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* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Re-reading the original Lee-Kirby issues of Hulk from a certain point of view, it can be easy to interpret Banner as being gay, and the Hulk as straight. Banner's heterosexuality has been firmly established the decades since, but still. This illuminates the way General Ross keeps calling him a milksop, why Banner seems indifferent to Betty but the Hulk is obsessed with her, and why Banner ''really hates'' being transformed into a caricature of he-man heterosexuality.
** Where does the Hulk's hatred of humans come from? Is it because he hates Banner, either for containing him or being weak, and sees humanity as an extension of him? Is it because of the mistreatment Banner suffered throughout his life? Is it just because he is different from them? Or is there [[http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Igor_Drenkov_%28Earth-616%29 a more specific reason stemming from his origin story]]? [[note]]Banner only became the Hulk because while attempting to rescue Rick Jones, he ordered his colleague to halt the countdown, but said colleague was a Soviet spy and tried to indirectly kill him with the bomb. Given that the Hulk regards the bomb as an attempt to kill him, and the cause for much of his misery, rather than his "creator", it would be understandable why he'd come to hate everyone involved in its creation, including Banner, and the incident that led to his emergence. [[/note]]
* BaseBreaker: Considering all the different incarnations of the Hulk, who in RealLife terms would be very different separate types of people, those who first came into contact with a particular aspect of one incarnation recurrently strongly dislike very contradictory versions.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** An early issue has the Hulk getting sent to a BadFuture by a ray-gun, whereupon he's attacked by a futuristic army working for someone. After a brief fight he's transported back to the past, and this strange sequence of events is never mentioned again.
** When the Hulk was infected by a Wendigo and became the Wendi-Hulk.
* BrokenBase: The fandom generally falls into two camps. The first group likes the Earth's Mightiest Mortal aspect of the character, and like stories which concentrate on the Hulk fighting enemies that only he can defeat, and using his physiology to perform near-impossible feats (for instance, the Hulk can get anywhere on Earth by jumping there). The second group likes the character of Bruce Banner and how the Hulk represents his shattered psyche. The broken base is best exemplified by the two Hulk films that were made in the 2000s. The Ang Lee one was made by and for people in the second group; ''The Incredible Hulk'', on the other hand, was made for people in the first.
* CantUnhearIt: Chances are you're reading Hulk stuff (including the SelfDemonstrating [[SelfDemonstrating/TheIncredibleHulk page]]) in Creator/FredTatasciore's Hulk voice.
* CompleteMonster:
** [[EvilMeScaresMe The Maestro]] is a [[FutureMeScaresMe future version]] of the Hulk. [[BadFuture Ninety years in the future]] after [[AfterTheEnd the world is devastated by nuclear war]], the Hulk has changed his name to the Maestro and builds a city state called Dystopia out of the wreckage of New York City. In Dystopia, the Maestro rules as a [[EvilOverlord dictator]], taking whatever he wants from his subjects, hoarding almost all of the food and resources for himself. When the Maestro sees a woman he fancies, he forces her to become his [[SexSlave slave]]. The outside of his palace is littered with the corpses of those who have defied or displeased him. He has his SecretPolice patrol the streets, killing anyone who would oppose him. After the Maestro's forces have captured one of Rick Jones' rebels, the Maestro [[MindRape subjects the rebel to a machine which forcibly scans a person's mind]]. After the machine puts the rebel in a vegetative state, the Maestro kills him with his own hands, because the rebel had insulted him earlier. When Rick Jones uses Dr. Doom's TimeMachine to bring the Hulk to the future to defeat the Maestro, the Maestro takes one of his slave girl's hostage to force Hulk to surrender to him. The Maestro then proceeds to [[NeckSnap break the Hulk's neck]], leaving him paralyzed. Later, the Maestro forces his slave girls to [[RapeByProxy perform sexual acts on the paralyzed Hulk]], without the Hulk's consent, [[ItAmusedMe apparently for his own sick amusement]]. The Maestro is devoid of anything that made the Hulk sympathetic, he murders an elderly Rick Jones, the man who was once his best friend, for opposing him. The Maestro also tells the Hulk he prefers his harem of slaves to his former wife Betty Ross, because his slaves don't talk back to him or have opinions of their own. The Hulk find the Maestro horrifying and considers him one of the most detestable foes he has had to contend with. He remains just as bad when he reappears in ''ComicBook/SpiderMan2099'', deciding on a whim to have an entire village wiped out, and subsequently using the corpses to decorate a giant sign that spells out "MAESTRO".
** ''ComicBook/PlanetHulk'' gives us Angmo-Asan, [[TheRedBaron the Red King]].
* DorkAge: Many readers regard the period after Peter David first left the book, or even after Peter Jenkins run, as this leading up until just before Planet Hulk. There was a clear lack of direction of where the Hulk was going, and every shift made to the book would be undone as soon as the next writer came on board. It got so bad that when PAD came back, [[ArmedWithCanon he pretty much erased the run of three different writers with a single line up until the time he first left]]. Which was six years prior. Likewise, Jeph Loeb's run on the book is often regarded as one: mainly known for relegating the Hulk into a ''guest character'' in his own book, a Villain Sue EvilCounterpart running around beating up half of the heavyweights in the MarvelUniverse, before ''killing'', reviving, then de-powering the Hulk (in a ''MilestoneCelebration'' of all things), a number of Hulk derivatives abound (even putting aside Red Hulk), a random FaceHeelTurn of Doc Samson, and every one of them received as much an explanation for the twists and turns that occurred during Loeb's run. Which is to say not much of one. Eventually, Greg Pak, the writer of ''Comicbook/PlanetHulk'' and ''Comicbook/WorldWarHulk'' was brought alongside Loeb to write a concurrent book building on Loeb's storylines, but in reality, [[AuthorsSavingThrow likely to try to make sense]] of the sheer insanity that Loeb brought in his run.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Rick Jones, after Peter David made him into a CrazyAwesome NiceGuy who worked perfectly as Hulk's best friend.
** The Devil Hulk. He only appears once in a blue moon, but whenever he does, it's ''horrifyingly'' memorable. He's frequently mentioned as one of the Hulk's most terrifying enemies.
** The Gray Hulk/Joe Fixit.
** Jim Wilson. Although he's been dead and rarely mentioned for decades, his death storyline and his friendship with the Hulk is well-remembered to this day.
* HilariousInHindsight: In 2011, [[Series/TheColbertReport Colbert]] joked about the possibility of a Chinese/Asian Hulk (while commenting on [[Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan Miles Morales]]). And guess what? Now Marvel has announced Amadeus Cho as the new Hulk!
* HoYay: There are some instances between Banner and Namor, and the exchanges between them at times look like SlapSlapKiss. In one issue of the PAD series Namor complimented Banner on being muscular.
* MagnificentBastard: The Joe Fixit Hulk loves to fight. Oh, and he loves to fight dirty. And there's the Leader during the ''Ground Zero'' arc. Bruce Banner does his best to qualify ... and from the perception of everyone good and bad, he's succeeding ... magnificently.
* MemeticBadass:
** In the Fall of 2013, a website, [[http://famousmonsters.com/brawl Famous Monsters of Filmland]], held a tournament between various comic characters from DC and Marvel where fans would vote to determine the outcome. In the final match, Hulk defeated '''Batman'''.
** It's generally accepted by fans, that like Batman and his prep-time, given enough time for the Hulk to get mad enough, he could take down a huge amount of characters.
* MemeticMutation:
** '''HULK SMASH PUNY LANGUAGE'''!
** HulkSpeak good for DumbMuscle, show lack of smarts while still making point.
** "HulkingOut" describes someone driven to rise up and wail on everyone, especially if one wouldn't expect them to have it in them.
** "Puny X!", borrowing Hulk's oft-phrased reference to humans as "[[PunyEarthlings Puny humans!]]" This meme was elderly until ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' rejuvenated it with the Hulk's ''only'' line of dialogue.
--> '''Hulk''' (flinging Loki's unconscious, battered body to the floor): Puny god.
** A good one was during ''ComicBook/CivilWar'', where fans would state "I'm with [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony]]" or "I'm with [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica Steve]]". A third camp popped up, stating "You're all fucked when the Hulk gets back!", a reference to Hulk's imminent return from the then-ongoing ''ComicBook/PlanetHulk'' storyline.
* MoralEventHorizon: The Abomination almost murdering Betty Ross by giving her cancer.
* MyRealDaddy: Peter David wrote the book for over ''12 years'' and pretty much shaped the mythos, cast, and central traits of the Hulk. Like Chris Claremont for the X-Men, nearly every run of the Hulk builds off what PAD started.
* NightmareFuel:
** On those occasions when the Hulk gets seriously angry and destructive and unable to differentiate between friend and foe, it can get a little unsettling. And on the flip side, stories where someone is actually able to beat the crap out of the Hulk himself is a frightening visual when you consider his power level.
** One of Mister Hyde's creepiest appearances was in The Incredible Hulk #368, where he cornered Bruce Banner on a train, stabbed him, slammed him into a wall, and taunted him over their Jekyll and Hyde duality, explaining that he decided to kill the Hulk to prove he's superior, as there's no room for two Edward Hydes. Hyde eventually declares he's won, as while the Hulk cares for others, Hyde has no such weakness, and laughs as he falls off the train and down a cliff. The whole thing is made worse by the comic's use of shadows, giving the train scenes an eerie, nightmarish feel. Even Bruce admits that Hyde knew how to push his buttons.
** Issue #377. Doc Samson hypnotizes Bruce to try and reconcile the Hulk and Joe Fixit, as their war for control is turning Bruce into a wreck. While inside Bruce's head they find that he is haunted by a horrifying monster (the "Guilt Hulk") that effortlessly defeats both the Hulk and Joe. We see the monster beating young Bruce on Christmas morning and murdering Bruce's mother, and its made clear that the monster is Brian Banner.
** ''Hulk: The End'': Bruce Banner is the last living human after two nuclear wars which wiped out everybody else on the planet. When the story picks up Banner has spent years (possibly ''decades'') wandering the radioactive wastelands, completely alone except for an alien recorder bot and the Hulk berating and raging at him inside his head. During that time Bruce has aged into an extremely old and frail man who thinks he may be over ''200 years old'' (and looks every day of it). He wants desperately to die, but the Hulk refuses to let that happen. Bruce even tries to kill himself by jumping off a cliff but it's the Hulk who lands. At one point Bruce is chased by a swarm of giant evolved cockroaches, which are too much even for the Hulk to handle all at once; they overwhelm him and ''eat most of his flesh and internal organs, including [[EyeScream both eyes]] and his tongue'', which Hulk [[GoodThingYouCanHeal of course regenerates]] (and this is said to happen ''regularly''). Bruce later has a heart attack and pleads with the Hulk to let them both go, but Hulk refuses and transforms as Bruce is on the point of death. The end of the story leaves the Hulk's fate in doubt but one awful possibility that suggests itself [[AndIMustScream that Bruce is buried deep within the Hulk's psyche]] and that if the Hulk chooses not to change back, that they are both still stuck together on the dead Earth. ''Forever''. The only difference being that Hulk can't hear Bruce inside his head anymore and as far as he knows, "Hulk is... only one... there is". God-''damn'', PeterDavid.
** Every. Single. Thing. About the Maestro. As mentioned above, Hulk can be as terrifying as you'd expect from one of the most powerful beings on Earth who just so happens to suffer from mental instability and "breath-taking anger management issues". Now, take the Hulk, remove all his positive qualities, and turn all his negative qualities UpToEleven, and what do you have? The Maestro. Also from above, the sheer scale of the atrocities the Maestro is responsible for, and the depth of his depravity. It's truly terrifying to think that one of the most [[TheWoobie tragic and pitiable]] protagonists in fiction could become so utterly ''[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds broken]]'' that he comes out the other side as such an absolute [[CompleteMonster monster]].
** Post-ComicBook/{{Onslaught}}, the Hulk, literally half the ma-err, monster he used to be due to being separated from Banner again, starts giving off an unusual and deadly amount of radiation. He was also brain-damaged during this time, and given his usual temperaments, this was a recipe for disaster. One attempt from the army to contain him had him ''melt'' the lead containment shield designed to capture him, and the Hulk ''tearing half his face off''. A soldier in a special radiation-resistant suit [[NauseaFuel felt nauseated seeing that]] [[TooDumbToLive and attempted to take his helmet off to throw up]], [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath but himself received a horrifying death where his eyes]] ''[[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath melted]]'' [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath as his skin burned from the radiation the Hulk gave off]].
* RootingForTheEmpire: Zeus gained quite a lot of MemeticBadass Internet credibility due to beating the Hulk. These people apparently forget that Hulk generally does far more good than bad, whereas Zeus is a torturer, a rapist, and pompous tyrant willing to commit genocide for petty reasons.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** Regarding Jim Wilson's death from AIDS, one letter regarding the issue felt that the subplot ultimately amounted to this, as right after Jim was revealed to have the disease he was injured and hospitalized thanks to the supervillain Speedfreak, and then wasn't even mentioned in over thirty issues (outside a cameo at Rick Jones' wedding) before finally [[BackForTheDead showing up again where his death occurred]]. As they stated, "It's not enough to ask us to feel for Jim Wilson because he had AIDS, especially when we could (and should) have felt for him because he was a three-dimensional character we had grown to love."
** [[spoiler: After establishing Amadeus as Hulk in 616, showing Banner accepting his new state of being Hulkless in issues 7 & 8 of Totally Awesome Hulk and potentially to make Bruce the ZenSurvivor mentor to Amadeus, he's promptly and brutally executed in CivilWarII .]]
* {{Wangst}}: Sometimes his whole 'Leave Hulk alone' shtick can get quite tedious, especially at times where he actually ''manages'' to be left alone, but then start's crying about how he has nobody close to him.
* TheWoobie:
** In some ways Bruce Banner is very unfortunate, given all of the abuse, isolation, and mental illness he has suffered from. On the other hand he is a supergenius and almost unkillable immortal, who has had affairs with plenty of beautiful women, so he doesn't really rate particularly high by real-world standards. This actually has precedent since the Hulk becomes mindless when separated from Banner. Also, the Hulk never actively attacks innocents and if he did, he wouldn't be as sympathetic.
** Writer Dan Slott explained the Marvel ''Civil War'' with this subject. If Hulk went around killing people then Tony Stark was absolutely right in everything he did. If Hulk didn't kill anybody, Captain America was right. A lot of people should be dying during these big super powered battles (not just from Hulk's rampages) but they don't to keep the content in a (somewhat) family friendly level.
** Returning to original the Hulk, the thing is that the rampage part is mostly a popular myth. He's defended himself from attackers plenty of times (after first warnings that they should leave him alone), but just started to attack unrelated populated buildings? No. The few times that has happened, he was either mind-controlled by Nightmare (he never had the chance to kill anybody though), Banner was physically removed from the Hulk (1980s), or in the 2000s case a gamma-bomb blew up in his face and caused him to hallucinate (for those who actually read the ''Fantastic Four'' issue, he didn't even hurt anybody though, but that was mostly dumb luck). The memetic false perception has greatly overshadowed fact in this case. Which is actually kind of the point; the Hulk doesn't just go around smashing cities. People in-universe thinks he does. He once publicly announced that he just wanted to be left alone, and for every time the military or superheroes attacked him, he tended to smash lots of military equipment, or nearby buildings were caught in the crossfire, which doesn't exactly help his case. People in-universe don't care if he was BrainwashedAndCrazy, under MoreThanMindControl, physically separated from Banner, or what. All they care about is that cities have a nasty habit of turning into rubble whenever he's around. The fact that he looks like a monster rather than a hero, is unpredictable, generally an example of JerkWithAHeartOfGold, and other things that are bad for PR are what leads to him getting more flack for property damage than the other heroes.
** The ''ComicBook/PlanetHulk'' storyline proves that [[DiabolusExMachina neither the Hulk nor Banner are allowed to have a happy life]]. He's exiled all the way to another planet, where he manages to overthrow the corrupt government and become a hero and the new king, finally finding a place where he can belong. He even manages to find a wife, and has a child on the way. Then the shuttle that brought him to the planet explodes, killing her and destroying the entire city.

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