Dr. Robert Bruce Banner. The Jade Giant. The “enormous green rage monster.”
The Incredible Hulk.
The Hulk is my favorite Marvel character. This includes fan favorites like Thor, cultural icons like Black Panther, and interstellar powerhouses like the Silver Surfer. The way Hulk is drawn, his overwhelming strength, and the gradual characterization of his alter ego, Bruce Banner, place him at the top of my list. Some characters will simply resonate with you as a comic book reader, and Hulk is one among many that fits this bill, for me.
Let’s start with his powers. The Hulk is OP in the classic sense. It’s as if the writers were thinking, “Yes, this is ridiculous,” as they were writing him. If Hulk shows up on a battlefield, generally, it’s over. Like, pack it up—it’s done. Perhaps most famously, the villain Onslaught was about to run ramshackle over the entire Marvel universe before the Hulk stepped in. Jean Grey unleashed his remaining mental barriers and elevated him to pinnacle Hulk-rage status. The green goliath succeeded in cracking the armor of Onslaught—a being of pure psionic energy—and the rest of the heroes were able to rush in and wreck shop on the overpowered would be-universe destroyer. The battle went from literally hopeless to an actual victory just because of the Hulk’s presence.
His actual powers are invulnerability, superhuman strength, healing factor, and anger empowerment. All of these are impressive, but it’s the last one that actually makes the Hulk who he is. Many heroes have 1 or 2 of the above items, but only the Hulk has the ability to become stronger as events progress. His anger has no limit, therefore.. his strength has no limit. Terrifying.
The second aspect of why I like the Hulk is the way his character is drawn. It’s simply dope. The green skin, extreme muscles, and massive size make him visually unique and exciting. I remember getting pumped up seeing the Hulk appear on any page when I was a kid. A) You know it’s about to go down, and B) he’s just dope to look at.
Finally, the development of Bruce Banner, over time, has increased my favor for the character. Initially, like pretty much any person, I didn’t think about Bruce Banner, at all. I would think, “When is Hulk showing up?” whenever Banner appeared. That changed as I realized Banner is a legitimate genius, in his own right. He has exceeding knowledge of gamma radiation (and radiation, in general), biology, genetics, and is adept at computer science, programming, hacking, and evasion. Seeing him dodge governments and outsmart entire organizations raised my respect level for the character.
The Hulk is overall just an amazing figure in comics. He’s a fan favorite for many reasons. If you pick up a Hulk book, you definitely won’t be bored, that’s for sure. Share below your favorite moments with ol’ Green Genes.
Hulk: The End (this is the comic that clued me in to the true invulnerability of the Hulk)—Writer: Peter David; Artist: Dale Keown
The Ultimates, Vol.1: Super-human (this story takes place in the Ultimate Universe, but it’s still a strong addition to the Hulk mythos)—Writer: Mark Millar; Artist: Bryan Hitch
–The Cavalier Nerd