The Incredible Hulk is the gamma-spawned alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner. The result of exposure to gamma radiation, the normally meek Banner's repressed rage is manifested in the form of a 7-foot rampaging behemoth with green skin. The misunderstood monster has fought alongside and against nearly every hero in the Marvel Universe, but most of the time he just wants to be left alone.
The Hulk is a creation of the legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Incredible Hulk #1 (1962) published by Marvel Comics. He quickly became one of Marvel's most iconic heroes and has appeared on both the big and small screen in animated and live-action form. Fans of 1970s television will forever remember Bill Bixby's portrayal of Dr. Banner and Lou Ferrigno's imposing presence as the monster.
While testing an experimental gamma bomb at a government research facility in New Mexico, Dr. Bruce Banner rushed to save the life of a teenager (Rick Jones) who had driven onto the testing field on a dare. Pushing Jones into a trench, Banner was struck by the full force of the bomb. Rather than killing him, the bomb transformed him, turning what might have been a case of Multiple Personality Disorder into a variety of muscle-bound behemoths.
When he first appeared, the Hulk was depicted with a grey hue, a simple intellect and a predilection for transforming at sunset. Due to the poor quality of printing in those days, the grey color didn't look so good and a more suitable green was chosen and has since become the color most associated with the Hulk. His personality and cause of transformation were also altered as time went on. The "classic" version of the Hulk most recognizable to both hardcore and casual comic fans is the jade-skinned brutish monster whose transformations are brought on by the onset of anger or distress, a metaphor for the monster lurking within all of us. Over the years, the Hulk's skin and intelligence level varied depending on the story. He has at times been a menace to society and one of the world's greatest heroes, becoming a founding member of the Avengers and spending time with the ragtag team of costumed adventurers known as the Defenders. On occasion, Banner has been completely in control of the Hulk. At one point, he reverted back to the original more intelligent, grey-skinned version and operated as a bouncer at a Las Vegas casino under the name "Mr. Fixit" and on other occasions he has successfully merged his personalities with the help of therapy. Eventually though, the brutish child-like Hulk who just wants to be left alone always reemerges.
As the Hulk might say, "Hulk is strongest there is." Little evidence has been shown to the contrary. The Hulk's durability, healing, strength and endurance are in direct proportion to his anger level. The madder the Hulk gets, the stronger the Hulk gets. The extent of the Hulk's power varies with different writers' interpretations, but it's safe to say that nothing can really hurt him. Even when he has been wounded, he has an astonishing healing factor that has allowed him to survive nuclear explosions and being gutted like a fish by Wolverine. He has been described as being like a cancer of sorts, in the sense that cancer is a group of cells caused by genetic abnormalities that displays uncontrolled growth and invasion. As Bruce Banner, he possesses a genius-level intelligence on par with the greatest minds on earth with expertise in the fields of chemistry, biology, engineering and physiology. He holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics.
Being a gigantic monster, the Hulk generally has no need for weaponry of any sort and relies on his ability to jump hundreds of miles in a single bound for transportation. On occasion, when the intelligent side of his personality is dominant, Hulk has been known to utilize various forms of technology such as computers and high-tech weaponry.
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