Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #1
What's His Problem? Well, if you had multiple personalities that frequently competed for dominance, experienced a horrifying childhood that you constantly tried to put behind you, were continually hounded by obsessive military officers with self-serving agendas, were considered public enemy number one despite risking your life repeatedly to save the planet, were looked down upon by the "superhero community" in spite of all of the times you whomped some megalomaniac they couldn't handle, were frequently sought after by villains who wanted to use you(willingly or unwillingly) in their petty schemes to rule the world, were occasionally betrayed by the handful of people that you thought you could trust, and had learned that in at least two alternate futures you will become a cruel, self-serving, and all-powerful dictator who takes what he wants and destroys the rest -- would you really CARE if people thought you had a problem?!!
Abilities: As well as getting stronger as he gets madder, the Hulk has one of the fastest healing rates in the Marvel Universe, making him very durable. For transportation, the Hulk leaps, easily covering several miles in a single jump. The fastest and furthest that he's been shown jumping was in Incredible Hulk 254 when he almost leaped into orbit! He also has the ability to see astral forms and an uncanny homing ability, which he has used to locate distant places and people. Also, since Bruce is one of the world's most renowned physicists, most incarnations of the Hulk utilize his vast knowledge either on a conscious or a subconscious level.
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: Since the Hulk has been labeled as the "Mightiest Mortal On Earth", he often tangles with other superhumanly strong beings. Whether it's a classic slugfest with a villain, one of the times the Hulk is on the wrong side of the law, or a case of "I - don't - understand - what - you're - doing - but - I'll - fight - you - for - at - least - 15 - pages", the Hulk has tangled with Thor, the Avengers, the Thing (with and without the Fantastic Four), and Wolverine. Heck, he even fought his psychiatrist, Doc Samson, a few times. I guess he didn't care for the portion of the bill not covered by his insurance deductible.
Favorite Quote: Here's what The Hulk said while on trial for a billion dollar class action suit. I feel it expresses why he belongs in the Gray Zone: "I have hostility, yes. But wouldn't you, if the world were constantly assaulting you? Think how actors respond just from having cameras shoved in their faces. I get fists, guns -- everything. Maybe I'm a trouble magnet. I don't know. But I'm acting in self-defense, and you'd penalize me for it." (Marvel Comics Special: "The Savage Hulk." Shortly after the prosecuting lawyer scoffed at the Hulk's response, just about every villain on Earth broke into the courtroom to attack the Hulk.)
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: His wife, Betty Banner. In light of everything that they went through before getting married, Betty wasn't just going through the motions when she exchanged vows with Bruce. Prior to that, the Hulk was engaged to the deceased warrior queen, Jarella. He also was romantically involved with Marlo Chandler Jones and Katherine Waynesboro, a (former?) S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Although he doesn't have a sister, his cousin, the She-Hulk, pretty much fills that role. In the sidekick department, Rick Jones, Fred Sloan, and the deceased Jim Wilson all risked life and limb to help the Hulk any way they could. Also, Doc Samson, the first person to diagnose that the Hulk has a multiple personality disorder, and Dr. Strange, who was the Hulk's teammate when he was a member of the Defenders, are among the few people who have taken the time to understand the Hulk. The other members of the Defenders, most notably the Valkyrie and Nighthawk, also had a high tolerance level where ol' Greenie was concerned -- editor Jeanne
Most Despicable Act: The Hulk has done some terrible things and once even contemplated having Dr. Doom work for him. The billions of dollars of damage that he caused in New York City and in the Midwest when he was virtually mindless was pretty horrific, although Nightmare, Dr. Strange's longtime enemy, played an instrumental role in the Hulk's animalistic condition. In at least two alternate futures, the Hulk becomes the Maestro, a powerful, intelligent, and ruthless incarnation of the Hulk devoid of any scruples. The Maestro no longer holds back his frustration at being hounded and hated. (Hmmm ..."no longer holds back his frustration of being hounded and hated"... that sounds like what the Hulk has become as a result of Onslaught's manipulation. Perhaps the Hulk's most despicable act has yet to be seen...)
by Christopher Lawrence III
Incredible Hulk 1, 1962
Incredible Hulk 345, 1988
Incredible Hulk 393, 1992
Rick Jones: "Holy Icabod Crane! There's a face to launch a thousand ghost ships!"
Hulk: "Hulk no smash puny humans."
Hulk: "Hulk confused."
She-Hulk: "This is a job for ... She-Hulk!"
She-Hulk: "I'm way outta your area code, babe."
She-Hulk: "Tall, lean and evergreen -- that's me!"