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    Bruce Banner 

Dr. Robert Bruce Banner

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/04f605b077509ec029b9a38e5982bd25.jpg

The Hulk's human alter-ego. A socially withdrawn and emotionally reserved physicist, Bruce Banner took part in the experimental detonation of a gamma bomb, only to end up exposed to the blast himself when he attempted to save Rick Jones, a teenager who'd driven onto the testing field. He survived, but the gamma radiation he was exposed to resulted in his ability to transform into a gigantic, powerful monster known as the Hulk.


  • Anti-Hero: Varies Depending on the Writer, anywhere from a pure hero to Classical Anti-Hero, Knight In Sour Armor, or Pragmatic Hero, with Greg Pak playing him as the last category by lying to those close to him into getting his way. Not to mention putting innocent people including his own son in harm's way for his personal gain.
  • The Atoner: During Mark Waid's run, Banner is committed to do far more good for the world than the Hulk has ever done harm.
  • Badass Bookworm: While out of his mind after being completely separated from the Hulk, he demonstrated just how badass he can be, creating an arsenal of superscience weapons that allowed him to fight on equal terms with the green giant. He does it again in Fall of The Hulks, and any other time that he's depowered.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards his cousin Jennifer. When she was mortally shot, Bruce willingly gave her a blood transfusion, not even thinking that his radioactive blood would give her the same abilities as him. And when Jennifer was knocked unconscious during a fight against Arsenal, that's when things got really serious.
  • Brought Down to Badass: During Jeph Loeb's run, he got the gamma drained out of him by Red Hulk. This might actually have been worse than leaving him all Hulk-y, since without the threat of turning into the Hulk all the time, Bruce could come up with some very nasty ideas. It got to the point Norman Osborn tried to re-expose him to some gamma, because he considered the Hulk easier to deal with.
  • Brought Down to Normal: His death during Civil War II left some damage, taking Bruce's super-genius mind away. He’s still intelligent, but he’s nowhere near the same level he once was.
  • Can't Stay Normal: No matter how many times he is depowered, Bruce will always transform back into the Hulk.
  • The Chessmaster: Particularly during the Fall of the Hulks storyline, where Banner manages to outmaneuver all of the smartest people in the world to save Betty Ross and The Avengers.
  • Child Prodigy: Almost to the point of being a Brainy Baby. Banner is depicted as already being capable of building complex machines as a four-year-old.
  • Death Is Cheap: Over the years (and counting the Hulks into the mix), Bruce has had a few near misses, and more than one outright case of being actually dead (Hawkeye shooting him in the head with an arrow, for example). But they've never stuck.
  • Deflector Shields: That can take Hulk level blows no less.
  • The Drifter: Banner constantly travels to avoid being tracked down and minimize collateral damage if he Hulks out.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: As a mechanical inventor, Bruce is pretty brilliant. After World War Hulk, this got taken further.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jokes aside, the Indestructible Hulk series reveals one of his major issues with being the Hulk is that he's constantly in the shadow of men like Tony Stark and Reed Richards - they'll be remembered by history as men of science, while he'll be remembered as the Hulk, even though he has as much to offer the world as either of them. The fact that neither treats him as an equal doesn't help matters.
    "Tony Stark and Reed Richards use their genius to save the world every other week. That's how they'll be remembered in history. Meanwhile, I – I who, forgive me, have just as much to contribute – will be lucky if my tombstone doesn't simply say 'Hulk Smash'."
  • Guile Hero: Bruce is one of the smartest people in the world, and it shows, particularly in Fall of the Hulks, where he plays the likes of Dr. Doom and The Leader with panache.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Always a core part of his motivation.
  • I Lied: Happens a lot during Fall of the Hulks, as he manipulates the superhero and super villain communities to save Betty and the world from The Leader.
  • The Idealist: During Mark Waid's run it is revealed that Bruce was originally a pacifist who wished to develop clean energy sources, but couldn't receive funding, so he developed a bomb for the military instead, with the hope that he could harness gamma power for this purpose. He also consistently used his genius to develop technology for the betterment of mankind during this period, and signed up the Hulk to help the Avengers, SHIELD, and the Illuminati.
  • Immune to Mind Control: He normally can't be mind-controlled due to the abundance of rage within him. The multiple personality disorder he suffers from has also helped. For this reason, his "Professor" incarnation, originally touted as a "merger" of all the other minds and lacking the others' rage, was vulnerable to mind control for these very reasons.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Bruce is Jekyll and the Hulk is Hyde.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: If being physically inferior to the Hulk wasn't bad enough, many folks prefer the Green Goliath's simple and earnest nature compared to Banner's typical vitriol.
  • Manipulative Bastard: When he has to be, he can be very manipulative.
  • Mercy Kill Arrangement: His traumatic life left him so broken by the time of Civil War II that he gave Hawkeye the ammo he'd need to kill him permanently... but it only served to break him even further, releasing the "Hydra" Hulk.
  • Middle Name Basis: Banner's full name is Robert Bruce Banner, known exclusively to everyone who knows him as "Bruce" (unless he goes by an alias to hide). This is a result of Serendipity Writes the Plot, as Stan Lee often used to forget the character's name and alternated between calling him "Bruce Banner" and "Bob Banner". After realizing the mistake, the name we now know him by was established as his real full name.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: While he may not have superhuman abilities without the Hulk or be a martial artist, Banner knows how to use his fists. Several soldiers, The Leader, Pyro and many others found the hard way that the skinny scientist packs quite the wallop.
  • Morality Pet: At least for the Immortal Hulk, surprisingly enough; whatever else he may be, he identifies himself firmly as Banner's Guardian Entity.
  • Nerd Glasses: He's very smart and wears glasses, so do the math.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He saved a young Rick Jones from being caught in the blast of his Gamma Bomb, a selfless act of heroism that he's been paying for ever since. Rick himself noted, however, that he believed that if it came to it, Bruce would still do it again.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Played with; while Bruce doesn't have a doctorate in medicine, he was originally a med student. Because of this, he is capable of providing medical care in a pinch, such as when he gave his cousin Jen that blood transfusion.
  • Painful Transformation: Hulking out is exactly as unpleasant for Bruce as it looks.
  • Patricide: Although it was an accident(?), and self-defense, while visiting the grave of his beloved murdered mother, he did kill his own father.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Avengers: No Surrender reveals that Hulk, and by extension Banner, has this power. This is particularly telling as, at this point, Bruce Banner had been depowered by Amadeus Cho, shot in the head and killed by Hawkeye, resurrected by the Hand and killed by the Unity Squad, resurrected again by HYDRA and left for dead in the destruction of the Resistance's base.
  • Science Hero: Whenever he has to save the day independent of the Hulk, you can bank on a wide variety of gadgetry and scientific theorising being involved.
  • Split Personality: Bruce acts as the "original/host" personality for the various Hulks.
  • Teleportation: A teleportation device is another of his Bannertech inventions.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: In Immortal Hulk, Banner has a tendency to get killed a lot. Which is bad news for whoever did it, since it's not Bruce who gets back up again...
  • Trauma Conga Line: More like Trauma Conga Life. He went from a traumatic, abused, isolated childhood right into an even more traumatic, abused, isolated adulthood, and has suffered through pretty much every misfortune and tragedy that life can throw at a person. On the rare occasions he does find a measure of peace or happiness, it never lasts and gets ripped away in the most brutal manner possible. Oh, and as of Avengers: No Surrender it's confirmed not even death will bring him peace.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Part of the reason Brian Banner justified his behaviour toward little Bruce was that he acted way too smart for a little kid, and it scared the man.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Everybody does this to a depowered Bruce. They all pay for it in the long run.
  • The Unfettered: Once he's finally separated from the Hulk in Jason Aaron's run, he becomes an absolutely terrifying example of the unfettered in his quest to get the Hulk back.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Banner's anger is what most frequently triggers his transformation into the Hulk, and good lord does he have a lot of it.
    • During World War Hulk, Doctor Strange assumes that underneath the Green Scar's anger, Bruce is trapped and wants to get out. Nope. Turns out Bruce is just as pissed with the Illuminati as his other self.

    Savage Hulk 

Savage/Childlike Hulk

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0bdea7bf2894c931619194001669a520.jpg
The best-known and most recurring incarnation of the Hulk.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Bruce and the other Hulks sometimes refer to him as "the big guy", a nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character.
  • Anti-Hero: Knight In Sour Armor or Pragmatic Hero. Extremely noble, well-intended, loyal, heroic, constantly persecuted without understanding why, only wants to be loved and have friends, but cannot understand the society around him, protector of all oppressed peoples around the universe, will be inconsolable after watching Bambi or seeing a dead bunny, and strictly a force for good as long as somebody (like his former father figure Doctor Strange, or own, as opposed to Banner's, "greatest love of his life" queen Jarella) gives him a comprehensible direction. Basically the most pure-hearted and genuinely heroic version, but non-constructively constantly hunted like an animal due to his sheer scale of power without the maturity to handle it properly. Nowadays, tends to usually be treated more kindly by other heroes when he shows up.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: It was once speculated by Amadeus Cho that the reason Hulk's tantrums have so few casualties is because the Hulk is subconsciously analysing everything around himself to prevent this. Immortal Hulk has Gamma Flight point out how implausible this sounds, but also noting that with Hulks, you never can be certain... (And even if Amadeus's theory isn't correct, it still leaves open how Hulk manages to minimize casualties. Hulk himself isn't really concerned with answering that sort of thing, though. Later on, Immortal Hulk says the theory sounds about right... for this Hulk, at least.)
  • The Berserker: The Hulk is practically rage incarnate.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When given the chance, he is arguably the nicest of the Hulk's personalities. Too bad that he is usually not given a chance.
  • Book Dumb: It has occasionally been noted that the Savage Hulk often emerges victorious simply because he's too dumb to quit. During a period where Banner was in control of the Hulk (not to be confused with the Merged Hulk — this was the separate, rational Banner persona able to change at will and control the Hulk form), the Leader tested this new incarnation of his foe and discovered that Banner-Hulk could be psychologically convinced that he would eventually be defeated and give up, and compared this to his Savage incarnation, who would have simply kept fighting with everything he had until physically restrained or rendered unconscious.
  • Catchphrase: "Hulk SMASH!", "Hulk is strongest there is!", "Leave Hulk alone."
  • Children Are Innocent: He has a very childlike mind... which makes him very dangerous since he's easily angered.
  • The Dreaded: While not a villain, being prone to getting into fights with other heroes and the military means that when he's not working with heroes, they're just as frightened of him as they are villains like Magneto and Doctor Doom.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: It took a while before the Hulk's personality cooled down and settled. Even things such as how Bruce became the Hulk had a tendency to shift, starting off just as night, or when shot by a special gamma ray gun. Early on, he was just as eloquent as Banner, which soon turned into less eloquent, then "Hulk smash". This subsequently got retconned as different Hulks showing up, with their own rules on how they worked, before eventually stabilizing with the Savage.
  • Friend to All Living Things: We've seen him get along with children and small animals and such.
  • Genius Bruiser: Even the Savage Hulk is a Combat Pragmatist who can use the environment to his advantage, and despite declarations, he is not just "HULK SMASH!"
  • Gentle Giant: He's EXTREMELY dangerous when angered, but if left alone, he's the sweetest-natured guy you could meet.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Hulk can heal ridiculously fast. Once, most of his body mass was flayed off by Vector, and it grew back in seconds.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Pretty much, yeah.
  • Hulk Speak: The Trope Namer.
  • Hulking Out: Also the Trope Namer. Usually happens when Bruce gets angry, but early on it could also happen at night, reverting during the daytime, or if Bruce shot himself with a Gamma Ray gun. On occasion, Bruce has been able to make the change voluntarily.
  • In a Single Bound: Hulk can often jump miles at a time. It's usually how he gets about.
  • Leave Me Alone!: He often claims that he wants to be left alone, but this is because he is constantly attacked without the capacity to understand why.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Hulk is much faster than his size would suggest.
  • Manchild: On the not-so-bad-as-they-could-be days. One memorable instance had him stopped in his tracks by a farmer yelling at him for smashing the guy's fence.
  • Martial Pacifist: The Savage Hulk is usually gentle, helpful, and compassionate when not provoked, and won't bother you if you don't bother him.
  • The Nicknamer: Not necessarily because of fondness, just because he doesn't know or remember names.
  • Purple Is Powerful: He has purple shorts.
  • The Rival: Generally one to Ben Grimm, the Thing, the two being defined by a rivalry (and on the Hulk's more intelligent days, snarky dislike of one another). Hulk is usually the stronger of the two - strongest one there is and all that - but Ben is more loved, and like the Hulk just won't quit.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: This Hulk was a founding member of the Avengers, but quit after two issues due to the Space Phantom, and decided he didn't want to stick around with folk that didn't like him. Afterward, nearly every time the Avengers asked the Hulk to help, he told them to go away.
  • Split Personality: Is a "child" alter for Bruce, with elements of "protector" and "vengeful" alters.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: With no known limits and it being known that Banner mentally resists him thus restraining his powers, this takes completely new meaning, just look at his entry on the page.
    • Even his healing abilities vary; sometimes he's depicted as virtually immortal, while other times enough of a beating can put him down when he's healed from much worse.
    • Also, the angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He particularly likes canned beans, and slurps them down with a child-like happy expression.
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    Grey Hulk/Joe Fixit 

Grey Hulk/Joe Fixit

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4375ce3504a2cf2207f8b9f47e9fe54d.jpg

  • Anti-Hero: Nominal Hero and Noble Demon. A largely amoral and hedonistic mob enforcer Villain Protagonist who mainly fought other villains, much like plenty of others within this trope. He also grew some conscience, such as grudgingly helping some children celebrate Christmas, turned loyal and protective of his friends, and towards the end apparently avoided using excessive force against army officers or similar attackers.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: During his time as a Las Vegas mob enforcer, he had this custom-made for him. And upon his return in Immortal Hulk, one of the first things he did was getting a new suit made.
  • Berserk Button: He hates being compared to any of the green Hulks. While the Blob had managed to restrain him in a bearhug, once the Blob quipped that the Hulk was barely stronger than him back when he was green Joe immediately broke free and proceeded to immediately curb stomp the Blob.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Given that he's not quite as strong as any of his green counterparts, Joe Fixit frequently has to use his brains as much as his brawn to win fights. But he's also not afraid of fighting dirty, as Bushwhacker eventually learns.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When written by Peter David, he's a very dark version.
  • The Hedonist: Above all, he wants to indulge in the simple pleasures of life.
  • The Mafia: He took a job as an enforcer at a corrupt casino.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: He's treated as the original Hulk from Incredible Hulk #1, with the grey skin, more caveman-like physique, better diction skills, and different behaviour from the normal green version. Retcons being what they are, the waters are muddied on whether he is the same as that Hulk.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Joe Fixit enjoys fine clothes, fine food, and even fine women.
  • Noble Demon: Has an unusual sense of honor, and a shred of a conscience that he tries to hide.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: By and large he doesn't get on with Banner and the other Hulks.
  • Pet the Dog: He comforted a crying child during Peter David's run.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Joe Fixit may be a brute but he's disgusted by people who prey on the weak. One man's subconscious evil side found that out the hard way.
  • Split Personality: A "perpetrator" alter who takes out hostility on the world at large.
  • Unexplained Accent: He tends to speak with a distinctive "wiseguy" accent, when Banner doesn't. Immortal Hulk hangs a lampshade on this one, when Bruce has to imitate it, and wonders just why Joe even does it.
  • The Unfettered: He's one of the more amoral of Banner's personas.
  • Villain Protagonist: He was a mafioso, a torturer, a bully, a murderer, a mercenary, a lecher, a Break Them by Talking-giver to broken people, and proud of all of it. He mellowed out during the Dale Keown run.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: He has a special affinity for the good ol' City of Sin.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Compared with the green Hulk, he had less strength, but more intelligence to give his fighting style more creativity or weapons.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Was prepared to kill a kid until he was reminded of his own abusive childhood and befriended him instead.

    Merged Hulk/The Professor 

Merged Hulk/The Professor

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4c2467f59d4cf576dc26579090e24cde.jpg

With the body of Savage Hulk, the mind of Bruce Banner, and the wits of Joe Fixit Professor Hulk is several tons of brains and brawn. Composed of Banner coming to face his inner demons along with merging with both Savage and Grey Hulk, Professor uses his immense bulk to carry a small army of firepower but lacks the total strength of Savage Hulk. As with everything in Banner's life, the peace doesn't last and Professor eventually falls apart as the merge did not fix his traumas, just ease them for awhile.


  • Berserk Button: He's very fond of his bunny slippers, which are hard to find at his size, and very expensive. Damage them at your peril.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: While smashing, he can't help making a wisecrack every now and again.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Having Banner's intelligence helped make him the wittiest of the Hulks; also being largely written by Peter David didn't hurt any.
  • A Friend in Need: Busted out a college girlfriend who was unlawfully contained in an Amnesty International condemned US prison.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's the smartest of the Hulks, and is still superhumanly strong.
  • Good Samaritan: Ran multiple charity organisations, research for cancer cures provided food for starving children, shelters and education for war-refugees, supported revolutions against tyrants of oppressed peoples through much lesser loss of lives than real world military interventions can manage, and so on.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Maestro (ironically his future incarnation), regarded him as this. In his mind, this Hulk isn't as strong as The Mighty Thor, as smart as Mr. Fantastic, or as much a determinator as the Wild Man (...who the Hulk hadn't met yet at the time). However, he had enough in these qualities to put him down and liberate the people of his world. Also counts in comparison to the rest of his personalities: Although, touted as a perfect merger of all of them, he showed many qualities the Hulk and Banner specialized in (Savage's strength, Fixit's cunning, Banner's intellect), he never excelled or surpassed in any of them, while still overall a force to be reckoned with. The original explanation given for this was that the personality was still somewhat unstable from him neglecting his treatments from Dr. Samson.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Physically the largest of the Hulks, his speed is completely unhampered.
  • Put on a Bus: Immortal Hulk notes that he's either dormant or missing.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Drawing traits from the other core personalities, he benefited from having the highest base strength, while having Banner's brilliance. In fact, he even created a psychic failsafe to ensure that he was most powerful when sane, lest he turn into the 'Savage Banner'. Unfortunately, this put a cap to how much he could get stronger, and indeed led to a life-risking situation - which ironically subverted this: the brain damage received from shrapnel lodged in his brain from a grenade removed the cap entirely, at the expense of his deteriorating sanity.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Ultimately subverted. It's just a new, more stable personality. Then Double Subverted via re-retcon.

    Savage Banner 

Savage Banner

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/10e5d_the_incredible_hulk_421_1968.jpg

When Banner became the Professor he made sure that he wouldn't use his immense strength in anger ever again... which is why Savage Banner is here. Whenever Merged Hulk becomes too enraged, Savage Hulk takes over but his body is transformed into puny Bruce Banner. As such Hulk can keep trying and trying, getting more and more frustrated but never getting any stronger.


  • Boisterous Weakling: It's Banner with the mind of Savage Hulk. The most he can do is hit a person as hard as Banner could and throw a hell of a tantrum.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Having the mind of Savage Hulk means that he acts more like an extremely frustrated toddler than a grown man.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He was so thoroughly convinced that he was a Nigh Invulnerable behemoth rather than a frail human that he expected to shrug a grenade detonation. It nearly got him killed. Fittingly, that actually was the last readers saw of him.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Unfortunately for him, it is not. He can and has to be restrained in a straight jacket when moved around and can be kept in a small room.

    Green Scar 

"Green Scar"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5ca9b9ebacdc45a98d09cbe8779065cc.jpg

"Never stop making them pay."

Cast away from Earth by The Illuminati in an attempt to get him far away from the planet and let him live a peaceful life, Hulk landed on the savage gladiator world of Sakaar. Put to fight for his life Hulk learned to control his anger, focusing it and honing it. The Green Scar slowly developed into his own man with a thirst for revenge against those who wronged him. While his skills with various weapons, strategic mind, and bonds with both Banner and his fellow gladiators make him a force to be reckoned with, his control of his powers slowly develops him into the "Worldbreaker", a being of power so immense he can shatter a planet with a single step.


  • The Bus Came Back: He was absent after World War Hulk as Jeph Loeb returned to the Savage Hulk, with Greg Pak explaining in Skaar: Son of Hulk that Banner was keeping him suppressed after what had happened. But when Banner got repowered in Fall of the Hulks... guess who came back?
  • Carry a Big Stick: Also used maces quite frequently as a gladiator.
  • Drop the Hammer: As a member of The Worthy.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He took his fight to the X-Men, wanting to know how Charles Xavier would've stood on the Illuminati's plan (with every intention of smashing him if he didn't like the answer). He leaves when shown proof of what the X-Men have been through after House of M, deciding they've already suffered loss.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: On Sakaar. Miek argues he should be considered a hero by Earth too, but they shot him into space.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He has essentially gradually turned into one, both in terms of raw power, destructive nature, and turning even more powerful from both dark magic and nuclear explosions, as a force of pure destruction merging forces of both science and mysticism, and becomes more openly so after picking up one of the hammers of "The Worthy". This is especially true when he goes full on "Worldbreaker". For example, he went Worldbreaker in the Dark Dimension and reduced most of the realm into floating rubble.
  • Papa Wolf: Don't threaten his kids. Even if you are Captain America.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: While all the Hulk incarnations display this, he takes the trope Up to Eleven even for a Hulk incarnation as the Worldbreaker, where his strength increases so much that he causes mass destruction without even trying.
  • Power Glows: When he goes Worldbreaker.
  • Put on a Bus: Immortal Hulk notes that he's either dormant or missing.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: World War Hulk is entirely about him going after the Illuminati for what happened to Sakaar, smashing anyone in his way.
  • Split Personality: Probably the Hulk system's clearest example of an "avenger" alter, no pun intended.
  • Tranquil Fury: He's by far the angriest Hulk, but he's also quite rational.
  • Tron Lines: As one of the Worthy.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Warbound.
  • Unstoppable Rage: This is the single angriest Hulk. That said, he's got the rational mind of Joe Fixit.
  • Villain Protagonist: Depending on your interpretation, he's either this or The Hero of World War Hulk.
  • Walking Wasteland: As the Worldbreaker, his strength is too much to control; among other things, simply walking around can devastate an entire continent.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: And the "Destroyer Of Worlds" bit came very close to becoming literal.
  • World's Strongest Man: Word of God is that World War Hulk Green Scar was "stronger than any mortal and most immortals in the Marvel Universe", and as always, except the Onslaught fight, he was holding back a lot so he wouldn't risk destroying his entire home reality. Hulk's full level of power is of a literally infinite scale going by the Beyonder, and that he overpowered a villain with the power of two Celestial-level beings.

    Doc Green/Omega Hulk 

Doc Green/Omega Hulk

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/86a6712c5e0d3a5997d02b756dfccbbe.jpg

When Banner was shot in the head in an assassination attempt, Tony Stark was forced to use drastic measures to save him. When Banner healed he became even smarter than before and began to turn into a new Hulk, Doc Green. Smarter than Banner, Doc Green figured out a way to cure all gamma mutants and save the world as well as develop an A.I. based on himself at the time. As with most things in Banner's life, nothing lasts forever...


  • Badass Beard: An impressive one. For some reason, it disappears when he reverts to Banner and then immediately grows back in exactly the same state it was before when he Hulks out again, similar to Red Hulk/Thunderbolt Ross's moustache. He was inspired to grow the beard after dreaming of a future where he becomes the Maestro.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: He gets Iron Fist to teach him some martial arts, which helps him defeat the Red Hulk.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": While most Hulks do not like being referred to as Banner, and one of them uses "Hulk" and "Bruce" interchangeably, this one doesn't want to referred as either, as he obviously doesn't identify as Banner, seeing him as his "captor" and feeling the name "Hulk" was given to him. note 
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: The Extremis virus that the personality emerged from wears off over time. What's more, the A.I. he created based on him at the height of his intelligence to prevent Banner from re-emerging, instead betrays him, essentially saying he's no longer smart enough to continue carrying out his mission.
  • Genius Bruiser: In fact he is smarter than even Banner. He quickly developed the technology for a (mostly) safe, fast and permanent method of curing people from gamma radiation-induced transformations, something that eluded Banner for years. Then again, the A.I. he created based on his personality suggests that if this was true, then it is no longer the case as the Extremis is wearing off. And proceeds to act against his wishes.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: A variant. Doc Green decides to de-power the gamma-powered superheroes as he feels it is his responsibility to set things right. And he'll do it, whether they like it or not.
  • Kick the Dog: Depowering Rick Jones/A-Bomb and Skaar comes across as this, as does sending Lyra to a dimension overrun by monsters (granted, that last one wasn't his intention). Telling Skaar and Lyra to their faces that he's not their father was pretty dickish too, although somewhat justified as he's an entirely different personality to Banner or the Green Scar Hulk.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Depowering the Leader and Red Hulk, on the other hand, seems pretty justified.
  • Pet the Dog: He did allow Jennifer to continue being She-Hulk since he feels that she's the only gamma powered being that has a wonderful life and even entrusted her with the last cure in case he turns into the Maestro.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's a super-intelligent Hulk with a dry sense of humor. Just like the Merged Hulk/Professor incarnation. It gets to the point where he fears the emergence of future self/Evil Counterpart The Maestro.
  • That Man Is Dead: Says Banner is gone when prompted. In actuality, he's just keeping him suppressed. Avoids sleep so as not to let him out.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He will cure the Hulks. Consent is optional.
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    Kluh 

KLUH

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a6e1c8a55fc6e0299583ee0f7b6cabb3.jpg

The result of Hulk being inverted during the AXIS story arc.


    "Hydra Hulk" 

After Bruce's death in Civil War II, he was temporarily brought back under HYDRA control during Secret Empire. Initially thought to be simply just a mind-controlled version of the usual Savage Hulk, Immortal Hulk has this version noted to be another personality.


  • Flat Character: This Hulk is entirely consumed by rage and nothing more, not caring who it hurts, not even seeing people at all.
  • No Name Given: So far, it hasn't been given any sort of unique identifier to set it apart from the others (and Bruce doesn't seem to even know this one exists). But since it first showed up apparently working with HYDRA... "Hydra Hulk".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Immortal Hulk mentions that when he took over, he managed to lock this version away in Bruce's mind, in pieces for good measure.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Comes about from one. Ulysses the Nuhuman had a vision of a mindless Hulk going on a rampage and killing all the heroes. Captain Marvel takes a bunch of heroes to confront a supposedly depowered Banner, which ends up with Bruce shot in the head. HYDRA brings him back, and creates... a mindless Hulk who goes on a rampage to try and kill all the heroes.
  • The Speechless: This Hulk is wordless, according to the Immortal Hulk.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: The first time it comes out, it forcibly seizes control despite Bruce's efforts.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The exemplar of this, even among Hulks - there's quite literally nothing else to him.

    Immortal Hulk 

Immortal Hulk

"My name is Bruce Banner. Years ago...I died. But I couldn't stop screaming. So I got up again. Something inside me was unlocked that day. A dark opposite. A shadow-self. Stronger than me. Stronger than anyone. Too strong for death to claim."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/immortal_hulk.jpg
"When someone hurts him, I take it personal."

During the events of Civil War II, Bruce Banner was killed by Hawkeye. Soon after, he was constantly resurrected, first by the Hand and, later, by HYDRA during their takeover of the United States. During the events of Avengers: No Surrender, Banner and the Hulk finally figured out why they kept coming back - they just can't die, have never been able to die. And the Hulk released by all of this is a real monster.


  • Anti-Hero: Dispenses justice in his own brutal way. Case in point, after Banner gets shot in the head by an obviously-terrified gunman trying to rob a convenience store to pay his debts, Hulk awakens in the dead of night and chases after him. We don't see what happens to the guy, but we cut back to him after the fact and his body is so destroyed that if he ever wakes up, he'll never walk again.
  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: A limited variant, as it's Bruce's perception specifically which affects him, being a product of Bruce's mind; his fear of this Hulk when they met during a Journey Into The Center Of The Mind resulted in him being reshaped into the reptilian Devil Hulk form.
  • Appropriated Appellation: He doesn't call himself the Immortal Hulk in-universe, instead taking his name from Thor saying the mortal world created something close to a god or devil when they created the Hulk - the Devil Hulk.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: At the end of their stay in Hell, he merges back with Banner, willingly on his part, telling the guy that he's trying to protect him. He's always been trying to protect him.
  • Beyond the Impossible: This Hulk hits hard enough to nearly overload Vibranium with a single hit.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: While Banner is categorized as a mutate (a mutated human as opposed to a mutant, someone born with the x-gene) and all versions of the Hulk have strange biology, Immortal Hulk takes the cake. Even with his body cut into pieces, he is able to move his limbs and fingers. When his heart was being examined, it began to beat again once it was close to the main body of the Hulk. Lastly, while this Hulk regenerates like all the others, he doesn't start regrowing his body from just a head and his severed body parts don't start growing more Hulks. Instead, when his bits and pieces are free they rejoin one another in a massive slurry of flesh, blood and bone.
  • Catchphrase: Any mention of hurting Bruce is met with "that's something I take personal."
  • Character Rerailment: The Immortal Hulk was created as a return to form for the original characterization of the Hulk, as a character framed more as the monster in a horror story rather than a superhero.
  • Characterisation Marches On: Immortal Hulk issue 15 confirms that he is the Devil Hulk. The change in personality is attributed to having managed to bust out of Banner's mind, so he's no longer shaped solely by Banner's perception of him.
  • Composite Character: Keeps the Savage Hulk's propensity to violence, but maintains the coldly-calculating Tranquil Fury personality of the Green Scar.
  • Cruel Mercy: The Hulk's new MO - no more "HULK SMASH!", he'll make you want "HULK SMASH!". Just ask the poor robber who killed Banner in Immortal Hulk #1; every bone broken in his body and put into a coma. It'll be a miracle if he wakes up, and if he does, he'll never walk again.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is a Hulk unleashed by the trauma of Bruce constantly zipping back and forth from life to death to life again multiple times over. Naturally, his personality is considerably more abrasive than past Hulks, yet still remains on the "heroic" side.
  • Energy Absorption: He can absorb gamma radiation, which he first uses on General Maverick. He later uses it on Sasquatch. Then it gets turned around on him by Gamma Base and The One Below All.
  • First Of Its Kind: Aside from the fact that Banner as the Hulk was the first and strongest gamma mutate, the Immortal Hulk states that he was also the first Hulk inside Banner's mind, and it's heavily implied that he was the Hulk we saw in the comics at the beginning when the Hulk was more articulate and cunning while only coming out at night, stating that Banner had locked him inside for years because this Hulk scared him the most. When Banner's other personalities include the likes of Savage Hulk and Joe Fixit, that's saying something.
  • Genius Bruiser: Not only is he brutally powerful even for a Hulk, but he's also Banner's match intellectually, although rather than focusing on the "Hard" sciences, Immortal Hulk puts his mind to use psychoanalyzing and deconstructing people.
  • Glowing Eyes: This Hulk's most distinguishing feature - his eyes always glow green.
  • Gut Feeling: Bruce describes him as a creature of the id, driven by hunches and feelings, which Bruce is compelled to follow. Usually to inevitable horror.
  • Horrifying the Horror:
    • When he realises Sasquatch is possessed by Brian Banner, he freaks out.
    • Inflicts this on a pair of People-Eating Leopard Demons in The Best Defense. He's set loose on them, and eats one's face. The other literally cries for its mother and runs away.
    • His trip to Hell, and an encounter with a qlippoth of General Ross, momentarily causes this Hulk to mentally retreat, and the Savage Hulk to make a brief reappearance.
  • Hulk Speak: Not normally, but if seriously provoked (and we mean seriously), he starts dipping into this. But it's not smash he says. It's kill.
    Hulk: Hulk kill! Hulk kill everything!
  • Humanoid Abomination: All forms of the Hulk are essentially this, but Immortal Hulk takes it to a whole new level, as he is now powerful enough to lay out Thor with a single punch, and has Resurrective Immortality capabilities the likes of which no other Hulk had displayed before.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: While not out-and-out cannibalistic like some Alternate Universe versions of the Hulk, he does absorb Fortean's head scientist during his escape from Shadow Base, and later casually refers to it as "ate a guy. He was annoying."
  • It Can Think: During No Surrender, this Hulk initially appears to just be in a state of Unstoppable Rage and nothing more. Then he starts speaking. And eloquently, at that.
  • It's Personal:
    • Anyone who hurts Banner better get ready to be turned into a pancake by a giant green fist.
    • While Bruce may have forgiven Hawkeye for that whole "shooting me in the head" thing, this Hulk has not.
  • Jerkass: Commit some minor slight or irritation on Banner, and this guy will return some time later and smash your stuff, as a bartender who mistook Bruce for a junkie finds out, when he leaves work to find the Hulk has smashed his car to bits.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A Downplayed Trope as this generally only applies to Banner and those close to Banner, but there are instances where he will show shades of this even beyond the very few people he personally cares about. While he has a dim view of humanity he does get filled with righteous indignation when seeing the horrible things that people do that give him such a dim view. He generally goes out of his way to punish people who have done terrible things and he does it partially out of respect for the innocent victims.
    Immortal Hulk: (towards a man that killed a little girl) Sandra Ann Brockhurst. That was her name. She was twelve.
    Immortal Hulk: (Confronting a scientist who accidentally killed grieving families and subjected his son to A Fate Worse Than Death) How many, Frye?! How many because you were too scared?!
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Whatever it was he did to Bushwhacker, which we only see the beginnings of (which is probably for the best), the guy definitely had it coming.
  • Kill All Humans: He hates humanity, and would gladly take the chance to kill them all if given it. (He claims that at least his way some would survive, as compared to humanity managing to wipe itself out... but then again, in No Surrender, he has no problem with having humanity wiped out so he can be alone.)
  • Kill the God: During No Road Home, he manages to kill Hypnos, God of Sleep, after the guy had tried running away from him.
  • Living Lie Detector: He claims he can smell liars, and Thor backs it up after their fight.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Even more so than previous Hulks. The Gamma Base scientists who dissect him use an adamantium scalpel. It still strains to cut any tissue.
  • Papa Wolf: Essentially what his desire to protect Banner is. Banner created this Hulk out of a desire for a loving father figure to protect him. So anyone who hurts Banner, this Hulk takes personally in a way a father would when their son is hurt. In issue 20 he also states he doesn't like people hurting the childlike Savage Hulk either.
  • Parental Substitute: Sees himself as one for Bruce, born out of Bruce's desire for a loving father (or father-figure). That he acts the way he does is something this Hulk puts down to Bruce having a severely messed up view of parental love.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In the 2018 relaunch of Fantastic Four, the Human Torch finds the Hulk having smashed the Big Bad's monsters and ship. Obviously not looking for a fight this time around, he tells Johnny I Was Never Here and to take credit for this victory. After everyone is sent back, Banner tells the family don't pull that stunt again because the Hulk holds grudges.
    • He shows concern for Rick Jones when they meet in Hell.
    • His desire to help Banner and telling Banner that it's because he loves him.
    Hulk: I'll always protect you. Because I love you, you stupid kid. (Banner stares in shock) Somebody had to.
    • After he comes back to fight the new Abomination he once again shows concern for Bruce, and then following that the Savage Hulk.
      Bruce: (pleading while in the below-place) Help me! Help me!
      Immortal Hulk: (as he returns to life and brings Bruce back with him) It's OK. It's OK, kid. I've got you. I've always got you.
      [...]
      Immortal Hulk: (addressing Betty) When you killed me...you hurt the big guy (Savage Hulk). Don't ever do that again.
  • Physical God: While any form of the Hulk is this, Immortal Hulk deserves a special mention because of his Resurrective Immortality. More than that, he is so much stronger than previous versions of the Hulk that he beat Thor with one standing punch (no windup or putting his weight behind it) and actually gave him a cracked skull and concussion. Thor even outright states that this Hulk lives in the world of symbol and legend that is the world of the gods, and that the mortal world managed to create something close to a god or devil when it created the Hulk.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: This Hulk will be more than happy to verbally tear you apart as much as he'll be happy to physically tear you apart. Just ask Wonder Man.
    • While fighting Captain America, he taunted him by saying, "Look, it's Captain Hydra. If I take off your head, will two more grow in its place?". Cap's only response as he struggled against him was, "T-that..wasn't me".
    • When the newer and stronger She-Hulk tried to fight Hulk, Hulk hit her with a hard Not So Different speech, which horrified her. After the rest of the Avengers caught up to her, she was traumatized and refused to tell them what Hulk said to her.
    • Does nothing but this to Hawkeye during No Road Home.
  • Resurrective Immortality: What this Hulk has - try killing Banner, and he'll die like anyone else, but come night-time, it's the Hulk who'll get up again, and he will not be happy. Try killing the Hulk, and you've got about as much luck as anybody else.
  • Shadow Archetype: Most of the Hulks are this in some way to Banner, but it's emphasized particularly strongly with this one, given how he appears in reflections, only appears at night-time, and functions during the day as Banner's intuitive, irrational, subconscious mind.
  • Slasher Smile: His smile's a terrifying thing all by itself, simply for its sheer sadism.
  • Split Personality: A "protector" alter, though he struggled to express this fact at first.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Unlike other versions of the Hulk who say they hate Banner, this Hulk's relationship with him is a bit more complicated. While he gets angry when people call him Banner (his response to that was "Are you trying to piss me off!?") he also seems to care for Banner and tries to keep him sane (after escaping a lab he remarked to the scientist that experimented on him and Banner "When you hurt him, I take that personal.") He finally lays out his feelings towards Banner in issue 13, saying his love of Banner motivates him to serve as his Guardian Entity.
  • Weakened by the Light: Another way this Hulk is like his earliest appearances is that he only emerges at night. The Avengers only manage to beat him when Iron Man uses a massive UV laser to nuke him from orbit. He's kept from rising again for the rest of that night with UV lamps. (Banner induces a daylight transformation with magic in The Best Defense, although the Hulk's not exactly thrilled about it.)
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Both this Hulk and Banner obviously have hang ups over constantly dying and being resurrected, but it's implied that the revelation that Banner can't die is what helped to release this infinitely more cynical Hulk.

    Devil Hulk 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/devilhulkold.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/devilhulknew.jpg

Debut: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2, #12

"You've opened a door to me, Bruce. A crack of light on my face that I never had before. Did you imagine I'd ever let you close it on me? We're going to be gods in this world that's rejected and feared you for so long. We're going to tear it into a billion pieces. I'm your inevitable conclusion. I'm the ultimate you. I am the Devil."

An outright malevolent Hulk who represents all of the evil and darkness (and especially the self loathing) within Bruce, the Devil Hulk is imprisoned deep within the mindscape. Appearing as a demonic beast with reptilian traits, the Devil seeks to manifest in the real world so he can turn it into his own personal slaughterhouse, but to do so he requires Bruce to let him out willingly. In reality, this was the first Hulk persona, the "Immortal Hulk", the one that Bruce developed when he was a child lashing out at the abuse that he suffered. The reason Banner perceived him as being so twisted is because Banner feared his own unrestrained emotions, passions, and desires. That fear affected this persona and made him act malicious and seemingly malevolent. Now that he's free of Banner's perceptions, he takes on a more benign appearance and is more like Banner minus fear, meting out brutal justice and protecting Banner whenever night falls. Nevertheless, he still expresses very dark attitudes towards most anything that's not Banner.


  • As Long as There is Evil: "You'll never be rid of me."
  • Ax-Crazy: Unlike the other personalities, he doesn't cause destruction out of anger, he does it because he simply wants to. Averted. Banner's perceptions and fear of his own emotions cause Banner to see him as crazy. In reality, this Hulk, freed from Banner's influence, wants to protect him and has his own form of dark justice.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He calls himself the Devil. He isn't completely evil; Banner's perceptions influenced him, warping and exaggerating his dark nature. Free of Banner he's more of an Anti-Hero... but still has no problem discussing his intent to destroy the world.
  • Enemy Within: An evil Hulk within Bruce.
  • Expy: Of the Dark Hulk from the 1990s animated series.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Tends to refer to Bruce as "my darling boy". And yes, it's exactly as creepy as it sounds (not helping is that he's a giant lizard person). He actually means it. This Hulk was created by Bruce's yearning for a loving father figure to protect him. It was Bruce's fear that warped him into that particular flavor of creepiness.
  • Human Popsicle: Originally encased in metaphorical ice and chains; the latter were broken by the machinations of General Ryker, while he got out of the former on his own.
  • Lean and Mean: His more humanoid form.
  • Lizard Folk: A "big lizard guy" as the Immortal Hulk so eloquently puts it.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: He once placed Bruce in a perfect fantasy world, in the hope that this would cause Bruce to stay in the mindscape, and allow him to get out.
  • Meaningful Name: Devil Hulk. Immortal Hulk actually has a character note that the meaning of the word devil doesn't necessarily mean pure evil, as they note the historical origins of the phrase, from accuser or adversary.
  • Overly Long Tongue: He was initially depicted as having a long, serpentine tongue, but like the snake eyes, it was dropped after his first appearance.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He had snake-like eyes in his debut, but every subsequent appearance gave him glowing red ones.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: How he tried to break Bruce down in his debut. Starts dishing them out to everyone he kicks the crap out of when he becomes the "Immortal Hulk".
  • Size Shifter: He can go from a giant, to slightly larger than the Savage Hulk, to a lanky human-esque form.
  • The Sociopath: Why it would be really bad if he ever got out. Except he actually isn't a sociopath; there are a rare few people he cares about.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: This one is genuinely evil, not just angry, freely acknowledging he'd destroy the world if he could.
  • Terms of Endangerment: It's very, very creepy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Outside of the Chaos War (Brian Banner turned into a hybrid of him and the Guilt Hulk) he hasn't been seen or mentioned in a while, and may have just been an illusion created by Nightmare all along. Immortal Hulk confirms that no, this Hulk is very real.

    The Beast/Guilt Hulk 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/guilthulkold.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/guilthulknew.jpg

Debut: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #377

Another villainous personality lurking in the back of the mental plane, this one embodies all of Bruce's guilt, especially that relating to the death of his mother at the hands of his father. Like the Devil Hulk, he is monstrous in appearance (resembling a green Xenomorph) and hellbent on hijacking Bruce's body in order to cause mayhem. After his first attempt (which resulted in the emergence of the Merged/Professor Hulk) failed, he resurfaced years later to try again, empowered by Bruce mourning Betty Ross.


  • Ax-Crazy: Only the Devil persona itself has it beat in outright malice. It seeks to take over Bruce's body and lay waste to the world.
  • Breath Weapon: He once displayed the ability to breathe fire, which was pretty weird.
  • Composite Character: Got his humongous size and Abusive Father persona transplanted into Devil Hulk's appearance for Ultimate Destruction.
  • Enemy Within: Yet another Hulk counterpart that Bruce occasionally transforms into.
  • Fangs Are Evil: And boy, does he have loads of them.
  • Kaiju: He's freaking enormous. The other Hulks don't even come up to his toes. That's how big he is.
  • Killed Off for Real: Even assuming he was real in the first place, he got killed by Joe Fixit, the Professor and the Savage in order to stop him taking over the mindscape, and hasn't resurfaced since. Bruce certainly doesn't seem to think he's around any more, for whatever reason.
  • Spikes of Villainy: He was covered in them in his debut.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Guilt Hulk has golden eyes, in keeping with its demonic appearance.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Like the Devil Hulk, this personality is outright malevolent, contrasting the other personalities.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Looks like a green one.
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    Maestro 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7ddc6f7cdfa35983632935fc827a8e11.jpeg

Debut: The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect #1

A corrupt, more powerful version of the Hulk from a possible Bad Future where most of humanity was decimated by nuclear war. He built a city with radiation shielding which he named Dystopia, where he rules over the surviving humans like an Emperor.


  • After the End: He comes from a world 90 years from our own, where we apparently destroyed each other in our hubris.
  • Alternate Self: The "original" Maestro seemingly perished in The Incredible Hulk #461, but he's from a possible future, so there's plenty more where he came from, and at least three of them have bedeviled Earth-616:
    • The 2014 Spider-Man 2099 series had Miguel's timeline be "overwritten" by Dystopia. After manipulating Miguel into repairing Doctor Doom's Time Platform, the Maestro used it to go back to the Heroic Age.
    • The Maestro of Doom's Battleworld ended up in Earth-616 after the Secret Wars, and is currently being held captive by the Collector.
    • A third Maestro (or maybe it was the one from the aforementioned Spider-Man 2099 storyline) popped up in the 2016 Old Man Logan series, attempting to instigate a nuclear apocalypse with the help of what was left of the Banner Gang from Logan's home universe of Earth-807128.
  • Archenemy: He's a contender despite only fighting the Hulk a few times; the events of Future Imperfect and the fear that he might become the Maestro himself haunt the Hulk for years afterward.
  • Bad Future: Let's see: A largely radioactive wasteland, the last of humanity living in a domed city, with the aged not-so-jolly green giant as tyrant. Yep.
  • Bald of Evil: He has a shaggy mane of hair around a bald crown. Oddly enough in human form he has a full head of hair.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Collects attractive healthy women from those subjugated under him in exchange for crumbs.
  • Big Bad: Of the 2015 Contest of Champions series.
  • Blood Knight: Fully admits to being this in Contest Of Champions (2015). Since anyone else in his world who could stand up to him is dead or incapacitated, it's no surprise that he relishes taking on any extra-dimensional/time-travelling heroes who pop up in Dystopia.
  • Breakout Villain: Was initially just a one off villain but has since gone on to fight Spider-Man 2099, the second Captain Marvel, the Earth-616 Ultimates, and Old Man Logan. He's also considered one of the most personal foes of the Hulk and has returned a few times to duel him.
  • The Caligula: Oh yeah. He even holds orgies at his court.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Subjects one of the captured rebels to torture by forcibly extracting information from his brain to the point he ends up frying his mind in the process.
  • The Corrupter: Tries to be this to the "present" Hulk.
  • Cruel Mercy: He was unable or unwilling to kill Shulk, instead placing her in a kind of medically-induced coma that she was eventually roused from when Abomination and his forces moved into and took over what was left of Dystopia.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Being much stronger than his present self and knowing how he thinks meant this was the inevitable result of Hulk trying to fight him. Or indeed, practically anyone. In the 2015 Future Imperfect miniseries the Maestro kills God Emperor Doom with relative ease after merging with the Destroyer armour, although that turns out to be an illusion.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: After a nuclear war, and years of his iron-fisted rule, he's stopped caring about his allies, friends and loved ones, most of whom are long gone. Most telling is Betty Ross, as he remembers how he got to meet her, but has sank so low that he apparently forgot or doesn't care what it was that made her special to him in the first place. This is probably another major reason why the Hulk hates him: without even trying, he dishonours (his timeline's) Betty's memory.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A smart, evil version of the Hulk as created by Peter David. Al Ewing turned up Maestro's snark to eleven in his Contest of Champions series.
  • Dirty Old Man: If you're an attractive young woman, expect to end up in his "harem", whether you like it or not. He's almost never seen without several of his scantily-clad "consorts" draped over him. At one point in the original Future Imperfect he takes yet another concubine - a young girl barely out of her teens at most.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": As can be imagined, he's very insistent that he not be called Banner or Hulk anymore. People who keep doing it get their femurs removed.
  • The Dreaded: To his subjects, with good reason. He's also this to the Hulk, in that Hulk fears becoming him.
  • Dystopia: He chose this as the name of the kingdom he built. Also serves a cruel irony — the one who saved what's left of humanity is the one who has such little regard for it.
  • Evil Counterpart: Taken to whole new levels.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Oh yes. He's as Hammy an Evil Overlord as you can get.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Combined with Future Me Scares Me. The Hulk is horrified and repulsed by what the Maestro has become and the society he has created, and has been haunted ever since by the idea that he could go down the same path.
  • Evil Old Folks: Clearly aged, but still in his physical prime, and said to be even more powerful. He can turn back to human form at will in order to hide among normal humans if it serves his purposes. In his human form he retains his own mind and can draw on at least some of his Hulk strength despite looking like just a frail old man.
  • Evil Overlord: It's probably the scariest thing about him: The worst the world feared of the Hulk is that he'd eventually destroy it. Now, the world destroyed itself, and the former Hulk conquered what was left and cobbled his own city-state together with everyone still alive living there. The only thing worse than a Hulk jonesing to kill everyone, smart or no, is one that could, if he wanted to, do anything he wants, and knows there's nowhere safe from his rule, with no-one that could seriously stop him.
  • Fallen Hero: Was once the noble Hulk but after two nuclear wars is now a vile, hedonistic monster.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can put up a charming facade, but it's only skin deep.
  • Future Badass: Believe it or not, he fits this since the extra radiation made him even stronger than the Hulk in the present. The Hulk was no match for him - partly because of the Maestro's superior mutation and partly because he could predict his past self's actions.
  • Genius Bruiser: Why he's especially dangerous. He has all Banner's intellect and the Hulk's power without a shred of morality or conscience left.
  • A God Am I: Briefly gains Reality Warper abilities during Contest Of Champions (2015) through the Iso Sphere.
  • Gratuitous Rape: He has one of his slaves do this to a paralyzed Hulk.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Comes with being a Hulk.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Enough to reconstitute his body after being atomised. Granted, this took over a decade and when he finally revived he was literally skin and bones. According to him, he and the Hulk will always come back after death... and come the Avengers: No Surrender storyline he was proven right.
    • During his appearance in Exiles, he gets his neck snapped by Proteus-in-Hulk 2099's body. It just makes him slightly more irritable, since he can't move, but it doesn't kill him.
  • The Hedonist: More so than even Joe Fixit/Grey Hulk. He literally has a harem of women attending to his every whim.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: And it's really disturbing. He surrounds himself with sex slaves and remarks that he prefers their company to his late wife Betty because they have little to no will of their own and live only to satisfy his whims.
  • Hero Killer: Killed off all the other heroes (maybe villains too) who weren't already dead after the wars in his reality. In the 2015 Contest of Champions series he kills off a load more heroes from other realities as part of the Contest.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: When he explains (to Hulk) his backstory and how his world came to be and how humans destroyed each other through a nuclear armageddon. He remarks to his past self, "For as long as I remember, it was the humans that called us the monsters. In the end, they brought their own destruction. Me, a monster? I wasn't even in their league".
  • I Hate Past Me: More interested in subverting than destroying the Hulk, but even that seems like it would alter the very events that led to the Maestro's creation.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Far stronger than his younger self due to absorbing the fallout of the nuclear wars. It also apparently unbalanced his mind.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: As befits his status as an Evil Overlord, his wardrobe is definitely a few steps up from torn purple trousers.
  • It's All About Me: Lives only to satisfy his own whims and desires, be those combat, consorts, or furthering his own power.
  • Kick the Dog: A lot.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the original graphic novel he appeared in. However, thanks to the shenanigans involved with Secret Wars, he got better, and wound up involved in the subsequent Contest of Champions.
  • Large and in Charge: A Large Ham who's the Evil Overlord in charge of an entire nuclear apocalyptic wasteland.
  • Laughably Evil: He's horrific, but during Contest of Champions in particular, it's hard not to be amused by his barbed wit.
  • Mad Artist: The version Spider-Man 2099 encountered had gotten bored at one point and tried his hand at art, using people. Who he nailed to a sign.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: Not surprising, as he spent his childhood and early adulthood being abused and victimised by peers and authority figures (not least his own father), and then decades of being tormented and hounded by humanity as the Hulk before they nuked themselves to near-extinction.
  • The Master: His name literally means "the Master" in Spanish and Italian.
  • Might Makes Right: Combine that with the Hulk's regular boast - that he is "the strongest one there is" - and you end up with The Social Darwinist: Only the fit survive, and the rest of the fit can get in line behind him.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Is a One-Man Army as he is even stronger than the Hulk to the point of being near impossible to defeat.
  • Physical God: As an even stronger Hulk, he already qualifies but takes it Up to Eleven when he steals the Iso-Sphere and becomes a Reality Warper. He loses the Iso-Sphere in the end, though.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Since his comeback in the 2000's, he's fought Spider-Man 2099, the second Captain Marvel, the Earth-616 Ultimates, and Old Man Logan.
  • Sadist: Even more so than Joe Fixit/Grey Hulk at his worst.
  • Slasher Smile: Often sports one when he's about to ruin someone's day.
  • Smug Super: Has a habit of flaunting his might, and boasting about how strong and smart he is. As nearly every superhero and supervillain who had even a chance of challenging him is dead in his era, and the ones that aren't (read: gamma mutates such as his cousin, now named Shulk, and the Abomination) are incapacitated in some form, he has every right to be this trope.
  • Something We Forgot: He's the something. Secret Wars ended with Battleworld collapsing and the heroes returning to wherever they came from. Contest of Champions shows that Maestro was just left in the rubble until the Elders of the Universe came along.
  • Stronger with Age: In both physical strength and fighting experience.
  • Super Strength: Well, yes. Years of absorbing fallout from nuclear wars has increased his base strength level to twice that of the Merged Hulk. And unlike the Merged Hulk, he doesn't seem to have a psychic failsafe to cap his rage (and therefore his strength).
  • That Man Is Dead: His attitude towards his former identity as Bruce Banner, although that doesn't stop him assuming human form when it suits his purposes.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: All his life, he has been mistreated - as the Hulk, humanity treated him like a monster. However, it got taken to a different level when humanity took from him most of what he ever cared about in its nuclear armageddon, until eventually they destroyed themselves. But he not only survived, he got stronger and more unhinged, and decided to take what was left of humanity and force them to do his every whim as his playthings, becoming the very monster that they'd always accused him of being.
  • The Unfettered: The Maestro fully embraces all the negative traits and impulses Bruce Banner has spent his whole life trying to repress.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: He can change back and forth between his Maestro form and that of an old Bruce Banner at will while keeping his own mind.


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