk and his cousin, Jennifer Walters, sought the aid of Leonard Samson to find a means to stabilize the Hulk's mutation. Samson, also mutated by gamma rays, received a blood transfusion to stabilize his mutation, and Jennifer impulsively took a transfusion as well mutating herself into the She-Hulk. They joined together as the Hulkbusters and offered their services to Tony Stark.
The Hulk aided the world's heroes in stopping Galactus. The Hulk also aided the world's heroes when the Counter-Earth dimension was briefly merged with a universe from a distant cosmos (designated Earth-50) to create Earth-13031 and prevented an invasion from the Skrulls and the Negative Zone before the proper status quo was restored.
Back on Earth
While Bruce Banner was reborn into a new life on Counter-Earth, the Savage Hulk, again freed from Banner, still existed independently on Earth. The Hulk's body began giving off radiation equivalent to a nuclear bomb. The army found that anything that came within five feet of him would be melted by radiation. Betty showed up and the Hulk broke free. Moments later Jason the Renegade stepped from the shadows and shot the Hulk with a Pantheon gun which caused the soldiers to panic and begin shooting. The Hulk laughed off the bullets and escaped with Janis, leaving Betty in tears.
The Pantheon had become a democracy and had outvoted Paris to bring the Hulk back into the group. Paris approached Henry Gyrich with a proposition to take down the Hulk for good. The Pantheon attacked Janis and appeared to kill the Hulk, but what he really destroyed was actually nothing more than a mindless cloned body the Pantheon had created. The Hulk destroyed their ship and headed towards Washington, D.C., with Janis, where she told the military that the Hulk would not run any longer. If they attacked him, then he would attack a major city in retaliation.
While he was traveling through the Midwest, the Hulk and Janis were attacked by the Thunderbolts, whom he easily defeated. He then destroyed a dam to fulfill his promise of retaliation. The Hulk began having chest pains that would force him to keel over in pain, although at the same time he was physically becoming more powerful. Doctor Strange found that because of his split from Banner, excess energy from an alternate universe was channeling through him that could destroy the universe.
Under extreme emotional stress, the Hulk returned to the Gamma Base where he had been created. He was ambushed by the newest person placed in charge of capturing the Hulk, Colonel Cary St. Lawrence. The Hulk considered this the ultimate invasion of privacy because he considered the Gamma Base "his place." He was about to kill her when he had the idea to take over an island in the Florida Keys which he renamed Hulk Island. He saved the inhabitants from a hurricane, and they grew to respect him.
A few days after the hurricane, Janis showed up with an alternate incarnation of the Hulk who had come to Earth when the Hulk was teleported away by Doctor Strange. He offered his help to the Hulk, but the shrapnel in his brain was making him angry at everything; thus, he fought him until he was taken back to his own time.
Horseman of Apocalypse
The Hulk was manipulated by Apocalypse into becoming one of his Horsemen. The Hulk agreed to serve Apocalypse if he would remove the shrapnel from the Hulk's brain. As War, he battled the Absorbing Man and the Juggernaut, but they had been sent by the NWO with Rick and Janis Jones to stop this new incarnation of the Hulk, who was using the power of the Celestials. He nearly killed the Absorbing Man and the Juggernaut, but Rick jumped in and the Hulk swung at him. Seeing the crippled body of his best friend caused the Hulk to break free of the mind control and flee in shame.
The alien Mercy sensed the Hulk's desire for death and sent him on a path to fight Mr. Hyde, but the Hulk wanted a good death and refused to be killed by what he considered an unworthy foe. Wanting to help put the Hulk out of his misery, Mercy sent him to one of his deadliest enemies, the Abomination. Sulking through New York, the Hulk found the Abomination, but because of all the damage done to his own brain, he hallucinated that he was in the Abomination's place and began letting out all his built-up rage from the last few months on him.
By this point, the Celestials had come to judge which universe would live and which one would die: Universe-616 or Franklin Richards' Counter-Earth pocket dimension. They sent their agent Ashema to Earth to show Franklin Richards his handiwork and force him to choose between one world and another.
At this point, the Hulk on Earth-616 was on a rampage through New York City, bringing Doc Samson, Hercules, Spider-Man, and the Thunderbolts together to try and stop him. Meanwhile on Counter-Earth, the Banner-Hulk was on rampage through New York City as well clashing with the Thing and Thor. Doctor Strange found a link between the trans-dimensional energies coming from the Hulk's body and from Franklin Richards' mysterious blue ball. Bringing the ball into close proximity to the Hulk caused both him and Spider-Man to be transported to Counter-Earth; there, the two Hulks clashed, attracting the attention of the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Doctor Doom. It was decided that to save both realities from destruction, all the Earth-616 heroes would have to return to their native world. Both the Hulk and Banner were brought back with them. When they breached the gulf between both worlds, the Hulk and Banner were merged back together again.
After finally being reunited with Banner, the Hulk was transported to the site of his birth, the gamma bomb test site. The strain on his body was slowly killing him, and he was giving off massive amounts of radiation that were sufficient enough for the Maestro to absorb and return to life. Maestro was taken by trolls to be the newest mind to inhabit the Destroyer.
Bruce and General Ross were attacked by the Destroyer and his troll minions. During the battle the Destroyer stepped in a pool of the Hulk's blood. It recognized that the Hulk and Maestro were the same being and drew the Hulk's mind inside of it. The Hulk was able to outsmart Maestro and crush him under a rockslide. Bruce was brought back to Gamma Base, where he established some kind of control over the Hulk, started rebuilding his life with Betty, and made peace with her father, General Ross.
Later, the Troyjans attacked and Bruce and agreed to meet with their leader, Lord Armageddon. After seeing Bruce leave with the aliens, the press believed that he had heroically sacrificed himself to save the president's daughter. Armageddon wanted the Hulk's help in resurrecting his son Trauma with the device the Leader had previously used to bring Marlo back to life. The device needed a very large gamma power source in order to work and he planned on sacrificing the Hulk to do it. Bruce refused, but the Hulk agreed and stepped into the machine. During the process, however, the Hulk gave off too much radiation and incinerated Trauma's body. Armageddon agreed to live in peace out of fear of punishment from the Silver Surfer, but after the Hulk left, he leveled Freehold and killed everyone living there, including the gamma beings Jailbait and Hotshot. Bruce was given a secret pardon for his crimes as the Hulk for saving the president's daughter.
Death of Betty Banner
Just when everything started going right with the Hulk, Betty nearly died due to gamma radiation poisoning that resulted from her time with the Hulk. Bruce was able to find a cure using his blood in a transfusion. But then she was pushed over the edge by the transfusion when the Abomination secretly switched it with his blood instead as revenge. Bruce went insane and tried to kill himself seconds after Betty was pronounced dead. Doc Samson stopped Banner, but he later transformed into the Hulk and escaped from Gamma Base. Banner began coming up with elaborate scenarios to kill himself, but he would always transform into the Hulk seconds before death.
With Betty dead and Bruce believed to have killed her, General Ross again started to hunt the Hulk. Bruce figured out the truth behind Betty's death when he went to the homeworld of the Watcher and was given infinite knowledge. He returned to Earth to get revenge on the Abomination, but he let him go. Confronting General Ross, Banner told him that they were both to blame for Betty's death.
Due to the deteriorating effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the chaos ravaging his mindscape, Banner struck a deal with the Hulk's three dominant personalities--the Green Hulk, the Gray "Joe Fixit" Hulk and the "Professor" Hulk--essentially to time-share their existence in return for stabilizing his fractured psyche and providing him with release from his disease. Despite the intervention of General John Ryker, Bruce was able to retain control until the Leader provided the means to cure Bruce, using genetic samples taken from the corpse of Brian Banner and added to the Hulk's DNA by Ant-Man. The transformation back into Bruce Banner triggered a catalytic reaction that repaired the damage to Bruce's cellular structure and cured the disease.
The original Defenders, including the Hulk, re-formed when Yandroth surfaced again to menace the world. Though the heroes defeated his plan, Yandroth used his sorcery to levy a deathbed curse upon their heads, binding them to come together in times of crisis. The curse magnified the egos of the cursed quartet until they became mentally unstable. They became the Order, seeking to end all threats to the Earth by taking control of it. Other heroes fought them, and the energies unleashed by the battle were harnessed to resurrect and further empower Yandroth. Coming to their senses, the Defenders stopped fighting and Yandroth was reduced back to his human form, defeated, and imprisoned.
Banner sought refuge and peace in Alaska, where he lived as a hermit loosely connected to the town community. He was eventually tracked down by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D., who required his help in defeating the Hydra space weapon called the Godseye, which could detonate all the nuclear bombs in the world. Sent up as the Hulk, he discovered that the Godseye was actually a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. weapon that could match the strength of any enemy. In the ensuing battle, the Godseye found that though it could try, it could not match the increasing power of the Hulk, since it was unable to duplicate Banner's unique ability to channel gamma energy even if it could duplicate the energy itself, and it exploded.
A S.H.I.E.L.D.-commissioned space shuttle was sent to retrieve the Hulk, or so he believed. Seizing the opportunity to be rid of the Hulk, a group of super heroes known as the Illuminati decided to jettison the shuttle into space to a planet with no intelligent lifeforms. Unfortunately, there was a navigation error, and the Hulk landed on the planet Sakaar, a world filled with barbarian tribes, gladiator battles and ruled by a corrupt empire. The planet was situated near a portal, which gave it access to several different cultures and technologies. The Hulk was captured and became a gladiator. The Hulk subsequently ushered an uprising, overthrowing the current regime.
Installing himself as king, the Hulk met and fell in love with a queen named Caiera Oldstrong. Together, they ushered in a new age of peace and prosperity for Sakaar. Caiera became pregnant with the Hulk's child but died when the shuttle that brought the Hulk to Sakaar suddenly exploded, killing millions of people. Driven to new heights of rage and fury, the Hulk swore revenge against the Illuminati, whom he held responsible for the death of Caiera Oldstrong. With his allies, the Warbound, the Hulk rode atop the prow of an alien warship as it set course for Earth.
World War Hulk
Reaching the moon, the Hulk defeated the Illuminati member Black Bolt -- who was actually a Skrull impersonating Black Bolt -- not the real one. The Hulk then proceeded to New York City, where he demanded that the city be evacuated and the presence of the Illuminati. As the time limit for the evacuation of New York had passed, the Hulk defeated Iron Man, and Avengers Tower was destroyed in the process.
The heroes engaged the Hulk and his Warbound, but were defeated. After the Hulk became allied with Hercules, Namora, and the Angel, General "Thunderbolt" Ross called in the U.S. Army to dispatch the Hulk. Despite the army's best efforts, including the use of adamantium bullets, the Hulk instead defeated them. Alongside his Warbound, he transformed an area near Madison Square Garden into a gladiatorial arena.
Doctor Strange, mystically invoking a powerful old enemy, Zom, battled the Hulk. Barely holding back, the demon Zom, Doctor Strange began to exhibit some of the demon's own traits. Strange sent the Hulk crashing into a building that crumbled upon him and the innocent bystanders who had gathered to watch the fight. The Hulk had protected the innocent bystanders. Distraught by his actions almost killing innocents, Doctor Strange stopped fighting, and, uncaring, the Hulk gave Strange a lesson on control and pummeled him into the ground.
After implanting "obedience disks" in all of the captured heroes, the Hulk set Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man into the arena. The Hulk had them fight each other. In the end the Hulk spared them, declaring he intended justice and not murder. The Hulk planned to destroy New York City and leave the Illuminati to their shame. Soon, a nearly insane Sentry arrived on the scene and a cataclysmic battle ensued between him and the Hulk. Sentry unleashed forces that nearly destroyed what was left of New York, but ultimately, it was a stalemate between the two. The Hulk then briefly reverted to Bruce Banner, and the Sentry reverted to Bob Reynolds. In their human forms, Bruce Banner was able to knock out Bob Reynolds.
Warbound member Miek impaled the Hulk's longtime friend Rick Jones and revealed that he had intentionally allowed the mass deaths on Sakaar to happen, knowing they were caused by former followers of the Red King and not the Illuminati. The Hulk and the Brood No-Name attacked Miek in retaliation. Betrayed and enraged, the Hulk unwillingly began releasing energy that threatened the Eastern Seaboard and prompted Tony Stark to activate a series of satellite devices that opened fire and eventually left the Hulk in his Bruce Banner form, whom the devices rendered unconscious. S.H.I.E.L.D. imprisoned Banner in a facility three miles underground, and the other Warbound members were placed under U.S. custody.
Red Hulk incident
While Banner was incarcerated at Gamma Base, a new mystery revealed itself when the Abomination was found murdered in his homeland of Russia. The perpetrator soon revealed himself as a massive creature referring to itself as the Red Hulk. This new incarnation of the Hulk decimated the likes of the She-Hulk, Iron Man, Rick Jones in his new powered-up identity of a creature named A-Bomb, and even Thor.
Banner was set free when the clash between the Red Hulk and A-Bomb caused an earthquake that damaged his prison. The potential threat to Banner's life triggered his transformation into the original green Hulk, and he wasted no time in confronting his new nemesis. The Hulk, caught unprepared for the Red Hulk's fighting style, was defeated in their first meeting and suffered a broken arm in the process, but the outcome was much different during their second meeting where the Hulk found a potential weakness in the Red Hulk and exploited it. Once the Red Hulk was beaten, the Hulk left without finding out the Red Hulk's true identity; however, Banner began spending his time trying to track down the Red Hulk before he could do more damage. On his journey, Banner ended up in Las Vegas where the Hulk had to team up with Sentry, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and even Brother Voodoo to quell a pack of Wendigo from devouring everyone inside a casino.
Meanwhile, on Sakaar, the Hulk's thought-dead son, Skaar, had risen. Skaar was progeny of Hulk and Caiera the Oldstrong. After Caiera's death a cocoon containing Skaar fell into the lake of fire. After a period of time, Skaar emerged from the cocoon, appearing to be the age equivalent to a human preteen. He quickly grew into what seemed to be an adult. Skaar wanted revenge on the Hulk because he felt the Hulk had abandoned him and his world to death.
Skaar was exiled from his planet and was warped to Earth. Skaar confronted his father, who was then in his savage persona. Skaar was disgusted with his father's diminished intelligence. The Hulk engaged Skaar in a fight, which created a fissure that endangered a nuclear power plant. The Warbound were trying to prevent a nuclear catastrophe when they were unexpectedly aided by the Hulk and Skaar. Skaar, using the Old Power, sealed the containment building and saved the workers at the plant. Skaar subsequently impaled the Hulk and left, claiming he would come back when he was worth killing.
Defenders vs. Offenders
Sometime later, the Grandmaster came to the Hulk with a proposition: if the Hulk chose to participate in a game and won, Grandmaster would bring his love, Jarella, back to life. The Hulk agreed and was told he could pick a group of allies to aid him in the game. The Hulk chose his former teammates in the Defenders: Namor the Silver Surfer, and Doctor Strange. When the time came to meet their opponents, the Collector appeared with the Hulk's nemesis, the Red Hulk, and his team -- consisting of Baron Mordo, Terrax, and Tiger Shark -- and known as the Offenders. The Grandmaster gave the Savage Hulk Bruce Banner's mind and had each team member transported to the times and places from which the Hulk had gathered the Defenders. The Hulk faced off against the Red Hulk in Atlantis, where the Red Hulk pierced the Hulk's heart with a cosmic energy-charged trident. The Hulk was eventually revived by the Grandmaster, after which he knocked out the Red Hulk with one punch.
Hulk no more
Afterwards, Banner was captured by A.I.M., and was detained underneath Gamma Base to be used to create a gamma-powered super-soldier program, headed by M.O.D.O.K. and backed by General Ross. M.O.D.O.K. was responsible for the creation of the Red Hulk, Rick Jones' transformation into A-Bomb, and the evil split personality of Doc Samson. The plot was uncovered by the She-Hulk. To infiltrate an A.I.M. base, Jennifer recruited reporter Ben Urich to help uncover the truth, and Urich, in turn, recruited Peter Parker to aid in the photography. A battle soon ruptured the tank containing Banner, causing him to transform into the Hulk. When the two Hulks clashed, the Red Hulk used his radiation absorption abilities to steal the gamma energy from inside the Hulk, preventing him from ever becoming the Hulk again. As the base reached critical mass, the defenseless Bruce Banner was rescued by a now-intelligent A-Bomb.
In the aftermath of the explosion, Norman Osborn sent Ares to learn if Banner could still turn into the Hulk. When Ares attacked Banner, Rick rushed to his defense, but was quickly defeated. Ares was soon outsmarted by Banner, and he was locked inside a room built to hold the Hulk. After evading Ares, Bruce and Rick parted ways.
Banner confronted Skaar in the Mojave Desert. After much deliberation, Skaar grudgingly agreed to allow Bruce Banner to train him on how to defeat the Hulk, should he ever return. Bruce lured the Juggernaut into fighting Skaar, and then Wolverine and Daken. Soon after, the pair encountered Norman Osborn's Femme Fatales, Victoria Hand and Ms. Marvel. Bruce discovered Betty Ross was alive, and was immediately attacked by a Harpy who turned out to be Marlo Chandler. The pair come to the aid of the Fantastic Four, who were in the middle of a battle with the Mole Man and later Tyrannus. Later on, Bruce saved Skaar from Doctor Doom. Bruce and Skaar tried to protect Hank Pym from the Leader, but in this, they failed.
Bruce then assembled his own group of Avengers to try and save Betty. Betty, who was angry with him for having married another woman, was used by the Leader to distract Bruce so that he could "hulkify" many A.I.M. marines and heroes. Bruce was captured by the Leader and hooked up to a virtual reality machine. He was unwilling to leave the virtual world until he was convinced by Doctor Doom, who was also trapped. When Bruce escaped, he was saved from Doctor Doom by the Red She-Hulk, who was stabbed by Skaar and turned out to be Betty herself. The Leader escaped and the Cathexis Ray Generator machinery was reversed, and all the radiation from the Hulked-Out Heroes returned back to the Helicarrier. Bruce then absorbed all the energy to contain it at the behest of Reed Richards. Doc Samson died trying to help. The Helicarrier crashed, and from the rubble, there emerged a new incarnation of the Hulk, who came to be called the Worldbreaker Hulk.
Skaar had his chance to fight the Hulk at last. During the confrontation, the Hulk rescued innocent bystanders endangered by their fight. Skaar reacted to this act of compassion by ceasing his assault, but the Hulk continued his, causing Skaar to revert to human form. The Hulk was reminded of Banner's own abusive father and reverted to human form as well, recognizing that he would never be able to continue that fight without Bruce becoming Brian Banner. Banner apologized and embraced his son, and Skaar accepted his love.
The Red Hulk set himself up in the White House, planning to take over America. However, the Hulk showed up to foil his plan. After having Ross imprisoned in Gamma Base, Steve Rogers released him to stop the Leader's and M.O.D.O.K.'s joint contingency plan, called Scorched Earth. Banner was put in charge of countering the program and learned how to shut it down with clues from the depowered M.O.D.O.K.. Banner assisted the Red Hulk and shut down the Living Supercomputer running Scorched Earth, not knowing that this was a distraction created by M.O.D.O.K to cover the trail of his cloned successor, M.O.D.O.K Superior.
The Hulk Family
The Hulk family, composed of Skaar, Korg, A-Bomb, the Hulk, the She-Hulk, the Savage She-Hulk, and the Red She-Hulk all went into seclusion, ignoring the attempts of the government to bring them out of hiding. The Hulk's other son, and Skaar's twin, Hiro-Kala, set his sights on Earth, planning to destroy it with the planet K'ai. Hiro-Kala was confronted by his father. Skaar used his own old power to seal Hiro-Kala in a sphere of stone. Hiro-Kala was merged with the Worldmind to create a miniature sun, to use the Old Power to warm K'ai.
Heart of the monster
After a wishing well's power was unleashed, the Hulk found himself facing some of his mightiest foes. One of them was the alien warlord Arm'Cheddon. He defeated and depowered the She-Hulk and A-Bomb as part of his revenge scheme against the Hulk. He then revealed that he had reconfigured his power-channeling abilities so that he could channel the Hulk's energy; the stronger the Hulk got, the stronger he got. When the Red She-Hulk interfered with the conflict, he hit her with the full force of his power. In a rage, the Hulk defeated Arm'Cheddon.
When the Serpent was freed by Skadi, he called seven hammers to Earth. The Hulk was transformed by one of these hammers, becoming one of the Worthy: Nul, Breaker of Worlds. Rampaging through South and Central America, which led to a conflict with the Avengers. Nul was eventually transported to New York City where, teaming with the Angrir-possessed Thing, the two began battling a lonesome Thor. After defeating the Thing, Thor stated that he never could beat the Hulk, and instead removed him from the battle by launching him into Earth Orbit, after which Thor collapsed from exhaustion. Landing in Romania, Nul immediately began heading for the base of the vampire-king Dracula. Opposed by Dracula's forces, including a legion of monsters, Nul was seemingly unstoppable. Only after the intervention of Raizo Kodo's Forgiven was Nul briefly slowed. Ultimately, Nul made his way to Dracula's castle where the timely arrival of Kodo and Forgiven member Inka, disguised as Betty Ross, was able to throw off the effects of the Nul possession. Throwing aside the hammer, the Hulk regained control, and promptly left upon realizing "Betty's" true nature. Claiming that he wanted to be alone, the Hulk somehow appeared to separate himself from Bruce Banner and disappeared.
In truth, the Hulk resorted to Doctor Doom to separate himself from Bruce Banner, resulting in him removing the portion of the brain controlled by Banner and moving it to a gamma-free cloned body of Bruce Banner. The Hulk moved underground, where he lived with a tribe of Moloids until Commander Amanda von Doom contacted him for help to hunt an insane Bruce Banner.
The Hulk helped the Mad Squad (Doom's team) to assault an island which Banner used as a base, where he was creating gamma-mutated animals in a series of experiments to become the Hulk again. The attack resulted in Banner's vaporization in a gamma bomb, which resulted in Bruce Banner again sharing the Hulk's mind, but still with his insane mind, and the Hulk refused to have any memories of his time as Banner. With the transformation shifted so that the Hulk was the 'dominant' persona, reverting to Banner when he became too calm, Bruce Banner led the Hulk to a journey in different locations around the world, including an old Russian space station, the City of Sasquatches; there, he protected the Sasquatch from Kraven the Hunter, and an old S.H.I.E.L.D. base, which ended with the Hulk waking up strapped to a chair with a needle pointed above him and Banner talking on a video screen. The recording of Banner revealed that he had finally discovered the cure for the Hulk, the components of which being what the Hulk had been gathering throughout his "journey;" however, Banner also revealed that he was no longer interested in controlling the Hulk, having come to recognize that he was a better person with the Hulk than he would have been without him. This prompted the two personas to join forces again to investigate Doom's latest plan, using the gamma cure that Banner had devised to restore the animals on Banner's former island headquarters to normal.
Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Bruce's reunion with his persona as the Hulk caused a reversion of the Hulk's intelligence. While spending time alone in the American desert, the Hulk was caught in the middle of a conflict between the army and Aquarius of the Zodiac. The Hulk brought the Avengers a piece of Aquarius' suit that he had torn from the villain to investigate his identity, and he remained with the Avengers to confront the Zodiac, as well as Thanos the Mad Titan, who revealed himself to be the group's master. The Hulk additionally assisted the Avengers during their war against Cyclops and the Phoenix Five.
After officially returning to the Avengers' ranks, Bruce Banner approached S.H.I.E.L.D. to offer them a new way to put both his and the Hulk's abilities at their service. Bruce's intelligence could be used to create new technology for the betterment of humanity, and the Hulk's strength would be used against S.H.I.E.L.D.'s enemies. During his tenure working for S.H.I.E.L.D., the Hulk battled the Quintronic Man and the Byzantine. The Hulk even became part of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secret splinter branch named T.I.M.E. to fight a group of time-travelers called the Chronarchists, who intended to reknit history in their image.
Becoming Doc Green
One of Bruce's own S.H.I.E.L.D. assistants, Melinda Leucenstern, shot him in the head on orders of the Ancient Order of the Shield because they determined he was going to cause an extinction-level event. Having suffered severe brain damage, Bruce was eventually cured by Tony Stark using the Extremis virus, which further increased Bruce's mental capacity as a side effect. Not long afterwards, the Hulk and many other heroes were exposed to countless secrets kept by the late Uatu the Watcher. The vision he witnessed made Bruce mistakenly believe that Stark was responsible for him becoming the Hulk, since he had secretly tampered with the shielding of the Gamma Bomb on behalf of General Ross. As part of his misguided revenge attempt against Iron Man, Bruce used his new intellect to tweak the Extremis dose in his body and unleash a new persona for the Hulk, the super-intelligent Doc Green. Doc Green made peace with Tony after learning that the Gamma Bomb's original shielding had been over-bolstered, and thus Tony's tampering had actually refined the bomb's explosive potential so that it would not disintegrate everyone within the blast radius, with the result having been that Tony's actions had actually saved Bruce's life.
After coming to the conclusion that the world was in danger due to its many Gamma mutates, Doc Green determined that they needed to be neutralized. He developed a serum made from Adamantium nanobots that absorbed gamma energy and used it to depower A-Bomb, Skaar, Red She-Hulk, the Gamma Corps, and finally, the Red Hulk. The only Gamma mutate Doc Green did not depower was the She-Hulk, since he determined she was the only Gamma mutate whose life had been genuinely improved by her condition. Doc Green additionally realized that his intellect was slowly declining and would eventually return to its normal levels, those of the original primality of the Hulk.
When an experimental fusion reactor started melting down, Bruce used the Hulk to absorb all of its radiation. However, the new type of radiation being used on the plant threatened to cause the Hulk to detonate. The Hulk's friend Amadeus Cho assisted the Hulk, and in the process of saving his life, he used special nanites to transfer Banner's powers to himself. Even though he had become effectively gamma-free, Bruce started experimenting on himself with gamma-irradiated cells at his laboratory in Utah. Bruce's experiments caused him to become the target of one of the visions of an Inhuman precognitive named Ulysses Cain, who foretold that Bruce would eventually transform into the Hulk and cause an onslaught. When a contingent of super heroes confronted Bruce Banner about the vision, they learned of his experiments. Banner became agitated, and Hawkeye shot him in the head with an arrow equipped with a special custom-built tip. It was eventually revealed during Hawkeye's trial that the arrow tip had been provided by Bruce Banner himself, and he had requested Clint to shoot him if it even became apparent that he would again transform into the Hulk.
Bruce's body was stolen by the ninja clan known as The Hand shortly after his funeral. The Avengers Unity Division attempted to stop The Hand's resurrection ritual, but arrived too late. Following a brief confrontation, the rampage of the Hulk, now again mindless, was finally contained within a magical doorway of Voodoo's creation, which allowed the sorcerer to enter Banner's soul and cleanse it from the Hand's corruption. Banner reverted to his human form and died in the process. When Hydra took over the United States by the hand of an evil doppelganger of Captain America, head scientist Arnim Zola resurrected Bruce Banner to use the Hulk in an assault against the resistance known as the Underground. Even though Banner refused to assist Hydra, the side of him that was the Hulk complied with pleasure. As a result of a time-delayed device Zola had implanted, the Hulk's resurrection was temporary. Shortly before the destruction of the Underground's base, The Mount, his body deteriorated, and he again died. Banner's body was left behind beneath the ruins of the Mount.
The Hulk's third consecutive resurrection came by the hand of the Challenger, an exiled Elder of the Universe who had returned for a rematch against the Grandmaster. He related to the Hulk's rage, and brought him back to life to act as his ace in the hole during the final round of a contest between each of the Elders' teams, the Black Order and the Lethal Legion, whose objective had been to seize the Pyramoids deployed on Earth by their masters during each round. The Hulk agreed to help the Challenger retrieve the final Pyramoid since the Earth was going to be destroyed as soon as the contest ended, and the Hulk saw it as a way to free himself of the nuisance of humanity. By this time, Bruce Banner's persona, who had been overwhelmed by the Hulk's psyche, came to the realization that this succession of resurrections was not a coincidence, but simply a manifestation of the Hulk's innate immortality.
During the final round, the Hulk rampaged to the Avengers Auxiliary Headquarters, where Voyager, the Grandmaster's own secret agent within the Avengers, had teleported the final Pyramoid. The Hulk quickly defeated the Avengers that tried to stand on his way, and he even destroyed the Vision. Even though the Hulk managed to make his way to the vault where Voyager was hiding the Pyramoid, Wonder Man convinced him that the Challenger was as much at fault as the rest of humanity of not leaving him alone. When the Pyramoid was within his grasp, the Hulk destroyed it instead, costing the Challenger his victory. Following the Challenger's defeat, Banner went under the radar, with the resurrection of the Hulk becoming nothing more than a rumor to the general public. Bruce started travelling the country aimlessly looking for ways to put the Hulk to use as a tool to bring justice in order to atone for his own sins. Around this time, the predominant personality of the Hulk became that of the Devil Hulk, a repressed alter of Bruce who was articulate and spiteful, but was entirely devoted to protecting Bruce, whose transformation was triggered mostly only when injured or killed, and after sunset.
Following his return, the Hulk was targeted by enemies in two fronts. The U.S. Hulk Operations, rebranded as Shadow Base and led by General Fortean, set out to capture and analyze the Hulk, while the demonic and otherworldly entity known as the One Below All began to use the soul of Bruce's father Brian to influence the land of the living from the Below-Place, the deepest layer of reality even below Hell itself, and the secret source of gamma radiation. It was because of this connection to the Below-Place that gamma mutates could be reborn, since they were plunged into the Below-Place after death, and could return to the real world through the metaphysical Green Door that connected both planes of existence.
Due to the machinations of the One Below All, Brian's soul possessed Bruce's former colleague Walter Langkowski, the gamma mutated Sasquatch. The Hulk managed to stop the rampaging Sasquatch by draining him of his gamma energy, inadvertently absorbing Brian's possession as well. Under Brian's influence, the Hulk traveled to the Los Diablos Military Base where he came to blows against the Absorbing Man, who had become a Shadow Base operative. By absorbing the Hulk's gamma energy, Creel became possessed by Brian, who used him to absorb all the residual gamma radiation from the gamma bomb's detonation, opening a Green Door that plunged him and the Hulk into the Below-Place, as well as a third party interested in the Hulk also present at the scene, the task force Gamma Flight. In the Below-Place, the Hulk and Bruce Banner were split apart, and Brian attempted to make of Bruce the One Below All's new vessel to bring the Below-Place to Earth. After making his way through the One Below All's demons, the Hulk managed to foil Brian's plans once Gamma Flight member Puck convinced the Absorbing Man to make things right. The Absorbing Man funneled gamma energy into the Hulk, giving him the strength to disperse the One Below All with a single thunderclap. Afterward, the Hulk merged back with Bruce and closed the Green Door, returning everybody to Earth.
Due to the traumatic experience in the Below-Place, Bruce reached out to Betty Ross, with whom he hadn't established contact since returning from the dead. Bushwacker, a Shadow Base operative on Bruce's trail, killed Betty when she was reunited with Bruce, triggering a transformation into a red form of the vicious Harpy. In the turmoil of Betty being shot, the Hulk was approached by Doc Samson, who had also returned to life through the Green Door and sought Bruce for answers about it. Together with Samson, the Hulk investigated Shadow Base and the disappearance of the body of Rick Jones, who had died during Hydra's short-lived empire. In a confrontation with Bushwacker, Bruce manifested his Joe Fixit persona, albeit with no accompanying physical transformation. While hiding from Shadow Base, Bruce was attacked by a mutated Rick Jones, turned into Abomination by his pursuers. With Harpy's help, the Hulk managed to evade Shadow Base and dig up Rick Jones from the mutagenic shell that had turned him into Abomination. While in hiding, Bruce investigated the disappearance of General Ross' body, suspecting it to be the work of Shadow Base. As a result, he became tangled in the efforts of Venom to stop Carnage from awakening an ancient symbiote god named Knull by retrieving the traces of symbiotes left in the bodies, dead or alive, of anybody who had ever been bonded to one. For a brief time, the Venom symbiote chose the Hulk as a host in an attempt to stop Carnage, but his gambit failed and Carnage managed to defeat him. Carnage would be subsequently killed by Venom.
When Rick awoke, he shared with Bruce and his allies the location of the Shadow Base's headquarters. They assaulted Shadow Base, joining forces with Gamma Flight in the process, who were coincidentally raiding the facility at the same time. The Hulk confronted and killed General Fortean, who had used the Abomination tissue on himself. In the aftermath, Banner seized command of Shadow Base's assets, and set out to use its resources to wage war on the human world for their abuse of the environment, sparking a counterculture movement in the process that embraced his ideals.
Ascension of the Leader
Unbeknownst to Bruce, the Leader had been studying the Below-Place and managed to replace Brian as the host of the One Below All. Sterns had additionally infiltrated Bruce Banner's circles, having taken control of Rick Jones' mind and having infiltrated Bruce's mindscape by taking over his Green Scar alter. During his war against the human world, the Hulk combated Roxxon. In an attempt to rid of the Hulk, Roxxon's CEO Dario Agger enlisted the help of Xemnu, who used his hypnosis to brainwash the world into believing that he was the one true Hulk and everybody's hero. In order to stop Roxxon's interference, the Leader, as the Green Scar, helped the Hulk fight back and put an end to Xemnu's brainwashing, while also caging the Devil Hulk persona within Banner's mindscape. Due to this, Savage Hulk became the Hulk's main manifestation again.
The Leader eventually made his move when he used Rick Jones to overload the Hulk with gamma energy, causing him to decimate a town where he was present. While the Hulk was fending off Gamma Flight to avoid capture, the Leader tightened his hold over Banner's mindscape, subduing Bruce and Fixit as well. Devil Hulk managed to break free when the Leader attempted to bring Bruce to the Below-Place, but the ill-timed intervention of the childish Savage Hulk to stop the conflict resulted in Sterns seemingly killing the manifestation of the Devil Hulk alter. Savage Hulk and Joe Fixit were left behind in Banner's body, which was being held prisoner by Gamma Flight aboard the Alpha Flight Low-Orbit Space Station. In the Below-Place, Leader hooked Banner and the remains of the Devil Hulk to plant-like structures for some unrevealed purpose.
Hulk was later met by Henry Gyrich, who was acting commander of the Alpha Flight Interstellar Defense and Diplomacy Initiative, which included authority of Gamma Flight. Gyrich informed Hulk that he would get to decide what happened to him. He also told Hulk that the manacles that held him could adjust in size, thus becoming Banner wouldn't get him free. Joe Fixit, however, was able to transform into Banner by emerging from the Hulk's body like a cocoon. Joe then knocked out Gyrich and the guards that were with him. While trying to escape, Joe was confronted by Gamma Flight and Doc Samson, resurrected in Walter Langkowski's body. Joe then used a gun he took from one of the guards to break open the space station's window and flee into outer space. Joe transformed into Savage Hulk, allowing him to withstand the reentry through Earth's atmosphere. Hulk landed near Coney Island where he was confronted by the Thing as he got ashore. Thing battled Hulk until Hulk transformed into Banner and the Joe Fixit persona convinced Thing to stop. The two then talked it out, and Thing decided to let Hulk go.
On the run
Joe Fixit and Savage Hulk went into hiding in New York City. Savage Hulk had been greatly weakened after having his gamma energy drained by the Leader after he took Banner and the Devil Hulk. So, Joe Fixit used thievery and scams to survive and tried to avoid becoming a hero, so he didn't draw attention to himself. After witnessing two police officers harass a member of the Teen Brigade, however, Joe Fixit decided to be a hero and transformed into Savage Hulk to aid the teen. After scaring off the police officers, Hulk was attacked by the U-Foes who were hired by Henry Gyrich to take him out.
The U-Foes took turns attacking Hulk, but when Vector accidentally sent Hulk flying all the way to New Jersey with a telekinetic attack, the U-Foes searched for him. After finding Hulk, X-Ray finished Hulk off with a blast of anti-gamma rays (cosmic rays), killing him. Savage Hulk and Joe Fixit both were sent to Below-Place and found themselves staring down an enlarged Leader, who was possessed by the One Below All.
The Leader trapped Savage Hulk and Joe in the Below-Place by turning the Green Door into the Red Door and then sent various Qlippoth against Savage Hulk and Joe in an attempt to assimilate them. Unexpectedly, as X-Ray of the U-Foes bombarded Hulk's corpse with cosmic rays to prevent him from resurrecting, Joe Fixit was transformed into a Red Hulk and used his newfound power to smash through the Red Door, allowing him and Savage Hulk to escape. Joe then resurrected in the body of the Savage Hulk, no longer emaciated and with cosmic power running through him, much to the shock of the U-Foes.
With his strength restored, Joe easily overwhelmed the U-Foes to the point where Vector was forced to send Joe flying toward Manhattan with his telekinesis to save him and his team. After learning the U-Foes had let the Hulk get away, Gyrich swallowed his pride and asked the Avengers for help. The Avengers confronted Joe at a bar where he was having a few drinks. As the Avengers were about to battle Hulk, Betty as the Harpy appeared to aid Hulk. Later, Gamma Flight appeared to aid Hulk as well. During the fight, She-Hulk unexpectedly turned on her fellow Avengers to aid her cousin after learning from Betty that she also seen the Green Door. Gamma Flight eventually teleported away with Betty, She-Hulk, and Joe to a warehouse in Brooklyn formerly operated by the Kingpin. Joe and Betty then decided to make up and kiss.
Later, Joe and Betty had intercourse in a hotel room. The two then had a heart-to-heart talk where Joe admitted he left Bruce Banner in the Below-Place and Betty revealed that she liked how Joe never hid anything from her but became upset after remembering that he used to be a criminal enforcer in Las Vegas. Tired of Bruce and his personas keeping secrets from her, Betty decided to leave again. Joe then talked with She-Hulk and Jackie, telling them he was done hiding and planned to rescue Bruce Banner from the Below-Place.
Joe, Jen, and Jackie went to the Baxter Building to meet with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. After a brief fight between Joe and the Avengers and other heroes, the Fantastic Four intervened and escorted Joe, Jen, and Jackie to the Forever Gate, which had the ability to send Joe to the Below-Place to rescue Bruce Banner. Joe was reluctant to pass through at first, but he was motivated to by Jackie who passed through the Forever Gate with him.
After arriving to the Below-Place, Joe Fixit and Savage Hulk separated into different beings and journeyed with Jackie through the Below-Place until they came across a fortress the Leader built to protect himself. Savage Hulk entered first and later Joe and Jackie. Joe and Savage Hulk fought a monstrously transformed Leader but were quickly overwhelmed. After coming to terms with her past, Jackie unleashed a beam of energy from her eyes that hurt the Leader, allowing Joe and Savage Hulk to separate the Leader from the One Below All and rescuing Bruce Banner. After confronting the One Below All who turned out to be an aspect of the One Above All who cryptically told them the purpose of the Hulk, Joe, Savage Hulk, and Jackie fled the Leader's crumbling fortress with Leader and Banner. They were then met by the Thing and Walt Langkowski resurrected in Doc Samson's body and traveled back to Earth using the Forever Gate. Banner merged back with Joe Fixit and Savage Hulk, and after receiving clothing from Reed Richards snuck out of the Baxter Building and into the outside world.
While in El Paso, Texas, a new malevolent persona called the Titan took control of Banner's body and killed a bunch of people, horrifying Banner and forcing him to go on the run. To ensure this didn't happen again, Banner used technology stolen from A.I.M. to fracture his psyche into parts, allowing him take over the Hulk. He fueled the Hulk's body by the Hulk's rage, which he generated in a section of his mind by pitting Hulk against various opponents with specific opponents generating different levels of power. After taking control of Hulk, Banner made his way toward an old Stark tech armory in Wundagore where Tony Stark had created Project A.R.K., an interdimensional portal that Stark hoped to use evacuate people to safety during a crisis. After Banner defeated Stark and a contingent of remotely controlled Hulkbuster armors, Banner passed through the portal, despite warnings from Stark that it was too dangerous so Banner could find someplace peaceful to live in peace and solitude.
After Banner-122 explained his world's history to Banner-616, a military force sent by President Ross appeared at Banner-122's hideout to apprehend Banner-122. Banner-616 went on to devastate it. He then fought and defeated Banner-122's former student Spider-Hulk when Ross tried and failed to hold him hostage. Finally, President Ross sent his team of gamma mutates, the Abominations. When the Abominations arrived, the equipment Banner used to control the Hulk was damaged, allowing the Titan persona to seize control of Hulk.
With the Titan in control, the Hulk devastated the Abominations. In desperation, Ross ordered a Gamma Bomb be used on Hulk. Because this would kill thousands in nearby cities, Banner-122 killed Ross with his revolver. After Banner-616 regained control of Hulk by using the Savage Hulk persona, Banner-122 warned him of the incoming Gamma Bomb. Using Banner-122's interdimensional port, Hulk sent the gamma energy released by the Gamma Bomb away and then entered the portal to continue his trip through the Between-Space.
Banner of War
Thor intercepted Banner on a mission to kill him after the Titan's rampage in El Paso. Shortly after Banner and Thor landed on the planet of Sakk-Reen, Sif transported Banner and Thor to the Black Hand of God, an arena where gladiatorial bloodsports was held. When Banner began overwhelming Thor, the spirit of Odin who resided in Mjolnir flew the hammer high into the air and struck the arena grounds, causing Banner and Thor to crash down into the area below. Thor then tossed Mjolnir at Banner so Odin could enter Banner's mindscape.
Odin and Banner briefly fought until a headbutt from Thor caused Banner to bump his head and relive the Titan's rampage in El Paso. Odin hoped to help Banner, but he was withdrawn from Banner's mindscape when Thor recalled Mjolnir. Then Iron Man arrived in a Hulkbuster Armor the size of a Celestial to stop Banner once and for all. However, Banner was no longer in control of Hulk, causing the Hulk's rage to go out of control. While Iron Man battled Hulk, Odin tried to intervene to help Banner. Eventually, Hulk's rage reached a critical point, causing him to unleash a gargantuan gamma energy explosion that wrecked Iron Man's armor and transformed Thor into a gamma mutate. Due to the influence of the Titan persona, Thor became violent while Banner became trapped in Mjolnir, causing the Savage Hulk to take control and battle Thor. To save Thor, Odin helped Banner retake control of the Hulk by giving Mjolnir to Hulk, causing Hulk to become empowered the power of Thor. Thor and Hulk then clashed.
- When I was four, I saw my father kill my mother. And years later, I killed him. I didn't mean to. But I did it. I've got that kind of anger inside. That kind of capacity. But you... you have your own problems. And your Hulk's gonna have his own problems as a result. And you may not love everything you learn about yourself. But you're not a... you're not a monster. You're not me, Amadeus. You're not me.
- --Bruce Banner[src]
Bruce Banner suffered severe trauma as a child inflicted by his father and repressed it in his subconsciousness. This abuse resulted in the young Bruce Banner developing dissociative identity disorder and the early emergence of several alternate personalities. Indeed, each aspect of his complex mind represents a peculiar manifestation of Banner's multifaceted psyche. This condition was compounded later in life by the traumatic explosion that triggered his initial transformation into the Hulk, and further stimulated the emergence of other aspects of his personality. Following his Gamma accident, many of his alters now take Hulk forms, though some, like Joe Fixit, can remain in human form when they switch.
It was revealed by Doctor Samson that exposure to concentrated levels of gamma energy brings about the expression of the deepest parts of the collective unconscious. In this process, the darkest, most deeply buried sense of self dictates the subject's mutation. Particularly in the case of Bruce Banner, it stimulated the expression of a repressed fury that played an essential role in his transformation into the Hulk. Banner became an obsessive-compulsive person. He finally sublimated his grief and rage over his childhood, diverting the drives spawned by his sufferings into the relative safety of science.
Because of that, Banner is often trying to hide his emotional damage, resulting predominantly in social isolation. Banner became a highly withdrawn intellectual unable to cope with emotions. In the course of his life, Banner has also been pursued by the destruction that Hulk causes, what culminates in more complications in his life. However, Bruce Banner is a self-sacrificing and heroic person. For example, he was willing to sacrifice himself along with Earth's heroes to suppress the menace of Onslaught. Endowed with a super-genius intellect, he is also one of the most brilliant and resourceful minds on Earth. Banner has constantly undertaken a career as a superhero while trying to find a cure for his condition.
Nevertheless, some arcs explore an obscure and malevolent side of the Banner's persona. For example, when Banner was temporarily separated from the Hulk, he demonstrated to be extremely sadistic and insane. When Banner and Hulk were reunited, Banner's standard personality came into effect again, with no traces of this morally distorted side. More recently, Banner's psyche was fractured into several domains following a particular incident involving the Hulk. As a result, his behavior is drastically altered, contrasting with his standard personality and leading to the unfolding of a potential large-scale event.
Banner and Hulk are frequently portrayed as mutually hating each other, but at times Banner strategically acts in full synchrony and consonance with his Hulk persona, thus giving the Hulk a purpose. During the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk arcs, for example, both acted in full cooperation, and the Immortal Hulk even declared to cherish and care for the Banner persona after all. Banner has also stated that the Hulk's reasoning and intelligence tend to fluctuate depending upon a number of factors at the moment of transformation, resulting in the Hulk's standard persona varying from a raging monster to a more calculating fighter.
- You... can't... break... a... man... who's... already... been... broken.
- --Bruce Banner[src]
The Hulk initially is characterized as a separate entity from Bruce Banner, a distillation of his human anger that gradually develops its own personality and memories separate from Banner's. Banner suffers from "Dissociative Identity Disorder," which stems from the abuse he suffered as a child. The Hulk has many incarnations, each representing a different aspect of Banner's psyche; there are hundreds or possibly thousands of other personalities of the Hulk, but only a few major versions have been seen to date.
- Bruce Banner - Bruce Banner is the emotionally repressed core personality, possessed of genius intellect. Banner can transform into the different versions of the Hulk, whereas his alter egos seem to be able only to transform into Bruce Banner.
- Savage/Child Hulk - The Savage, or more accurately described, "Childlike" Hulk is the most common version of the Hulk, and is one of the earliest known alters, existing and fronting since Bruce was just six years old. It possesses the mental capacity and temperament of a young child and typically refers to himself in the third person. The Savage Hulk is the reflection of the young child abused by his father, which is the source of extreme rage and resentment from which his dynamic strength is derived. Samson theorized that the Savage Hulk represents Banner's unfettered id, seat of his survival instincts and childhood desires, always trying to get his way. He is in a constant infantile state of narcissistic innocence, resulting in a simple-minded baby-talking creature seeing the world only as an extension of himself. The Savage Hulk is portrayed as a lonely childlike being longing for friendship, acceptance, and love. In fact, he is naive, innocent, and kind. He often claims that he wants to be left alone, but this is because he is constantly attacked without the capacity to understand why. He really wants to be liked and is very loyal to his friends. The Savage Hulk is usually depicted as green-skinned and heavily muscled with a loping, ape-like gait. While in a functionally calm emotional state, or at least as calm as the Hulk can be, the Savage Hulk is stronger than the Gray Hulk. While angry, he has the potential for limitless strength, depending on the height of his temper.
- Gray Hulk/"Joe Fixit" - The Gray Hulk worked for a time as a Las Vegas enforcer called "Joe Fixit." The Gray Hulk has average intelligence, although he occasionally displays knowledge and intellectual ability normally associated with Banner. He is cunning, crafty, hedonistic, arrogant, and distant, with a hidden conscience; various psychological assessments of the Hulks have identified this Hulk as the personification of the moody teenager that Banner never allowed himself to be. In most of his Las Vegas appearances, he appeared only at night. According to the Leader, the Gray Hulk persona is strongest during the night of the new moon and weakest during the full moon. This aversion to sun/moon light vanished when the Gray Hulk's night-induced transformation trigger was later removed. Although he is the smallest of the Hulks, the Gray Hulk towers over the average human. He prefers to dress in tailored suits. Joe Fixit's base strength level is also the lowest of the three primary Hulk incarnations. Following the Devil Hulk's takeover of the other Hulk personas, Joe gained the ability to manifest in the body of Bruce Banner, with the only noticeable difference in appearance being Banner's eye color changing from brown to gray. This form of Joe can operate during the day time, which has led to his self-given nickname "Sunshine Joe." When Xemnu mentally attacked Banner, he mentally imprisoned the Gray Hulk in Banner's mindscape in amber. After Xemnu was defeated, Gray Hulk was freed from his prison. While down in the Below-Place, exposure to cosmic rays to Hulk's corpse unexpectedly allowed Gray Hulk to transform into a Red Hulk, presumably giving him the same powers as well as the ability to smash through the Red Door. He was also able to take over the body of the Savage Hulk. After opening up to Betty, Joe express regret for being selfish in the past, especially for leaving Bruce Banner in the Below-Place. After Betty left, Joe decided to stop hiding and rescue Bruce Banner. He eventually traveled to the Below-Place with Jackie McGee using the Forever Gate, rescued Banner, and reunited with him while also retaining his Red Hulk form.
- Merged Hulk/"The Professor - The Merged Hulk was the merger of the personalities of Banner and the Savage and Gray Hulks. The Merged Hulk was far more well-adjusted than most incarnations, as well as an associate and leader of the team of super-heroic philanthropists called the Pantheon. Despite his exaggerated musculature, the Merged Hulk had a relatively normal looking face, resembling that of Banner. The Merged Hulk is the largest of the three primary Hulk incarnations and he also possesses a higher base strength level. While in a calm emotional state, the Merged Hulk is stronger than the Savage Hulk in a calm state. However, unlike the other incarnations of the Hulk, Bruce Banner subconsciously installed a type of safeguard within this incarnation. Although in the beginning he was stated to get stronger with his rage, when the Merged Hulk's anger reaches a berserk level, he will transform back into Bruce Banner, though with the mind and personality of the Savage Hulk. From this point, he was stated to turn weaker as he got angrier. It is unknown if he would currently have this limitation or not. For a while the Merged Hulk was renamed "The Professor," and instead claimed to be Banner's good side, or ideal self, as a personality created by Doc Samson. However, the creator of this incarnation apparently later retconned this as one of the reality distortions created by Nightmare.
- Unnamed Hulk - After being resurrected, a previously unseen Hulk persona emerged, full of mindless rage and bloodlust. He was defeated by the Avengers; and was suppressed by the Devil Hulk persona, who imprisoned him in the depths of Banner's sub-conscience. However, due to the Devil Hulk having been recently imprisoned himself, this unnamed Hulk persona may now be free.
- Titan - Seizing control of Bruce and destroying El Paso, Texas, a new malicious persona turned Bruce against the Hulk, resulting in Bruce imprisoning the Savage Hulk in his mindscape and taking over the Hulk. Impersonating Betty Ross, the persona seized control of "Spaceship Hulk" and caused the Hulk to mutate into a monstrous form dubbed Titan. Out of desperation, Bruce unleashed the Savage Hulk, who defeated the entity before Bruce re-imprisoned him. Despite his defeat, the Titan survived and continued to communicate with in the guise of Betty Ross. The Titan is able to infect others with Banner's rage, causing them to lose control, as well as take control of Banner's body and give him unnatural strength without the need to transform. When the Titan was in control of Hulk, Hulk grew to at least 30 feet in height and his skin became black with rock-like protrusions jut from his shoulders that erupted energy. At his maximum rage, Hulk could unleash optic blasts.
- There ain't many around who can describe what it feels like to get hit by the Hulk... Simple fact bein' there ain't many around who can survive to tell the tale. There ain't no pain at first. It's like he hits ya so damn hard ya actually leave yer own body. It's when ya come back that ya feel the pain. An' ya realize yer goin' toe-to-toe with a walkin' earthquake.
Gamma Mutate Physiology: Due to Bruce Banner being exposed to the Gamma Bomb's radiation, culminating in his transformation into a powerful monster, the gamma radiation mutated the Hulk's body and fortified his cellular structure, adding over 800 lbs of bone marrow and muscle tissues to his body. In addition, during times of stress the Incredible Hulk's adrenaline level escalates, causing a corresponding escalation of brute strength. Thus, the madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets. The Incredible Hulk was for several times described as one of the physically most powerful beings in the entire Marvel Universe, with the potential for limitless levels of strength and durability (which scales directly with his strength). The Hulk, in the full exercise of his potential, was described as the most powerful regular humanoid, and his maximum known strength level ranges beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being. The Hulk's vast physical might has even been described as powerful enough to ravage entire worlds. Moreover, the Hulk was also stated to be an Omega Level Threat by both the Initiative and Mister Fantastic, and even "the Original Omega Level Threat" by Gyrich. At one point, the Hulk was stated to be the strongest hero in the world. Nick Fury's intel also classified him as Power Level 10+, the highest level in their scale of measurement, and as the Merged Hulk he was described as part of the Omega-class entities by Doctor Octopus.
- Transformation: The process by which Banner usually transforms into the Hulk is presumably the result of the chemical catalyst, adrenaline (a.k.a. epinephrine). As in normal human beings, Banner's adrenal medulla secretes large amounts of adrenaline in time of fear, rage, or stress, which hormonally stimulates the heart rate, increases blood-sugar levels, and inhibits sensations of fatigue. Whereas the secretion heightens normal physical abilities in normal human beings, in Banner's case it triggers the complex chemical-extra-physical process that transforms him into the Hulk. The total time of transformation falls anywhere from twenty-five seconds to five minutes, depending on the initial adrenaline surge, which will be determined by the original stimulus. Soon after the transformation, the amount of adrenaline in the Hulk will return to more normal, reduced levels. However, there have been instances in which Banner became the Hulk without any discernible increase in heart rate or adrenal levels, suggesting that the true trigger mechanism into the Hulk is far more psychological than physical. When the Hulk transforms back into Banner, the excess muscle mass and energy is lost, presumably to the same place he derives it. As the Hulk's transformation is mostly a stress reaction, it is virtually impossible to attack, wound or sedate him in his human form without the Hulk erupting almost instantaneously in self-defense. As gamma mutates and their appearance/abilities are affected by their minds to become "metaphor people"; Banner's Hulk form, and to an extent his abilities, change depending on which Hulk/alter is in control. Joe Fixit is weaker but more intelligent and cunning while only coming out at night, the Green Scar is full of wrathful fury while being able to erupt with gamma energy, and the Devil Hulk is more attuned with the mystical nature of gamma allowing him to perform impossible feats like overloading Vibranium, being alive and able to move while dismembered, or smelling lies and seeing into people's souls.
- Unlimited Strength: The Hulk possesses the capacity for essentially limitless physical strength. In proportion to his rage, it grows exponentially towards infinity without never really reaching it. In an interview, Jack Kirby revealed that since the conception of the character he intended the Hulk to have unlimited strength. In actuality, while the highest hierarchical challenges mentally imposed by Banner to the Hulk may not reflect the real characters' power level, it was implied that the Hulk's ultimate potential truly has no limits. Banner has sometimes cogitated about the Hulk's incalculable strength. In effect, upon actually estimating the Hulk's raw potential, the mighty cosmic entity Beyonder stated outright that the Hulk's strength is intrinsically limitless. The Hulk's uttermost potential is indeed unlimited. This statement has been endorsed by the cosmic entity Stranger upon probing Hulk's capacity. The Hulk's boundless strength was further supported by the Mad Thinker's inability to calculate its limits, several experts have effectively failed to measure the precise magnitude of the Hulk's brute power, and Hulk's power has been consistently described as immeasurable. The Hulk's reputation extends beyond Earth, with Skrulls proclaiming him as the strongest mortal on Earth, the alien leader known as Kurrgo exclaiming that he is the strongest of the Earth's creatures, the cosmic wanderer Silver Surfer recognizing him as the strongest mortal he ever confronted, and the supreme Skyfather Odin reflecting that he is the strongest mortal Thor has ever faced. However, each of the primary Hulk's personalities possess a base strength level. While functionally calm, the Gray Hulk persona is the weakest whereas the incarnation commonly referred to as the "Green Scar" is the physically strongest of all primary Hulk's incarnations. After being exposed to the energies from the exploding core of the ship that originally brought the Hulk to Sakaar, the Green Scar's base strength level was dramatically increased. The persona known as the Immortal or Devil Hulk is also substantially stronger than most incarnations and presumably rivals the Green Scar, being able to effortlessly outclass the combined might of an Avengers contingent consisting of powerful characters. However, while in an enraged state, adrenaline surges through the Hulk's body, magnifying his extraordinary strength drastically beyond his standard levels. The Hulk's immeasurable strength is directly proportional to his level of rage, excitement, and stress. The Hulk also grows stronger the more radiation and the more dark magic he catalyzes. Finally, as Amadeus Cho theorizes, Bruce Banner subconsciously restrains the Hulk's maximum potential because he quantifies and calculates the external variables so that the Hulk could never hurt someone. Cho corroborates this thesis with a logical analysis of all the Hulk's historical conflicts. However, if the suppression of Banner's restrictions occurs, the Hulk can neutralize this limitation, such as when he becomes the Worldbreaker. The Hulk has also performed impressive feats of strength in his career.
- Superhuman Leaping: The Hulk is able to use his highly developed leg muscles to leap great distances. As the Hulk becomes enraged, his strength increases considerably, which means he can jump farther than usual. The Hulk has transposed about 1,000 miles with a single leap, and in a single leap he jumped on top of the Mount Olympus from ground level. On more than one occasion, the Hulk has nearly jumped into the Earth's orbit. The Hulk even managed to reach Mars' orbit with a single bound. The Hulk also shows incredible precision with his ability to aim his jumps and landings. He grabbed missiles on multiple occasions and landed on islands barely visible from the height that he fell from. While calm, the Hulk's leap has been measured to reach 473 mph.
- Superhuman Strength Utilizations: The Hulk can inhale great quantities of air for several effects. For example, he can expel the air at enormous speeds to knock down forests and armed troops. This resource also enables the Hulk to defeat several superhuman opponents, such as the Mister Fantastic. The Hulk can slam his hands together to create a tremendously powerful sonic vibration that propagates through the air and has been compared to the strongest hurricane in history. This thunderclap has been powerful enough to disperse Sandman's attacks, snuff out Johnny Storm's flame ability, and severely debilitate the Red Hulk. The Hulk can also hit the ground with his hands or legs to create violent tremors that thwart opponents and destroy structures, being able to produce destructive shockwaves by stomping his foot. He could also create shockwaves with enough power to shatter glass jars by simply snapping his fingers while possessed by the One Below All.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Hulk's body counteracts fatigue poisons that build up in his muscles during physical activity. In fact, the Hulk was capable to leap endlessly during an entire day without showing any signs of fatigue. In an enraged state, the Hulk is capable of exerting himself at peak physical capacity for several weeks before fatigue begins to really affect him. However, just like his vast physical strength, the Hulk's stamina does increase as he becomes angrier. In an enraged state, the Hulk was able to successfully stalemate the warrior's madness Thor, a state which temporarily enhances Thor's strength and stamina to 10 times that of his normal state in exchange for adversely affecting his intelligence. A giant robotic Sentinel has calculated the Hulk's stamina as almost unlimited. The Hulk, while in his Nul persona, also fought Thor until Thor collapsed exhausted on the ground.
- Dynamic Durability: In addition to immense strength, the Hulk's body possesses a high degree of resistance to physical injury. The Hulk has survived tremendous amount of punishment throughout his career. The Hulk's skin is impervious to conventional blades, Adamantium and Vibranium being strictly the few known metals that can effectively pierce and penetrate his skin. The Hulk was even able to remove Adhesive X from his body without any injury. This invulnerability extends to the optic system since bullets, grenade shrapnel, Hawkeye's arrows, and even the Valkyrie's enchanted blade Dragonfang did not penetrate nor damage it. The Hulk is capable of withstanding high caliber bullets, powerful energy blasts, pressures extremes, falls from orbital heights, maximized heat without blistering, maximized cold without freezing, and also massive impacts. The Hulk has withstood several times the impact of ground zero nuclear explosions, the Human Torch's Nova Blast, with a maximum temperature of one million degrees Fahrenheit, and also the crushing pressures of 100Gs without suffering damage or harm. In fact, when the Maestro's Dog O' War, a robot claimed to be able to crush Adamantium in its jaws in 7.3 seconds, had Hulk's exposed neck in its jaws, it was unable to even lacerate his skin before being ripped apart. In another monumental example of his durability, the Hulk even withstood being subjected to a mechanism capable to easily soften and manipulate Adamantium. The Hulk was also able to withstand a planet-devastating impact, a planet-shattering impact at point blank range, the Galaxy Master's planet-destroying strongest attacks, even when their potency was later amplified ten times, a colossal blow from a Phoenix's empowered Cyclops, and a mighty blast from a somewhat hungry Galactus. The Hulk even withstood exposure to magical energy calculated as over 100 times more powerful than Hercules' strongest blows, and also the overwhelming pressure and kinetic energy of a literal supernova bursting on his body. Upon being drained by Iron Man, while wearing the most recent Celestial armor crafted by himself, Hulk withstood extraordinarily powerful blasts with potency of one hundred thousand supernovas. The Hulk also withstood a few of the incredibly powerful blows from Zeus when relatively calm. The full force of the Cyclops's optic blasts, estimated by himself to be powerful enough to rip a small planet in half, only caused minor damage. The Hulk has also withstood multiple blows from beings such as Thor and the Abomination on a regular basis. The Hulk's durability, much like his physical strength, is fueled by rushes of adrenaline while angry. This was also exemplified when Wolverine stated during World War Hulk that the Hulk's skin was harder to damage, when the Hulk withstood a two times more powerful blast from the Captain Marvel than a blast that had previously damaged him, and when during a battle against Colossus he stated that the harder he hits the Hulk, the less it seems to hurt him. This was further exemplified when Wolverine's and Black Panther's claws failed to hurt the Hulk.
- Self-Regeneration Manipulation: As a Gamma Mutate with a connection to the Below-Place, Bruce Banner/Hulk learned he possessed an autonoetic commandeering of his own recovery rate and extremital prehensility of his individual biomass, as had others in the past. Once having been pulled apart and put in a collective of several different jars only to compel his body to come back together by sheer force of will.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite the Hulk's high resistance to physical harm, it is possible to cause the Hulk injury. However, the Hulk is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his entire body with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. In fact, the Hulk was able to systematically regenerate his internal organs and tissues in an alternate reality. He was also able to literally rip off a large fraction of his head allowing it to completely regrow. In a notorious episode, the Maestro persona molecularly rebuilt his body after being atomized. The Hulk also demonstrated his exceptional healing capacity when, during a battle with Vector, all of his skin and most of his muscle mass were extracted from his body. The Hulk regained his mass and healed within only seconds. Even the Omega-Level biokinetic Elixir's death touch could only retard him temporarily. Most extreme depictions of his healing factor also include reintegrating members isolated from his body. The Hulk's regenerative healing factor also enables him to resist to physical transmutations. Additionally, the Hulk heals faster and more extensively the madder he gets. For example, Scorpion (Carmilla Black) once injected into Hulk's body a chemical substance that counteracts his healing factor. Amadeus Cho then caused the Hulk to get enraged enough for his immune system to repel the substance. Combined with the Hulk's superhuman durability, it makes him exceedingly difficult to defeat or incapacitate, as noted by Wolverine during their second battle.
- Disease Immunity: The Hulk is completely invulnerable to all known Earth-based diseases and viruses, including AIDS. He can operate under intense conditions for prolonged periods of time due to his body not developing fatigue toxins quickly.
- Decelerated Aging: For all intents and purposes; the Hulk lives indefinitely. Because of an enhanced healing factor, derived from the properties of gamma energy that empowers him, the Hulk has a prolonged lifespan. A possible future persona, the Maestro, was in his physical prime despite being over one hundred years old. In another alternate future it is implied that the Hulk's body effectively lasts forever, further proven when both that worlds Bruce Banner and Mister Immortal were seen as the only two left alive to witness the end of the universe.
- Body Part Autonomy: In spite of his nervous system being badly dissociated, Banner/Hulk can willingly control each of his individual body parts as if they were still part of his uniformly whole physiology. Being able to operate his appendages and command his internal organs to move and act according to his will if he so chooses.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite the Hulk's high resistance to physical harm, it is possible to cause the Hulk injury. However, the Hulk is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his entire body with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. In fact, the Hulk was able to systematically regenerate his internal organs and tissues in an alternate reality. He was also able to literally rip off a large fraction of his head allowing it to completely regrow. In a notorious episode, the Maestro persona molecularly rebuilt his body after being atomized. The Hulk also demonstrated his exceptional healing capacity when, during a battle with Vector, all of his skin and most of his muscle mass were extracted from his body. The Hulk regained his mass and healed within only seconds. Even the Omega-Level biokinetic Elixir's death touch could only retard him temporarily. Most extreme depictions of his healing factor also include reintegrating members isolated from his body. The Hulk's regenerative healing factor also enables him to resist to physical transmutations. Additionally, the Hulk heals faster and more extensively the madder he gets. For example, Scorpion (Carmilla Black) once injected into Hulk's body a chemical substance that counteracts his healing factor. Amadeus Cho then caused the Hulk to get enraged enough for his immune system to repel the substance. Combined with the Hulk's superhuman durability, it makes him exceedingly difficult to defeat or incapacitate, as noted by Wolverine during their second battle.
- Superhuman Speed: Regardless of his size, Hulk's superhumanly strong legs allow him to run at speeds that are well beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete. In fact, the Hulk's speed is so relatively high that, while tunneling underground from Subterranea to California, the Avengers feared that the Hulk could fracture the San Andreas fault line in a matter of few hours. In an excellent display of increased velocity, the Hulk easily outperformed an aircraft while on land. Hulk's astronomical speed extends to his jumps, what allowed him to pursue and reach a space missile. The Hulk also possesses immense swimming speeds as well. He has been clocked to be swimming at 80 knots, and has even matched Namor's underwater speed, even while Namor was moving quickly enough to create a whirlpool, much to the Atlantean king's surprise. Referring to the Hulk's formidable speed, Banner pondered that the Hulk is able to run at eye-blurring speeds and swim fast enough to build propulsion. The Hulk has been fast enough to several times capture or intercept mortar shells and missiles shot at him. The Hulk has also eventually been recognized to be extremely agile proportionally to his size. In fact, his spectacular reflexes have even been described as "lightning-fast reflexes". More examples of the Hulk's prodigious combat speed include easily catching the Captain America's shield throw, catching an arrow fired by Hawkeye, hit Quicksilver while he was running at high speeds, pursuing and touching the Silver Surfer while the Surfer was maneuvering at supersonic speeds, while holding back tremendously against physically inferior opponents, he's hit both the Daredevil despite his heightened senses and extraordinary reaction time and Spider-Man despite Peter's remarkable reflexes, easily dodge bullets and missiles shot from a short distance away, effortlessly capture a bullet in his teeth in mid-transformation, and also regularly match beings with virtually unparalleled combat speed such as Gladiator, Sentry, and the Silver Surfer. The Hulk has also hit several speedsters, who were operating in an accelerated time flow, before they could even react.
- Reactive Adaptation: There were several events in the past where the Hulk not only faced extended periods of time in oxygen-deprived outer space without suffocating, but he also frequently spoke in these inhospitable habitats. It was theorized by an LMD of Nick Fury that the Hulk could adapt to the environment of space as an inherent property of his mutation. He based this thesis on accumulated data about the Hulk. For example, Hulk can harmonize his biological structure with the depths of the ocean. Fury's hypothesis has been confirmed, since it was stated that the Hulk can adapt to any environment, even airless space. Therefore this evidences that the Hulk could adapt to a wide diversity of hostile habitats. It is plausible that this ability is enhanced and amplified by the Hulk's rage. Accordingly, it has also been stated that the Hulk does not always need to breathe.
- Underwater Breathing: The Hulk has been on the ocean floor a number of times. The Hulk is able to breathe due to his body developing a gland which creates an oxygenated perfluorocarbon emulsion which fills his lungs and equalizes the pressure. He is therefore able to breathe fluid and avoid decompression and nitrogen narcosis.
- Telepathic Resistance: In many instances the Hulk has demonstrated great psychic resistance as a side-effect of his innate rage and the multiple personalities inside his mind. When in ideal conditions it is extremely difficult to enslave the Hulk mentally. In parallel, this ability increases with his rage. This was demonstrated when Psyklop managed to enthrall the Hulk initially with his hypnotizing power but was not able to subjugate an enraged Hulk. In an example of his mental prowess, the Hulk was even able to survive using the Ultimate Machine, which contained the collective knowledge of an entire universe. While the Leader died, despite his heightened intellect, due to being unable to process the entirety of the information and having his brain overloaded, the Hulk was able to survive using it and find out that Rick Jones was in danger, after which he removed the device and leapt away. In an astounding exhibition of his telepathic immunity, the Hulk proved to be unaffected by the Xemnu's telepathic assault, which has been powerful enough to mesmerize the entire human population, put a mental block on Doctor Strange to prevent him from using his powers, or even engage the enormously powerful Moondragon in battle. The Hulk was also the only one able to remember the Sentry after Sentry had used his psionic powers to remove his memories from everyone on the planet. When highly powerful psychics, such as Professor X, could only utilize his psionic powers to find out that their memories had been radically altered and twisted. The Hulk has withstood telepathic attacks from the powerful Stranger, the Shaper of Worlds, Professor X, Selene, Doctor Strange, the Leader, Mentallo, the Ringmaster, etc.
- Extrasensory Perception:
- Astral Form Perception: The Hulk has the unique ability of being able to see "astral forms," or ghosts, and even physically interact with them. This power has come in handy when working with his fellow Defender, Doctor Strange, who is able to leave his body in an usually invisible, ghost-like state better known as an astral form. Bruce Banner subconsciously feared his father's ghost would come back to haunt him, and so the Hulk developed this mechanism to allow him to look out for him. More recent events have shown that the power to see astral forms may now extend to Bruce Banner. However, it was suggested the clarity of the astral forms is diminished when compared to the Hulk's ability to view them. The Hulk's ability to see astral forms may go beyond just seeing individual spirits. The Hulk once experienced a whole town in the middle of the desert that then faded away into nothing. While it is possible it was merely a mirage, it is possible the Hulk was able to see a town that did not exist in our plane of reality that no one else could see.
- Homing Ability: The Hulk also has a seemingly mystical homing ability that enables him to locate the area in New Mexico where Banner first became the Hulk. This applies even if the Hulk is in another dimension. An image of the Maestro once explained to Bruce that the reason he was able to do that was because the Maestro's spirit was there, calling to him. However, since the time Maestro was resurrected, the Hulk has continued to return to the gamma bomb site, suggesting that there is more to his ability than merely the Maestro's spirit. This homing ability has also been used to find people on rare occasions. For example, the Hulk was able to dig a tunnel underground exactly in the direction of Onslaught. While it is possible that Onslaught was mentally leading the Hulk to him, there were other instances of the Hulk demonstrating this ability. The Hulk's instincts led him to Rick Jones and Betty, and the Hulk located the Abomination with no prior knowledge of his whereabouts. The Hulk was also able to know that the Vision was approaching while inside an underground tunnel, even though he could neither hear nor see the intangible Avenger's approach.
- Gamma Radiation/Energy Manipulation and Emission: Not usually a power associated with the Hulk, but there is enough evidence that Hulk possesses at least a limited ability to manipulate forms of energy, particularly gamma radiation. The Hulk's body works like a "gamma battery" by constantly creating and radiating gamma energy. The Troyjan emperor Armageddon once wanted to employ the Hulk's own gamma radiation to power machines to revive his dead son again. However, the Hulk outsmarted him by consciously force feeding his energy into these machines at a rate too fast for them to handle, and they promptly overloaded and exploded. The Hulk also generated massive amounts of gamma radiation during World War Hulk, and produced considerable quantity while in the Dark Dimension. The Hulk has also shown the ability to redirect gamma rays unleashed towards him. When the Avengers used the Gammatron Bombarder device on him, the Hulk deflected the blast at the device and destroyed it. During the battle against the Galaxy Master, Hulk resisted and reflected the enemy's "gamma bombardment" attacks, and further demonstrated a beam-shaped projection of gamma energy by using the accumulated gamma energy within himself against the entity. The Hulk is also able to absorb gamma energy. As Bruce Banner, he absorbed the tremendous amount of energy stored aboard the Intelligencia's Helicarrier. As the Hulk, he has demonstrated the ability to absorb gamma radiation as he drained the second Red Hulk, Sasquatch and Rebecca Green of their gamma energy. The Hulk even managed to absorb the gamma radiation of several nuclear bombs, which made him grow to a huge size, to the point where he became much larger than Fin Fang Foom. The exact extent to which the Hulk controls his own gamma radiation, and also extrinsic sources of gamma radiation, has yet to be established.
- Optic Blast: After the malevolent personality known as Titan took control of the Hulk persona was about to fight The Abominations, the personality increased the Hulk's rage to a level that he gave out huge amounts of energy from his eyes. Even when the Titan persona lost control, Hulk was still able to fire blasts of energy from his eyes.
Super-Genius Intelligence: Doctor Bruce Banner is a super-genius in nuclear physics, possessing a mind so brilliant that it cannot be measured by any known intelligence test. Hence he is capable of extraordinary feats of intellect, such as to successfully reprogram an advanced and especially sophisticated computer system (intended to be used to rule the world) in a matter of seconds. In effect, Banner even accomplished to infect a computer system with a virus which even Tony Stark, employing his skills, was unable to counteract. Banner is regarded by Tony Stark as the most brilliant nuclear scientist (presumably on the planet), and another description corroborates Tony's statement upon indicating that Banner is the greatest nuclear scientist in the world. Banner also has expertise in several additional fields, such as engineering, architecture, and biology. Banner was referred as the only true expert on radiation-based mutation. He was once estimated as the fourth smartest person on the planet, Doctor Doom considers him a genius unparalleled in certain fields, and even Reed Richards recognizes him as one of the most intelligent person on Earth.
Master Combatant: The Hulk is a skillful and capable warrior, demonstrating vast versatility and intuition in the battle, like anticipating and exploiting the weakness of Hyperion. The Hulk has consistently faced warriors with experience in combat, such as Thor, the Executioner, and Hercules. As the Green Scar, he has had training in multiple combat arms, including broadswords, spears, and battle shields. As Doc Green, he received martial arts training from the expert martial artist Daniel Rand.
Indomitable Will: The Hulk has an enduring and unbreakable willpower under extreme conditions. If his loved ones are threatened or the battle is so heated that it requires his dynamic strength to be explored further, he will strive to subdue his foes no matter how powerful they are or how uneven are the odds. In one occasion, when the Defenders were captured and imprisoned in a power-draining machinery, the Hulk was the only one capable to unearth an unfathomable hidden willpower and increase his strength sufficiently to destroy the machinery and save everyone. In a fierce battle against the Abomination, despite being initially overwhelmed by the superior might of the Abomination, once Betty was threatened his strength grew dramatically to overpower his foe. In yet another combat against the Abomination, Blonsky's strength was restored to its original levels by the mighty Galaxy Master. Despite being initially subjugated, the Hulk's strength dynamically increased ensuring his victory.
Self-Restraint: When Banner is the Hulk, he can influence the Hulk's behavior to a limited extent. However, several facts indicate that Banner subconsciously restrains the Hulk. For example, the Hulk asked for Jean Grey to psionically shut Bruce Banner off so that the Hulk's sheer power could be unleashed against the threat of Onslaught. Moreover, the Hulk has further stated that Banner's constraints prevent him from destroying the planet. In another occasion, Iron Man has also deduced that Bruce Banner exerts a moderating influence on the Hulk, and Tony even indicated the Hulk normally moderates and regulates the potency of all his punches. In a classical combat between Thor and the Hulk, at one point it is narrated that Banner was suppressed. Doctor Samson has pondered that, while extensive destruction was caused by the Hulk, he never killed a single soul confronting the army. The Immortal Hulk recognized that Amadeus Cho's hypothesis about Banner exercising subconscious control on the Hulk is plausible, though it works only for the other classic incarnations of the Green Goliath. Upon being subjected to the Nightmare's machinations, the Hulk also aroused his uncontrollable inner savagery, revealing that Banner had lost ascendancy over the Hulk, which ultimately resulted in Banner's psychic suicide. In yet another instance, the Professor X, before an imminent confrontation between the Hulk and the X-Men, scanned the Hulk's mind and discovered that Banner was in control and the Hulk posed no threat, which was soon confirmed by the team.
Gamma Radiation Draining: The Hulk is sometimes portrayed as vulnerable to gamma radiation draining by sufficiently powerful energy manipulators. Reverting to human form may be necessary for the Hulk to recharge his gamma energy. However, the Hulk is eventually characterized as possessing high degree of immunity to this weakness. For example, the mutant Darwin was unable to drain his gamma radiation, and Hulk deliberately transferred his energy into an entire race of absorbing entities without collapsing. Even previous to these events the Hulk has displayed this potential. For example, the hero Rom was unable to cure Banner from his condition, and the Hulk intentionally overloaded the Armageddon absorption mechanism.
Cosmic radiation: Cosmic radiation is the "opposite" of gamma radiation. X-Ray used this fact to weaken Hulk or even transform him back into Banner. The U-Foes once even killed the Hulk with these "anti-gamma" rays and sent him to the Below-Place, but they made the mistake of constantly feeding him cosmic rays. The cosmic rays seeped into the Below-Place, got absorbed by Joe Fixit, and turned him into a Red Hulk. The Red Hulk then smashed through the Red Door that was keeping him in the Below-Place and Hulk came back to life, empowered by cosmic rays.
Gas Inhalation: Great doses of gas can temporarily neutralize the Hulk. However, it is not an insurmountable obstacle, since the Hulk can dissipate the gas with a powerful thunderclap, destabilizing the opponent with the resulting shockwaves. The Hulk has also occasionally resisted that.
Adamantium and Vibranium Blades: They have been shown capable of piercing the Hulk's skin; Wolverine, X-23, and the Black Panther's claws can pierce it. However, as the Hulk's rage increases they become progressively less effective, reaching an stage where they are completely unable to harm him.
Adrenaline Suppression: Adrenaline inhibitors can be administered via syringes of Adamantium and Vibranium, aiming to revert the transformation. Amplified quantities can accomplish this purpose. However, the Hulk has also withstood substances intended to sedate him by tactile contact.
Toxic Substances: Once, Scorpion (Carmilla Black) injected him with a toxin especially designed to counteract the efficiency of the Hulk's healing factor. However, if the Hulk gets angry enough, he can nullify this effect, as he quickly demonstrated.
Rage Nullification: The Hulk's rage also can be neutralized; certain individuals can calm the Hulk down. Betty Ross and Sentry successfully calmed the Hulk down in several instances. Telepaths with vast empathy potential can theoretically emulate this effect. The Inhuman Randall Jessup's ability to siphon away negative emotions makes him a particularly effective deterrent to the Hulk's rage factor.
Strength Increasing Factor: The Hulk normally doesn't achieve high-end strength in the first moments after his transformation. Unless there is a substantial and significant event that breaks Banner's restraints and triggers far superior amounts of adrenaline in his circulatory system, he can theoretically be defeated in earlier stages of transformation. His strength level at any given moment may still be inferior to that of his opponents.
Magic: Since the Hulk is empowered by dark magic, it is not properly a weakness. However, depending upon the Hulk's emotional state, his incarnation, and the power magnitude of the magic manipulator, this could be a potential threat. However, the Hulk has also been shown to be injured more easily by enchanted weapons than regular weapons.
Special Conditions: The Hulk can be hurt or killed by Cosmic entities and individuals with similar extraordinary levels of power. Under some conditions, he is more susceptible to mental manipulation by exceptionally powerful telepaths. In this context, the psionic control efficiency is inversely proportional to the Hulk's rage level.
BannerTech PDA: Banner has a mobile operating system that can hack sophisticated systems within moments and seems to be controlled mentally for the most part.
BannerTech Shield/Gamma Dome Generator: Banner has created a gamma and old power fueled shield that protects him from most physical harm. It has been shown to protect him from beings as strong as Skaar and the Juggernaut. Banner is able to extend this shield to cover several other people and also redirect the energy to increase his strength.
BannerTech Satchel: Banner has a pocket teleporter in his satchel with which he can reach into his bag and grab things from his lab.
BannerTech Wrist-Watch Teleporter: A pocket sized teleport device Banner can spontaneously warp himself and others across vast distanced with.
A molecular repulsion field that could be used to simulate levitation.
A mini electromagnetic pulse blast.
BannerTech Nanoparticulates: microrobotic-particles able to hack and disable technological weapons.
BannerTech Flyspy Cams: A spybot with hosts of scanners that are constantly performing advanced diagnostics on everyone within 50 feet of him, he also uses them to carry out thorough bioscans of a particular set of individuals under his surveillance.
Banner used to sew a survival kit into his pants so whenever he woke up, he could survive anywhere. The kit included a needle and thread, a pack of waterproof matches, and a debit card.
After joining S.H.I.E.L.D., Banner was able to build new technologies to help mankind:
- Banner has created a purification unit that could prevent all waterborne disasters for the next five years.
- Banner has made the catalytic converter, which could save countless from smoking induced cancers.
- Banner has designed a suit of his own, but its maximum capabilities are unknown. Since, unlike the Hulk, Banner cannot breathe underwater, hence the suit enables Banner to breathe in oxygen-less environments. The suit also allows him to survive absolute zero temperatures.
- Banner also has constructed a contact lens which allows him to operate it like a computer. Using this he can monitor his vital functions.
Banner later took control of Hulk by using technology taken from A.I.M. to fracture his psyche into parts. The technology was fitted over Hulk like armor. The armor has a jetpack that allowed the Hulk to fly and energy weapons for defense. It can also reassemble and repair itself if damaged.
Old Power Taser: A stun gun built combining Old Strong power in conjunction with Bruce's Gamma Rays, emits pulses that are so strong the effects are measured on the Richter Scale. At a 1.4 it was able to send Logan clear across the street and according to Banner on a 6.9, it would be able to kill him.
BannerTech Stun Gun: Handheld electrode discharging pistol which could be utilized to paralyze and incapacitate opponents, even affecting the likes of the Red Hulk in singular uses. According to Banner, prolonged application of said tool would have overwhelmed his durability and recovery capacity, leaving him indefinitely paralyzed.
When he lost his ability to turn into the Hulk, Banner reversed engineered the Leader's teleportation technology and used it as a transportation device.
- Banner's identity is publicly known; however, the public does not know Joe Fixit was the Hulk.
- Bruce Banner is a graduate of Desert State University in Navapo, New Mexico. His college roommate was Peter Corbeau.
- Bruce Banner is of French descent. He had an ancestor who fought for France in World War I.
- Banner is an atheist.
- Hulk was initially gray-colored but, as the gamma radiation raged through his body, it was eventually turned green. The Hulk has reverted back to his gray skin tone a couple of times.
- Through the transformation from Banner to the Hulk, his jeans or pants are generally the only item of clothing to sustain the shear forces in a muscular explosion.
- Spider-Man once managed to "defeat" the Hulk by telling a joke which made him calm down and turn to his Bruce Banner alter-ego to laugh. Another time, after Hulk was seduced by Umar, the Hulk was so satisfied that he reverted back to Bruce Banner, and wouldn't turn back into Hulk.
- The fact that Bruce has turned into the Hulk without the use of anger or increased heart rate reveals that the adrenaline that Bruce uses to turn into the Hulk may simply be a catalyst, and that his transformation may be more psychological than physical. This implies that he can transform at will.
- Because of his troubled childhood and his identity disorder, Bruce is the only Hulk that does not fully control both of his forms, unlike the Red Hulk, the She-Hulk, and other Hulk entities.
- Bruce set up a benefit corporation to administer his patents in order to collect money for victims of his rampages. By the time of his death, he had used it to give 230 million dollars to victims.
- Star-Lord briefly ran into Bruce Banner in Purgatory at the time Bruce was dead following his brief resurrection in Uncanny Avengers.
- Devil Hulk remembers how Spider-Man revealed his secret identity to the world, implying he was immune to Doctor Strange's spell. Bruce Banner, on the other hand, was affected and doesn't recall his identity. How the spell affected his other personalities is unknown.
- Years before Hulk became a part of the Defenders with Namor, Stan Lee considered merging their solo features in Tales to Astonish by making them form a team called "the Invaders." The idea was dropped, and years later, the name of the Invaders was used by Roy Thomas when he pitched the idea of a team of super heroes set during WWII.
- The Merged Hulk was briefly renamed "The Professor" during writer Paul Jenkins' run, as a "revelation" that the Merged Hulk was not actually a merger of the three personalities but rather a separate personality altogether. Unlike the Merged Hulk, the Professor was physically distinguished by having a ponytail, which the Merged Hulk did not. However, these parts of Jenkins' run and Bruce Jones' entire run on the book, including "The Professor", "The Guilt Hulk", and "The Devil Hulk", were later retconned into hallucinations created by Nightmare, when writer Peter David returned to the title. However, another retcon revealed that the Devil Hulk was indeed a real persona, not a hallucination; and the Guilt Hulk resurfaced in Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3 as a real persona controlled by or believing itself to be Brian Banner.
- According to him, the "Hulk loves puppies." S.H.I.E.L.D. once used a bunch of them to transform him back to Banner after a mission. Similarly, the Hulk has claimed his favorite animals are dogs.
- When asked by Iron Man why build the gamma bomb, he said he wanted gamma energy to power the world, but got no funds and had to transform it into a weapon to get government funds.
- An hour of his Hulk persona being in control equals to 7.3 hours of sleep to his Bruce Banner persona.
- Hulk was ranked as 9th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes in 2011.
- Hulk was also ranked as 4th in "The Top 50 Avengers."
- Stan Lee revealed that Hulk went from gray to green because at the time, Marvel had ink problems, causing the strips to look weird. So when Lee was asked to change Hulk's color, it became green, because it looked like a monster the most. He revealed this in the 2003 movie's bonuses.
- In Hulk: The Incredible Guide and the 2003 movie, Stan Lee revealed the Hulk was based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as Frankenstein.
- Australian actor Eric Bana portrayed Bruce Banner, the Hulk in the 2003 film version directed by Ang Lee. Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner in the 2008 reboot of The Incredible Hulk directed by Louis Leterrier.
- Ang Lee actually played the action scenes with the Incredible Hulk in motion capture, while Eric Bana is used to model the green behemoth's face.
- Lou Ferrigno starred in the 1970s television series of the same name as the character -- from Universal Studios and not Marvel Comics -- opposite Bill Bixby, who portrayed the David Banner persona instead of the true version; however, this did not follow the original plot from the comics. In the television series, Banner's first name was changed from Robert to David and he was never called by his middle name Bruce, only David. On the DVD commentary of the pilot, series developer and executive producer Kenneth Johnson explained that it was a way to honor his late son David. Also, according to Stan Lee, Universal changed the name because "Bruce" sounded, in the eyes of the network, like a "gay" name, and David sounded much better. "Bruce" ultimately became the TV Banner's middle name, as it had been in the comics, visible on Banner's tombstone at the end of the pilot episode.
- Stan Lee never intended The Hulk's identity to be Robert Bruce Banner. Stan ran the first issues with Bruce Banner, then mistakenly ran some more with Bob Banner. Notified of his mistake, he announced the name of the Hulk's alter ego was Robert Bruce Banner.
- While the Hulk was intended to be the physically strongest character in Marvel, at the time Stan Lee created Thor in 1963, he intended to make a character who was "stronger than the Hulk, and smarter than Reed Richards, in a godly wisdom aspect." However, it should be noted that the above was simply Stan's intention in 1963, and whereas the Hulk has continuously grown in power since then, Thor has not. Under Stan Lee's watch, 10 years later during the 1970s, the Hulk stalemated Thor in strength, and during the late 1980s Stan wrote a Thor issue in which the title character was clearly outmatched against the Hulk without using Mjolnir. His current, 2013, view on the topic, is that it simply depends on if the writer is a Hulk fan or a Thor fan. The subject over which titular hero is the strongest is the source of many debates between comic book fans.
- In DC Comics' Doomsday Clock #12, when Doctor Manhattan looks forward into the history of Superman, he refers to Hulk (as a green behemoth) alongside Thor as part of an alleged event bound to happen in the year 2030 named the "Secret Crisis". In this story, Superman would be thrown into a brawl with Hulk and Thor, with Doomsday dying to protect him against them.
- In Tarot #3 the two halves of Hulk merged with the halves of Captain America and Vision to create Captain Cosmos and Hulkoid.
- The Green Savage Hulk's favorite food is beans.
- 2003 appearance(s) of Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 38 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 443 minor appearance(s) of Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 559 mention(s) of Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 34 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 3618 image(s) of Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 283 quotation(s) by or about Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 20 victim(s) killed by Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
- 13 item(s) used/owned by Bruce Banner (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Bruce Banner (Earth-616) on Marvel.com
- Bruce Banner (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- Bruce Banner (Earth-616) at Hulk Wiki
- Bruce Banner (Earth-616) at MarvelDirectory.com
- A fan site with extensive Hulk information
- Hulk's Blog
- The Hulk Library
- Gamma Base - An Online Hulk Resource
- HulkNews.com - Featuring the latest news, reviews and information on all things Hulk
- The Incredible Hulk Message Board
- The Hulk at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- Incredible Hulk Online
- Incredible Hulk