Biography

Biography

Scientist Bruce Banner’s inner turmoil transforms him into the mean, green rage machine called the Hulk.

The Monster Inside

The child of an abusive father, Bruce Banner grew up shy and introverted, yet a scientific genius. As a young man, thanks to his standout work in the field of nuclear physics, he attracted the attention of the U.S. Army who wanted to adapt his theories for weaponry. Banner resisted such notions, but failed attempts at landing steady work convinced him to accept a position at a federal nuclear research facility at a missile base in the New Mexico desert.

At the base, Banner was befriended by Betty Ross, daughter of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, a man who took an instant disliking to the diminutive, passive scientist. While at the base, Banner began to develop and build a bomb that utilized a high concentration of gamma radiation, a project of high interest to an undercover foreign agent stationed there. When a teenager named Rick Jones wandered onto the test field just as Banner started the countdown for the gamma bomb’s initial test detonation, the scientist rushed out to the area to warn Jones, but the foreign agent purposefully continued the test. The bomb exploded, bathing Bruce Banner in its radiation.

Incredibly, he survived the detonation, but later in the evening transformed into a large, grey, man-like monstrosity dubbed a “hulk” by one of the base’s soldiers.

Hulk versus Thing

Only Rick Jones witnessed the transformation, and perhaps out of a feeling of guilt over Banner’s exposure to the gamma rays shepherded the creature to a place of safety until it changed back into the scientist. Once realizing what had occurred, Banner accepted Jones’ help and began to work on a cure for his incredible situation in secret, but the Hulk—now with green skin, rather than grey—continued to emerge and quickly earned the enmity of General Ross.

Hulk-Out

Bruce Banner’s intelligence has made him one of the world’s leading authorities on nuclear physics, as well as other related disciplines, but these qualities become submerged normally upon his transformation into the monstrous Hulk, who exists as a physical extension of his pent-up rage and mental imbalance.

The Hulk’s strength remains at the top level of all super human beings on Earth and increases exponentially as his anger grows. This strength grants him not only upper body prowess, but also the ability to leap great distances and land without harm to himself. The Hulk’s skin is nearly impenetrable and his lung capacity allows for long periods of submersion in water, exposure to many forms of gases, and even to temporary survival in the airless vacuum of outer space.

Hulk transforming

Banner’s transformations are usually triggered by adrenaline rushes when he becomes anxious, nervous, or angry, which lead to similar feelings in the Hulk. Normally, the scientist’s personality and intelligence give way to his alter-ego’s brutish mindset, creating what appears to be two different personas who seem to share only the singular desire to be left alone.

Friends of the Monster

Perhaps ironically, the Hulk has arguably made more friends and allies than Bruce Banner, some of them have even grown close to him and formed lasting bonds.

Hulk feeling alone

Betty Ross saw something in Bruce Banner from the moment they met at the New Mexico missile base and, despite her father’s objections, tried to understand the shy scientist. The Hulk noticed Betty early in his existence, most likely due to Banner’s own interest in the young woman, and after she learned of their dual identity, she began to sympathize with their plight. Bruce and Betty eventually married, but their happiness was short-lived due to the tribulations of the Hulk, leading to a rocky road for their relationship.

Rick Jones’ presence at the missile base during Banner’s test of his gamma bomb may have paved the way to the creation of the Hulk, but the young man has more than made amends for it with his long friendship with both the scientist and the Hulk. In fact, in the early days of their bond, Jones became the only person who could calm the raging creature and help him return to Banner’s form. Jones came and went over the years following, owing to his own tumultuous life, but he somehow always gravitated back to the Hulk’s side to provide support and partnership.

Hulk in a comic panel

In more recent times, boy genius Amadeus Cho has filled the role once played by Rick Jones, that of the Hulk’s companion and confidant. Cho stood with the beast through many hardships, and even became a Hulk himself after Banner’s apparent demise.

Among the super human community, the Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, and the X-Men’s Wolverine not only have battled the Hulk on numerous occasion, but also formed odd friendships with him, perhaps due to their own sense of isolation as oddities.

Hulk in battle

Hatred for the Hulk

The Hulk’s frightening appearance, his destructive tendencies, and his defiance of being caged and studied has resulted in a long list of opponents and enemies throughout his time roaming the planet.

Arguably his first enemy was “Thunderbolt” Ross, who made it his own personal crusade to track down, capture, and destroy the Hulk. This mission played out over many years in a cat-and-mouse game between the general, Bruce Banner, and his green alter-ego, to the point of many battles and wasted tax dollars in weaponry and equipment on Ross’ part. On an even more personal level, Ross could never understand or accept his daughter Betty’s love for the scientist and sympathy for his plight, leading to many clashes between the two over the years. Ironically, General Ross eventually became a Hulk, too, at a time when Banner’s own creature was nowhere to be seen.

Red Hulk

Gamma radiation played a major role in the creation of two of the Hulk’s greatest opponents, the Leader and the Abomination, with the latter gaining heightened intelligence from the unique radiation, and the former transforming into a grotesque monster even more terrifying than the Hulk. The Leader proved the more persistent of the two foes, building scheme upon scheme to waylay and destroy his fellow gamma-spawned nemesis, even to the point of attempting to take over the Hulk’s body when his own was mortally damaged.

Other recurring foes of the green giant include a possible future version of the Hulk known as the Maestro, the powerful Agamemnon and Achilles of the secretive Pantheon, the criminal U-Foes, and the gadget-laden Boomerang.

 

height

Bruce Banner: 5'9'', Hulk: 7'6''

weight

Bruce Banner: 128 lbs., Hulk: 1150 lbs.

gender

Male

eyes

Bruce Banner: brown, Hulk: green

hair

Bruce Banner: brown, Hulk: green

  • Universe
  • Other Aliases
  • Education
  • Place of Origin
  • Identity
  • Known Relatives
  • Powers
  • Group Affiliation
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

  • Group Affiliation

Way of the Wandering Warrior

While avoiding General Ross and the U.S. Army, the Hulk took on extra-normal opponents such as the wily Gargoyle and the subterranean Tyrannus as his transformations back and forth to Bruce Banner became less erratic and more stabilized. Eventually, the change into a now-green form would usually occur mostly due to Banner’s adrenalin rushes, something the worried scientist worked desperately to control while he hid his secret from the world.

When the Asgardian god of mischief Loki sought to sow chaos for his half-brother Thor, he manipulated Hulk into a clash with Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp, though he only succeeded in the inadvertent creation of a new team of heroes, the Avengers. Suspicious of his teammates, the Hulk left very shortly after the team formed, and soon began an alliance with Namor the Sub-Mariner to oppose the Avengers. When that too fell apart, the green behemoth returned to his wanderings and infrequent battles with General Ross’ “Hulkbusters” fighting unit.

Believing he operated in Banner’s best interests, Rick Jones revealed the scientist’s secret to Ross and his daughter Betty, and before long the public knew the truth of the connection between Banner and the Hulk. Banner subsequently proposed to Betty, but the Hulk came between them and the young woman went on to marry Bruce Talbot, one of her father’s army majors and a steadfast rival of Banner’s. The Hulk helped the mystic Dr. Strange and Namor defeat an otherworldly threat to the Earth and joined Strange’s loose “non-team” the Defenders for many adventures in the years to come alongside various teammates.

Hulk staring into the stars

At one point, the Hulk was transported to another plane of existence, where he met the beautiful queen Jarella and fell in love with her. Then, back on Earth, Banner performed a blood transfusion on his wounded cousin Jennifer Walters, which caused her to change into a “She-Hulk,” and later Banner accepted the Hulk as an integral part of himself. When an accident allowed the Hulk to retain his alter-ego’s intelligence, the U.S. president pardoned the creature, until Banner once again lost control of his other self. Wandering once more, and near-mindless, the Hulk found himself at an other-dimensional crossroads, the result of Dr. Strange’s well-meaning spells, and entered into a new series of weird adventures there.

Brought back to Earth accidentally by the Canadian super team Alpha Flight, the Hulk rampaged across the land before being separated into two wholly separate beings, himself and Bruce Banner. Believing a new future lay ahead of him, the scientist proposed again to the now-divorced Betty Ross, but their hopeful new wedded life fell quickly into chaos when the Hulk and Banner were reintegrated. After that, a strange, intelligent, and grey-skinned version of the Hulk—not unlike his first form— emerged to work as an enforcer nicknamed Mr. Fixit in Las Vegas for a time.

The green Hulk eventually returned and due to the work of psychiatrist and fellow gamma-mutate Doc Samson, grew more intelligent. Now known as the Professor, this clever, smart Hulk met and joined the secretive group called the Pantheon, faced his own possible future-self, the Maestro, and reverted back to his more-brutish form when Banner received shrapnel close to his brain after an attack. The scientist also finally made peace with the ghost of his abusive father after the mutant Apocalypse removed a dangerous shard in his head and his beloved Betty seemingly died.

A revived Betty came to Banner in the guise of the mysterious “Mr. Blue” to teach her husband self-hypnosis to help him control the inner Hulk. The Leader framed the green giant for murder, prompting Banner to hit the road and avoid the gamma villain’s bid to insert his own mind into the Hulk’s body. Another gamma bomb explosion temporarily resurrected the grey Hulk, and a collection of the smartest heroes on Earth called the Illuminati shot the Hulk into space for permanent exile, but a space warp transported him to the far-flung planet Sakaar where he became a popular warrior, and eventually the world’s ruler.

Lasting happiness on Sakaar eluded the Hulk when the power cell in his spaceship exploded and decimated a large portion of the planet, along with his queen. Returning to Earth for revenge on the Illuminati, the Hulk went on a rampage until Iron Man devised a way to transform the behemoth back into Bruce Banner and hold him in stasis. During this time, the Hulk was befriended by boy genius Amadeus Cho, and Banner witnessed the advent of both a new Red Hulk (secretly “Thunderbolt” Ross) and Rick Jones’ transformation into the blue beast called A-Bomb. The original Hulk finally returned to put all newcomers in their place, as well as to deal with the arrival of his son Skaar from Sakaar and Betty as a Red She-Hulk.

Banner with family

Doctor Doom managed to separate Banner and his alter-ego once again, and the now-insane scientist sequestered himself on a remote island where he waged a private war on the Hulk. When the two were finally recombined, the Hulk joined the spy organization S.H.I.E.L.D. and after being healed of a head wound by Iron Man’s Extremis formula, manifested yet another new personality, Doc Green. Intelligent again, the Hulk decided to rid the world of all gamma-mutates—including his own cousin, She-Hulk—by taking back the radiation’s effects. However, when Amadeus Cho absorbed his own gamma-powers, the boy became the new Hulk.

Guilt-ridden from all the hurt his alter-ego delivered to the world, Banner placed himself into seclusion until drawn from it by another “civil war” between Earth’s champions over an Inhuman with visions of the future. One such vision illustrated the Hulk’s eventual destruction of numerous heroes, but when Iron Man and others confronted Banner to take him into their custody, the archer Hawkeye subverted their intentions and killed the scientist with an arrow through his brain.

Later, the nefarious Hand ninja clan stole Banner’s body to resurrect it for their own purposes, and mad bio-engineer Arnim Zola subsequently revived the Hulk for another temporary rampage during Hydra’s recent takeover of the United States.

 
7
durability
5
energy
4
fighting skills
6
intelligence
3
speed
7
strength