Marvel Database
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Early life

Bruce Banner is born[1]

Robert Bruce Banner[2] was the only son of Professor Brian Banner and his wife Rebecca. An abusive and alcoholic man, Bruce's father was also a well known researcher of atomic energy at the Los Alamos research base years earlier. there, and years before Bruce was born, he'd had been exposed to gamma radiation after an attempt to make a machine that created clean gamma energy, resulting Brian's D.N.A. being altered, which, in turn, led Bruce to be born with unique genes.[3] A selfish man, Brian was convinced by his wife to have a child and soon became jealous of his unborn son, and also began harboring delusions that the radiation he was exposed to through his research may have mutated his son into an abomination. Bruce was born at Ohio General Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. His birth was a complicated one requiring a caesarean section in order to save both Bruce and Rebecca's life. The birth was a success, despite Brian's attempts to prevent it from being completed. Not even seeing his newborn child could convince Brian that his boy was normal. After many weeks in the hospital Bruce was eventually allowed to go home with his mother and father.

Bruce Banner as an infant[1]

While Rebecca loved her newborn child, Brian still considered it a monster and hated it for taking attention away from his wife. One of Bruce's earliest comforts was a star mobile that was hung over his crib. Brian frequently took his wife out of the house on important social functions, leaving Bruce in the care of his abusive nanny Nurse Meachum. The only "friend" that Bruce had was his beloved stuffed animal named Guardian. Bruce was verbally and physically abused by his father for years.[1] Growing up as a child, Banner felt very unloved by his parents.[4] However, Banner was a curious and intelligent child whose curiosity often came to harm, such as when he burned his hand on a radiator as a small infant.[5] One Christmas Eve when Bruce was four years old, Bruce went into the family den in the middle of the night to take a look at the Christmas gifts and could not resist opening the one from his mother. It was a metal building set and while he was entrapped in play he was caught by his father. Seeing the complicated construct, Brian Banner was convinced that it was proof that his son was somehow genetically altered and would use his superior intelligence to edge out humanity. Rebecca got in the middle of the fight and was slapped. Bruce tried to throw himself at his father but the four year old was easily knocked aside. The commotion woke Nurse Meachum who was ordered by Brian to bring Bruce back to bed.[1][6][7] Bruce was often isolated to his room while his mother and father went out, soon growing to resent how often they left him alone, however, he came to rely on nobody but himself. While he outwardly pretended to be glad whenever his parents left him alone, he secretly cried for them to come back.[8] As Bruce got older his father continued to be physically abusive toward him.[9] However, one of his few childhood friends came when he first met his cousin Jennifer Walters.[10]

Bruce Banner testifying against his father[11]

Eventually, Rebecca had enough of the abuse from her husband and packed up a bag for her and Bruce to try and leave. However, they were caught in the driveway and Brian beat his wife to death before Bruce's eyes. Upon witnessing his mother's death, Bruce stifled all his emotions thereafter.[6][12][7] Brian was arrested for murdering his wife, however, before the trail Bruce was bullied and abused into telling the judge and jury that he made up his testimony against his father and that his mother really died by accident when she tripped and fell while trying to flee her husband.[11] While Brian Banner was originally cleared of charges, until Banner was overheard gloating about browbeating his son into making a false testimony. Found guilty by reason of insanity, Brian Banner was hauled off to a psychiatric facility for treatment.[13] Bruce was then placed in the care of his aunt Susan Drake, who raised Bruce throughout the rest of his childhood.[1] Both the traumatic events and his unique genes caused Bruce to start to develop multiple personality disorder, which he wouldn't be diagnosed with years later, some which were reflected from himself, and some which were reflected from others, especially at an early age, though, despite this, none of these personalities would manifest, due to the fact his D.I.D. was suppressed, until Bruce was exposed to gamma radiation from the gamma bomb years later.[14] 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". 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.[15]

High School

Teenage Bruce and his imaginary friend the Hulk[16]

As a teenager Bruce had visits from his cousin Jennifer every summer and the two bonded as though they were brother and sister.[17] Bruce attended Science High School where he excelled in his work but usually kept to himself, which was a cause for concern among the faculty. One day one of his classmates tampered with one of his experiments causing it to explode in his face and getting him in trouble with his science professor.[1] Banner was still a clumsy student, however, as he learned to master science he was just as prone to cause experiments to blow up in his face as the other students were in sabotaging his work.[5]

Still relying on the Hulk, Bruce began to mutter to himself in conversation with his "imaginary friend",[16] as well as keeping detailed note books with all sorts of strange equations[15] alienating himself even worse from his classmates who began to think he was crazy.[16] Bruce also began secretly working on explosives in an abandoned warehouse as a means of venting his frustrations and secretly harbouring ideas of revenge against his classmates.[18] Banner frequently made minor errors in his calculations, something that would come to bite him in the near future. Banner also developed an infatuation with a fellow classmate named Carla, who was constantly harassed by Ken, one of Bruce's prime tormentors in high school.[16] One day in the cafeteria Bruce say Carla being harassed again and decided to get involved. Instead of being the knight in shining armor he hoped to be, Bruce was knocked out when he was struck in the head with a lunch tray and dragged out into the parking lot where he was beaten up by his tormentors. Bruce was hospitalized with three broken ribs, a broken nose, two black eyes, and one tooth knocked out. However, his aunt, just recently having gone through a divorce, was unable to get the school administrators to punish the boys responsible due to the hearsay nature of the claim and revelations of Bruce's "Hulk" and notebooks.[15]

When Bruce returned to school the Hulk tried to warn him that everyone in school would consider him an even bigger freak than before. Bruce ignored his "imaginary friend" and tried to reconnect with Carla, who was furious at Banner for getting involved in her business. She angrily rejected him for his stunt because it had people believe that she was his girlfriend, and how repulsive she thought that was because she thought him as much of a freak as everyone else in school. Bruce was devastated by this rejection, but the Hulk had a solution to this and all other wrongs that had be committed to Bruce. The Hulk suggests that Bruce smash all his enemies.[18] While Bruce was initially receptive, when the Hulk suggested that they blow up the school with the explosive devices that Bruce had been experimenting with, Bruce suddenly changed his mind and refused to do so, but the Hulk told Bruce that it would happen no matter if he liked it or not. Over the next few nights Bruce was too depressed to attend school, which his aunt allowed. However, unknown to Bruce, when he slept the Hulk took control of his body and planted a bomb in the school to go off in the morning. When Bruce realized what had happened he rushed to school to try and disarm it.[19] Bruce rushed into the school warning everyone about the bomb but found that nobody was listening. 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 the immediately figured out who planted the bomb 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. Bruce's aunt agreed that she and Bruce would move out of town in order for Bruce to avoid jail time once he was released from the hospital. Unknown to Bruce, his aunt was approached by 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.[20]

Post-Secondary Education

After graduating high school, Bruce attended Desert State University in Navapo, New Mexico. There he dated a girl named Sally and carved her name on a tree.[21] He soon became the top student with Professor Herbert Josiah Weller.[22] Later he dated a girl named Susan Jacobson, but their relationship soon became rocky when Bruce lacked any sort of intimacy and she broke it off after one night where he aggressively grabbed her arm.[23] Bruce later transferred to Pennsylvania State University where he briefly worked with Canadian student Walter Langkowski finding a similar interest in gamma radiation.[24][25] 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.[26] Bruce finally finished his education at the California Institute of Technology, where he worked along side fellow researched Philip Sterns. It was her that Banner obtained his doctorate in nuclear physics.[26]

Tony and Bruce at Oxford University

As a young student Bruce first met another student with a brilliant mind; Tony Stark. They both attended Dr. Derenik Zadian; "Forward Thought Conference" at Oxford University.[27] The two became intellectual rivals, although Tony's family wealth and playboy lifestyle eventually distracted him from further competition.[28]

In his final years at school he met and fell in love with Angela Lipscombe and the two began dating. They had a promising relationship with their educational backgrounds, and Angela helped Bruce come out of his shell. However, while Angela succeeded in getting scholarship grants, Bruce had great difficulty and his anger and frustration over this began to boil to the surface. Having grown jealous of her success and attributing it to her being attractive, Bruce abruptly ended their relationship and cut off all contact with her.[29]

Shortly thereafter Bruce was tapped to work for the United States Army.[30][31]

Gamma Bomb Project

Bruce Banner, scientist[13]

Following his graduation, Bruce was approached by General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross to come work for the military to develop his gamma bomb for military use. While Bruce intended to develop his bomb as a means of destroying enemy weapons and buildings but sparing human lives, Ross was only interested in making a destructive weapon that would make America's enemies fear them. On the day Banner took the job with the military he was contacted by the mental hospital where his father had been kept for years. He went to see his father and was told that he was cured, and his father also appeared repentant of his past crimes and begged his son to allow him back in his life. Despite his misgivings and inability to trust his father, Bruce agreed to take his father in. However, Bruce noticed that the longer his father stayed with him the more mentally unstable he became and became suspicious that his father might be trying to kill him. When Ross learned that Bruce's father had come to live with him, he warned Banner that the fact that he was allowing a known murderer live with him could be a security risk, but Banner told Ross to mind his own business and then left the house, unaware that his father was following him.[13]

Bruce went to visit his mother's grave at it was the anniversary of her murder. He was confronted by his father who revealed that he was not as cured of his mental illness as he lead the psychiatric hospital to believe. Still holding onto the notion that his son might be a mutant, Brian attacked his son.[1] Bruce fought off his father, but in the struggle he forced his father back into his mother's tombstone. The force in which Brian Banner's head connected with the tombstone was fatal and he died instantly. Bruce fled the scene and thanks to the rainstorm all evidence placing him at the scene were erased. Bruce reported his father missing and when the police found his body, they wrote it off as a mugging gone horribly wrong.[13][7] Bruce submerged the memory of murdering his own father, instead remembering that his father left after being fought off, and leaving the childhood mobile star on his mother's grave.[1]

Bruce then began pitching his gamma bomb project to the United States government. This was a means to an end for Banner as he hoped that the weaponizing of his gamma research could lead to it being used in other areas such as medicine to cure disease. However, Banner intentionally made the bomb not nearly as powerful as it could have been and his frequent tweaking of the bomb prompted military brass and government officials to become uneasy with the amount of taxpayer dollars were being spent on the project. Banner's project would have been cancelled if it wasn't for a charismatic entrance and endorsement from Tony Stark who stood by Banner's work. However, things became sour when Stark pointed out areas where the bomb could be improved. This led to an argument between Banner and Stark, which soured their relationship.[28]

Soon Bruce arrived at Los Diablos Missile Base a.k.a "Desert Base" in New Mexico. Ross still had a critical opinion of Banner, calling him a milksop and demanding results. Upon finding Guardian among Banner's belongings, Ross was even more disparaging unintentionally ripping the arm off the stuffed animal. Despite this rough start, Banner began to continue his work on the Gamma Bomb project.[32]

It was during his research in developing the gamma bomb that he began working with a technician and became very close to he and his wife. When the technician and his wife gave birth to young girl named Po, they made Bruce the godfather of the child. Uninterested in the child at first, Banner soon came to think highly over her and enjoyed answering her questions about the nature of the world she lives in, however, was slightly troubled by her infatuation with death. Tragedy struck when the technician and Po died in a plane crash, their deaths deeply upsetting Bruce, who attended their funeral before continuing his work on the gamma bomb.[33] On the days leading up to the test of his gamma bomb, Banner was becoming deeply troubled by the increase in military observers who became interested in his project,[29] of these top brass individuals was General John Ryker.[34] Meanwhile, General Ross had hired Tony Stark to try to alter the bomb to make it more powerful. Stark in turn tried to get Banner's permission before he began. Bruce believed that Stark was trying to get recognition for the Gamma Bomb and tossed Stark out, unaware that Stark intended to research and alter the bomb anyway.[35] Upon examination, Stark realized that the shielding that Banner put on the bomb to dampen it's blast actually made the bomb more powerful and threatened to destroy the entire test site. After lessening the shielding, Stark also found the properties of the gamma rays output by the bomb could cause mutagenic properties in whatever survived the blast. Later that night, Stark sent an email confessing everything he had done. However when Banner received the message, he was so furious he refused to read it and deleted the message, and blocked Stark from his contacts.[36] A decision done out of anger, while appearing to be of no consequence, would ultimately alter the course of Bruce Banner's life forever.

On the day before the testing of the Gamma Bomb, Bruce was called to General Ross’s residence to discuss the matter. While Ross was speaking to Major Glenn Talbot on the phone, the door was answered by his daughter, Betty Ross. At first not even looking Bruce in the eye, she finally pays attention to him after he helps her with an equation for her graduate course. The two then form a connection, even with the Hulk in Bruce’s head belittling him all the while.[37]

Birth of the Hulk

The Hulk was born on the day that Bruce Banner first tested out his Gamma Bomb. Unknown to military staff at the time, one of Banner's assistants Igor Starsky was really a Russian spy who was seeking to obtain Banner's plans for the formula. Banner kept the plans a well kept secret but let slip that he had them hidden in his cabin. As the final countdown began, Banner noticed a young boy named Rick Jones driving out into the testing area to play his harmonica on a dare from other children. Bruce told Igor to delay the countdown while he rushed off to get Rick out of the testing area. However, Igor saw this as an opportunity to get a hold of Banner's plans and allowed the countdown to continue. Banner got to Rick and threw him into a lead-lined trench. However, before he could throw himself to safety, the Gamma Bomb went off bombarding Banner with a seemingly lethal dose of gamma rays.[38][39][1][40][7] 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.[41] The Gamma Bomb also caused Bruce to alter his body.

Chronal Interferences

The accident that birthed the Hulk was of such historical significance that it has been the subject of various tampering from time travellers. Many years in the future on Earth-9200 a battle between the Hulk of Earth-616 (from a number of years in the future from his birth) battled his evil Earth-9200 counterpart, the Maestro. The battle ended when the Maestro was thrown through Dr. Doom's Time-Platform and sent back in time to Earth-616 at the moment of the gamma bomb explosion. The explosion seemingly atomized the Maestro.[42] However, his spirit endured and formed a link between himself and the past Bruce Banner.[43]

Hulk trying to change history.[44]

Another was due to a complex plot by Zarrko the Tomorrow Man a time traveller from the future of Earth-6297. Who aligned himself with the Chronarchist known as Khotto in a plot to create an even more powerful Hulk to used as a weapon.[45] To this end, Zarrko appeared a number of years into modern era and tricked the spy agency SHIELD and it's sister agency TIME to send the Hulk (one of their operatives in that era) to various points in the past to stop the various Chronanarchists. In order to better command the Hulk, Banner's mind was transferred into a Recording Observation Bot to guide the near mindless Hulk through the various eras.[46] The last stop was the day of the gamma bomb test that birthed the Hulk. By this point, a previous damage to the timestream made it so any changes in the past would not create an alternate reality as it originally did, but change the course of history. Seeing the opportunity to prevent himself from becoming the Hulk, the R.O.B. carrying Banner's mind knocked both his past self and Rick Jones into the trench saving their lives. However, the future Hulk was caught in the gamma blast and was mutated into an even stronger form as per Zarrko's plans.[44] Now with the memories of his future self, Banner saw that in trying to save himself he unleashed a more dangerous threat upon the world—a paradoxical Hulk that was more powerful than the original. Banner attacked Khotto and used Zarrko's time window to set time backward to moments before the bomb explosion and with the help of the Red She-Hulk defeated Khotto and seemingly set history back on its proper course.[45]

First Transformations

The first incarnation of the Hulk[38]

Banner and Rick were recovered from the military and Banner did not stop screaming in agony for many hours. Left in isolation to presumably die of radiation poisoning both men survived. However, that night, Bruce suddenly transformed into a powerful grey skinned Hulk.[47] Upon his transformation the brutish Hulk smashed out of quarantine and fought his way through the military to get to freedom. Rick, feeling indebted to Bruce for saving his life went after the Hulk to make sure nobody got hurt. Hulk then went to Betty's house (Banner later would call this moment the first time when he and Hulk thought the same thing) and knocked the door. Betty opened, thinking that it was his father, but upon realizing it was the Hulk she began screaming at him and demanded to know what the Hulk has done to Banner. Betty then fainted into Hulk's arms, and the Hulk was suddenly surrounded by the army. Hulk easily defeated the army and left. The next morning, the Bruce Banner was woken up in the desert by Rick where he apparently fainted. When Banner asked Rick how he found him, Rick showed Banner a trail of destruction left from Hulk's battle with the army, causing Banner to realize that he was dangerous as the Hulk. Banner then refused Rick's offer to go to the latter's house, unwilling to put someone in danger, however, Rick pointed out that they has to be together since Banner saved Rick's life. Banner and Rick then went to a cave where with a room that could contain the Hulk, and Banner instructed Rick how to operate a mechanical door to lock the scientist inside, ordering Rick not to let him out unless it was Bruce Banner's voice asking to be let out. Banner then entered the room and soon turned into the Hulk and inevitably smashed his way out in order to get free to kill Bruce Banner, whom he believed was the one who caged him.[48]

Later the Hulk discovered that Rick was captured by the army for questioning and attacked the base to rescue him, but he took Betty instead, and was attacked by Iron Man, who was there to rescue Betty. The Hulk, believing that Iron Man was a robot, attacked him without mercy, at the verge of killing him, he only stopped when he injured Betty after she tried to stop him from killing Iron Man. Hulk then took Betty to heal her and, after escaping from the police when the Hulk went for medicine for Betty, Hulk left Betty in a cave and Hulk took care of Betty before being found by the army. Hulk fought the army and nearly killed General Ross, who was there, until Betty begged Hulk to not do it, Hulk then left. The next morning, Hulk reverted back to Bruce Banner, and Rick found Banner in the desert, they managed to get some clothes for Banner, and returned to the base, with Banner knowing that he cannot let the people believe the Hulk killed him, there Banner was confronted by Ross, who demanded to know about Banner's disappearance.[49]

The next time Banner turned into the Hulk, he tore a path of destruction all the way to his lab where he caught Igor trying to steal his gamma bomb plans. Igor was no match for the brute strength of the Hulk and was easily subdued. When Rick tried to get the Hulk to understand that he was really Bruce Banner, the Hulk rejected Banner as a weakling. However, as the sun began to rise, the Hulk reverted back to Bruce Banner before the military arrived. With Igor in custody, the spy used a micro-transmitter hidden under his fingernail to contact his commander, the gamma ray mutated man known as the Gargoyle. As the Gargoyle smuggled himself into America, Bruce and Rick tried to flee into the desert before nightfall in case Banner transformed into the Hulk again. When Bruce transformed into the Hulk once again, he crossed paths with Betty Ross, who had gone looking for Banner worried about his well being and she fainted at the sight of the Hulk. The Gargoyle then appeared and used his mind control pellets to subdue the Hulk and Rick smuggle them to Russia. However, as their rocket crossed the globe into daylight the Hulk reverted back to Banner. The Gargoyle was more impressed with capturing Banner and secreted him away to a lab. However, there the Gargoyle lamented about his mutation and asked Banner for help to be restored to normal. Banner helped and succeeded in restoring the Gargoyle to human form. In thanks, the former Gargoyle helped Banner and Rick escape back to America, sacrificing his life to do so in the process.[38] Although Banner and Rick managed to get away safely, the constant fear of the Hulk would loom over Banner for years to come.


According to the psychiatric work of Dr. Leonard Samson the gamma bomb spawned multiple personalities in Bruce. Thanks to the gamma rays' effects on his brain, these personalities manifested in his transformations. These identities were split into the three layers of his identity: the superego (Banner the scientist), the ego (the grey skinned brutish Hulk) and the id (the green skinned, simple minded Hulk). During his early transformations into the Hulk there was a struggle between the ego and id versions of the Hulk. Based on Samson's writings, he has stated that the grey Hulk was the dominant personality during his early transformations, even though his skin was later green, but ultimately the the green skinned Hulk's mind exerted dominance.[50]

Early Adventures

The first incarnation of the green Hulk.[51]

The following nightly transformation of Banner into the Hulk yielded a new version of the Hulk, this one with green skin. Going on a rampage, he was quickly stopped by Rick Jones. Soon the world was threatened by the Tribbitites[52] while Bruce and Rick were busy constructing a secret lab and holding place for the Hulk hidden within a cave in the middle of the New Mexico desert. Seeking a brilliant mind to use for their own ends they kidnapped Bruce and Rick. When Bruce refused to help they shot Rick back to Earth, but as the ship shifted over to the dark side of the Earth Banner transformed into the Hulk once again and trashed their ship. The ship crashed back on the light side in New Mexico and Banner was arrested, believed by General Ross to be a traitor in league with the Tribbitites. While Banner was incarcerated the Tribbitites threatened to crash the moon into the Earth. That night Banner turned into the Hulk again and broke out of his cell. Seeking revenge against General Ross, he went to his home only to find Betty there. Rick arrived with the military, but the Hulk fought them off and fled with Betty back to his lab. There Rick confronted the Hulk to ask for his help, but with the rising of the sun, the Hulk reverted back to Bruce Banner. Banner then redeemed himself by using his gamma ray cannon to invert the magnetic weapons of the Tribbitites sending their fleet spiralling out into space and saving the Earth from destruction.[51]

The Hulk's next transformation had him revert back to his grey form and he was attacked by the Distorter who used his mind control helmet to make the Hulk attack military installations around New Mexico. However, when the Hulk ultimately was able to resist the Distorter's device and easily defeat him, turning the rogue scientist over to the military.[53] With his underground lab and confinement cell completed, Banner began being placed in captivity at night. When he turned into the Hulk again, he once more turned into the green skinned version, a form that Banner would maintain in one shape of another for quite some time. Around this time Rick was forced to lure the Hulk back to Desert Base in order to be used as a test subject for a new manner rocket. Although Rick managed to load the Hulk into the rocket, the military did not intend to return the Hulk to Earth. Rick messed with the controls sending the Hulk crashing to Earth, however, a strange side effect linked the Hulk to Rick so that the Hulk obeyed all of Rick's verbal commands. However, whenever Rick went to sleep the Hulk went on a rampage, forcing Rick to still use the secret chamber to lock up the Hulk. During one of the periods in which Rick was awake he decided to visit a circus. Unknown to him it was run by the Circus of Crime and when their leader the Ringmaster hypnotized Rick with the rest of the crowd, he was able to send a mental command to the Hulk for help in time. The Hulk easily quashed the Circus of Crime and he and Rick escaped when the military arrived.[54]

The Hulk using the gamma platform to return to human form.[55]

With Banner remaining in his Hulk form since the rocket malfunction, Rick eventually brought the Hulk back to the secret lab where he exposed the Hulk to one of Banner's gamma rays in an attempt to change him back to normal. Rick succeeded but Banner was greatly weakened. After adjusting the device, Banner was able to expose himself to another dose of gamma rays that reverted him back into the Hulk but with his own mind, albeit Banner had a cruel streak. The Hulk used his powers to good use saving a family from a burning house before returning to his lab and changing back into Banner, feeling even weaker than before. With Banner's intellect the Hulk could be focused on real threats in the hopes of earning a good name. When an apparent alien calling himself Mongu came to Earth issuing a challenge to the mightiest person on Earth, the Hulk clashed with the "alien" in the Grand Canyon, only to find out that it was really a Russian agent wearing a mechanical suit. Although Hulk defeated "Mongu", the Russians managed to escape and the military was left to believe that the entire incident was a hoax masterminded by the Hulk.[56] The Hulk was next tricked into venturing into the realm of Subterranea by the near immortal and former Roman ruler known as Tyrannus who kidnapped Betty and absconded with her to his underworld realm. The Hulk was forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena, but the green behemoth managed to defeat all of Tyrannus' minions and free himself, Betty and Rick and return to the surface. Later when the Asian principality of Lhasa was threatened by the communist soldier known as General Fang the Hulk and Rick travelled to the remote region to defend it from Fang's invasion. The Hulk easily quashed Fang's army and then left the commander on an American occupied island to be apprehended.[55]

Incomplete transformation.[57]

Back in New Mexico, the Hulk was being blamed for a number of acts of sabotage around Desert Base. Furious, General Ross hired the Fantastic Four to stop the Hulk. Banner meanwhile knew he was innocent and became the Hulk to find the real saboteur. This led to a clash with the FF and the first of the Hulk's many battles with the groups powerhouse the Thing. With help from Rick Jones, the Fantastic Four and the Hulk exposed the real saboteur, a communist agent calling himself the Wrecker. While the Hulk escaped capture again, the FF captured the Wrecker and turned him over to the authorities.[58][59][60][61] During this time, the Hulk was pulled forward in time to assist Aron the Rogue Watcher against the Fantastic Four and Fantastic Force. When Aron was defeated, all his thralls were returned to their proper time and place with no memory of what happened.[62] After stopping military capture again, the Hulk returned to his secret lab and when he used his gamma ray projector to return to Banner, he was surprised to find that although human in form his strength was greatly increased. The Earth was soon threatened by the Metal Master an alien who could control metal with his mind. When Banner exposed himself to gamma rays again all but his head turned into Hulk form. Fortunately, Banner had made a mask of the Hulk's face and wore it. During his first bout with the Metal Master the Hulk was defeated and knocked out. When military personnel arrived on the scene and removed the Hulk's latex mask, Banner's incomplete transformation finished, covering up his identity before it could be revealed. With the aid of Rick's newly formed group, the Teen Brigade the Hulk constructed a phony weapon to trick the Metal Master into thinking that the Hulk had a metal weapon that was immune to his power. The Hulk then easily defeated the Metal Master in combat and forced him to leave Earth and promise never to come back again. For defeating the Metal Master, the Hulk was awarded a presidential pardon, however, when he returned to his lab to change back into Bruce Banner he was horrified to find that the gamma ray projector no longer worked. Losing his temper the Hulk smashed the device, however, his anger triggered the transformation changing him back into Banner once again.[57]

The Hulk vs the Sentry.[63]

When Banner next transformed into the Hulk he was reduced to a blind rage due to a burning sensation under his skin that was a side effect of his transformation. During his rampage the Hulk clashed with the super-powered hero known as the Sentry, whose own power had a soothing effect on the Hulk and also began a slow transformation in the Hulk making him more intelligent, docile, and able to revert to and from Bruce Banner and the Hulk at will. The two became partners of sorts and the Hulk spent a time living in New York City within the Sentry's headquarters, the Avengers Tower|Watchtower. The duo clashed with foes such as the General, the Living Nuke, and the Lobster People. When the Hulk risked his life to save the Lobster People colony he was heralded as a hero. Also for his part in stopping the Lobster People's invasion of the surface world the Hulk was regaled as a hero. However, during the parade in the Hulk's honor the Sentry's old foe the Void attacked and when the Hulk tried to defend his friend the Void attacked the Hulk with his tendrils. The Hulk then fell to the ground where he was in a coma for days. When the Hulk awoke the battle was over and both the Sentry and the Void were missing. Without the Sentry's influence the burning sensation came back to the Hulk and he reverted back to his brutish mentality.[64]

Joining the Avengers

The Hulk posing as "Mechano the robot"[65]

Returning to the south-western United States the Hulk soon became a means for the Asgardian trickster god Loki to get revenge against his step-brother Thor. To this end, Loki tricked the Hulk into damaging a railroad track. Although the Hulk prevented the train from getting wrecked, he was blamed for the destruction of the track and became hunted by the authorities.[66] Not seeking the Hulk to get hurt, Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade attempted to contact the Fantastic Four, however, Loki intercepted their message and had it go to Thor instead. He also unintentionally caused the message to be received by Iron Man, Ant-Man and his sidekick the Wasp. The four heroes arrived at the Teen Brigade's headquarters and after hearing Rick's plea to help the Hulk agreed to band together to stop the gamma spawned monster.[67] The Hulk attempted to lay low by hiding out in a trailer belonging to a circus. He was discovered by the bearded lady who convinced the owner of the circus to allow the Hulk to stay with them.[68]

The Hulk joins the Avengers[69]

The circus had the Hulk disguise himself as "Mechano" claiming that he was really a robot. This guise proved short lived as Ant-Man was able to track down the Hulk using his network of ants. The ants caused the ground to cave in under the Hulk keeping him distracted enough for the heroes to catch up with him.[69] A fight broke out, but the Hulk still cared enough to save the life of the bearded lady who helped him find shelter among the circus. With the battle not working out in his favour the Hulk instead bounded away to avoid more innocents being hurt.[65][70][69] There are differing reports on where the Hulk went. The most common telling states that the Hulk fled to Detroit, Michigan where he fought the heroes at an automobile manufacturing plant,[71] while another states that the Hulk battled the heroes at the Cardiff-Grant Munitions R&D Factory in Denver, Colorado.[70] During the course of the battle, Thor returned from his native Asgard with Loki, revealing him as the mastermind behind the whole plot to pit them against the Hulk. When Loki fought back the heroes were stated as dumping him in a radioactive waste disposal unit. After the battle was over, the group decided to band together as a team, calling themselves the Avengers.[69] In another rendition of the tale, Loki was defeated by being placed in a explosive testing unit. Later the heroes decided to form the Avengers while at Stark Industries office. The Hulk was not originally at the meeting, but he barged in later and convinced the Avengers to let him join their group so he would not have to worry about them hounding him again.[72]

Short-Lived Avenger

Fighting alongside the Avengers.[73]

After the Avengers were publicly unveiled,[74] the Hulk's tenure with the Avengers proved to be very short lived. During the Hulk's initial visit to what eventually became known as Avengers Mansion he frightened away all the staff, leaving only Tony Stark's butler Edwin Jarvis, who loyally stayed on the job.[75] When Iron Man attempted to get government sanctions for the Avengers, the Hulk's membership in the group turned out to be a PR nightmare. The Hulk and Rick Jones met with the team at the mansion. When discussing a charter and rules for the group the Hulk grew agitated and literally jumped out of the mansion, causing a lot of damage and more negative publicity for the group.[76] Later the group met to determine who would lead the group, the Hulk came to blows with both Thor and Iron Man, until ultimately the group decided to elect the Wasp as their secret chairperson so as not to bruise the egos of the male members.[77] This meeting was crashed by Iron Man's future self and the Black Widow who briefly passed through the meeting room while jaunting through time periods.[78]

Soon after the Avengers were asked by the military to stop Latverian monarch Dr. Doom from recapturing a ship that the military had in their possession.[79] Although the heroes were lured into a trap aboard the ship by Doom's followers they managed to destroy the ship. The Hulk nearly caught Doom himself, but only succeeded in capturing one of his Doombot simulacrum.[73] Another Avengers meeting—this one attended by Iron Man, Thor and Hulk--- was crashed by another time travelling Iron Man, this time from a few years earlier than the other time traveller, who arrived with the Dr. Doom of his own era. This pair briefly interacted with the Hulk and others before being returned to their own time.[80] The Avengers were next targeted by the so-called Space Phantom who sought to conquer the Earth.[81] The Space Phantom could take the place of an individual, displacing them to the timeless realm of Limbo while he possessed that person's form. The Space Phantom transformed into the Hulk, shunting him off to Limbo and attacked the Avengers and went on a rampage.[82] While there the Hulk crossed paths with future Avengers the Wasp, Hercules and the Black Knight. When the Hulk tried to attack, Hercules knocked the Hulk out with a single punch and he was whisked back to Earth when the Space Phantom assumed a new form.[83] Although the Avengers eventually learned the truth, Thor insulted Hulk during the battle and the Hulk fled back to the southwest. There he and Thor battled it out until Iron Man came and convinced them to return to battle the Space Phantom.[84] After the Space Phantom was defeated, the team's easy mistrust of the Hulk made the green goliath realize that they feared and distrusted him, so the Hulk left the group.[82] The Hulk went on a rampage until he crossed paths with a pregnant woman who was rushing to a hospital alone as she had gone into labour. The Hulk's rage subsided and he helped the woman give birth but soon passed out and reverted back into Bruce Banner. Banner woke up in a prison cell and was interrogated by the police who believed he was a drunken bum who murdered someone. However, after hearing his story and having a lab report confirm that the blood on him contained embryonic fluid, he was released from custody.[85]


The Hulk vs the Avengers.[76]

After the Hulk abruptly left the team, the Avengers were determined to hunt him down, not wishing him to run free. The Hulk's only ally was Rick Jones who found the Hulk back in the southwest and helped him return to his secret lab and the gamma ray platform turning him back into Bruce Banner. However, the blast was not strong enough and Banner changed back into the Hulk that night angrier and more out of control than ever. Rick alerted the Avengers who came to New Mexico to clash with the Hulk. Despite their combined might the team were unable to capture the Hulk who managed to escape.[86][76] The Hulk managed to escape out to sea where he found refuge on a small island. There he was confronted by the Atlantean prince the Sub-Mariner, who was seeking new allies in his war against the surface world.

The Hulk and the Sub-Mariner vs the Avengers.[86]

Despite the fact that both men held contempt for each other an uneasy alliance was formed between the two. They then lured the Avengers to an island that held an abandoned military base from World War II where a battle broke out.[86] During the course of the battle the Hulk and Thor were separated from the other combatants and fought one-on-one. However, there was no clear victor as their battle caused the cavern they were fighting in to collapse separating the two. The Hulk then rejoined the battle with the Sub-Mariner against the Avengers.[87] Ultimately, the Hulk ended up fleeing the battle when he began to revert back to his human form of Bruce Banner and fled so as not to compromise his double identity. Seeing that his ally had abandoned him the Sub-Mariner then ended the conflict, escaping into the ocean.[86] The Avengers then began resuming their hunt for the Hulk. The Hulk tried to flee the area, using force to sneak onto the back of a truck where he reverted back into Bruce Banner and managed to slip past a military cordon. Later fleeing back to his secret lab, Banner once more turned into the Hulk who smashed all of Banner's machinery in an attempt to remain the Hulk forever, then seeking revenge against the Avengers for constantly hounding him began making his way toward their headquarters in the New York City.

The Hulk vs the Thing.[88]

However, the Avengers were still in New Mexico searching for the Hulk and so when word went out that the Hulk was heading for the Big Apple, the Fantastic Four were alerted. The team fared poorly defending the city from the Hulk with their leader Mr. Fantastic ill, both the Invisible Girl and Human Torch were injured fighting the jade giant, leaving the Thing as the only hero to stand in the way of the Hulk's rampage. Although the Thing lost the first bout, he got back up and continued after the Hulk.[88] The Hulk was later attacked by the Thing and a partially recovered Human Torch, outnumbered the Hulk fled through the New York subway system and managed to finally make his way to Avengers Mansion. There he found the Avengers waiting for him and a battle erupted out into the street. The fully recovered Fantastic Four arrive and assisted the Avengers in chasing the Hulk up a partially constructed office tower. The Hulk was able to hold his own against the two uncoordinated hero teams until Rick Jones manages to throw a gamma irradiated pill into the Hulk's mouth. This knocked the Hulk out causing him to fall into the Hudson River, reverting back into Bruce Banner as he was swept away by the currents.[89] Bruce returned to Desert Base where his frequent and length absences began to make General Ross suspicious of Banner's activities outside the base. Despite this Banner was charged with investigating a strange mound that was growing out of the ground from beneath the base. The Avengers were eventually called in and they clashed with the creators of the mound, the subterranean dwelling race known as the Lava Men. During the Avengers battle with the Lava Men, Banner transformed into the Hulk once again and entered the underground domain and clashed with his former allies.[90][91] During the course of the battle the Hulk was tricked into punching the mount as hard as he could, causing a massive explosion that sealed the Lava Men below, the blast also knocked the Hulk away from the battle where he reverted back into Bruce Banner. He was found by Betty Ross who presumed that he was harmed by the Hulk and helped carry him to safety.[90]

When Banner next transformed into the Hulk he sought refuge in the caverns below New Mexico. This sanctuary proved short lived as he crossed paths with Spider-Man who was lured below by his foes the Green Goblin and the Enforcers on a bogus movie shoot. While Spider-Man defeated the Enforcers and the Green Goblin got away, the Hulk proved too powerful for Spider-Man to fight alone. Although the masked hero managed to hold his own, he was eventually forced to hide in order to avoid further conflict and the Hulk went about his business.[92] Spider-Man has claimed that he battled the Hulk shortly after this in New York City where he was overpowered by the Hulk. Before the Hulk could land a killing blow on Spider-Man he was rescued by Captain America who helped put the Hulk down.[93] While the recounting lacks specific details, given the Hulk's early pertinacity for revenge it seems likely that the Hulk would have returned to New York to attack Spider-Man specifically for their previous encounter. Banner returned to New York shortly thereafter and in need of food he went to the Baxter Building headquarters of the Fantastic Four and was admitted into the building by his old sparring partner the Thing. Banner's visit was cut short when New York was attacked by a legion of monsters that were unleashed by the Mole Man. Banner was forced to transform into the Hulk and the Thing convinced the Hulk to help him round up the monsters along with Giant-Man and the Beast. The Hulk assisted in taking down Tragg, Groot, Taboo, Grottu, Droom, Vandoom, Gargantus, Rommbu, and Grogg and most of the monsters were banished to the Negative Zone.[94]

The Hulk vs Spider-Man.[93]

Reverting back to human form, a more embittered Bruce Banner returned to working at Desert Base. When the Avengers Giant-Man and the Wasp came to the base seeking to help find the Hulk and once again convince him to rejoin the Avengers. General Ross assigned Banner to help the two heroes, but Banner refused and stormed off into the desert. There he transformed into the Hulk once again and went on another rampage. While Giant-Man and the Wasp evacuated a nearby town their recurring foe the Human Top approached the Hulk and warned him that the heroes were waiting for him. The Hulk then attacked Giant-Man in town while the Human Top then went to tell General Ross that the Hulk was in the town alone and he ordered a nuclear weapon to be used on it. When the Wasp learned that her partner was in the town fighting the Hulk she was able to warn him over radio. Duly warned, the Hulk intercepted the nuclear missile carrying it away from the town. The radiation from the explosion caused Banner to revert back to human form. Banner returned to his work at Desert Base while Giant-Man and the Wasp gave up on their mission and returned to New York City.[95]

The Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom.[96]

When Banner next turned into the Hulk he fled to Antarctica in order to escape the military and find peace, however, the cold was too brutal for even the Hulk and he collapsed, reverting back into Bruce Banner. Fortunately, Banner was rescued by a team of scientists researching the effects of global warming on the hole in the ozone layer over the region. Their investigation also accidentally revived the ancient Makluan known as Fin Fang Foom. While Foom attempted to obtain a human host to regain his strength, killing some of the scientist Banner was regarded with some suspicion, triggering his transformation into the Hulk. Seeing this powerful form before him, Fin Fang Foom revealed his true self and the Hulk attacked the massive dragon. Foom attempted to convince the Hulk to join his cause, but the Hulk decided that if anyone would rule the Earth, it would be the Hulk—alone—and the jade giant promptly tossed the massive dragon onto the moon before departing to be alone again.[96] The Hulk also worked with the Sentry again, venturing into the Negative Zone to battle the Irish themed villain Danny Boy.[97] Banner's expertise was later sought to assist in stopping the super-villain known as Sundown who was rampaging through New York City, however, Banner was unavailable due to one of his absences while transformed into the Hulk.[98]

Hulk joins Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil.[99]

The Hulk returned to the southwest where the Avengers (with their newest member Captain America) followed him in the hopes of convincing the Hulk to rejoin their ranks. The Hulk fought against the Avengers and ignored Rick's pleas and fled. He was then contacted by Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil who convinced him to join their cause in destroying the Avengers. The Hulk joined Zemo, the Executioner and the Enchantress in attacking the Avengers, but the Hulk turned against Zemo and his Masters when Zemo foolishly threatened Rick's life. Defeated by the Hulk, the Masters fled, and the Hulk not wishing further conflict escaped the area as well.[99]

Under Suspicion

Bruce's frequent absences started taking their toll on Banner as it prompted General Ross to apply more pressure on Banner to complete his projects, such as a robotic suit of armor that could allow someone to withstand an atomic blast. Banner soon came to realize that his recent spat of transformations were all caused by stress and that similar stress also triggered the Hulk's reversion back into human form. Such a situation of stress occurred when Ross gave Bruce only a few hours to finish perfecting his robotic battle suit, prompting a transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk fled desert base leaving the suit of armor vulnerable to be taken over by a spy. When the spy tried to abscond with the armor during the morning tests, General Ross believed that Banner was trying to steal his own invention. The spy clashed with the Hulk briefly but managed to escape when the Hulk began reverting back into Bruce Banner.[100] Unable to prove Banner was involved in the theft of the suit, Ross was forced to let him go free, and Banner soon began building a device that would help him track down the spy who stole it. His search for the spy coincided with the arrival of Major Glenn Talbot. Talbot was sent to Desert Base by the Pentagon to investigate suspicions that Banner might be a spy and/or have a connection to the Hulk. Talbot instantly became smitten by General Ross' daughter Betty becoming determined to expose Banner as a spy or worse in order to eliminate him from the competition for Betty's love. Banner managed to track down the spy who stole the suit of armor and transformed into the Hulk. As they battled, Major Talbot and Betty arrived on the scene and Glenn shielded her from debris from a rock smashed by the Hulk. The Hulk succeeded in defeating the spy by knocking him into a seemingly bottomless pit. However, the spy had a back-up plan and had launched a missile at Desert Base. The Hulk dived in the path of the missile detonating it. The Hulk was knocked out and Talbot quickly mobilized the military to subdue the green monster, in a bit of irony special bonds designed by Bruce Banner himself were used to subdue the Hulk.[101]

The Hulk a prisoner of the military.[102]

After failing to hear from his spy the Leader, a gamma ray spawned genius, sent the international spy known as the Chameleon to obtain secrets from the base. Also, having heard that the Hulk was captured, Rick Jones briefly left his partnership with Captain America and the Avengers to plead in the Hulk's defence. Disguised as General Ross, the Chameleon approached the captive Hulk and then attempted to obtain an alliance with him. The Hulk refused and while the Chameleon was busy dismissing the 24 hour guard placed around him, he reverted back into Bruce Banner. Easily able to slip from the bonds, Banner was found by Rick who quickly helped him change into some fresh clothes and report in. However, both General Ross and Major Talbot were even more suspicious of Banner in light of the Hulk escaping and someone posing as the General. As Bruce left the meeting he was jumped by the Chameleon who disguised himself as Banner to gain access to his lab. Hearing Betty in distress, Bruce transformed into the Hulk again and attacked the Chameleon who managed to keep the Hulk at bay by threatening to use a gamma bomb grenade. Ultimately the Chameleon ditched Betty and tossed the grenade, the Hulk shielded the blast with his body. The resulting explosive buried the Chameleon in debris, and the gamma rays from the explosion reverted the Hulk back to human form. Under the cover of smoke, Bruce then fled the scene to change into fresh clothes again. When forced to report to General Ross and Major Talbot, the fact that Betty was able to see through the Chameleon's disguise cleared Banner of any wrongdoing, however, the pair were more determined than ever to pin something on Banner.[102] Banner was next ordered to be present on a military train shipping his latest invention the Absorbatron to its testing area. Talbot was determined to stick to Banner like glue hoping to learn his secrets. This didn't happen as the train was soon attacked by the one of the Leader's Humanoid constructs. Talbot locked Banner in a room aboard the train while the military handled the attacker. However, Banner transformed into the Hulk and broke free. The Hulk then prevented the Humanoid from stealing the Absorbatron and returned to human form before the military arrived. Finding Banner on scene, Talbot accused him of being involved in the theft and had him locked up, pending trail.[103]

While incarcerated Banner was granted a request to be given tranquilisers which he used to remain in human form so as not to betray his identity. Salvation came from Rick Jones himself who came to Banner's aid. Seeing that Bruce was stuck, Rick used his Avengers priority status to meet with the President of the United States.[104] Confiding Bruce's double identity to the President the President agreed that Banner's secret must be kept lest enemy nations discover the truth and attack Banner to try and learn how to create their own Hulks. Banner was soon given a presidential pardon, angering Talbot and making him more determined than ever to find some proof that Banner was a traitor to his country. Bruce and Glenn Talbot were next dispatched to Astra Island where they were to test Bruce's Absorbatron device. When Banner realized he was out of tranquilisers he fled while transforming into the Hulk. This transformation coincided with the Leader's attempt to steal the Absorbatron with an army of Humanoids.[105] The Hulk fought the Humanoids until the military arrived, prompting the Leader to recall his Humanoids lest they be destroyed. The Hulk also attempted to escape by swimming away in the ocean. While the Hulk succeeded in escaping the American military the Hulk changed back into Bruce Banner and nearly drowned. He was rescued by a Russian submarine and he was taken to an undisclosed communist country in Eastern Europe. There Banner was informed by the so-called Commandant that he was going to be forced to work for the Soviets. When Banner refused to work for them he was placed in a small cell where his stress level increased to the point that it triggered another transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk then broke out of his cell and trashed the facility he was being held. However, the Commandant called in reinforcements. Wounded by a blast from a "Vaporizer Ray" the Hulk was assisted by one of the captive scientists to heal his wounds but the temperamental Hulk shunned his offers of friendship.[106] It wasn't until the Commandant slew the scientist that the Hulk realized the man was trying to help and the Hulk went on another rampage until his stress triggered another reversion. Banner awoke and had to flee attacking jet fighters, but transformed into the Hulk again when he came across the dead scientist's body, saving him in the nick of time from a missile. The Hulk then smashed the fighters and continued on his rampage.[107]

Transforming in free fall[108]

The Hulk cut a path of destruction into Russia, but the constant attacks grew on the behemoth's nerves and so he leapt across many miles until he reached Mongolia where an exhausted Banner reverted back to human form. He was found by Kanga Khan a Mongolian raider who took Banner prisoner and agreed to contact the American authorities to turn him over for a ransom. The military sent Major Talbot to recover Banner, but his arrival coincided by an attack by Hakun Gantu and his rival gang. Talbot fled with Banner but while trying to cross a narrow mountain path it gave way under their feet and they began to fall.[109] While Talbot was knocked out by the fall, Banner was saved thanks to another transformation into the Hulk. As the Hulk, Bruce then bounded his way back to America leaving Talbot behind. Miraculously, the Hulk managed to find his way back to Banner's home to rest where he reverted back into human form. When he awoke he found General Ross, Betty and an army of soldiers looking to arrest him. Major Talbot was recovered and his request to punish Banner was denied by the president himself. Instead the pair were ordered to return to Astra Island to complete the test of the Absorbatron. Prior to their arrival the Leader doused the island with an army of miniaturized Humanoids that were grown to full size when Banner and Talbot arrived. Overpowered, Banner transformed into the Hulk and began fighting the creature off, however, this time the Leader was prepared for the attack and used a powerful gas to knock the Hulk out and take him prisoner.[108] The Leader then absconded with the Hulk and the Absorbatron hoping to use both to rule the world. While examining the Hulk, the Leader left him alone to find instruments that could pierce his tough hide. While the Leader was gone, Banner returned to human form and used his intelligence to break free and send out a signal to the military. Finding the Hulk missing from the examining table, the Leader tried to flood the room with gas, prompting another transformation into the Hulk. However, the Hulk's strength was too much for the Leader who fled as the Hulk destroyed the Absorbatron, before exhaustion over took him and he returned to his human form. Just then the military and Rick Jones arrived. Jones attempted to stop the military before General Ross' orders to shoot to kill were carried out, but Rick was too late and Banner was seemingly shot dead.[110]

Trapped as the Hulk

Trapped in the form of the Hulk.[111]

Although Banner was legally dead, Rick Jones absconded with his body to Banner's secret lab. There Rick bombarded Bruce with a powerful gamma ray which triggered his transformation into the Hulk, reviving him and keeping the bullet in his skull from killing him. The Hulk realized that he retained Banner's mind was horrified to realize that in order to stay alive he had to remain the Hulk at all costs. Creating a chemical concoction to remain the Hulk for 48 hours, Bruce went to Desert Base to get one last look at Betty before leaving his old life completely. However, his arrival coincided by an attack by the Leader's massive Humanoid creation. The Hulk tried to fight the creature, but the military confused his assistance as his being responsible for the attack. This prompted General Ross to order the launching of his Sunday Punch Missile.[111] The Hulk was alerted by the danger by Rick Jones, and he managed to leap himself and Rick away from the blast. The attack angered Bruce and his mind began to deteriorate. He and Rick retreated back to his secret lab, but they were followed by the military. With Ross ordering the Hulk's surrender, he sent Rick out to distract them to try and figure out how to get out. As the military prepared to attack the Hulk was offered salvation from the Leader.[112] The Hulk accepted the Leader's offer and was teleported away just as his lab was destroyed, leaving the military to think the Hulk had been killed. The Hulk was transported to the Leader's hideout in Greece. The Leader then asked the Hulk to join him in conquering the world, but the Hulk refused. Anticipating this the Leader felled the Hulk with knockout gas. When Banner later awoke he began to feel the change that would turn him back into his human form and kill him. Trashing the Leader's lab to try and find a device that utilized gamma rays to sustain his Hulk form Banner alerted the Leader to his destruction and he unleashed his Humanoids on him.[113]

The Hulk vs the Amphibian.[114]

With the Hulk weakening, the Leader called off his Humanoids and while examining the Hulk the Leader found the bullet and used his gamma powered machines to dissolve it and save Banner's life. However, as a consequence Banner was horrified to find that although he would live, he was trapped in the form of the Hulk. The Leader then ordered the Hulk to assist him in recovering the so-called Ultimate Machine from the homeworld of the Watcher. Indebted to the Leader for saving his life, the Hulk agreed and the Leader teleported the Hulk to the Watcher's homeworld. There the Watcher revealed himself, telling the Hulk that he would not interfere in his quest. Before the Hulk could recover the Ultimate Machine he was attacked by the alien known as the Amphibian.[115] The Amphibian also sought the Ultimate Machine and the two fought it out. The Watcher allowed them to fight, only interfering to teleport them away from the equipment, and then banish the Amphibian away when he deemed the Hulk the victor. The Hulk then recovered the Ultimate Machine and was teleported back to Earth by the Leader. Although the Leader was victorious, the collected knowledge of the Ultimate Machine proved too much for even his enhanced intellect and he was seemingly killed by the information.[114]

The Hulk left the Leader's lair, his mind devolving even more. Once back in the United States the Hulk decided to try to use the Ultimate Machine. While it was too powerful for him as well but still picked up a thought that Rick Jones was under military arrest and demanding to see the President. The Hulk abandoned the Ultimate Machine to go to Washington D.C. with the military trying to oppose his progress. General Ross ordered to use the T-Gun (a weapon designed by Bruce Banner) on the Hulk. When the Hulk was blasted with it, it appeared to vaporize him, however, he was transported to the 25th Century of Earth-6676, a world had been decimated by a great war. He was instantly attacked by the forces of King Arrkam[116] and taken prisoner. Taken to King Arrkam's fortress, he was told to assist them in their battle against the "evil one", the Executioner of that era. The Hulk initially refused and broke free, however, the Executioner and his forces attacked.[117] The Hulk overpowered the Executioner and his forces and sent them fleeing, but despite this King Arrkam and his forces believed that the Hulk assisted the Executioner in his attack. Before they could attack the Hulk the effects of the T-Gun wore off and he was transported back to his own era and returned to the ruins of his old lab in New Mexico. This happened just moments after a grief stricken Rick Jones revealed the Hulk's identity to Major Talbot.[118] The Hulk's return was instantly discovered by the military who renewed their attack on him. Attacking Desert Base, the Hulk was quickly captured thanks to a plan devised by Banner's replacement Professor Konrad Zaxon. Zaxon having created a device that could harness the organic energy of the Hulk and aspirations of world domination, attempted to attack the Hulk alone.[119] By this point the Hulk's mind had devolved to that of a simple brute and although weakened by Zaxon's weapon fought back. Zaxon was knocked aside and caught in the path of his own weapon, killing him. Accusing of murdering Zaxon the Hulk fled the base. Going on a rampage, the Hulk destroyed a railroad track stopping a train. Incidentally, the train carried the Olympian demi-god Hercules who was en route to Hollywood to pursue a film career. The Hulk held his own against Hercules, but was forced to flee when the military caught up and attacked him again.[120][121] Later when the heroic X-Men were recruited by the FBI to hunt down the Hulk in the northwest, Rick convinced them that the Hulk was a hounded victim. The X-Men let the Hulk go when their leader Professor X learned that the military intended to weaponize the Hulk.[122]

Bruce Banner restored to normal by the Fountain of Youth[123]

The Hulk managed to find refuge but his peace was short lived. He was teleported back to Subterranea by his old for Tyrannus. Tyrannus sought the Hulk's aid in recovering his Fountain of Youth from the Mole Man in order to restore his youth. The Hulk initially refused until Tyrannus revealed that he held Betty, Rick and Glenn Talbot as his prisoners. The Hulk plowed into the Mole Man's forces and went toe-to-toe with the Mole Man's war-machine the Octo-Sapien. During the fight the Hulk threw the Octo-Sapien into the Fountain of Youth causing a massive explosion that destroyed the fountain and restored the Hulk back into Bruce Banner.[123]

Secret Empire

As Banner fought his way back to Tyrannus' stronghold he learned that his foe had released his friends and continued on to find his matter transporter. Swarmed by Tyrannus' legion of Tyrannoids forcing a transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk easily fought them off and got to the matter transported returning him to the surface. While the Hulk was detained by Tyrannoids on the surface the terrorist organization known as the Secret Empire sent their agent the Boomerang to kidnap Betty Ross in order to ransom her away for the military's new Orion missile.[124] The Hulk's return to the surface was met with another attack by the military. Fleeing the Hulk crossed paths with Boomerang who was trying to escape with Betty. Unable to shake the Hulk, Boomerang was forced to let her go, forcing the Hulk to rescue her so he could escape the scene.[125] The Hulk brought Betty to shelter and then went to get her food. He was attacked by the military again, but when he spotted Rick Jones and General Ross, the Hulk nabbed them and brought them to Betty, who explained the Hulk was not involved with her kidnapping by Boomerang. More frustrated than ever, the Hulk bounded away to find peace.[126]

Leader of the Killer Folk[127]

The Hulk was briefly transported back in time millions of years in time of Earth-78411 by the Celestial Gamiel the Manipulator to assist the Killer Folk in forcing the Small Folk from the Valley of Flame and defeat their defenders Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur. The Hulk was made leader of the Killer Folk and was convinced to go to battle Devil Dinosaur. Witnessing the battle was Gamiel's rival Devron the Experimenter, who used his technology to enhance Devil Dinosaur's evolution to make him a match for the Hulk. However, the gamma and mutagenic energies exerted by the two combatants and Gamiel and Devron were forced to imprison the Hulk and Devil Dinosaur on their ship. The two then worked together to break free. Unable to control the two powerhouses, the two youthful Celestials were forced to restore Devil Dinosaur and return him to the planet surface and transport the Hulk back to his proper era.[127]

Back home the Hulk and having come to a rudimentary understanding that he wasn't hated any more attempted to find companionship at Desert Base, only to find it mysteriously deserted. Deciding to seek out the Avengers the Hulk then bounded for New York City. Knowing that people would be scared of him, the Hulk stole a trench coat and hat to disguise himself, but not before he was sighted by the NYPD who began a dragnet to find the Hulk. The Hulk found refuge in a movie theatre, but his refuge was put in a panic thanks to the Sub-Mariner happening to be in there as well. The Hulk fled into the New York subway where he fell on and damaged the third rail and then saved a train before it crashed.[128] The Hulk fled to a nearby gamma ray research centre. There he was attacked by Spider-Man who was on a mission to capture the Hulk as part of his admission into the Avengers. During the fight the Hulk rammed his fist into a gamma ray device and reverted back into Bruce Banner. Banner pleaded to Spider-Man to stop him but he changed back into the Hulk again. With the Hulk still weak from the transformation, Spider-Man webbed him up. The wall-crawler began to feel sorry for the Hulk, and decided instead to let him go and give up membership in the Avengers.[129]

The Hulk is hailed as a hero, albeit it is a tense moment.[130]

The Hulk continued to rampage across New York, and as coincidence would happen, the Hulk was drawn to the building where Number One of the Secret Empire was hiding out. Thinking the Hulk was after him, he set a bomb to go off and attempted to flee out of the building, but his cape got caught in the door outside. When the bomb exploded, Number One was killed, but the Hulk remained unscathed. The Hulk was pursued by authorities until he was found by Rick Jones who helped him to get to cover. This coincided with the test of the Orion Missile which a spy named Gorki attempted to use a device to redirect it to hit New York City. Rick convinced the Hulk to stop the missile, but when the Hulk bounded up to the approaching warhead, he reverted back into Bruce Banner.[131] Because Banner designed the Orion Missile, he was able to override Gorki's signal and had the missile redirected for the Atlantic. Banner changed into the Hulk and was blamed for the missile being overridden. Having discovered one of the Leader's old lairs, the military found and activated his Hulk-Killer Humanoid and sent it to attack the Hulk.[132] The Hulk was unable to beat the Hulk-Killer with is brute strength, but during the fight Gorki was captured and the Hulk cleared of all involvement, forcing the military to try and save the Hulk. Weakened in the fight, the Hulk reverted back into Bruce Banner. Banner was then pulled to safety and he developed a device that as the Hulk he used to overload the Hulk-Killer destroying it.[133] The Hulk was hailed as a hero, but the brutish Hulk was easily agitated. Boomerang, seeking revenge for not getting paid for his Secret Empire job secretly attacked the Hulk and made him lash out at the soldiers and press gathered around him. When the Hulk bounded away, Boomerang went after him. At first Boomerang gained the upper hand, and blew up a nearby dam. When the he went back to gloat at the Hulk, the Hulk knocked him aside damaging his rockets and breaking his arm. With the water rushing away, the Hulk began reverting back into Bruce Banner. Although he attempted to rescue Boomerang, his powers failed and Boomerang fell into the raging water below. Banner meanwhile got to safety where he passed out.[130]

Pawn of the Stranger

The Hulk vs the Stranger.[134]

Banner was found by the cosmic being known as the Stranger. He sought to use the Hulk as his engine of destruction to eliminate human civilization so that he could rebuild the Earth and be the leader. Forcing Bruce to change into the Hulk, the Stranger then used a device to brainwash the Hulk into wanting to destroy humanity and left the monster to his work while the Strange dealt with other matters off-world.[134] The Hulk went on a small rampage before he transformed back into Bruce Banner near Desert Base. Fearing that he would menace humanity again if he transformed into the Hulk again, Banner decided to commit suicide by exposing himself to a massive gamma ray blast with one of his devices on the base. His arrival on the base coincided with security being compromised by the Russian spy Emil Blonsky, who was posing as a soldier and searching Banner's old lab. When Banner set up the machine he was caught by Major Talbot who took him into custody. Blonsky then foolishly activated the gamma ray device and was mutated into a massive form later dubbed the Abomination.

Defeated by the Abomination[135]

The Abomination went on a rampage across the base. Seeing the carnage, Banner turned into the Hulk and tried to battle the Abomination. However, the Abomination proved to be more powerful than the Hulk and nearly beat him to death. The Abomination then fled with Betty Ross as a hostage to keep the military at bay.[135]

Knowing the Hulk was the only one who could catch up with the Abomination and rescue Betty he was rushed to a medic. The Hulk was revived thanks to the help of Rick Jones who suggested they use gamma electrodes to revive his friend. The Hulk immediately began to go on a rampage but Rick was able to calm the Hulk enough to make him change back into Bruce Banner. Banner then used the military's Infinite Weapon Ray to draw the Abomination back to the base. After significantly weakening the Abomination, Banner got worked up enough to change back into the Hulk. This time the Hulk was able to defeat the Abomination. By this point the Stranger had returned to Earth and had been moved by the altruistic nature of the Hulk and decided to rescind his attempt to conquer the Earth. Seeing the Abomination as a threat, the Stranger then teleported him away. Although the Hulk was once again hailed as a hero, the green skinned brute was uninterested in praise and walked off wishing to be left alone.[136] The Hulk tried to flee the desert the Hulk escaped the military and incidentally stopped bank robber Coyote Cash from escaping the authorities.[137]

Wanting to Belong

The Hulk vs the Silver Surfer.[138]

Wanting to be alone Banner went into seclusion and attempted to build a device to try and cure himself of being the Hulk. However, the device was a failure and he transformed into the Hulk once again. The Hulk then tried to flee the city, which went on high alert. Spotting the Silver Surfer passing by, the Hulk mistook him for an alien vessel and attempted to "board the ship". When the Hulk tried to grab the board, the Surfer blasted him off and confronted him.[139] The Hulk battled it out with the Surfer, but the Surfer was too powerful and soon grew weary of the fight and tried to leave. However, the authorities arrived and attempted to apprehend the Hulk. Feeling sorry for the gamma spawned monster, the Surfer rescued him. However, the Hulk still sought to find safety on another world and tried to take the Surfer's board. The Surfer refused to help him and after a brief clash the Silver Surfer attempted to read the Hulk's mind and learned the Hulk's origins. When the Surfer tried to cure the Hulk, the monster awoke and thought he was trying to attack and fought him off. Have become fed up, the Surfer condemned the Hulk to his curse and left.[138]

Roaming around in the wilderness the Hulk was discovered by men working for the High Evolutionary. Knocking the Hulk out with specially made pellets, the Hulk was then loaded into a ship that blasted off for the Evolutionary's planet Wundagore II where his New Men were currently in revolt. En route the Hulk revived and attacked the ships pilot, Sir Ram before realizing he was in space.[140] As the ship neared Wundagore II, Sir Ram revived and realized they were heading into a deadly cosmic storm. The ship made it through and while Sir Ram died of radiation poisoning the Hulk was restored to human form. Arriving on the planet, Banner was informed on what was happening and the High Evolutionary immobilized Banner with his vacuum ray and then placed him in a device intending to enhance his evolution by millions of years.[141] However, the process was interrupted when the New Men attacked the High Evolutionary's base, forcing the High Evolutionary to release Banner and fight back. During the attack Banner turned into the Hulk one more and fought against the New Men. Gravely injured the High Evolutionary was forced to use his device on himself transforming him into a godlike being. Before joining with the universal consciousness, the High Evolutionary reverted his New Men into their base evolutionary form and then returned the Hulk to Earth.[142][143]

Back on Earth the Hulk began trying to find a place to live in peace. While bounding across the wilderness he knocked a plane out of the sky. It was piloted by a spy for the Lords of the Living Lightning. Rescued from the crash the spy convinced the Hulk to accompany him to the Living Lightning headquarters. There their leader Lightning Lord convinced the Hulk that they sought peace and after capturing Glenn Talbot further convinced the Hulk to attack a military missile base.[144] While the Hulk attacked the military base, keeping General Ross and his soldiers busy while the Lords of the Living Lightning took over the facility. The Hulk was knocked out by a powerful sedative gas during the battle and locked up in a cell with Betty Ross, as the Lightning Lord assumed that the Hulk would harm the girl, pressuring General Ross to surrender the base.[145] However, the Lightning Lord's plan began to fall apart when the Hulk refused to harm Betty and attacked him. When the Lightning Lord fought back his lightning weapon triggered the Hulk's transformation back into Bruce Banner. The military began retaking the base forcing the Lords of the Lightning to flee back to their base where they planned to launch missiles at the base. With time running out, Banner convinced General Ross to allow himself to use his gamma ray projector to force another transformation into the Hulk. Transformed again, the Hulk then rushed to the Lords hideout and attacked, destroying their atomic pile causing a massive explosion that destroyed their base.[146]

The Hulk vs the Sub-Mariner.[147]

The Hulk survived, and while the Sub-Mariner sought an alliance with the Hulk, his foe the Puppet Master used his radioactive clay to take control of the Hulk. Under the Puppet Master's control the Hulk freed himself from the rubble of the Lords base. When he was approached by Rick Jones, the Hulk was ordered to attack anyone who came near and he struck down his most staunch ally. As the Hulk bounded away General Ross and Major Talbot vowed to destroy the Hulk no matter what. The Hulk was then lured to the Sub-Mariner along the Miami coast. When Namor offered an partnership, the Hulk was forced to attack. The two fought across the beaches of Florida, but no matter how hard the Puppet Master pushed the Hulk could not be made to kill the Sub-Mariner. Namor was able to defeat the Hulk by making a massive tidal wave that sent the Hulk crashing on a nearby island where he reverted back into Bruce Banner, the tidal wave also destroyed the Puppet Master's base. Not recognizing Banner, Namor returned to the ocean with no further incident.[147]

Banner came under to the attention of Loki who once more sought to manipulate the Hulk to his own ends. This time, Loki transformed Banner back into the Hulk and transported him to Asgard. There the Hulk bested Heimdall the guardian at the gates of the golden realm. Breaching the gates of Asgard, the Hulk clashed with the Warriors Three. The Hulk soon lost the urge to fight and the Warriors determined the Hulk to have been manipulated. Seeking to find out who transported the Hulk to Asgard, the Warriors Three suggested they seek the advice of Oldar the Oracle. When they attempted to cross a bottomless pit Loki struck the Hulk with another mystical bolt causing him to revert back into Bruce Banner and fall into the chasm.[148] Banner was saved by sudden death by the Enchantress who sought to learn what she could about the whereabouts of Hercules whom she was smitten by. She and the Executioner had aligned themselves with the Trolls that lived beneath Asgard for a planned invasion. Banner was questioned about Hercules, but when Banner had no information the Enchantress ordered the Executioner to kill Bruce. Banner transformed into the Hulk again and fought off the two Asgardians and their Troll army. When a cave in separated them, the Enchantress led her forces an attack. The Hulk followed after them and fought off the Trolls and forced them to retreat. Gravely wounded by the Enchantress, the Hulk was restored to health by Asgard's ruler Odin. Seeing Odin's Sceptre of Power and thought he was being attacked. He was stopped by the Warriors Three, who convinced Odin that the Hulk was not in control of his actions, staying the rulers wraith. However, Odin still banished the Hulk back to Earth.[149]

Rampage in New York

The Hulk vs the Space Parasite[150]

The Hulk was teleported right in the center of Times Square in New York where he immediately went on a rampage and then fled to the rooftops from the authorities. There he reverted back into Bruce Banner stealing some clothes, Banner managed to sneak across the city to the apartment owned by Rick Jones and convinced the landlord to let him in. With Rick away, Banner turned on the television where he was horrified to find a interview with Ross, Talbot and Rick. During the interview Rick admitted that he considered the Hulk a threat and one that should be destroyed. Just then Rick returned to his apartment and tried to hold Bruce at gunpoint. When they were interrupted by Betty, Rick lost his nerve and shot the floor instead of Banner. Unknown to them at the time, Banner was being observed by the Space Parasite who sought to battle the Hulk and drain his life energies. In order to trigger a transformation, the Space Parasite used a device that altered Betty's mood to make her lash out at Bruce, triggering a transformation into the Hulk. The Space Parasite then teleported into the room and both he and the Hulk fought. Their fight took them into Yankee Stadium. Although the Space Parasite managed to drain some of the Hulk's life energy, the Hulk proved to be too powerful a foe and the Space Parasite was beaten to the point where he was near death. When the Hulk refused to kill him, the Space Parasite fled to space to die there. In the aftermath of the battle, the Hulk was doused with tear gas by the police which triggered another transformation back to human form and Bruce Banner was arrested.[150] Banner was taken into military custody and was kept sedated while they transported him to JFK International Airport to be taken to a military facility. Along the way the convoy was attacked by the Rhino who was sent by his employers to capture Bruce Banner. While the Rhino nearly succeeded in capturing both Bruce and Betty, the plan ultimately failed when Bruce transformed into the Hulk once again. Getting Betty to safety, the Hulk then battled the Rhino one-on-one. During the course of the battle the Rhino was seemingly died due to injuries sustained when he made a fuel tanker explode. Seeing the military come to Betty's aid, the Hulk assumed she was still in danger, so he grabbed her and bounded off.[151] Betty convinced the Hulk to return her to her hotel room so she could get clothes to wear, but when she tried to enter she ran into a pair of car thieves. The Hulk came to Betty's rescue, but he suddenly transformed back into Bruce Banner and was shot in the leg while the thieves fled. The gunshots attracted the police and Betty tried to escape with Bruce in her own car. When the authorities started to shoot at them, Banner bailed out of the car, transforming into the Hulk once again. The Hulk then proceeded to go on a rampage through the city.

The Hulk's mind in Banner's body[152]

The Hulk continued to flee the authorities across the city and eventually crossed paths with the so-called Missing Link a mutated and radioactive caveman that was unleashed upon New York by communist agents. During their first clash, the Missing Link's radiation caused another transformation of the Hulk's body back into Bruce Banner, but still retaining the Hulk's mind. This proved to be short lived as the Hulk returned to his normal form while pursuing the Missing Link. As the Hulk fought the Missing Link, Glenn Talbot and Rick Jones arrived on the scene with a device created by Mr. Fantastic that was intended to restore Banner to normal permanently. When the Hulk seemingly destroyed the Missing Link, Talbot blasted him with the device, changing him back into Bruce Banner just as the Missing Link freed itself from the rubble.[153]

Banner got Glenn and Rick to flee the scene, while he was injured he stayed behind. When the Missing Link grabbed him, his radioactive body caused him to mutate back into the Hulk once again. The two fought out while the authorities arrived.[154] The Hulk was briefly separated from the Missing Link and was chased by the authorities, the Hulk also crossed paths with Captain America and the two fought. A guilt stricken Rick Jones tried to come to the Hulk's aid and get everyone to stand down. This time, Rick's luck ran out for him as falling debris from compromised buildings injured him seriously. Frustrated by his attackers, the Hulk left, abandoning his staunchest supporter.[155] By the time the Hulk found and resumed his battle with the Missing Link, General Ross had called for SHIELD to intervene. However the Hulk and the Missing Link were actually recovered by a Russian owned helicarrier commanded by Russian agent Yuri Brevlov and taken back to Russia before Nick Fury and his agents could arrive.[154]

Trapped in Asia

The Hulk and the Missing Link were flown into Russian airspace, there the Hulk broke free from his cell and started trashing the Russian helicarrier, eventually getting free. Yuri and his soldiers were forced to follow the Hulk in a smaller ship when the Missing Link's radioactive body hit critical mass and exploded destroying the helicarrier. They tracked down the Hulk who had come to the aid of a small boy who was caught in the middle of their battle.[154] The Russian soldiers were prevented from attacking the Hulk further thanks to the intervention of SHIELD who incapacitated their ship. The Hulk fled to a nearby village where he turned over the child to the villagers, who attacked him. When the boy pleaded in the Hulk's case and was allowed to leave. As the Hulk left he was teleported to the secret headquarters of the Mandarin who sought to use the Hulk to trigger World War III in the hopes of taking over the world and rebuilding it to suit his feudalist ideals. The Mandarin tested the Hulk's abilities and was suitable impressed. But when he asked the Hulk to join him the angered brute attacked, tearing a path of destruction through the Mandarin's headquarters, until the Mandarin managed to trap him in a pit of quicksand.[156]

The many faces of the Green Hulk[157]

The Hulk managed to free himself only to be trapped in a glass cylinder and gassed. This allowed the Mandarin to place a mind control device on the back of the Hulk's neck. The Hulk was then sent out to the Chinese province of Tsen-Tse where he clashed with the Chinese military. The Hulk's mindless attack was stopped thanks to the interference of Nick Fury and Yuri Brevlov who tracked down the Mandarin and destroyed his control device. Furious at being manipulated, the Hulk leaped back to the Mandarin's base where he trashed the base causing it to collapse to rubble, but the Mandarin managed to evade capture.[158] While climbing the mountains of the region the Hulk scared some locals who went after him. As he was trying to get away he crossed paths with the Inhuman dog known as Lockjaw whom the Hulk assumed was part of the attacking party. Fighting Lockjaw, the Hulk was teleported to another dimension and placed into a prison that held Inhuman criminals Leonus, Timberius, Aireo, Falcona, Nebulo, and Stallior. These Inhumans watched in awe as the Hulk was able to smash through the energy barrier that kept them imprisoned. Freed, they were confronted by the mad Inhuman, and would be ruler of the Inhuman throne, Maximus who convinced the Hulk and the others to join his cause to usurp the throne of the Great Refuge. The Hulk was convinced and he assisted Maximus and the others in getting into a chamber where a deadly energy source was locked away since it was invented by an ancient Inhuman scientist named Romnar. The Hulk's great strength proved to be the key to smashing through the barrier allowing Maximus to gain hold of the energy and use it to threaten to destroy the Inhuman kingdom unless their leader Black Bolt surrendered the throne. However Maximus' allies tried to betray him and then tried to use his weapon to destroy the Hulk. While Black Bolt forced Maximus to cut off the source of the power the Hulk clashed with the rogue Inhumans and defeated them all in combat. When Black Bolt went to confront the Hulk the pair exchanged blows until Nebulo attempted to use the ray weapon on Black Bolt. The Hulk disarmed Nebulo but was engulfed in the deadly energy. Black Bolt then saved the Hulk's life, and realizing that the Hulk was an unwitting pawn of the entire ordeal offered him a chance to live among the Inhumans. Seeing that everyone save Black Bolt feared him, the Hulk declined the offer and left in peace, hoping to find another realm where everyone could accept him for who he was.[157]

Galaxy Master

The reports of his death were, of course, greatly exaggerated.[159]

The Hulk continued to travel through Asia even as the Earth's axis began to shift in an unnatural fashion causing freak weather patterns all over the world. Fighting his way onto a Chinese rocket test site, the Hulk mistook a missile for a rocket leaving Earth and tried to ride upon it. The missile was launched and exploded in Antarctica, sending the Hulk crashing into the prehistoric realm known as the Savage Land where he reverted back into human form. Banner was found by the Swamp Men who sought to sacrifice him to their god Umbu. Banner was rescued from the Swamp Men by Ka-Zar and his sabretooth tiger Zabu. Upon learning that Banner was a scientist, Ka-Zar brought him to a nearby cave where a strange device was running. Examining it Bruce was horrified to learn that it was causing the Earth's axis to shift. Before Banner could disable the device the Swamp Men attacked again, triggering another transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk frightened off the Swamp Men and when Ka-Zar tried to reason with the Hulk to disable the device, the brute swatted Ka-Zar away, knocking him out.[160] As the Hulk battled with Ka-Zar and Zabu, the effigy of Umbu—really a robot left by the alien Sagittarians for their master the Galaxy Master—came to life and began heading toward the machine in the cave. Umbu crossed paths with the Hulk and a battle began, but the Hulk was felled by gas that caused him to revert back into Bruce Banner. No longer detecting the Hulk, Umbu continued on his course. Banner then rushed to the cave and managed to disable the device which also disabled Umbu. But the deadly radiations from the device seemingly killed him, and his body was found by Ka-Zar.[159]

The Hulk vs the Galaxy Master[161]

Detecting that Umbu and their device to destroy the Earth were both deactivated the Sagittarians sent a Titan Time-Probe to recover the one responsible so that they could deliver it to their master the Galaxy Master for revenge. Banner's dead body was recovered from the Savage Land, and the Sagittarians used their advanced science to resurrect Banner in the hopes of exacting revenge. After scanning his mind and learning nothing of value, the Galaxy Master ordered Banner ejected out of the airlock. Just over the orbit of the planet Sagittarius, Banner transformed into the Hulk again as the airlock opened. The powerful brute was able to survive in the vacuum of space to cause heavy damage to the Sagittarian ship causing it to crash land on their homeworld. Recovering from the crash, the Hulk was confronted by the energy form of the Galaxy Master who was bent on destroying the beast that ruined his plans for universal domination.[161] As the Hulk battled the Galaxy Master and his ever changing forms, his battle inspired Princess Daydra and her rebellion to also attack the Galaxy Master to free themselves from his slavery. When the Galaxy Master turned into a suffocating gas, the Hulk was knocked out, prompting the rebels to attack. The Galaxy Master made short work of the rebels and then tried to draw the princess into his body. Reviving, the Hulk jumped into the tractor beam and was drawn into the Galaxy Master's energy form instead. With the Hulk inside his energy matrix, the Galaxy Master was defenceless against the Hulk's attack. When the Hulk destroyed the nucleolus within the Galaxy Master his threat was seemingly eliminated. In thanks Daydra provided the Hulk with a ship to return him home. However the Hulk was impatient to leave and left before the pressure inside the ship could be properly calibrated. Although the Hulk was able to survive with in, he started to change back into Bruce Banner, whose body was not conditioned to survive with in the craft and was at risk of being crushed to death.[162]


Clinging to life, Banner managed to save himself when he found that the ship he was in was powered by gamma radiation. Unleashing the energy source triggered another transformation into the Hulk, saving his life when the ship crash landed on Earth. Recovering from the crash, the Hulk was confronted by the Sandman who sought the Hulk's alliance so he could obtain the military's new space-warp ship in the hopes that he could reunite with his Negative Zone ally Blastaar. At first the Hulk fought back but then was tricked into attacking the base. But when the Hulk arrived he remembered that Betty Ross often spent time there and held back until the soldiers attacked him, spurring him into a violent rage. The Hulk fought the army until he spotted the Sandman trying to escape with the space-warp ship about to ram into a car with Betty inside. The Hulk slammed the Sandman's transport out of the way and the two began to fight. The Hulk ultimately won the bout by sweeping the Sandman's particles off the base and then fled the base when General Ross tried to congratulate him, thinking it was another attack.[163] Growing tired the Hulk reverted back to Bruce Banner, who was now more determined than ever to find a cure for himself and went seeking out Betty, hoping that she could help him. Bruce found Betty sequestered to a room on base, but their romantic reunion was cut short when Banner was caught in the room by Major Talbot who raised the alarm. The advancing soldiers excited Banner enough to trigger another change into the Hulk, who tried to escape with Betty. Outside the base, both were attacked by the Mandarin and Sandman, who had teamed up to defeat the Hulk. Gassing the Hulk and Betty, the two villains captured both and spirited away to one of the Mandarin's nearby secret hideouts. When the Hulk recovered from the gas he found himself pinned to a metal table with energy beams that fed off his own gargantuan strength. But like many other traps that held him before, this was only a temporary set back as that Hulk gained the strength to break free once he saw Betty in danger. The Hulk fought both the Mandarin and Sandman until they threatened to toss Betty into a massive pressure cooker. The Hulk still fought back. Seeing that his plan was a failure, the Mandarin knocked the Sandman into the pressure cooker and fled. The Sandman was transformed into living glass, but before the Hulk could shatter him, Betty convinced the Hulk not to kill him. While the Hulk's guard was down, he was blasted from behind by soldiers led by Glenn Talbot who were armed with a neutralization ray. As Hulk began to pass out, he accused Betty of tricking him before blacking out and being taken into custody.[164]

Prisoner of the Leader[165]

With the Hulk now in military possession and sedated by the neutralization ray, his old foe the Leader chose that moment to reveal that he had survived his last encounter. He then offered the military a means of containing the Hulk indefinitely under the auspices that he was attempting to undo his past wrongs, but was secretly plotting to gain control of the military installation in order to trigger World War III and take over whatever was left of the world. After a failed attempt to escape, the Hulk was then trapped in a massive plasti-thene prison constructed by the Leader that could withstand the Hulk's repeated blows, a seemingly impenetrable prison.[165] Ultimately, Betty overheard the Leader's plot to take over the world and while unable to convince her father of this, convinced Glenn and that their only means of stopping the Leader and his Super-Humanoid robot was to free the Hulk. Unable to get the Hulk to cooperate, Talbot tried to get the soldiers on base to subdue the Leader but he incapacitated all the troops with his mental powers. Alone, Betty was able to use the Leader's devices to free the Hulk from his prison. When the Hulk fought back, the Leader used a gun that created another miniature plasti-thene prison and then prepared a nuclear warhead for launch.[166] The Hulk managed to break free of this prison, but when he resumed his battle the Leader teleported the Hulk and his Super-Humanoid to a nearby island to prevent the jade giant from thwarting his missile launch. The Hulk destroyed the Super-Humanoid by tossing it into a nearby volcano, but returned to the base too late to stop the Leader from launching the nuclear missile. As the Leader fled for cover in a bomb shelter, Betty managed to calm the Hulk enough to make him revert to Bruce Banner. Bruce then recalled a hunter missile he constructed and then used it to intercept the nuclear missile, blowing it out of the sky. The pressure triggered another transformation into the Hulk who went looking for the Leader, catching him moments after he launched a second nuclear warhead. This time the Hulk was able to leap up and redirect the missile high into the air where it exploded harmlessly. Seeing his plan as a failure, the Leader fled, passing by the body of Bruce Banner in the ocean below, ignoring the significance of the body floating there so as to make his escape.[167]

Rematch with the Sub-Mariner[168]

Banner was recovered by the Atlantean royal known as Lady Dorma who gave Bruce a potion that would allow him to breath underwater and took him to Atlantis to recover from his injuries. When Mistress Fara, a rival for Prince Namor's affections, saw Dorma secreting Banner into her room, she went to the Sub-Mariner and convinced him that his lover was betraying him with a surface dweller. When Namor went to confront Lady Dorma and argument ensued while Banner awoke. Confused and excited, Banner transformed into the Hulk once again and he attacked the Sub-Mariner. The two battled across Atlantis causing much damage, which cost Mistress Fara her life. The Hulk did not fare any better battling the Sub-Mariner this time as last, as he proved no match for the Atlantean monarch in his natural element. Knocked to shore in a massive tidal wave, the Hulk reverted back into Bruce Banner. Once again when Namor went looking for his foe and only found Banner, he returned to the ocean—still not making the connection between the two men.[168] Bruce awoke to find himself in the Central American nation of Costa Salvador. Exploring around he found that everyone was in a trance like state thanks to a massive robot construct that projected strange beams of energy. Finding one lone native not under its control, Banner learned that the island was under the control of someone the local called "the great one". Finding himself falling under the influence of the beams, Banner tried to fight their effects, triggering a transformation into the Hulk, who was immune to the beams control. The Hulk then leapt to the castle of the "great one" and discovered that it was the hideout of Maximus and his group of evil Inhumans. The Hulk fought off the Inhumans until the United States Air Force, coming to the aid of Costa Salvador due to a mutual protection agreement arrived. The Hulk found himself confused as to who to fight: Maximus and his legions, or the military who haunted him for so many years.[169] Maximus managed to convince the Hulk to fight off the military, unaware that Betty had stowed away on her father's plane. Upon discovering this and learning that Maximus intended to kill the invaders, the Hulk turned on him. Maximus in turn unleashed his mind control robot, which the Hulk easily destroyed. As Maximus and his forces fled in a ship, the military once more attempted to apprehend the Hulk, but not wishing to be imprisoned again the Hulk easily bounded away to seek peace somewhere else.[170]

The Hulk vs the Glob[171]

The Hulk found himself in Florida, where his large leaps inadvertently put him in the path of a missile test. Struck by the missile, the Hulk crashed into the nearby swamp. Wading through the mire, the Hulk unknowingly smashed through a United States government radioactive waste disposal shed. The cracked barrels of waste seeped into the swamp resurrecting the remains of criminal Joseph Timms into a mire monster later named the Glob. The military managed to track down the Hulk and attack him again. While the Hulk defended himself, the Glob meanwhile kidnapped Betty and took her into the swamp. Eventually the Hulk crossed paths with the Glob and tried to free Betty from it. The battle ended when the Glob crossed back into the radioactive swamp water that spawned him and began to dissolve. The Glob's last action was to hold Betty above water keeping her safe long enough for the Hulk to recover her. Distressed by the Glob's sacrifice, the Hulk left Betty for the military when they arrived and fled into the swamp to reflect on the entire encounter.[171] The Hulk returned south where in his confused mind he thought an oncoming train was attacking him and derailed it. Fleeing into the wilderness the Hulk passed out and changed back into Bruce Banner. Banner then went down to survey the wreckage he caused, and happened to come across a newspaper report stating that Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four had devised a cure for the Hulk. Banner then hopped the next freight train heading into New York in the hopes of finally being cured. While riding the rails Banner began working on a complimenting formula with the one designed by Reed Richards. The ride was cut short when a pair of bindle-stiffs who were also riding in the freight car mistook Banner making a pouch for his formula as something valuable and tried to mug him. This triggered another, albeit brief, transformation into the Hulk. Banner eventually made his way to New York City, but when he arrived at the Baxter Building headquarters at the Fantastic Four, the security guard on duty was unwilling to listen. Angered, Banner transformed into the Hulk once again and forced his way up into the FF's headquarters. As the Fantastic Four battled the Hulk, Banner's formula came loose and was recovered by the Invisible Girl, who turned it over to Mr. Fantastic. Using this formula, Richards calibrated a sonic blaster that was able to knock out the Hulk, allowing them to begin the experiment that they all hoped would cure Banner of being the Hulk once and for all.[172]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Incredible Hulk #312
  2. Banner's name was originally simply Bruce Banner as per Incredible Hulk #1, however, he was identified as Robert Bruce Banner in the letters page of Fantastic Four #28 in reference to a mistake made in a previous issue. Although he has always been commonly referred to as simply Bruce Banner
  3. Immortal Hulk #12
  4. Incredible Hulk Annual #2000
  5. 5.0 5.1 Incredible Hulk #227
  6. 6.0 6.1 Incredible Hulk #377
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Fear Itself: The Worthy #1
  8. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #13
  9. The Order #6
  10. Marvel Graphic Novel: The Sensational She-Hulk #1
  11. 11.0 11.1 Incredible Hulk #403
  12. Incredible Hulks #620
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Incredible Hulk #-1
  14. Immortal Hulk #38
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #78
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #77
  17. Avengers Annual #13
  18. 18.0 18.1 Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #79
  19. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #80
  20. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #81
  21. Incredible Hulk #226
  22. Captain Marvel #21
  23. Incredible Hulk #410
  24. Incredible Hulk #313
  25. Alpha Flight #11
  26. 26.0 26.1 Incredible Hulk #367
  27. Indestructible Hulk Annual #1
  28. 28.0 28.1 Original Sin #3.1
  29. 29.0 29.1 Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #12
  30. Marvel: The Lost Generation #12
  31. Marvel Saga the Official History of the Marvel Universe #1
  32. Incredible Hulk #312. It should be noted that in this story General Ross refers to Banner's father Brian as a "real man" whom he worked with before and regarded with high praise. This is in contradiction to Ross meeting with Brain Banner in Incredible Hulk #-1 where he called Brain a murderer. It's entirely likely that this praise for Bruce's father was likely another repression technique by Bruce to suppress the memory of murdering his father
  33. Wolverine/Hulk #3
  34. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #15
  35. Original Sin #3.2
  36. Original Sin #3.4
  37. Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Incredible Hulk #1
  39. Hulk! #20
  40. Incredible Hulk Annual #17
  41. Avengers #684
  42. Hulk: Future Imperfect #2
  43. Incredible Hulk #460
  44. 44.0 44.1 Indestructible Hulk #14
  45. 45.0 45.1 Indestructible Hulk #15
  46. Indestructible Hulk #11
  47. Incredible Hulk #1. Many subsequent retellings of the Hulk's first transformation, namely Incredible Hulk #2, Incredible Hulk #3, Incredible Hulk #102, Hulk! #20, Incredible Hulk #312, and Fear Itself: The Worthy #1 all depict the Hulk as being green skinned. The Hulk was depicted as having green skin starting in Incredible Hulk #2. According to Starlog #213 this the color change was because it was easier to color the Hulk green instead of grey. However, a grey skinned Hulk was reintroduced in Incredible Hulk #324 into the mythos. Incredible Hulk #377 went on to state that the grey and green skinned versions of the Hulk were all fractured portions of Banner's mind that were the result of his childhood. Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #19 suggests that the Hulk's transformation at night was partially due to Banner's fear of the dark as a child as this was when he was most frequently abused by his father
  48. Hulk: Gray #1-Hulk: Gray #3
  49. Hulk: Gray #1-6 after Banner's reversion in his house in Incredible Hulk #1 everyone shows shock on finding him in his house, and in Hulk: Gray he first reverts back in the desert, and everyone believes that he disappeared, showing that Hulk: Gray happens during the events in Incredible Hulk #1
  50. Incredible Hulk #377 and Incredible Hulk #393. This analysis can be verified by reviewing Incredible Hulk #1 which featured the grey Hulk. Later Marvel Super-Heroes (Vol. 2) #3 featured a flashback story from the early days of the Hulk showing Banner in his grey Hulk form. In this story, General Ross refers to the Hulk as a "grey/green monster" suggesting that he was perhaps changing back and forth between forms. In Incredible Hulk #2 showed the first appearance of the Green Hulk. However, the green Hulk in these stories talked like the grey Hulk through his appearances until Incredible Hulk #4 Banner retained his own mind. The mindless green Hulk persona did not make it's first appearance until Tales to Astonish #79
  51. 51.0 51.1 Incredible Hulk #2
  52. The were originally called the Toad Men in Incredible Hulk #2 but the official name of their race was revealed in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  53. Marvel Super-Heroes Vol 2 #3
  54. Incredible Hulk #3
  55. 55.0 55.1 Incredible Hulk #5
  56. Incredible Hulk #4
  57. 57.0 57.1 Incredible Hulk #6
  58. Fantastic Four #12
  59. Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks #2
  60. Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks #3
  61. Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks #4
  62. Fantastic Four #400
  63. Sentry/Hulk #1
  64. Sentry/Hulk #1. In Sentry Vol 1 it is explained that in order to defeat the Void, the Sentry made everyone forget his existence, as such for many years none remembered the Sentry or his past and as such the Hulk's brief celebrity was also forgotten until the Sentry returned in Sentry #1
  65. 65.0 65.1 Avengers: The Origin #3
  66. Avengers #1 states that Loki tricked the Hulk into doing this by projecting a mental image of TNT on the tracks. While Avengers: The Origin #1 states that Loki merely projected a monstrous image of himself on the ground and forced the Hulk to attack it. Both versions also have different depictions on how Hulk saved the train. In Avengers #1 the Hulk propped up a rail bridge with a bolder and helped the train along, while in Avengers: The Origin #1, the Hulk does not use a bolder to assist him
  67. Avengers #1 depicted Teen Brigade using ham radios to try and contact the Fantastic Four and instead contacting the future Avengers. This of course is a topical reference as per the Sliding Timescale of the Earth-616 universe. In Avengers: The Origin #1 the tale was "modernized" by having the Teen Brigade try to contact the Fantastic Four via the internet
  68. Avengers: The Origin #2. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #2 states that the circus was really the Circus of Crime in disguise and laying low. While Avengers: The Origin #2 clearly shows that the circus wasn't owned by the Ringmaster or his criminal circus, if they were indeed present they were in disguise
  69. 69.0 69.1 69.2 69.3 Avengers #1
  70. 70.0 70.1 Avengers: The Origin #4
  71. as depicted in Avengers #1 it is also stated in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1
  72. Avengers: The Origin #5
  73. 73.0 73.1 Avengers #1.5
  74. Iron Man: The Iron Age #2
  75. Avengers #280
  76. 76.0 76.1 76.2 Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1
  77. Avengers Classic #1
  78. Iron Man: Kiss & Kill #1
  79. The ship was taken after Doom was defeated by the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #17
  80. Iron Man Vol 2 #11
  81. Avengers: Forever #8 reveals that this was a ruse, in reality the Space Phantom was an agent of the time traveler Immortus who was manipulating the Avengers lives in order to ensure they followed their destined path
  82. 82.0 82.1 Avengers #2
  83. Avengers #267
  84. Savage Hulk #1
  85. Avengers Classic #2
  86. 86.0 86.1 86.2 86.3 Avengers #3
  87. Journey into Mystery #112
  88. 88.0 88.1 Fantastic Four #25
  89. Fantastic Four #26
  90. 90.0 90.1 Avengers #5
  91. Captain America: Man Out of Time #4
  92. Amazing Spider-Man #14
  93. 93.0 93.1 Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #4
  94. Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl #1
  95. Tales to Astonish #59
  96. 96.0 96.1 Hulk vs. Fin Fang Foom #1
  97. Sentry (Vol. 2) #3. Like the Hulk's previous encounters with the Sentry these memories were forgotten when the Sentry erased the Earth's memory of him as per Sentry Vol 1
  98. Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1997
  99. 99.0 99.1 Hulk Smash Avengers #1
  100. Tales to Astonish #60. The identity of the spy is never revealed, however, his employer is identified as the Leader in Tales to Astonish #62
  101. Tales to Astonish #61
  102. 102.0 102.1 Tales to Astonish #62
  103. Tales to Astonish #63
  104. The president depicted here was made to resemble President Lyndon B. Johnson who was President of the United States at the time this story was published. However, as per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 this should be considered a topical reference
  105. Tales to Astonish #64
  106. Tales to Astonish #65
  107. Tales to Astonish #66
  108. 108.0 108.1 Tales to Astonish #68
  109. Tales to Astonish #67
  110. Tales to Astonish #69
  111. 111.0 111.1 Tales to Astonish #70
  112. Tales to Astonish #71
  113. Tales to Astonish #72
  114. 114.0 114.1 Tales to Astonish #74
  115. Tales to Astonish #73
  116. Tales to Astonish #75
  117. Tales to Astonish #76
  118. Tales to Astonish #77
  119. Tales to Astonish #78
  120. Tales to Astonish #79
  121. Hulk Vol 2 #30.1
  122. X-Men First Class Vol 2 #5
  123. 123.0 123.1 Tales to Astonish #80
  124. Tales to Astonish #81
  125. Tales to Astonish #82
  126. Tales to Astonish #83
  127. 127.0 127.1 Marvel Monsters: Devil Dinosaur #1
  128. Tales to Astonish #84
  129. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3
  130. 130.0 130.1 Tales to Astonish #88
  131. Tales to Astonish #85
  132. Tales to Astonish #86
  133. Tales to Astonish #87
  134. 134.0 134.1 Tales to Astonish #89
  135. 135.0 135.1 Tales to Astonish #90
  136. Tales to Astonish #91
  137. Incredible Hulk #393
  138. 138.0 138.1 Tales to Astonish #93
  139. Tales to Astonish #92
  140. Tales to Astonish #94
  141. Tales to Astonish #95
  142. Tales to Astonish #96
  143. West Coast Avengers Annual #3
  144. Tales to Astonish #97
  145. Tales to Astonish #98
  146. Tales to Astonish #99
  147. 147.0 147.1 Tales to Astonish #100
  148. Tales to Astonish #101. The Hulk's battle was also observed by the Collector in Avengers #51
  149. Incredible Hulk #102
  150. 150.0 150.1 Incredible Hulk #103
  151. Incredible Hulk #104
  152. Incredible Hulk #105
  153. Incredible Hulk #105, this battle was also viewed by Loki in Silver Surfer #4
  154. 154.0 154.1 154.2 Incredible Hulk #106
  155. Captain America #110
  156. Incredible Hulk #107
  157. 157.0 157.1 Incredible Hulk Special #1
  158. Incredible Hulk #108
  159. 159.0 159.1 Incredible Hulk #110
  160. Incredible Hulk #109
  161. 161.0 161.1 Incredible Hulk #111
  162. Incredible Hulk #112
  163. Incredible Hulk #113
  164. Incredible Hulk #114
  165. 165.0 165.1 Incredible Hulk #115
  166. Incredible Hulk #116
  167. Incredible Hulk #117
  168. 168.0 168.1 Incredible Hulk #118
  169. Incredible Hulk #119
  170. Incredible Hulk #120
  171. 171.0 171.1 Incredible Hulk #121
  172. Incredible Hulk #122