- "Don't threaten, don't make me angry!"
- ―Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner was a genius scientist who, due to exposure to gamma radiation transformed into the Hulk when stressed or enraged.
Robert Bruce Banner was born on August 9, 1974 to Dr. Brian Banner, an atomic scientist, and his wife Rebecca. Although Rebecca deeply loved Bruce, who returned her affection, Brian hated the child. An alcoholic, Brian was driven by an insane jealousy of Bruce for being an object of Rebecca's love. Further, Brian believed that his radiation work had altered his DNA and given him a mutant son. Brian finally murdered Rebecca and was placed in a mental hospital. Bruce, a highly withdrawn, intellectual youth, in fact, a child prodigy, was raised by his aunt, Mrs. Drake, and internalized his great pain and rage over his childhood sufferings.
Eventually, as an adult and a genius in nuclear physics, Banner went to work at a United States Defense Department nuclear research facility at Desert Base, New Mexico. There Banner met General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross, the Air Force officer in command of the base, and his daughter Betty Ross. Banner and Betty eventually fell in love with each other. Banner designed and oversaw construction of the "Gamma Bomb" or "G-bomb," a nuclear weapon possessing a high gamma radiation output.
Becoming the HulkEdit
Banner was present in the instrumentation bunker at the test site for the first underground test detonation of the Gamma Bomb. Observing that a civilian had breached security and entered the restricted test area, Banner told his colleague Igor Starsky to delay the countdown while he tried to get the civilian to safety. Starsky, secretly a Russian agent, did nothing, confident that Banner would die in the explosion, bringing the project to a halt. Reaching the civilian, a teenager named Rick Jones, Banner threw him into a protective trench. Before Banner could get himself to safety, the Gamma Bomb detonated, and intense waves of radiation reached the surface. Banner was irradiated with highly charged radioactive particles. Due to an unknown genetic factor in his body, Banner was not killed by the radiation, which instead caused him to frequently transform into the vastly powerful, green-skinned, humanoid monster named "the Hulk" by a military soldier present at the test site, though in flashbacks he seemed to already refer to his other personality as "the Hulk".
At first Banner changed into the Hulk at sunset and reverted to human form at dawn. However, Banner's body eventually changed so that his transformations into Hulk were triggered by the release of adrenalin when he became intensely excited, no matter what time of day or night it was. Usually the Hulk possessed little of Banner's memory and intelligence and was easily enraged. While the military attempted to contain Hulk, he thwarted their every attempt, with Rick Jones, feeling responsibile for Banner becoming Hulk, trying to help him keep away from the military. Hulk ultimately thwarted an attempt to destroy America by the Gremlin, another being mutated by gamma radiation. Hulk changed back into Banner and help cure the Gremlin, who helped Banner escape back to the U.S., where, with the help of Rick Jones, maintained his identity as Hulk a secret and attempted to keep the Hulk contained at night.
When Gamma Base was the subject to sabotage, Hulk was blamed and the Fantastic Four were called in to deal with him. This lead to the first of many clashes between Hulk and the Fantastic Four's Thing. In the aftermath, it was revealed that scientist Karl Kort (posing as the Wrecker) was ultimately responsible.
Joining the AvengersEdit
Hulk next became a pawn of Loki who tried and tricked Hulk into battling his half-brother, Thor. This plot was foiled, leading to Hulk joining forces with the newly formed Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and Wasp to defeat Loki.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
The Hulk is one of the most powerful beings in the universe since his powers increase with his rage, because of that he is capable of matching the power of beings like Thor, Superman and Silver Surfer.
Transformation: The process by which Banner usually transforms into the Hulk is presumably the result of the chemical catalyst, adrenalin (a.k.a. epinephrine). As in normal human beings, Banner's adrenal medulla secretes large amounts of adrenalin in time of fear, rage, or stress, which hormonally stimulates the heart rate, increases blood-sugar levels, and inhibits sensations of fatigue. Whereas the secretion heightens normal physical abilities in normal human beings, in Banner's case it triggers the complex chemical-extra-physical process that transforms him into the Hulk. The total time of transformation falls anywhere between seconds to 5 minutes, depending on the initial adrenalin surge, which will be determined by the original stimulus. Soon after the transformation, the amount of adrenalin in the Hulk will return to more normal, reduced levels. However, there were instances in which Banner became the Hulk without any discernible increase in heart rate or adrenal levels, suggesting that the true trigger mechanism into the Hulk is far more psychological than physical. When the Hulk transforms back into Banner, the excess muscle mass and energy is lost, presumably to the same place he derives it.
- Superhuman Strength: The Hulk possesses the capacity for vast levels of physical strength. To date Hulk has never apparently been provoked into demonstrating a maximum output of strength, hence his upper limit remains a mystery. However, whatever the limit, it is well in excess of 100 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Regardless of his size, Hulk's superhumanly strong legs allow him to run at speeds that are far beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete. However this speed does not grant him any enhanced reflexes or agility as smaller foes exploit his size and use it to their advantage. Despite this however, he has been fast enough to catch mortar shells shot at him.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Hulk's body counteracts fatigue poisons that build up in his muscles during physical activity. In an enraged state, he is capable of exerting himself at peak physical capacity for several days before fatigue begins to affect him. However, much like his physical strength, the Hulk's stamina does increase as he becomes angrier.
- Superhuman Durability: In addition to great strength, the Hulk's body possesses a high degree of resistance to injury. The Hulk's skin is impervious to conventional blades, adamantium and vibranium being amongst the very few metals that are truly capable of piercing his skin. The Hulk is capable of withstanding high caliber bullets, powerful explosives, pressure extremes, falls from orbital heights, maximized heat without blistering, maximized cold without freezing, and great impacts. The Hulk has withstood the impact of a ground zero nuclear explosion and the full force of the Human Torch's Nova Blast, which has a maximum temperature of 1,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit, without sustaining injury. He was also able to withstand temperature hotter than that produced by stars, planet-splitting impacts, and a blast from Galactus. The Hulk's durability, much like his strength, is fueled by rushes of adrenaline while angry.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his high resistance to physical harm, it is possible to cause the Hulk injury. However, he is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his body with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. For example, during a battle with Vector all of the skin and much of the muscle mass of the Hulk were destroyed. It took the Hulk moments to regain the mass and be completely healed. Hulk's healing factor enables him to recover from any physical transmutation. The Hulk also heals faster and more efficiently the madder he gets.
- Resistance to Psychic Control: In many instances, the Hulk has demonstrated great psychic resistance as a side-effect of his rage and the multiple personalities inside his mind.
- Immunity to All Diseases and Viruses: The Hulk is immune to all known Earth-based diseases and viruses.
- Superhuman Leaping Ability: The Hulk is able to use his highly developed leg muscles to leap great distances. While calm, he is capable of leaping roughly 3 miles. However, as he becomes enraged, his strength increases considerably, which means he can jump much farther than usual. On more than one occasion, the Hulk has nearly jumped into orbit. The Hulk has also been known to cover a distance of 1,000 miles with a single leap
- Underwater Breathing: The Hulk has been seen on the ocean floor a number of times so that he is capable to breathe due to his body developing a gland which creates an oxygenated perfluorocarbon emulsion which fills his lungs and equalizes the pressure
Genius-level Intellect: Dr. Bruce Banner was a genius in nuclear physics, possessing a mind so brilliant that it could not be measured by any known intelligence test.[source?] Banner was regarded by Tony Stark as the greatest nuclear scientist on Earth. Bruce also had expertise in the fields of engineering and biology. He was considered one of the eight smartest people on the world by Nick Fury.
Skilled Fighter: The Hulk was a skillful and capable warrior, demonstrating vast versatility and intuition in battle.
Multi-lingual: Banner could speak fluent English, Spanish, Italian, Indian and also learned Russian while getting his Ph.D.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Don't make me angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
- ―Bruce Banner