- “Sorry, kids. You don't get to see my little party trick after all.”
- ―Dr. Bruce Banner referencing to The Hulk
The Incredible Hulk (and his alter ego, Robert Bruce Banner) are superheroes from Marvel Comics. Bruce Banner is a brilliant scientist who after a lab accident involving gamma radiation, can transform into an immensely strong green-skinned monster called the Hulk whenever he gets angry or his heart beats very rapidly.
The Hulk appears in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and various Marvel Animation. In the MCU, he debuts as the eponymous main protagonist in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, and starting with the 2012 film The Avengers, is one of the main protagonists of all subsequent Avengers films, and as the tritagonist of the 2017 film Thor: Ragnarok.
Banner is a genius as an expert in the field of gamma radiation. He is overly sarcastic by guessing Hawkeye's joke. After having exposed to the gamma bomb he gained another personality that is monstrous, called the Hulk, that he can change into after his heart rate goes at a certain point by getting too excited or angry. He tries to maintain his heart rate by calming himself down, but it seems that he's able to bring out Hulk by will alone.
Banner's personality is that of a kind doctor who likes meeting new people, such as Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, although he is not without a sarcastic side. He is a brilliant scientist whom Tony Stark likes and he makes great work which makes him a great scientist as well. Given that Bruce also sometimes can feel a little upset or angry and depending on what he's feeling. When he transforms into the Hulk then that means he's angry and he's not happy at all. But Bruce is a very nice guy and always helps out, even when it's very difficult for him to fit in with other people. He is known to also be very smart and intelligent and he knows what he's doing when he's performing experiments in his lab or workplace.
Hulk's personality is the polar opposite to Bruce Banner- much like the psychological Id, Hulk is very aggressive, stubborn, and primal, incurred whenever Bruce is angry. Because of Hulk's temper, he causes destruction to his surroundings and beats anything in his path, however, he has a soft spot for animals. After some time, Hulk respected people and had the thought of helping them instead of hurting them, such as when the Hulk rescued Hawkeye's men from a helicopter crash. He can get along with people very well, but can be easily irritated by others if they think that Hulk is only a monster.
Powers and Abilities
- ―The Hulk's catchphrase, first spoken to Abomination
- Transformation: Due to the Gamma Radiation that has mutated his body, Bruce is able to transform between his normal, unpowered human form and the form of one of the most powerful superhumans. Bruce has trouble with this ability as it only activates by pure aggression and requires force of will to summon it. In addition, this transformation has led to a dual consciousness, with one being Bruce and the Hulk. As of now, the Hulk is in charge of their shared body. He has only transformed back into Banner a handful of times.
- Superhuman Strength: Hulk has virtually unlimited superhuman strength at his disposal. He is strong enough to match his teammate Thor in combat, as well as break through the incredibly powerful gravitational influences of the villain Graviton. He is easily able to heft objects like tanks with one hand and use them akin to a baseball bat. Frankly he is capable of picking up any object he wants to. Bruce's strength increases when he is angry, and this is something that has led to the downfall of many villains.
- Superhuman Durability: Hulk possesses near-invulnerability toward all types of harm. He has been struck with bullets, laser cannons, powerful, magical, and technological energy blasts, and falls from great heights with no injury. His durability is similar to that of Thor, Ronan the Accuser, and the Thing.
- Environmental Adaptation: Hulk can adapt to any environment, even airless space. Hulkcan adapt to a wide diversity of hostile habitats. Hulk can harmonize his biological structure with the depths of the ocean. He can even speak in these inhospitable habitats. Hulk can eat, drink, breathe, and function normally in any environment. He does not need to eat, drink, or breath, and his ability to adapt to his environment is an inherent property, which is also enhanced and amplified by his rage, excitement, stress, and necessity.
- Weaponizing: Hulk had to make something useful out from any object and used them as melee and ranged weapons like tanks, missile launchers, signboards, cars on foes.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: Hulk can heal even serious wounds within seconds. These attributes make him extremely difficult to kill, even if he is in his human form.
- Superhuman Endurance: Hulk's body generates no fatigue toxins during physical activity, granting him nigh limitless endurance in all physical activities. His stamina and vitality are inexhaustible and limitless.
- Superhuman Stamina: Hulk's stamina and vitality are inexhaustible and limitless.
- Superhuman Speed: Hulk is capable of running faster than a human; Hulk could even surpass an aircraft while on land, he can swim at 100 knots, and keep up with Emil Blonsky. His reflexes have even been described as "lightning-fast reflexes", fast.
- Advanced Hand-To-Hand Combatant/Martial Artist: Although he has not be formal training in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts; his fighting skills combined with his superhuman physical attributes, makes Hulk a formidable opponent alone in single combat. Bruce received training in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts; in Brazil from a hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist expert.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Bruce possesses a genius-level intellect, famous for being one of the foremost geniuses of his generation.
- Master Scientist: Bruce is one of the world's renowned scientist in fields such as Biochemistry, Nuclear Physics and, especially, Gamma Radiation.
- Expert Tactician: Bruce is an extremely skilled tactician.
- Multilingualism: Bruce is capable of fluently speaking English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Hindi.
- Stretchable Pants: After the Battle of New York, Bruce became a consecrated member of the Avengers, he acquired a uniform with the main feature of stretching to fit Hulk's physique after his transformations. He uses a pair of trousers made with a flexible microfiber fabric, the material of which was shown to be extremely durable on several occasions, like when the team attacked the HYDRA Research Base, Bruce turned back into the Hulk with his pants still intact.
- Battle Axe: As Hulk became a gladiator, he had gained a large special metallic battle axe that sutiable to his own size.
- Hammer: As a gladiator, Hulk had also obtained a special metallic war hammer that aids him with battling others in the arena.
After the Culver University's incident, Bruce used several pieces of equipment while he was a fugitive. Some of these were destroyed or confiscated by United States Armed Forces. To prevent clues, Bruce avoided the use of credit card, identity documents and phones. The materials he used included;
- Wrist-Mounted Cardiovascular Monitor: A gauge used to monitor Bruce's heart rate, helping him to prevent a transformation into the Hulk. The first monitor was destroyed after Bruce's transformation in Brazil. The last one seen was given by Betty Ross and seized by United States Armed Forces.
- Laptop Computer: A cheap laptop with an encrypted instant messaging software installed. Bruce used it to chat with "Mr. Blue" a.k.a. Samuel Sterns. Bruce always carried it in a backpack, so he could maintain a communication where he was.
The Incredible Hulk
Prior to the events of the film, Banner was hired by General Ross to work on research on radiation resistance. In reality, the project was an attempt at recreating the Super Soldier serum that was used on Captain America. Upon creating a feasible sample, Banner was so sure of himself that he exposed himself to gamma radiation to test the recreated serum, but the experiment transformed him into the Hulk. The Hulk demolished the lab, grievously injuring his girlfriend Betty and forcing him on the run. Now a fugitive from the United States, Banner worked in a soft drink bottling factory in Brazil while attempting to find a cure for his condition with the help of an Internet friend known to him as "Mr. Blue". To prevent another transformation, Banner underwent rigorous meditation to control his emotions and keep his pulse at a steady level.
One day, "Mr. Blue" requested that Banner send him a sample of blood, which through some tests revealed a potential cure. However, Blue needed the data that changed him first in the first place. After Banner suffered a cut, a drop of his blood landed into a bottle of soft drink, which was eventually drunk by an unsuspecting, ill-fated customer. Following this, General Ross discovered his location and sent Emil Blonsky and a special forces team to apprehend him. While trying to evade the special forces, Banner was attacked by thugs and became the Hulk. The Hulk killed some of the thugs and the special forces team and escaped, leaving Blonsky unharmed. Banner wakes up in Guatemala, dazed by the experience and eventually makes his way to Culver University in the United States, where a now-recovered Betty was dating psychologist Doctor Leonard Samson. Unable to access his old lab to retrieve the data, he sees his old friend Stanley, a pizzeria owner, for a place to stay and a job as a delivery boy. Banner used this job to sneak past a Culver University security guard to try and retrieve his research, only to discover it was gone.
When preparing to head off once again, Betty visited the pizzeria and spotted Banner, who fled to try and avoid her, however they later reunited, and he elected to stay with her one night. Learning that she possessed the last of the data, he explained her father's plan for him, and why he must continue running. While getting ready to leave, the military arrived, and Blonsky, enhanced by some of the experimental serum Ross had tried to produce himself, led the assault. While trapped and gased, Banner was angered by some soldiers trying to restrain Betty, and transformed into the Hulk. Despite Blonsky's increased strength, speed and agility, the Hulk crushed most of the bones in Blonsky's body before absconding with Betty to Smokey Mountain National Forrest with Betty and keeping her safe from a firing gunship.
Banner sends the data to "Mr. Blue", and he and Betty traveled to Manhattan to meet with "Mr. Blue", Dr. Samuel Sterns. Accompanying Sterns to his lab, Banner and Betty learned that Sterns had indeed developed a possible antidote that may reverse Banner's transformations, however it might only prevent the current occurrence and not future ones, and that an overdose could possibly kill him. Despite the risks, Banner agreed to try, and was shocked into transforming with electricity and then reverted to normal with an injection of the serum and Betty's calming words. Exhilarated by the success of the antidote, Sterns revealed that he had synthesized Banner's blood sample into a large supply, with the intention of using it to enhance the human condition to the next evolutionary level. Appalled and fearful of the the Hulk's power falling into the wrong hands, Banner attempted to convince Sterns to destroy the blood supply when he was shot by a tranquilizer from one of General Ross' snipers, while Blonksy, further enhanced by Ross's serum, attacked Banner in an attempt to get him to transform but couldn't.
As Banner was taken into custody, Blonsky, desperate for more power, confronted Sterns and demanded he subject him to a dose of the Banner's gamma radiation treatment. As a result, Blonsky mutated into a hideous titan, the Abomination, and went on a rampage in the city. Banner, realizing that he was the only one who could stop the Abomination, convinced General Ross to release him, and jumped out of Ross' helicopter, hoping the fall would stimulate a transformation. Banner's plans succeeded, and after a violent, pitched battle the Abomination was defeated when the Hulk brutally strangled him with a huge chain, but was stopped from killing him by Betty. The Hulk then fled the scene with the army in hot pursuit.
Thirty one days later, Banner was staying in Bella Coola, British Columbia. Instead of trying to suppress his transformations, he began attempting to initiate them in a controlled manner. As his eyes turned green, a grin appeared on his face.
After meeting the rest of the members; Thor, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers. He befriended them, and begin working with them to locate the Tesseract along with Stark. He and Tony also spoke with Captain America, for Fury's reasons for the Tesseract.
He also was manipulated by Loki's scepter but was able to snap back as the computer began locating the Tesseract however at that time Hawkeye, who was brainwashed by Loki begin an attack on the Helicarriers which made Banner transform into Hulk and when on a rampage.
He eventually turned back into Banner, as he arrived to the Battle of New York and rejoined The Avengers to assist them as well as apologize to Romanoff for earlier attacking her. He finally controlled his anger, claiming he is always anger and transformed into the Hulk and began attacking the Chitauri and the Leviathan. During the battle he punches Thor for their earlier fight in the Helicarrier.
Hulk also entered Stark Tower and simply beat Loki with no effort, calling him a puny god after defeating him and rejoined the battle. Later, World Security Council ordered Fury to send a nuclear missile at New York to neutralize the threat but would kill a whole lot of people, he dismissed the order and the Council had someone hijack it but Iron Man flew it up at the Chitauri wormhole destroying the army and saved Iron Man as he fell.
Later, after the battle they all eat at the Shwarma palace which Stark suggested and were interrupted by War Machine who arrived late to assist in the battle. Later, as Loki was send back with Thor to answer for his crimes and with the Tesseract he and Stark left together as the Avengers went separate ways.
Sometime later, Tony Stark went to talk with his friend Dr. Banner to talk about his tantrums but he fell asleep as soon as the session started but Tony just kept telling him more of his stories, making him fall back asleep.
A couple of years since the Battle of New York, the Avengers discovered the location of the scepter that was in a HYDRA base in Sokovia. They attacked the base, and recovered the scepter. When they returned to the tower, Stark convinced him to assist him with creating Ultron a peacekeeping intelligence robot as everyone leaves J.A.R.V.I.S. awakens Ultron who instead goes rogue and attacks J.A.R.V.I.S..
After the victory, Stark organized a party and during it he flitters with Romanoff making him realize the two has feelings for each other and while the Avengers attempted to lift Thor's hammer they were all unsuccessful including Banner than Thor teased them. They were than attacked by Ultron and the Iron Legion which Ultron forced them to attack them. After a brief battle, they managed to destroy the Iron Legion body that Ultron was using, but he claimed it would return.
They later learned that Ultron had made himself a new body, killed Wolfgang von Strucker, and was planning to steal Vibranium from Ulysses Klaue. During the battle from getting Ultron to acquire the Vibranium, Banner stayed in the Quinjet but got manipulated by Scarlet Witch's abilities turning him into the Hulk and made him attack the city in South Africa but was eventually defeated by Iron Man in his Hulk Buster armor.
With the public ridiculing them for his rampage, Banner along with the Avengers took refugee at Clint Barton's home. There, Banner and Widow planned to elope after they defeat Ultron.
Nick Fury also arrived at the homestead, to speak with them. During the conversation, Banner realized that Ultron was planning to evolve and targeted Helen Cho to create a synthetic, organic body. While Banner was brought back to the Avengers Tower by Fury, the Avengers flew to Seoul to take the synthetic body from Ultron, and Stark went to the NEXUS base in Oslo to find the person who prevented Ultron from obtaining nuclear launch codes.
Stark and Barton returned to the Avengers Tower, where Stark revealed that JARVIS was still alive. Together, Banner and Stark uploaded JARVIS's consciousness into Ultron's vision. Rogers arrived with the Maximoff twins and ordered them to shut down the project, with the two groups in argument and Banner personally threatening that he would kill Wanda without becoming the Hulk. Just then, Thor arrived and completed the creation. After Thor explained that the stone in Ultron's vision was an Infinity Stone, the creation, known as the Vision, revealed himself as worthy of Thor's hammer.
The Avengers found Romanoff imprisoned by Ultron in Sokovia. While the Avengers warded off Ultron's army, Banner infiltrated Ultron's lair and rescued Romanoff. Banner was determined to run off with Romanoff and live peacefully, but Romanoff forced him into becoming the Hulk to finish Ultron off. The Hulk participated in the final battle, where he ran into Black Widow, who tried to turn him back. However, when Ultron opened fire on them the Hulk's rage rekindled and he flew off in the Avengers Quinjet, wanting to hide alone.
A year after the Battle of Sokovia and Banner going off the grid, when an incident occurred in Lagos with Scarlet Witch accidently killing many people in Lagos when stopping a bomb set of by Crossbones to kill Captain America. Thadduess Ross now Secretary of State visited The Avengers at their facility to present the Sokovia Accords, Banner was mentioned by Ross along with Thor if Cap knew their location of one of the reasons of the Accords.
Ross then showed footage of the constant collateral damage of The Avengers missions; Battle of New York, Battle at Treskilion, Battle of Sokovia, and Mission in Lagos. One of them during the Battle of New York, Hulk was hopping from building the roof to roof however causing debris to fall and hit citizens.
Stark and Romanoff mention Banner after Rogers and Wilson escape with Barnes where Stark mentions that they could use Banner at that moment but Romanoff doubts him asking if Banner would really be on their side.
- “Just for once in your life, don't smash!"
- ―Thor, Hulk, and Valkyrie[src]
The Hulk would eventually arrive on Sakaar, where he would become a local celebrity and gladiator. Because the Hulk appreciates finally being loved, he has remained in Hulk form for two years, never turning back into Banner. In that time Hulk learned to talk, despite having mediocre language.
In the arena, Hulk now meets Thor, a captive of the Grandmaster, as his contender. Hulk, without any hesitation, attacks his friend when Thor brings up Banner. Even without his hammer, it is an even fight before Thor turns the tide when he unlocks his full power, but he is electrocuted by Grandmaster with the Obedience disc implanted on him, giving Hulk the opportunity to smash Thor into unconsciousness. Since Thor survived, Hulk takes him back to his room after the fight as his fellow gladiator.
At first bitter with each other, Thor and Hulk ease tensions over some time. Thor convinces Hulk to bring in his friend and sparring partner, Valkyrie, to ask for her help but she refuses to. Deciding to face his evil sister, Hela, on his own, Thor breaks through the window of Hulk's room to reach the Quinject Hulk landed in. Hulk follows Thor down, not intending to let his friend leave Sakaar, however, Thor then plays footage of Natasha's final message in front of Hulk. The anguish upon seeing Natasha causes Hulk to finally revert back to Banner.
Confused over where he is, Banner learns that he spent two years as Hulk and worries that the next transformation may be permanent. While Thor calms him down, they overhear Grandmaster announcing a bounty on the missing gladiators and are forced to escape the Quinjet. Banner admits to Thor he is tired of fighting and wants to return to Earth when Thor asks for his help; however, he does agree to accompany Thor back to Asgard. When the two enter a Hulk parade, they run into Valkyrie, having decided to join their fight against Hela. Banner and Valkyrie both briefly note how familiar the other seemed, although Thor dismisses this to hide information about Banner and the Hulk. To prove she was sincere, Valkyrie also offers a captured Loki as a gift, much to Banner's surprise; he is further flabbergasted and fearful when Loki directly apologizes to him. The four decide to steal the Grandmaster's ship and escape Sakaar.
With Thor and Valkyrie, Banner acquire a ship that takes them to Asgard. Valkyrie and Banner assist the Asgardian refugees during the evacuation on the Bifrost Bridge when the refugees were confronted by Hela's wolf Fenris. Using the ship's guns proves futile against the wolf, thus Banner decides to turn into the Hulk to stop her, despite knowing that he may be the Hulk forever. Banner jumps off the ship and hits the bridge, allowing him to transform into Hulk and he immediately fights Fenris. Their battle is savage and heated, but Hulk is able to defeat the wolf when he gives a punch powerful enough that Fenris falls down a waterfall to her death. Hulk then returns to his friends right as a revived Surtur destroys Asgard following the evacuation; without knowing Thor released Surtur to stop Hela, an unaware Hulk attacks Surtur, and after being easily thrown away by the demon, Hulk begrudgingly escapes with Thor and Valkyrie on board the Statesman, where Loki, the Sakaaran rebels, and all the Asgardians are waiting. With Asgard destroyed at the cost of defeating Hela, the Asgardians are now without a home. Thor, as king of Asgard, decides to set course for Earth as their new home which Hulk agrees to.
In a mid-credits scene, however, the group is stopped in their travel to Earth by the Sanctuary II, the warship of the Mad Titan Thanos.
Following Thanos' massacre of half the Statesman's passengers, the remaining Asgardians, including Valkyrie, escape on several escape pods and the only survivors remaining on the ship are Thor, Loki, Heimdall, and Hulk, after engaging the Black Order in a brutal fight. Loki surrenders to Thanos after giving him the Tesseract before dropping his ploy to alert Hulk in and get the drop on Thanos. Hulk proceeds to violently beat Thanos, but ultimately, Thanos catches Hulk and smashes him into the ground making Hulk temporarily conscious. Heimdall uses his Bifrost powers to transport Hulk to Earth, saving his life, before being killed by Thanos.
When he arrives on Earth, Hulk crashlands in the New York Sanctum, alerting Doctor Strange and his friend Wong to investigate the impact. They find Hulk transforming back into Bruce Banner, where Banner warns them that Thanos is coming. In response, Strange accompanies Banner to recruit Tony Stark, startling him due to Banner's delayed absence. Banner reveals to Tony that the coming threat, Thanos, is the one who was responsible for the attack on New York through Loki. Tony starts to discuss with Strange on what to do with Thanos and on how to save the planet, however, the Black Order (consisting of Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian) invade New York. After the people have evacuated the zone, Banner, Stark, Strange, and Wong meet the Black Order operatives; Tony asks Banner to transform into Hulk to help them but Hulk refuses to come out and help him, forcing Banner to remain out of the fight. After Strange is captured by Maw and taken to the Q-Ship with Tony and Spider-Man sneaking on board, Banner remains on Earth and goes to the New Avengers Facility to recruit Steve Rogers and Natasha (the latter of whom he gives an awkward greeting to) to reunite and fight against Thanos.
To secure the Mind Stone on Vision's head, the Avengers travel to Wakanda to remove the stone from Vision and for backup against Thanos' forces when they arrive to claim the stone. Banner repairs the Hulkbuster suit to use in the battle against Thanos' henchmen as Hulk currently still refuses to appear. Initially, Banner doesn't use the suit very well and soon faces Cull Obsidian once more; Banner turns the fight in his favor by forcing the Hulkbuster gauntlet onto Cull and it careens him towards Wakanda's energy barrier, killing Cull. Rejoining the others in battle, the Outriders pile and overwhelm Banner until he and his teammates are saved by Thor using Stormbreaker and his new allies Rocket Raccoon and Groot. The additional manpower helps the Avengers defeat all the Outriders; following the battle, they learn Thanos has arrived on Wakanda for Vision. Banner and the others go to Thanos and try to stop him but Thanos incapacitates each one by one; for Banner, Thanos traps Banner inside a rock making him temporarily unable to intervene.
Once Thanos successfully kills Vision and claims all of the Avengers: Endgameniverse and escapes. With Thanos victorious and all their efforts they performed to stop him were for naught, Banner and a few other Avengers that were spared are left to watch as their friends disappear from existence, leaving only dust before them, forced to accept that Thanos had defeated them.
Bruce is surveying the carnage left behind in the wake of Thanos' fingersnap, when he is suddenly confronted by Captain Marvel.
Hulk appears in the Avengers: Endgame, his Banner and Hulk personas merged, similar to his appearance Avengers Assemble. Hulk/Banner joins the other heroes as they travel back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet. They succeed, and Hulk/Banner uses the Infinity Gauntlet to undo the snap and bring everyone back to life. Hulk/Banner then joins the other heroes in their fight against Thanos and his army of Chitauri, Outriders and the Black Order.
Marvel vs. Capcom series
Hulk appears as a playable character in the Capcom crossover fighting games Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
Hulk had a mixed relationship with the Avengers. He had a love-hate relationship with Thor, having beaten him up and escaped with him and Valkyrie. He was in love with Black Widow, but their romance was short-lived, as he fled the planet and Black Widow died shortly after his return. He has the weakest relationship with Iron Man.
Betty Ross and Bruce Banner were sweethearts in college, which marked the time Banner became the Hulk. She still remained by his side, and they bonded over the fact that she was the sole individual who had no intention of hurting him. They mysteriously broke up before the Battle of New York. However, Hulk saved her life when he undid the Decimation.
- In the Television series Avengers Assemble, Hulk has a collection of glass animals that he is very fond of, referred to as "The Zoo" by his fellow Avengers Iron Man and Captain America. Made for him by Glorian, an inter-dimensional craftsman, each one represents a different adventure he has had over the years. Anyone who breaks one of his glass figurines earns his instant wrath, as Hawkeye discovered to his dismay in the episode "Mojo World". Most of the Avengers have learned to steer clear of "The Zoo".
- When Banner and Hulk became members of the Avengers, Tony Stark designed special pants for them.
- Ultimate Spider-Man features an alternate, grey version of Hulk known as "Mr. Fixit".
- In Avengers: Assemble, Hulk rarely becomes Bruce again.
- With the exception of Thor: Ragnarok and Captain Marvel, Tony Stark is in every single film that Bruce Banner is in every single Marvel Cinematic Universe film together as well as both mentioned. Banner was mentioned in Thor and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which Stark was also mentioned in it.
- Why Hulk refused to come out in Avengers: Infinity War was never revealed.
- Hulk with Bruce Banner's intelligence is a reference to Professor Hulk in the comics.