Bruce Banner/The Hulk
Central Rogues Gallery | Rogues Gallery | Hulk-Centric Villainous Organizations
Alter Ego: Dr. Robert Bruce Banner
Notable Aliases: Joe Fixit, War, World-Breaker, Doc Green, Devil Hulk
Editorial Names: Immortal Hulk; formerly Banner Hulk, Ωmega Hulk, Savage Hulk, Indestructible Hulk, Incredible Hulk
Species: Human Mutate (Gamma)
Affiliations: The Avengers, The Defenders, Horsemen of Apocalypse, Fantastic Four, The Pantheon, The Warbound, Secret Avengers
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk #1 (May, 1962)
After being bombarded with a massive dose of gamma radiation while saving a young man's life during an experimental bomb test, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was transformed into the Incredible Hulk: a green behemoth who is the living personification of rage and pure physical strength.
If you want to hear both Bruce and the various' Hulks take on this, click here.
Bruce Banner's system
- All Amazons Want Hercules: The Hulk has this effect on women much like Herc does. Just ask Caiera. And Thundra. And Umar.
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: Changes, but usually Hulk and Banner do not share memories.
- Always a Bigger Fish: He might be Earth's strongest superhuman, but in most cases he can't match cosmic entities - as Gaea, the Phoenix Force, Dormammu, Galactus, and most prominently Zeus have proven. It does work both ways, though: many super-strong aliens and even gods have arrived on Earth only to find that there's a Bigger Fish right here.
- Anti-Hero: Considering that the Hulk has a very "Hollywood version" of Multiple Personality Disorder, with a heavy dose of Depending on the Writer on top, it shifts wildly from incarnation to incarnation, individual interpretations thereof, and even deliberate Character Development. However, roughly speaking, the incarnations go as follow:
- Original Hulk: Unscrupulous Hero. A grumpy outsider looking for a fight and responding violently when attacked, but staying out of people's way beyond that.
- Savage Hulk: 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, and seen in The Super Hero Squad Show, 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 .
- Mindless Hulk in the crossroads: Unscrupulous Hero. A wild animal, but not inherently malevolent, and capable of instinctive loyalty or empathy.
- Joe Fixit: 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.
- Merged Hulk: Knight In Sour Armor or Pragmatic Hero. Possibly the most well-adjusted incarnation, and genuinely proactively well-intended, actively dedicating himself to helping the world, without going to murderous extremes, and playing reasonably well with others. However, he had a What the Hell, Hero? Wolverine-style psychotic rage episode in issue 400, wherein he accidentally killed the Leader, supposedly the leftover "truly mindless Hulk", which briefly bumped him to type IV.
- Bannerless Hulk: Unscrupulous Hero. Part of his mind was split from his body, and he started to largely act as the first Hulk did, although to a greater extreme, such as taking over an island for no particular purpose, although without harming anybody. Still, the army colonel pursuing him got wise on that this particular Hulk was different from the previous versions, was simply looking for attention, and caused less damage if the army stopped attacking him, so she told him off to his face, "left him alone" as he didn't really wish, and it worked out pretty well.
- Green Scar: Roughly a Pragmatic Hero on Sakaar/basically a more responsible version of the original. Views are split about whether he was provoked into Unscrupulous Hero or Nominal Hero during World War Hulk (compare a sovereign nation being annihilated, and then strictly retaliating by going after those responsible, without any Hiroshima or civilian casualties involved), although due to extremes of very inconsiderate property damage, and still less bloodthirsty than the majority of pragmatic heroes.
- Arch-Enemy: The Leader, the Abomination and Gen. Thunderbolt Ross. One could even make a case about Hulk being Banner's.
- Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster: Subverted depending on what version of the Hulk is fighting. As Bruce Banner has DDI and many alters, each Hulk has different traits. Joe Fixit is Weak, but Skilled compared to the other hulk as he's a cunning and dirty fighter, The Professor is a Jack of All Stats while retaining Bruce's intellect, World Breaker Hulk is easily strong enough to best most gods but his power tends to be uncontrollable and dangerous to everyone around him, of course then there's... The Devil/Immortal Hulk. The Immortal Hulk is more like a god or a demon in that he has explicitly mystical qualities, has resurrective immortality, can be dismembered and still move his bits and pieces which will rejoin if free and close together, can see into souls and smell the lies on people, and is so strong he can crack Thor's skull and beat him with one punch. Then again it may not be a Subverted Trope in the immortal Hulk's case as he is very intelligent and enjoys Break Them by Talking along with being a Soft-Spoken Sadist to his enemies.
- Asshole Victim: Most people who get beat up by the Hulk usually have it coming. Bruce Banner just can't stop running into assholes who go out of their way to make the poor guy mad.
- Years before he became the Hulk, Bruce Banner killed his own father, mostly by accident. The shock and horror of this caused Bruce to forget the entire event, burying it in his memories for years, and he ran off into the night, until he came too the next day and called the police. Fortunately, the rain covered up any evidence of what'd happened, and the police knew what kind of person Brian Banner had been like (he'd just been released from a mental asylum where he'd been sent for bragging about murdering his wife), so they didn't feel the need to investigate too hard.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He's been the king of a surprising number of worlds. He was also the president of Australia in House of M.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: The Hulk is so big and strong that his fists are all the weapons he needs. He'd shatter or crumple his own weapon at the first swing, in most cases.
- Battle Strip: Tends to be reduced to tattered rags a lot. See Magic Pants.
- The Berserker: The Hulk is practically rage incarnate.
- Berserk Button: The big one is that due to the issues with his dad, both Hulk and Banner really don't like abusive parents, or bullies in general. The Joe Fixit Hulk also hates when someone compares him to the Savage Hulk, as the Blob found out to his sorrow.
- Blood Knight: An increasingly commonly applied character trait, the Hulk was originally an aversion. He held pretty true to the "just wants to be left alone" claim, not caring about the fights he got into. Later writers play the "left alone" as more of a hollow statement, with Hulk enjoying company, and extremely enjoying combat.
- Brains Versus Brawn: The Hulk as Bruce Banner's Split Personality also qualifies since he is contrasted with Bruce Banner, who is an Insufferable Genius in the running for World's Smartest Man. You could say that all of the different personalities Banner has plays with this trope to some degree. Though all of them are, relative to the average person, far closer to Strength than Intelligence due to their shared Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, some personalities (Merged Hulk, Grey Hulk) skew closer to the center of the spectrum, inheriting Banner's Book Smarts or developing Street Smarts, and others (Devil Hulk) lean even further into The Hulk's strength.
- Bully Hunter: They really doesn't like them for obvious reasons... except for Joe Fixit who is one himself.
- Bullying a Dragon: Are the people who pick on Banner or Hulk tired of living? Doesn't even make sense when the Hulk is disguised. Even Joe Fixit, the smallest Hulk incarnation, is over six feet and the other over seven. And every one of those incarnations are extremely muscular. So people pester a gigantic guy with bulging muscles whose done nothing.to them just because..
- Clothing Damage: Every time Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk, the clothes he's wearing are destroyed by the increase in mass, usually leaving just his pants, unless he's half-naked to begin with.
- Color Contrast: The Hulk, in his most iconic form, is green with purple pants.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Hulk is sometimes portrayed as this.
- Complete Immortality: According to Future Imperfect and Hulk: The End in combination he only ages up to a point, and according to issue #460 he will eventually be capable of regenerating even from atomisation. According to Immortal Hulk, even killing Banner won't work, as the Hulk will simply rise from the dead at night, and turn into Banner again come sunup.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Bruce Banner smoked a pipe in his first appearance. In The '90s when Hulk had Bruce Banner's brain he also smoked a normal sized pipe, which for him was very tiny.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": The various personae hates being called Bruce. Though, it's justified in that they are separate entities inhabiting the same body.
- The Dreaded: While not a villain, the Hulk is typically treated as being as every bit as much a threat as any of the Marvel universe's major villains when heroes clash with him.
- Dumb Is Good: Depending on the story. Many of the times Hulk clashes with the heroes is due to some misunderstanding or someone fooling him into thinking one of the good guys did him wrong.
- Embodiment of Vice:
- The Hulk himself is wrath, of course, but there are more subtle examples in his various personalities - Banner classically dealing with issues of self-loathing and fatalism, for instance. Many of his classic foes have also been examples of the trope; for instance the Abomination is typically portrayed as an embodiment of hubris.
- Peter David characterized the savage Green Hulk like a child prone to tantrums. Grey Hulk on the other hand would be the embodiment of pubescent desires. As Joe Fixit he worked as mafia muscle and led a hedonist lifestyle in Las Vegas: snappy dresses, fine meals, parties and booze, sleeping with beautiful women...
- Expy: Bruce Banner and Hulk began as expies of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, respectively. Additionally, Stan Lee claims he was heavily inspired by The Thing, who was the most popular character in the Fantastic Four—at that point, Ben Grimm would frequently switch back and forth between his two forms at a moment's notice, and generally came across as a violently raging Token Evil Teammate rather than the loveable Boisterous Bruiser he became.
- Faster Than They Look: Characters often assume that the giant mass of muscle would move rather slowly. They have a tendency to be surprised and terrified when they see just how quickly he can carry all that bulk.
- The Fettered: Hulk's full power is as good as always greatly restrained by Banner, as otherwise his slightest movement would destroy the world around him. This nearly happened at the end of World War Hulk, and he is constantly trying to manage the destructive potential within him, so nobody comes to harm.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Occasionally his Magic Pants fail him and he's forced to battle in the nude; this is generally reserved for the more savage incarnations of the Hulk, especially when he's the threat, not one of the protagonists.
- Gathering Steam: Bruce Banner is an ordinary human and needs to be pissed off to even trigger his transformation into the Hulk, but even once he has transformed, the Hulk is unable to bring his full strength to bear right away, as it is directly correlated to his anger. The angrier he gets, the stronger he gets, and thus with every injury he takes, he gathers more and more steam.
- Genius Bruiser: The amount of genius varies on which personality is in control, although they have been known to borrow one another's skills if necessary. 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!"
- A Girl in Every Port: Hulk has had many different lovers and wives, and he's fathered children with some of them. The main reason why he's had so many is Bruce Banner's constant need to stay on the run and find a place where he and the Hulk won't cause trouble or hurt anyone, but he still cannot avoid falling in love with a local. Also, a lot of Hulk's separate personalities consider themselves entirely different people, often disagreeing on which woman they consider their One True Love (if any). Gray Hulk, for instance, moved to Las Vegas and worked as a pimp and a bouncer, acquiring a harem of women in the process. On another occasion, Savage Hulk entered the sub-atomic kingdom K'ai and, after magically having the Bruce Banner personality become dominant in Hulk's mind, fell in love with princess Jarella, The Green Scar was forced off-world by The Illuminati and found a happy life on the planet Sakaar, along with his new wife, Caiera. On yet another occasion, an otherworldly deity named Umar took an enraged Hulk back to her dimension to make him her consort. Feeling there was nothing left for him back on Earth, Hulk allowed her to, although his ex-wife, Betty Ross, resented it and eventually followed Hulk to that world.
- Godzilla Threshold: On a scale of one to ten, things have to be... really, really bad for "send in the Hulk" to be the plan you're down to. Sometimes in other characters' series or team comics, he's brought in because things are just that bad.
- Ground Punch: This was in Hulk's arsenal of moves for quite a long time, but hasn't been seen in several years.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: While he's not exactly a bad guy, this is the reason he tends to get into so many battles with other superheroes. It takes very little to piss him off, so you're basically walking on eggshells when he's in your presence for the entire time.
- Healing Factor: As mentioned above and it's another power that increases in intensity with his rage.
- Hero Insurance: The Hulk causes more property damage per capita than any other hero in the Marvel Universe, bar none. Oddly, he never causes casualties; the going theory in-universe is that Bruce's hyper-intelligence is subconsciously at work to ensure this.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In fact, it would be very hard to find anyone in the Marvel Universe with worse publicity who could still be considered a hero. But you really can't blame anyone.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Hulk and any human-sized love interest.
- Humanoid Abomination: From Planet Hulk on, the Hulk himself has been slipping ever closer to this as he develops more mystical and metaphysical strength.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: It's obvious that the Hulk honestly does in a way want people he can call friend, it's just that he's been betrayed or seemingly betrayed so many times...
- I Work Alone: ...he constantly tries to convince himself that he's better off without them.
- Improbable Weapon User: While his fists serve him perfectly well, the Hulk can and will use any number of handy tools to help him in a fight:
- Construction girders;
- Tree trunks;
- Really big rocks;
- A car as boxing gloves.
- In a Single Bound: The Hulk's primary method of getting from place to place is using his immense strength to leap miles at at time through the air.
- Insult of Endearment: As The Nicknamer, Hulk tends to do this with his enemies-who-become-friends when in his Hulk Speak mode. Examples:
- Doctor Strange: Dumb Magician
- Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner: Fish-Man
- Spider-Man: Bug Man
- Nighthawk: Bird-Nose
- Valkyrie: Sword-Girl; Angry Girl in Thor: Ragnarok
- Iceman: Ice Man... Oh, Wait!.
- Thor: Red Cape in the comics; Goldilocks in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes & Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Superman: Cape Man
- Batman: Pointy Ears
- Examples specific to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 take this further:
- Interrupted Suicide: Banner's tried to kill himself a few times in the past; Hulk will always force a transformation to prevent it, however. Even when Banner finally manages to arrange a successful mercy kill in Civil War II, he still gets brought back again and again... and then discovers he'll always come back.
- It Can Think: The greatest folly one can have when facing Hulk is to assume that he's completely mindless and dumb. He really, really is not, and can be quite cunning when facing against an opponent he can't immediately pulverize.
- It's Personal: The Hulk is usually one of the Marvel heroes most averse to killing anybody. HOWEVER,
- The demon Nightmare, however, is an exception. What did the villain do you ask? Well, in order, he drove Hulk mad and exiled him from humanity after finally being accepted; later killed his unborn child and raped his wife; later still turned his existence into nightmarish reality-distortions for years. Hulk's response? He ripped off Nightmare's head and stuck it on a spear.
- There was no long lost love between Hulk and Abomination, but once Emil killed Betty, the two fights that occurred between them has Hulk literally caving his face in.
- Jekyll & Hyde: Hulk has this trope all over, but the relationship between Joe and Bruce has much more in common with the original tale.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Again, this varies from personality to personality, but at the least the Savage Hulk is usually gentle, helpful, and compassionate when not provoked, and won't bother you if you don't bother him. Joe Fixit is the exception, being a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Practically all of the people the Hulk beats up typically brought their fates on themselves.
- Knockout Gas: One of the most consistent ways of defeating the Hulk, at least on those occasions when he doesn't remember that he can hold his breath for hours. As the Hulk isn't all that bright, this is not infrequent. However, if he gets too angry his metabolism will dispel it completely.
- Last-Name Basis: With more intelligent versions of the Hulk, he tends to be on this with people he doesn't nickname. This is especially common with The Thing, who he calls Grimm, and General Ross, his own father-in-law. In World War Hulk, he was on Last-Name Basis with everybody except the Sentry. He also generally calls Wolverine "Logan".
- Let's You and Him Fight: Various heroes have been unlucky enough to cross the Hulk's path, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man and the heroes who make up part of his regular rogues' gallery (see below). It's not an experience any of the other guys would care to repeat.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Hulk's not just huge, he's fast. This is the first mistake most new enemies of his make when they meet him.
- Like Brother and Sister: With She-Hulk. They're cousins, but they treat each other as siblings. They're pretty protective of each other.
- Literal Split Personality: On occasion, Bruce and the Hulk have been physically separated.
- Logical Weakness: Many.
- Averted in terms of being a Mighty Glacier. Despite the extra size and mass of the Hulk's body, his muscle and physical tissues over-compensate for it, meaning that he gets faster and his overall body performance improves regardless of how much more muscle and power he gains.
- Hulking out does increase his weight, which is a weakness that can be exploited if one can compromise his physical power, which otherwise compensates for the increased mass.
- The Hulk's abilities are based on body performance, which means that anything which disrupts this (cutting off his oxygen, paralysis, major injury, etc.) can defeat him. However, there's a two-fold problem with this. First, the amount of dosage or time needed to exploit such a weakness is on a scale that isn't easy to implement. Second, Hulk's body heals and adapts to such problems, meaning that any injury sufficient to hurt him will disappear in seconds and any gas which worked only minutes ago likely won't work a second time.
- Since Hulk's powers are fueled by mood, adrenaline and radiation, removing any one of these fuels will rapidly deplete his power levels.
- Loners Are Freaks: Played with in the cases of both Bruce and the Hulk. Both personalities are loners who feel they're best left to their own devices, but for different reasons. While they do have friends in the Marvel-verse, many characters consider them both freaks of nature and ostracize them.
- Love Cannot Overcome: Being in love with the emotionally withdrawn Bruce Banner is tough enough already, but his onetime wife Betty Ross was often driven away by his Hulk alter ego.
- Misblamed: In-Universe, the Hulk is frequently blamed for the damage his fights cause, even though he's rarely the one who started it.
- Monster Modesty: Hulk is the main offender but many of his enemies (Abomination) or his allies (Skaar) utilize this trope.
- The Most Wanted: The Hulk usually becomes the most wanted, especially in his beginnings when he was an uncontrollable monster that only made havoc and before he converted into a superhero by joining The Avengers and other hero groups.
- Mr. Fanservice: Well, the Hulk is a large, super muscular male prone to running around shirtless.
- The Merged/Professor Hulk and Bruce Banner especially, since the Hulk's attractiveness always depends on the artist, but these two personas are always drawn as considerably good-looking and in good shape, with Banner being left shirtless due to the transformations. Banner has been acknowledged in-universe to be quite attractive by several woman, and the Hulk has has multiple admirers in alien worlds.
- Mugging the Monster: Sometimes the Asshole Victims don't recognize Bruce Banner until it's too late...
- And as many found out to their misery, Bruce Banner isn't helpless either.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: The Hulk is among the strongest individuals in the Marvel Universe, and is ripped as hell.
- The Nicknamer: Hulk's generally not good with names, depending on the incarnation. Sometimes it's out of lack of intelligence, others out of lack of respect, and others it's a sign of affection. Iron Man is usually Metal Man or Tin Man (or Tin Head), Thor is usually Blondie or Goldilocks, Sentry is Golden Man.
- Nighttime Transformation: In his first few appearances and in his Joe Fixit and Immortal personas. It got changed to anger-induced after his appearance in Tales to Astonish, but every so often, it comes back. However, Joe has managed to manifest by day in Banner's body, and the Immortal Hulk seems to be gaining more and more resistance to the light of day...
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Shrugs off ground zero nuclear explosions, planet-splitting impacts, or solar temperatures, and swiftly heals virtually any damage beyond that point. This even extends to extreme resistance to mind-control or molecular manipulation of his body, and some adaptive evolution to build greater immunity or adapt to hostile environments. Even on those occasions when he is vulnerable enough to have a body part removed, he can either regenerate it or reattach it.
- Hulk is resistant to magical attacks as well. The various Ghost Riders using Hellfire on him is nothing but an annoyance. To even make him register damage, the Ghost Rider spirit needed to take over.
- Power Born of Madness: What the Hulk runs on, and heavily implied to be the reason that Banner not only survived the detonation of the gamma bomb, but why the Hulk is so much more powerful than most, if not all of the gamma mutates that have come before or since. His already fractured psyche created a monster based on the trauma he received as a child, and the personae emerged from different stages of his life that Banner denied himself the person he wanted to be (Savage-the angry child; Joe Fixit-the late adolescent, etc.). Adding to this, his long-suppressed rage gives the Hulk the ability to get stronger when he gets madder. Also explains his more varied abilities, like being able to see ghosts, as Banner always feared his long-dead abusive father would come back to torment him again.
- Power Limiter: Almost always strongly on, except against certain high-level Cosmic Entity characters, as otherwise he could accidentally ignite reality-spanning destruction. He even once did just that, when in the Crossroads dimension. He might have done a lesser variant when in Umar's Dark Dimension as well.
- The Power of Love: It turns out that since Hulk's power is emotion-based and quasi-mystical in nature, the love he felt for Jarella makes her even more powerful after dying than his father's spirit turned from his rage. His mother also said that she by far preferred his more moral wife Jarella to his other wife, the Blood Knight Red She-Hulk.
- Really Gets Around: Although far less than his cousin, Hulk does get more affairs than expected for a giant, hulking ball of pain. From Betty, Meriam (a siren), Jarella, Bereet, Kate Waynesboro, Marlo, Caiera, and the college girlfriend that he saved from being unlawfully contained in an Amnesty International condemned US prison; to being desired by Thundra, the other college fling Monica Rappaccini and Umar (TWICE)... Not to mention Joe Fixit who probably had ten times as much sex as all the other incarnations put together. Lampshaded by Red She-Hulk, in those Exact Words. He even has a couple of kids as a result of this (at least Jen uses birth control, it seems).
- Single-Power Superheroes: The Hulk's potential levels of physics-defying sheer strength are unmatched among other superheroes; but it is also his only offensive power. Some readers think of the Hulk's victories over characters with a much wider powerset, such as Thor, the Sentry, and Gladiator, as Plot-Induced Stupidity.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: According to one source, Hulk's ideal relationship is a hillbilly Masochism Tango with a woman so strong that he won't hurt her from beating her up, and vice versa...
- Spell My Name with a "The": You might notice most times it's "The Hulk".
- Split Personality: One of the most famous in history.
- Dr. Bruce Banner is a different person when transformed into the Hulk. The comics take it to extremes, with different versions of the Hulk with different personalities: in addition to the traditional "Savage Hulk", there also developed a sneaky, amoral version called Joe Fixit (who was grey, like in the Hulk's first appearance). Eventually, the personalities were integrated into the "Merged Hulk", but this was retconned to be just another personality, the Professor (who had Banner's brainpower, Fixit's cunning, and most of Savage Hulk's strength).note Some sources have interpreted these personas as representing different stages of Banner's life; the Savage Hulk is the immature child who wanted to be strong enough to protect Bruce's mother from his abusive father, Fixit is the moody teenager Bruce never let himself be, and the Professor represents the adult amalgamation of all his other experiences.
- Two other personalities in Bruce's lineup are the Devil Hulk, a reptilian creature that lacks any sense of guilt, and the Green Scar, who combines Fixit's cunning with the Savage's strength, and over time develops to become possibly the strongest Hulk incarnation of all.
- Some have theorized that the Hulk is — and always has been — an embodiment of pent-up rage and aggression that Banner had felt all his life prior to the accident, mostly stemming from the abuse he and his mother suffered at the hands of his father. Who Bruce killed by accident, but later admitted it might have not been an accident. In short, Banner and the Hulk may be more alike than Banner is willing to admit.
- Dr. Bruce Banner is a different person when transformed into the Hulk. The comics take it to extremes, with different versions of the Hulk with different personalities: in addition to the traditional "Savage Hulk", there also developed a sneaky, amoral version called Joe Fixit (who was grey, like in the Hulk's first appearance). Eventually, the personalities were integrated into the "Merged Hulk", but this was retconned to be just another personality, the Professor (who had Banner's brainpower, Fixit's cunning, and most of Savage Hulk's strength).note Some sources have interpreted these personas as representing different stages of Banner's life; the Savage Hulk is the immature child who wanted to be strong enough to protect Bruce's mother from his abusive father, Fixit is the moody teenager Bruce never let himself be, and the Professor represents the adult amalgamation of all his other experiences.
- Strong as They Need to Be: Hulk basically has this ability as an actual power. In one moment he's punching out a cosmic entity, and the next he has trouble with Captain America or Wolverine.
- In at least one encounter with Cap, the star-spangled Avenger himself notes (via Inner Monologue) that, though Cap is thoroughly outclassed in sheer strength, the Hulk still has all the weak spots and vulnerable pressure points inherent in a human body, and Cap is just strong enough to be able to strike those with enough force to affect the Hulk. It should be noted though, Hulk laughed off his attempt. Other much more powerful opponents like Temugin, Valkyrie and Black Bolt have had much better luck doing so.
- Memorably displayed during Marvel's Secret Wars (1984) limited series, when the heroes are trapped under a mountain range with the Hulk (barely) keeping them from being crushed. As the Hulk starts to weaken, Reed Richards begins insulting him for being useless Dumb Muscle, which irritates the Hulk to become stronger. Of course, considering that he nowadays (somehow... look he can punch through reality, just go with it) holds together collapsing planets even when calm...
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: According to his profile on Marvel.com, the Hulk has a gland in his lungs that requires very little oxygen to function. This is not only why he can hold his breath for a long time in space (in fact, he can TALK in space when he needs to), but he can also extract enough oxygen from water to breathe under the water's surface!.
- Super Prototype:
- In a way, the Hulk is this for the other gamma mutates. Hulk is the first, even though he was created by accident. The others (Leader, Abomination, Madman, Ravage, Red Hulk) were created either by recreating that accident or copying his DNA. Some, such as Abomination and Ravage, have higher base-line strength than the Hulk, and most other gamma beings retain their intelligence(though not necessarily their full personality) while transformed, which could be considered improvements, but the Hulk's potential strength and secondary powers, as well as a somewhat intangible quality that makes the Hulk seemingly impossible to permanently cure, has shown that the Hulk, while flawed, is the most powerful gamma being created.
- Although Doc Green (yet another Hulk persona) once stated that She-Hulk is the Hulk's Superior Successor. The rest of the gamma crew are all a mess in one way or another, with their power and potential squandered by their psychological issues. But Jennifer has proven to be the most stable and heroic of them, which is why she is the only one he doesn't De-power.
- It's hinted in Al Ewing's run that the Hulk may hold a different position vis-a-vis gamma radiation than the mutates who came afterwards, being associated with the idea of the keeper of the gamma door.
- Super Strength: The only time his upper limit was measured, by the Beyonder, it literally rated as having "no finite limit" by 3-dimensional standards, after which the entity stated that he considered Hulk as a fellow infinite being.
- Ties in with Strong as They Need to Be. If Hulk needs to be X strong to lift Y object or punch Z bad guy, he magically is because he just happens to be that angry.
- Other occasions include destroying the Stranger's force-field, which was able to move the orbit of a planet, destroying the Dark-Crawler's pocket universe, repeatedly destroying a self-healing planet in the Dark Dimension, breaking free from a power-draining machine which the Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange couldn't escape from, or even supporting the weight of a star during the Infinity event.
- Super Supremacist: In his more aggressive or villainous forms, Hulk himself is this trope, as the "Banner" portion of his mind is typically portrayed as the side that drives him to save and protect humans. When absent of Banner, Hulk often hates humans (and many other species, such as Human Aliens) and finds them puny and not worth his time. In the Bad Future of Future Imperfect, this mentality eventually led to him becoming The Maestro, a superhuman despot.
- Super Weight: Level 5, but when ridiculously angry, in much the same manner that Dragon Ball Z was level 5 towards the end. In terms of infinite potential upper limits of raw power only he is a level 6.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: None of the personas like each other, but have to stay together to survive. Although Bruce and Professor Hulk seem to be at least the most amenable since the latter represents Bruce's ideal self.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Not an absolute version, and he makes exceptions for any thoroughly malevolent Eldritch Abomination, Omnicidal Maniac, and such, or as a very last option if too many other lives depend on it, but contrary to popular belief (due to that he loves to rumble and smashing inanimate objects), and similarly to Spider-Man, the most heroic Hulk incarnations (including Banner, Savage Hulk, the merged version, and likely the Green Scar), are as close as the Marvel Universe gets, or at the very least far more so than the majority of the heroes. He really, really hates to kill, and has repeatedly gone into a panic or been brought to tears at times when he hasn't been able to save bystanders. It takes ridiculous extremes to get him to that point. Lampshaded by his son Skaar who considers him extremely "weak" in this respect. Of course, Joe Fixit doesn't have that problem, although he seemed to avoid using lethal force during the Dale Keown run/towards the end. The Immortal/Devil Hulk likewise doesn't, being more than willing to kill if he feels it deserved.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: How long it takes Bruce to become the Hulk varies depending on the medium, writer and situation. Usually it takes minutes, but in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was able to become the Hulk in seconds to spit out a bullet he had fired into his own mouth. It's entirely possible that the transformation speed itself depends on his anger level.
- At its most egregious, once Banner was shot in the mouth by a high caliber sniper rifle, ''but he transforms fast enough to catch the bullet with his teeth after the bullet hit him.
- A True Hero: Amadeus Cho has always said that he considers Hulk to be the truest hero in the Marvel Universe, because he has the most destructive, limitless power of them all and yet he somehow manages to control himself and protect innocent people despite the fact that everyone, even his fellow heroes, misunderstand him at best or hate him at worst.
- Unstoppable Rage: The poster boy. "The longer Hulk fight, the madder Hulk get! The madder Hulk get, the stronger Hulk get!" Subverted in that, again partially due to the issues with his dad, both Hulk and Banner are constantly terrified of accidentally hurting any innocent or defenseless "little people", especially children. Being put in a situation wherein he has to, or does so unintentionally, as with Hiro-Kala, is one of the worst things that can happen to him. Inanimate objects and seriously evil people who can take the punishment, on the other hand, are perfectly fair go.
- Villain Protagonist: Truly Mindless Byrne Hulk, physically separated from Banner: An unconsciously mass-murdering force of destruction, with only the body remaining, and the Hulk himself literally not responsible for its actions. Joe Fixit probably also qualified for a while.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Although his friendships with other Marvel heroes come and go depending on who's blaming who for what at that point in time, this is as tolerant as he gets with anyone he views as a friend. Rick Jones and Betty Ross/Banner are about the only exceptions.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: At one point Banner had taken complete control of the Hulk's powers, and was able to shift between his basic human form and that of the Hulk at will. There is also his "Joe Fixit" personality, where he would be Bruce Banner by day, and "Mr. Fixit" Hulk by night.
- Weirdness Magnet: The Hulk is this, especially in the Silver and Bronze Ages. Even when he had successfully eluded the military and anyone else who might be chasing him, he would inevitably just blunder into a landing alien spaceship, or try to take a nap in a cave and discover it's a supervillain's hideout, or try to find privacy on a desert island only to find it's full of monsters, etc... when all the poor lug really wants is some peace and quiet.
- The "Why Wait?" Combatant: The Hulk has never been one to stand on ceremony. Once the Hulk determines that someone is an adversary, the closest he comes to hesitation is to deliver his Battle Cry "Hulk smash!" before pounding the bejesus out of his opponent. The Tao of Hulk is essentially "Hitting solves everything."
- Would Hit a Girl: Your gender doesn't matter to the Hulk. If you're presenting yourself as an opponent or if you piss him off, you'll get what's coming to you. Just ask Vapor, Moonstone, Mercy, or Animus! There are times when even She-Hulk has found out the hard way.
- Subverted against Selene. The Black Queen offered him to join the Hellfire Club in her service. And even though the Hulk could have just smacked her away (a supremely powerful immortal like Selene wouldn't have suffered much), after a brief battle, he just pulled a mix of Shameful Strip and Defeat by Modesty by removing her cape to turn the offer down.
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #1
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 results 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 Indestructible Hulk, Banner is committed to doing far more good for the world than the Hulk has ever done harm.
- Badass Bookworm: Although there are plenty of people smarter than him, most famously Reed Richards and Doctor Doom, Banner is one of the most brilliant people on the planet, and in his primary area of expertise, radiation, he is totally unsurpassed on Earth, with even Dr. Doom admitting that he doesn't know as much as Banner does on the topic. When he sets his mind to it very little can get in Banner's way.
- 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. Hes still intelligent, but hes 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.
- Death Seeker: On his worse days, Bruce has tried to take his own life, or get someone to take it for him.
- Deflector Shields: That can take Hulk-level blows no less.
- Depending on the Writer: While initially introduced as a fairly typical morally upstanding comic book protagonist, Banner's personality has become extremely prone to authorial intent and he can vary wildly from writer to writer. Some portray him as a likeable down on their luck guy, others as an arrogant but well meaning genius and still others as an insufferable man who is extremely unlikable if not out and out villainous.
- Disappeared Dad: Once realized that he became one; two or more of his Hulk personas have made children under contrived situations, and Bruce in one self-introspecting moment felt he should be responsible for them, awkwardly attempting to connect with those estranged children, It didnt quite work as none of them felt a connection to Bruce Banner and he didnt try to push much further, just accepting it as one of the many things that never work out in his life.
- The Dreaded: All the things his alter-egos have done, both good and bad, mean that when people realize the puny scientist they're dealing with is Bruce Banner, they can get very scared. Bruce is not above utilizing this on occasion.
- The Drifter: Banner constantly travels to avoid being tracked down and minimize collateral damage if he Hulks out.
- Elite School Means Elite Brain: Bruce Banner is the preeminent scientist in the Marvel Universe, and he has ties to a number of prestigious academies—unsurprising since he has seven Ph.D.s in at least one canon. He has been remarked as obtaining degrees from both Harvard and University of Pennsylvania, and met Tony Stark at Oxford.
- Gadgeteer Genius: As a mechanical inventor, Bruce is pretty brilliant. After World War Hulk, this got taken further.
- Good Is Not Nice: Good, yes. Nice? ... err... no. Even before the Trauma Conga Line of being stuck as the Hulk really kicked into high gear, Bruce wasn't a terribly friendly person. Still isn't. He can be cold, manipulative, and just plain jerky, even to his friends. Plus, there's that temper of his.
- 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 Fantastic Four - 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 Doctor Doom and The Leader with panache.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Well, when you turn into an enormous green rage monster... though this has zig-zagged on occasion. Sometimes the Hulk is loved by people, even once getting a presidential pardon and a nice statue. Then something happens, and Bruce has to go on the run again... the events of Secret Empire don't help, since the mindless Hulk appearing to work for HYDRA leaves Bruce at odds with his friends.
- 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 supervillain communities to save Betty and the world from The Leader.
- The Idealist: During Indestructible Hulk, 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, S.H.I.E.L.D., 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.
- Insufferable Genius: Not the nicest scientist, even before he started living life on the run.
- 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 you 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 a supposed accident and self-defense while visiting the grave of his beloved murdered mother, he killed his father. A fate Brian Banner entirely deserved.
- Power Source: Immortal Hulk reveals that the gamma power that Bruce absorbed and holds stays mainly with his original/host personality. Bruce is effectively the gas tank for the gamma power all of the Hulks use for strength. When Crusher Creel stole the Gamma power from Devil Hulk, he took the Bruce Banner persona with it. When The Leader steals Bruce from his own mind, along with Devil Hulk and leaves Savage Hulk and Joe Fixit behind, the Hulk is horribly emaciated and skinny without Bruce. While the Hulks will still have a degree of power without Bruce, they are much weaker without him.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He's not psychopathic, but he does have severe emotional issues rooted in childhood. Bluntly speaking, the ultimate nature of Bruce Banner is he's an extensively emotionally damaged, mentally volatile, and developmentally stunted individual whose Fatal Flaw is his inability to fully accept the Hulks as born from him, especially when one notes that while he is a good person, he's also kind of a jerk. The abuse he suffered from Brian Banner led to the development of his Dissociative identity disorder, with the various alters becoming the basis for his various Hulk transformations. Most notably is the Child/Savage Hulk. Despite his large appearance and incredible power, he is born from the repressed anger at his father along with that fear, representing the scared, angry, and hurt child Bruce still is on the inside. In fact, it's heavily implied it was this bottled-up rage that Bruce utilized to kill his father by kicking him at his mother's tombstone. Yet he continues to refer to the Savage Hulk as "the big guy" as a way to differentiate the Savage Hulk as an entirely different entity. This becomes more widespread with some of the other major Hulks seen, but at the end of the day, all of the major Hulks are Bruce in some form or fashion. His reluctance along with a lot of external factors means that he is not getting the psychological help he would need to overcome all of this.
- Immortal Hulk reinforces this with the introduction of the titular Immortal Hulk, later revealed to be none other than Devil Hulk. Unlike most of the alters, which embody aspects of Bruce himself in differing developmental stages, Devil Hulk is an alter that was born from Bruce's desire for a powerful and protective father figure and thus, the most independent of Bruce along with being the first alter to manifest. As such, he appears whenever Bruce or by extension the Savage Hulk is in trouble, ready to protect his "kid", reassuring him he will be all right and usually crushing whoever thought to hurt him. In fact, Bruce or Savage Hulk tends to call out for him when in danger, which while justified given the threats are that dangerous, still hint at the frightened child at the core of Bruce Banner.
- Furthermore, we see how this affects Bruce's relationships, including in Immortal Hulk. His relationship with Betty Ross has turned quite sour once more, but this time, it's caused by Bruce's inability to face her in her Red Harpy form (which seems to embody all of her monstrous aspects and trauma). As she tells him, his inability to face her worst side shows his unwillingness to know her entirely (though Bruce is not wrong that she's actively showing her worst side out of fear and it shows how similar they are.) This leads to her leaving him again. Additionally, Bruce's attempts at bonding with the children he sired as a Hulk (mainly when he was the "Green Scar") tend to fail because of the lack of a connection; given how the children identify the Hulk as their father and Bruce continues to differentiate himself from the Hulk, he ends up unable to really bond with his kids.
- Resist the Beast: Banner, especially in cases where Hulk is portrayed the most destructively and as a huge detriment on his life, does so regularly.
- 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 de-powered 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 theorizing being involved.
- Split Personality: Bruce acts as the "original/host" personality for the various Hulks.
- Status Quo Is God: Several writers who were in charge of writing years-long sagas tried to make Banner start to accept his Hulk personas, or outright having embraced them already, as some form of closure to his character at the end of their run - Greg Pak, after World War Hulk, being one of them - that of course never sticks, someone else will wipe the state clean for whatever is next for Banner and all his Hulks to be at odds against each other.
- 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 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.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: He killed Brian Banner, but was so horrified by this he blocked the memories out, thinking instead that Brian attacked him then ran for it, only to be murdered by random muggers. The memories return when the Mysterious Gravedigger (who may or may not be the One Below All) showed the Hulk the truth.
- Troll: On occasion, such as when dealing with Maria Hill. The benefits of knowing people can't do anything to you out of fear of the "other guy".
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Part of the reason Brian Banner justified his behavior 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 de-powered 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.
- World's Smartest Man: He's certainly in the running, but while he may not be the smartest in general terms, he is widely regarded as the greatest expert on radiation on Earth, even by the other people that make up the rest of the world's smartest list.
Savage Hulk/Child Hulk
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #2
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. However, Hulk doesn't like it, thinking people are misnaming him, and tends to correct them the only way he knows - angrily.
- 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, "the 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.
- Art Evolution: Hulk's bulked out over the years. In the 60s through to the 80s, he was just slightly bigger than normal for a human. By the 90s, he really does look like... well, a Hulk.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: It was once speculated by Amadeus Cho that the reason Hulk's tantrums have so few casualties is because of the Hulk subconsciously analyzing everything around himself to prevent this. Immortal Hulk has Gamma Flight pointing 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.)
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Savage Hulk has the mentality and attitude of a child, as he represents Banner's abused child self. This coupled with the fact he has experienced constant abuse and people trying to hurt him means that the few times people treat him well and are friendly towards him, he never forgets it, and so long as they stay on his good side, he likes them and considers them friends, as pointed out by Joe Fixit to Jackie McGee.Joe Fixit: It's like with ma - you were kind to salad brain exactly once, and he'll never forget it.
- Berserk Button: Given that this Hulk only comes out when Banner is pissed and his almost default state is to be incredibly pissed off, it would be hard to notice when his buttons are pressed or that he even has buttons, but there are a few special things that will multiply his rage by a factor of eleven.
- Don't hurt the people he considers friends or family. He's the manifestation of the lonely child Bruce was, who yearned for love and companionship. Taking that away or hurting those that provide it will make him go from zero to break a mountain in half within a split second.
- Don't hurt children around him. Like ever. As he's the manifestation of the hurt and abused child Banner was, he has a strong affinity with children and is very empathetic to any children he finds who are hurt or lost. If he catches you hurting a child he will actively hunt you down and teach you the meaning of HULK SMASH!
- Sometimes they can be truly irrational. One fight in Defenders has Hulk going into a tantrum at the sight of Ms. Marvel (that is, Carol Danvers). Who he'd never met before, simply because she looked like Captain Marvel, and Hulk had fought him a while back.
- 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: Even though he lacks Banner's intelligence, the Hulk can show a lot of cunning when he needs to. And for a supposedly mindless berserker, the Hulk can still come up with some fairly creative tactics when he's in a tight spot. 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.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's been known to cuddle with cute animals and is good with children.
- 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. It also means he can be easily manipulated, provided he's in a calm enough mood to be talked to. Like when he sides with the Leader against the Devil Hulk, simply because the Leader's taken Brian's form. This Hulk's too innocent to realize he's being duped, and tearfully exclaims he doesn't want Brian dead. Which the Leader then uses to tear the Devil to shreds.
- Death Is Cheap: Once suffered a radioactive meltdown which sent him insane, and ended with him being covered in liquid metal in an attempt to contain it. It killed him... but he got better.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": He hates being addressed as Banner. He's also not too fond of "Big Guy", either. He's Hulk.
- 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: No, really. We've seen him get along with children and small animals and such. You won't like him when he's angry, but bad guys (and General Ross) just keep insisting on making him angry. Convince him you're not like them, or failing that, listen when he says "leave Hulk alone," and nothing has to get smashed.
- 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!"
- Played with. In his return in Immortal Hulk, Savage Hulk criticizes Devil Hulk's planned and measured fight against Xemnu and Dario. Savage Hulk and his crew simply marching into their base of operations and smashing everything in sight is a much more effective solution, as it prevents counter-planning.
- Gentle Giant: He's EXTREMELY dangerous when angered, but if left alone, he's the sweetest-natured guy you could meet.
- Good Is Not Nice: He causes a lot of collateral damage and can be an out and out Jerkass at times, but he'll go out of his way to save innocent lives and make sure no one dies during his rampages, and he's got one of the higher "save the world" count among the Marvel heroes.
- 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.
- Healing Factor: Hurting him is hard to begin with, but if he is damaged, it only lasts for a few minutes at most.
- 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.
- Immune to Bullets: Bullets just bounce off that green skin. This is probably better than the alternative, given pain would just make Hulk angrier. And yet it never seems to stop people trying anyway.
- In a Single Bound: Hulk can often jump miles at a time. It's usually how he gets about.
- Incest-ant Admirer: In a few instances he has been portrayed as a seeing She-Hulk as a potential mate, implemented in a way where his childish mind cannot comprehend the ramifications of incest, only seeing She-Hulk as "someone like him" thus they would fit together, but She-Hulk being mentally an adult has always patiently refused Savage Hulk's advances, claiming she is not interested and that being together wouldn't be right.
- 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. Of course, this is only when he's attacked or in a hectic situation, and given that he only comes out due to Bruce feeling rage, it's almost a given that it's during an attack or hectic situation. However...
- Hates Being Alone: In reality, this Hulk is a representation of the wounded and abused child Bruce was and during those times, all Bruce really wanted was love and affection. When people are being nice to him and helping him is actually when he's the happiest. What he really wants is friends and people who like / love him and that he can like / love back.
- Lightning Bruiser: Hulk is much faster than his size would suggest.
- Manchild: He's the embodiment of Bruce's damaged and angry inner child, manifesting as a massively powerful green individual.
- 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.
- Morality Pet: Normally, Betty Ross (and anyone who reminds him of her) and Rick Jones are the few capable of keeping this Hulk from lashing out at the world.
- 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.
- A Shared Suffering: A handful of instances of someone enraging or attacking the Hulk have been diffused when Hulk realized that like him, they are simply lashing out in response to suffering. One such instance had Spider-Man of all people attacking him in a blind rage only for Hulk to be the voice of reason when he overheard Peter grieving about a recent loss as he blindly attacks.
- Split Personality: Is a "child" alter for Bruce, with elements of "protector" and "vengeful" alters.
- Status Quo Is God: On occasion, he's gotten intelligence boosts, either because Bruce is in the driver's seat, or from being in another dimension, or just because. Sooner or later, he reverts back to "SMASH!"
- Strong as They Need to Be: With no known limits and it is known that Banner mentally resists him, thus restraining his powers, this takes a 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.
- Super Strength: Hulk is the epitome of physical power in the Marvel universe.Hulk: Hulk strongest there is!!
- Trademark Favorite Food: He particularly likes canned beans, and slurps them down with a child-like happy expression.
- Tragic Monster: Holy crap, are things ever tragic for this guy. Every time he finds friends, they either leave him or end up dead. He's constantly hounded by the authorities who attack wherever he appears. He never gets a moment of peace and what little happiness he finds ends up all too fleeting.Savage Hulk: (crying) Hulk hurts. All the time hurts. All the time always. Why? Why Hulk have to hurt so much?
- Ultimate Lifeform: Described as the strongest creature in the world.
- Undying Loyalty: Once someone's gained the Hulk's friendship, and provided he doesn't think they've turned against him, he's perpetually loyal to them.
- Unskilled, but Strong: A good description of this Hulk's abilities as a physical fighter; he isn't intellectually capable of a more sophisticated combat strategy than hitting his opponent a lot, but given his raw power most of the time nobody is strong enough to hold their own against this Hulk.
- Unstoppable Rage: The angrier he gets the stronger he becomes. When his anger peaks, even worlds shatter under his blows.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Usually, the transition from Banner to Hulk shreds everything but the pants.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Limited in diction and reasoning he may be, but even this Hulk can call people out on their behavior. That includes Banner himself.
- World's Strongest Man: "Hulk strongest there is," isn't a boast. It's a statement of fact.
Grey Hulk/Joe Fixit
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #324
- 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.
- Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: During his appearance in Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk, and then later on in Immortal Hulk proper, he shows up in Bruce's mindscape, but not in his "Joe Fixit" form, rather in an altered version of Bruce's. Neither he nor Bruce knows why, but Joe's pretty annoyed all the same.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: He was already Weak, but Skilled compared to the green Hulks, but in Immortal Hulk, it's pointed out that what he lacks in book smarts compared to Banner, he makes up for in problem-solving skills. One of the first things he does upon his return, being stuck in Banner's frail body in a base full of UV lights while stalked by a killer cyborg, is to hack into a workstation and cause the emitters to start pumping out gamma.
- 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 get 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 curb stomp the Blob.
- Big Brother Instinct: Joe's relationship with Savage Hulk in Immortal Hulk, in contrast to Devil Hulk's more paternal feelings towards Savage Hulk and Bruce.
- Break Them by Talking: Insults and psychological attacks are as much weapons of Joe's arsenal as his fists.
- Brought Down to Normal: When he returns in Immortal Hulk, he no longer has his own form, taking over Banner's body instead when he comes out. That said, Joe's strength has never been his biggest asset...
- The Bus Came Back: Having only made brief appearances in the present-day Hulk series since the end of Paul Jenkins's run, such as Jeph Loeb's Hulk and Mark Waid's Indestructible Hulk, he returned in Immortal Hulk #16.
- 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.
- The Cynic: During a couch session with Doc Samson in Incoming!, Joe expresses disbelief that the Devil Hulk's plan to save/end the human world would succeed, as the puny humans would have to want to save themselves — and Joe doesn't think they ever will.
- Deadpan Snarker: When written by Peter David, he's a very dark version.
- Discard and Draw: In Immortal Hulk, Joe spends the series without any Hulk powers, as his physical form is somehow depleted of Gamma. When X-Ray of the U-Foes bombards Joe's body with (normally Hulk-weakening) Cosmic Rays to delay his resurrection, Joe absorbs them and gains a Red Hulk-like form.
- Everyone Has Standards: Joe is very cynical and for the most part only takes care of or looks out for himself. He is also very loose with his ethics and is more than capable of finishing off an enemy. However, there are things that even he find terrible, disgusting, or wrong and lines he won't cross.
- In Immortal Hulk, when Ben Grimm is beating up a very weakened Savage Hulk, to the point where Hulk starts crying and then "runs away" by changing back into human form (which Joe had been in charge of at the time), Joe reacts with outrage and screams at Grimm for essentially beating up on a "child".Joe: HE'S A KID!! He's a kid, you piece a'crap!! Yer beatin' up on a kid!!
- In Immortal Hulk, when Ben Grimm is beating up a very weakened Savage Hulk, to the point where Hulk starts crying and then "runs away" by changing back into human form (which Joe had been in charge of at the time), Joe reacts with outrage and screams at Grimm for essentially beating up on a "child".
- Genius Bruiser: He doesn't have half the intellect of Banner or the near-unlimited power of the Savage Hulk, but has a good enough combo of both strength and intellect to make him a deadly combatant. He's stated to be the most cunning of all of Bruce's personalities, letting him use his strength to solve problems creatively.
- Gonk: Not that any of the Hulks are what you'd call lookers, but Joe's got grey skin and a caveman-like physique. He ain't winning no beauty pageants. Not that he minds. He actually likes being grey.
- The Hedonist: Above all, he wants to indulge in the simple pleasures of life.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: In his more lighthearted incarnations, he remains hedonistic and brutal but is tempered with comedic traits and some limits to keep from going too dark.
- Hidden Depths: As much as a Jerkass as he is, Joe is automatically on-board with the concept of transgender rights, explaining that he empathizes with people wanting to be themselves.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He takes advantage of General Fortean being distracted and horrified to snap the guy's neck.
- Lunacy: Joe is a creature of the night, much like the early Hulk, only coming out when the sun goes down. On occasion, his strength has been tied to the phases of the Moon.
- The Mafia: He worked for a mafioso casino owner at one point, serving as his bouncer and all-around enforcer.
- Meet Your Early-Installment Weirdness: He's treated as the original Hulk from The Incredible Hulk #1, with the grey skin, more caveman-like physique, better diction skills, and different behavior 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. He also proves to be one of the more mentally stable and personable Hulk personalities, provided you don't get on his bad side.
- Noble Demon: Has an unusual sense of honor, and a shred of a conscience that he tries to hide.
- Odd Friendship: When Betty is utterly pissed at Bruce during Immortal Hulk, the hatred doesn't extend to Joe, and the two are pretty civil to one another.
- Other Me Annoys Me: By and large he doesn't get on with Banner and the other Hulks.
- Parental Substitute: As far as Joe's concerned, he considers his old boss from his days in Vegas Michael Berengetti to be his father. Michael was even the one that gave him the name Joe Fixit.
- Pet the Dog: He comforted a crying child during Peter David's run.
- Porn Stache: Grows one when he's stuck in his "Sunshine Joe" state, which has the added benefit of making Bruce's face harder for the public to recognize. A trip into Bruce's mind has him still in that state, 'stache included. Alarmingly, it makes Bruce look more like their hated dad.
- 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.
- Smarter Than You Look: His enemies usually find out the hard way that this giant grey muscle monster with a funny accent is far smarter than his appearance implies.
- Split Personality: A "perpetrator" alter who takes out hostility on the world at large. May also have elements of "adolescent" alter in that it's implied Joe's hedonistic qualities and criminal activity resembles adolescent rebellion.
- 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. His couch session with Doc Samson in Incoming! suggests that it springs from when Bruce would watch gangster movies as a child and that he was born out of a child's idea of a "real man".
- The Unfettered: He's one of the more amoral of Banner's alternate personas, and is not afraid to get his hands dirty and do quite heinous things if it means getting what he wants. That said, he still has a sense of honor and a shred of conscience, even if it is often despite himself.
- Joe himself thinks that his strength in the team is that he simply does not care if human beings like him or not (as he accepts their approval is strictly temporary), while Banner and the other Hulks crave acceptance on at least some level. This allows Joe to commit crimes to help Banner survive which the latter would object to.
- 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.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: A Downplayed Trope towards Bruce but it counts. While they mostly don't agree with each other and often argue, they will easily work together in an Enemy Mine situation. Further, the more Bruce accepts Joe and works with him, the more Joe accepts and works with Bruce. Confirmed in Immortal Hulk when the Leader tries to abduct Bruce from Bruce's mindscape and Joe shouts at the Leader, "Hey! Leave him [Bruce] alone!".
- Viva Las Vegas!: He has a special affinity for the good ol' City of Sin.
- Weak, but Skilled: Compared with the green Hulk, he has less strength, but more intelligence to give his fighting style more creativity or weapons.
- Even when stuck in Banner's body, Joe still has all his combat experience, criminal skills, and cunning. Combined with his enemies expecting the physically incapable Banner to be in control, Joe does surprisingly well in fights when depowered.
- Would Hurt a Child: Was prepared to kill a kid until he was reminded of his own abusive childhood and befriended him instead.
- You Got Spunk!: Joe respects people with guts and determination even if they are enemies. In Immortal Hulk, one of the reasons he likes Jackie McGee is because she's willing to risk life and limb for her beliefs and to get a story. He also likes how she doesnt care what other people think about her.Joe: I read the comments under your article and holy crap do the puny humans hate you.
Jackie: Thanks Joe. Im so glad that my getting death threats amuses you. You do know Im human too right?
Joe: Doesnt matter. You ain't puny.
Merged Hulk/The Professor
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #377
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 a while.
- Anti-Hero: Knight in Sour Armor or Pragmatic Hero. Possibly the most well-adjusted incarnation, and genuinely proactively well-intended, actively dedicating himself to helping the world, without going to murderous extremes, and playing reasonably well with others. However, he still has as much a hot temper as any other Hulk, is prone to cynicism and also tends to do his own thing just like them.
- 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 organizations, researched 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 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: In Immortal Hulk, Bruce checks on all his Hulk personas, and he notes that the Professor is either dormant or missing. Amadeus finds it concerning that one of the more heroic personas is AWOL. The series ends without answering just where he might've gotten to...
- 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 turns into the 'Savage Banner'. Unfortunately, this put a cap on how much stronger he could get, 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: Doc Samson uses this with Bruce to create The Merged Hulk. Ultimately averted, as Samson insists on following up with regular therapy sessions, and Hulk keeps skipping those. It might have stuck if he had followed the doctor's advice. Ultimately subverted. It's just a new, more stable personality. Then Double Subverted via re-retcon]].
- Weak, but Skilled: Granted, this is "weak" only compared to most of the other Hulks, but while the Professor has the key advantages of possessing the greatest base strength level of the core Hulks, as well as all of Bruce Banner's intellect, the psychic failsafe that turns him back into "Savage Banner" puts a cap on just how powerful he can be in a fight, preventing him from becoming truly enraged in case he weakens himself.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The "merged Hulk" was an extremely light version, with the best of dedicated altruistic aims, kept relatively very clean and non-extreme in his methods, and having much greater positive than negative effects, to the degree that it is highly arguable whether he was in the right or not. A major story arc during the era involved him joining (and eventually leading) the Pantheon, an organization of good-will that spent their time researching cancer cures and invading countries to depose cruel dictators. During this period, the Hulk got into conflict with other heroes not just because of his anger issues, but also because of conflicting moral outlooks.
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2, #92
- "Never stop making them pay."
After being 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, the newfound 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.
- Ambiguously Evil: In Immortal Hulk. While he does help defeat Xemnu and free the Savage Hulk, he's also chained up the Devil Hulk once more and brutally beats him; he's also clearly manipulating the "big guy", preventing him from freeing the trapped Joe Fixit, and it's implied that Savage is smelling his lies without realizing it. Then there's the fact he refers to the Hulks and Banner as "you", then corrects himself. Subverted when it is eventually revealed that the Leader is possessing the Green Scar.
- Angst Nuke: When he learns that Miek betrayed him and caused the destruction of Sakaar, he goes nuclear, nearly cracking the planet in half.
- Anti-Hero: Roughly a Pragmatic Hero on Sakaar/basically a more responsible version of the Savage Hulk. Views are split about whether he was provoked into Unscrupulous Hero or Nominal Hero during World War Hulk (compare a sovereign nation being annihilated, and then strictly retaliating by going after those responsible, without any Hiroshima or civilian casualties involved), although despite his Roaring Rampage of Revenge casuing very inconsiderate property damage, he is still less bloodthirsty than the majority of pragmatic heroes.
- An Axe to Grind: Favored battle axes during his tenure as a gladiator on Sakaar.
- Bald of Evil: When merged with Nul, Breaker of Worlds.
- Barbarian Hero: When he gets dropped off on Sakaar, he becomes one.
- Blood Knight: Far more than any other version of the Hulk.
- Body Horror: When the Green Scar takes control from Savage Hulk during a fight against Xemnu, bone spikes spurt from his arm and a vein bulges from his forehead in emulation of his outfit.
- Boisterous Bruiser: While the Savage Hulk usually only fights while provoked, the Green Scar savors its bouts on Sakaar.
- 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?
- His absence is explicitly noted in Immortal Hulk, considering how many selves appear in the series. Then, when Savage Hulk is raging in Banner's mind against Xemnu's mind control, Green Scar strolls from the shadows to help.
- 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 Professor X 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.
- Grand Theft Me: In an unusual situation given Bruce's unique mind, the Leader in Immortal Hulk succeeds in only taking over the Green Scar's personality. The other personalities cannot be possessed, and must instead be manipulated and then trapped by the Leader in Bruce's psyche.
- 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.
- No-Sell: Trauma of the Initiative tried using his powers, which show people their worst fears, on this Hulk. They only worked for a moment - this Hulk is just too angry to feel fear.
- Offing the Offspring: He is initially extremely angry with his son Skaar, for causing the death of his mother Caiera. In contrast, Skaar's initial motivation was to become a Patricide. They both mellowed out eventually.
- 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 it up a notch 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.
- 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.
- Spikes of Villainy: Grows these when he appears in Immortal Hulk, though he's not really a villain.
- 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"... that is, until Immortal Hulk came along. Which of these is stronger remains up in the air; the only indicator is that in their shared mindscape, Green Scar was able to imprison the Devil Hulk in chains, although that was after Xemnu weakened Devil Hulk.
Devil Hulk/Immortal Hulk
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2, #12 (as Devil Hulk)
- "I know you locked me away for years. I know I scare you. What I do. What I am. But before any of the others... I was there. Protecting you. I'll always protect you. ... 'Cause I love you, you stupid kid. Somebody had to."
The first-ever Hulk to manifest. Kept trapped within Bruce's mind and perceived as a cruel, reptilian monster due to Bruce's inability to imagine love without pain. Following Bruce's de-powering and death during Civil War II, he came back to life — now aware of his own inability to die permanently — and released the Devil Hulk, putting him in charge of their system of personalities. A cold-blooded, brutal avenger attuned to magical thinking and the world of gods and demons, the Devil Hulk is fiercely protective of Banner and willing to burn down the human world for his sake.
- Anti-Hero: Terror Hero and Well-Intentioned Extremist. He isn't called "Devil Hulk" for anything, as he 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 to the Center of the Mind resulted in him being reshaped into the reptilian Devil Hulk form. In his appearance in Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk, a look inside Bruce's mindscape shows him still in the reptilian form, rather than his Hulk-like appearance out in the real world.
- Appropriated Appellation: He doesn't call himself the Immortal Hulk in-universe, taking his name instead from Thor saying the mortal world created something close to a god or devil when they created the Hulk - the Devil Hulk.
- Aw, 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.
- Berserk Button: Hard to notice because he's almost always outwardly calm but there are a few things that will really tick him off. Unlike other hulks, this one is far more philosophical and focuses his intelligence on psychology and symbolism. He is very observant and more invested in his goals and actions. His reason for being created was also to be a father figure and protector to Bruce so when this Hulk cares about something, he cares a lot and takes things personal.
- Number one on his list with a bullet. Don't hurt Bruce. He was made to be a protector and caretaker for Bruce and if you hurt Bruce he will find you and "take it personal".
- He was also shaped by Bruce's mind when Bruce was a child, and so identifies with anyone who is like Bruce was (a child and in trouble or being abused) as someone he feels the need to look out for. He feels protective of the Savage Hulk because that Hulk is a representation of the wounded child Bruce was, he absolutely destroyed the body of a convenience store robber who killed a 12-year-old girl, and he subjected a scientist to A Fate Worse Than Death when he accidentally killed his son in a science experiment. It didn't matter that said son was old enough to be in college: a father destroying his son hit too close to home for the Immortal Hulk.
- Fathers abusing their family. Devil Hulk was made in response to Brian Banner abusing Bruce, and Bruce created him in his mind for comfort and protection. The Immortal Hulk is also meant to be a father figure who protects his family (he and Bruce see each other as a family) and seeing a father who has abused his family is actually enough to get him in HULK SMASH! mode. Though he says HULK KILL! instead.
- 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 can 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 his 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.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The Devil Hulk, and he wants to smash the entire world. Eventually, though, it's subverted, when Immortal Hulk points out the various definitions of Devil don't necessarily include "pure evil".
- Catchphrase: Any mention of hurting Bruce is met with "that's something I take personal."
- Characterization Marches On: Immortal Hulk issue 15 confirms that Immortal Hulk is the Devil Hulk. The personality change 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.
- Complete Immortality: A flash-forward shows this version of the Hulk outliving the Earth, and indeed the entire universe.
- 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 was broken in his body and he was 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.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: His appearance in No Surrender has him out and about in daylight with no ill-effect, when Immortal Hulk makes it a general rule that he only comes out at night. Possibly justified since a recurring theme of Immortal is that Hulks don't tend to follow rules. Later on, it's shown that Devil can be out in the sunlight, it just makes him weaker, and easier for Bruce to take back control.
- 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 (or red when he's inside Bruce's mind).
- Guardian Entity: While the other Hulks in Banner's mind could, arguably, be stated to be protectors or guardians for Bruce, (Truth in Television as alters made by people with D.I.D are the result of trauma and for the purpose of helping the person cope), they often and emphatically state that at the least, they don't like Bruce and at worst, flat out hate him (though we do see them ultimately go to help Bruce and given how they are based on him at different stages, it could represent Bruce's self-loathing.) Devil Hulk stands out though. Devil Hulk was made by Bruce to be a father figure and protector when Bruce was a toddler after being abused by his actual father, Brian Banner. Devil Hulk states that he actively tries to protect Bruce and that he loves him. Devil Hulk even states that one of his main purposes for existing is to protect Bruce.
- Devil Hulk: Before any of the others, I was there...protecting you. I'll always be there to protect you.
- 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 realizes 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.
- 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 layout 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 sometime 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. A notable exception is Peter Parker, after Immortal Hulk: Great Power, being genuinely touched by how Peter chose to stay with Banner when he transformed, making sure that he wouldn't have to be alone since that's the one thing that he can't do for Bruce. Before he leaves, he tells Peter that he's a good man. Additionally, while he has a generally dim view of humanity, he does get filled with righteous indignation when seeing the horrible things that people do that have given 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.)
- Killed Off for Real: When the Leader invades Bruce's mindscape in Immortal Hulk #39, he ends up ripping off the Devil Hulk's head and pulling out his spine, seemingly killing him permanently. By the end of the series, the Devil Hulk is still dead, with Joe Fixit taking up his role as the protector of Banner and the Savage Hulk.
- Kill the God: During Avengers: No Road Home, he manages to kill Hypnos, God of Sleep, after the guy had tried running away from him.
- Kryptonite Factor: Solar radiation tremendously weakens this incarnation and even turns him back to Banner. Iron Man and Shadow Base exploit this.
- Living Lie-Detector: He claims he can smell liars, and Thor backs it up after their fight.
- Lizard Folk: Immortal Hulk #38 reveals why the Devil Hulk has a reptilian appearance in Bruce's mindscape. Bruce was looking at a drawing of the Serpent tempting Eve in Paradise Lost during a bout of parental abuse from Brian Banner.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Before he was released, the Devil Hulk 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.
- Magic Enhancement: According to Thor, this Hulk lives in the realm of myth and symbols that is the realm of the gods. All of the Hulks have had a mystical element - and at times so does gamma energy, as stated by Brian Banner, "but when looked at from another angle, above or below, it[gamma radiation] is a magic spell" - but it's even more pronounced with Immortal Hulk, as he has abilities and performed feats that shouldnt be scientifically possible. As he's stated, though, "I don't do rules".
- He can regenerate like the other Hulks but his regeneration is not only ridiculously fast, but he can move around and do things EVEN WHEN HE'S CUT INTO PIECES. At Gamma Base, his parts were put in jars, including his head, and everything still moved and worked. Even his heart was still beating while removed from his chest (it only stopped when it got far enough from his main body). Then when his parts were released, everything recombined in a tornado of flesh, blood, and bone while trapping the scientist experimenting on him inside Hulk's body. It's implied that Immortal Hulk ABSORBED THE GUY because when he was questioned about it he said, "I ate a guy. He was annoying".
- He can "smell" lies and see into people's souls with only a little information about them. Thor backs this up by saying he can "smell the lies in the souls of men. Even the lies they tell themselves." He also has a sixth sense that allows him to find trouble. When he's inside Banner, it manifests as hunches and an itch in the back of Banner's mind.
- He can absorb gamma energy from others, but unlike Red Hulk, this was never an ability Banner had before and Red Hulk's ability to absorb energy was one he was engineered with. It's implied that Immortal Hulk can do this because he's a gatekeeper to the green door where the mystical form of gamma energy comes from.
- He can severely injure and kill GODS with only physical force. He beat Thor with one punch and gave him a cracked skull, but the Green Scar, who is the strongest Hulk when it comes to raw power, was never able to beat someone that strong so quickly. He also killed Hypnos by snapping his neck, but other gods have survived having their necks snapped if it was done by a super-strong mortal with no magical power. It seems that the Immortal Hulk's attacks count as a form of mystical attack, and can reach mystical entities in a manner that causes them true injury.
- When the Leader gained the ability to control the green doors in gamma mutates and possess people, he possessed the Green Scar persona in Bruce as the Green Scar was the strongest of the normal hulks, and he wanted to be at his best when controlling Bruce's body. Notably, he DID NOT try to possess the Devil Hulk and in fact waited for Bruce's mind to be disrupted and defenses weakened to make his move, and create a powerful prison to hold the Devil Hulk. Even with his newfound power courtesy of his knowledge of the Below Place and becoming an agent of the One Below All, he was wary of and even afraid of Devil Hulk because Devil Hulk is nothing like the other Hulks. The Leader wasn't even sure he could face Devil Hulk in Bruce's mindscape, where the Leader should have the biggest advantage.
- Immortal Hulk: Great Power reveals that he, unlike Bruce, remembers that Spider-Man is Peter Parker.
- Morality Pet: Devil Hulk is fiercely protective of both Bruce and Savage Hulk, as Bruce subconsciously created him to be a fatherly protector when Bruce was just a toddler. The Savage Hulk inherits that protectiveness due to his childlike innocence.
- He still retains concern and respect for old friends of Bruce's and the Hulk's such as Rick Jones and even Rocket Raccoon when they reunited after decades.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: His reptilian appearance in Bruce's mind has a mouth full of sharp teeth.
- The Nicknamer: He called Bruce "Big Guy" when he was first starting out. Which might explain the Savage Hulk's antipathy to being called that.
- 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. Immortal Hulk #38 reveals that Devil Hulk was created when Bruce was only 3 years old, appearing as a loving but violently protective antithesis to Brian Banner's abuse.
- Pet the Dog:
Hulk: I'll always protect you. Because I love you, you stupid kid. (Banner stares in shock) Somebody had to.
- 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 to not 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.
- 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.
- In Immortal Hulk: Great Power, he's positively friendly with Peter after the other man genuinely and pleasantly surprised him by choosing to stay with Bruce while he transformed and faded away, thanking him for performing the one act of kindness that Hulk can't manage and telling him that he's a good man.
- "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" Remark 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.
- In the Juggernaut mini-series, he tells off Marko for doing the same things the Savage Hulk has done but with a much brighter mind.
- 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 like anybody else.
- Retcon: It's eventually revealed that one: despite what Peter David's second run said, the Devil Hulk is real; two: The dinosaur-like appearance he has in Bruce's mind is only that: a case of Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder and he really looks like the green Hulk; and three: The Devil Hulk is in fact the first Hulk that we saw in Bruce's debut.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Green Scar eventually gets control of him and subdues him so he can't get free again in Immortal Hulk.
- 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.
- Split-Personality Takeover: He seized control of Bruce's mindscape after the events of Civil War II and Secret Empire, locking away the Mindless Hulk. It's made clear he might allow the others to take control, but only if he feels like it.
- Terms of Endangerment: In his first appearances, he refers to Bruce as "my darling boy", which given he's a giant lizard person saying he wants to smash the entire world, comes across as insanely creepy. Immortal Hulk reveals that he actually does care about Bruce, and is pretty pissed that his genuine concern was warped into something so creepy.
- Tranquil Fury: The fact that he hardly raises his voice (as indicated by the general lack of exclamation points) only serves to make the moments he emerges to wreak vengeance in Bruce's stead all the creepier. Also crosses over with Soft-Spoken Sadist considering how much he clearly enjoys inflicting pain on those he targets.
- 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 usually 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 Best Defense, although the Hulk's not exactly thrilled about it.) Later on in Immortal Hulk, it turns out he can stick around in daylight. But it turns out this makes it easier for Savage Hulk to reassert control.
- 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.
- Worthy Opponent: Seems to think Ben Grimm as this over in Fantastic Four (2018) after Ben was able to knock him off his feet and knock him out.
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #425
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.
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner
First Appearance: Immortal Hulk #32
The result of Xemnu manipulating the mind of Bruce Banner — and the memories of the public — to fit his own narrative, Robert Banner is the "strangest man of all time", a crazed, murderous terrorist who inspires cult-like behavior in his followers and wants to bring about the end of the world — literally.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Though oddly shifting from panel to panel, he can have some seriously under-shadowed eyes on him. Combine that with a manic stare and unsettling behavior...
- Fake Memories: The result of Xemnu altering Bruce's memories of his childhood; in particular, Robert remembers deliberately murdering his father against his mother's gravestone, unlike the Accidental Murder that actually happened.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: Amadeus Cho believes that while "the monster" didn't want to hurt anyone, leading to its low body count, Robert Banner was always there pushing it on... he thinks.
- Lean and Mean: Has Bruce's spindly physique, but he's much creepier and unsettling, implicitly threatening his former friends.
- Omnicidal Maniac: In contrast to Bruce and the Devil Hulk's desire to destroy the human world metaphorically, Robert admits that he can only remember wanting "the other thing".
- Sanity Slippage: Robert is given to mumbling and ranting, smashes mirrors to rid himself of the sight of the Hulk, and repeatedly insists to himself that "everything is fine".
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #1
- I don't go in for all this fancy talk, but I hate humans too.
The original version of the Hulk, born the night after Bruce Banner was hit by the Gamma Bomb, possessing a fierce hatred for Banner and humanity as a whole, but not without some noble elements.
With various retcons over the years, the waters are muddied whether this Hulk is the same being as the Savage Hulk, Joe Fixit, the Devil Hulk himself, or even possibly some other personality. For convenience, he gets his own folder.
- Accidental Hero: Had it not been for one of his tantrums, the Avengers would never have found Captain America frozen in that block of ice.
- Anti-Hero: Unscrupulous Hero on his better days, perhaps. A grumpy outsider looking for a fight and responding violently when attacked, but staying out of people's way beyond that.
- Appropriated Appellation: Some soldiers got a glimpse of him bursting out of the room Banner had been recovering in but didn't get a good image due to his grey skin and the fact it was dark (one of them even thought he might have been a gorilla). They just called what they saw "Hulk", and it stuck.
- Blood Knight: While he's not looking for a fight, he's also not looking to be left alone either. He quite likes a scrap.
- Commonality Connection: Struck up a friendship with Namor the Sub-Mariner on basis that they both hated humans. Given Namor was in a distinctly villainous sort of phase at the time, might count as Villainous Friendship, were it not for the fact they hated each other, too (both parties were totally prepared to betray the other).
- Depending on the Writer: What exactly happened to this Hulk? Is he Joe Fixit? Is he the Savage Hulk? The Devil Hulk? Or... is he none of the above? Your guess is as good as ours.
- Death Seeker: Seriously considered letting a missile do him in at one point of Tales to Astonish issue #59.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Guy does not have a good grasp of proportionate response. Rick Jones becomes Captain America's sidekick? DESTROY THE AVENGERS!
- Early-Installment Weirdness: He is weirdness, since it took a while for Stan Lee to figure out what was going on with the character. First off, his skin starts as grey, but when the first issue was printed, the printer had trouble keeping the color consistent. In the second issue, it turned to green and stuck that way right up until the 80s, when Joe Fixit made his debut/return (depending on how you look at it). Then, there's intelligence. Starting off, he was every bit as intelligent as Banner, just more malevolent. And how he transformed, initially being at sundown - no ifs, and, or buts. The minute it went down, out comes the Hulk. The minute the sun comes up, out comes Banner. Another early adventure has Bruce just change into Hulk apropos of nothing. There's also the distinction between him and Banner, which could vary wildly, including a brief period where Banner was in control of the Hulk form, but became far more belligerent and less intelligent (also, he started talking like the Thing).
- Flying Brick: He actually could fly and change direction mid-air in the third issue of the original series. Later issues changed to being able to leap intercontinental distances In a Single Bound.
- The Friend No One Likes: In his five minutes with the Avengers. His surly attitude meant Thor was itching for a fight with him, Iron Man thought it was a mistake having him there at all, and the Wasp was terrified of him. Ant-Man's the only one who was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Hulk could whip up some nifty tech when he felt the need, such as the device he used to fight the Metal Master.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: This Hulk is exclusively on his side, and whether that means he's heroic, anti-heroic, or just straight-up villainous depends on what day of the week it is.
- He Knows Too Much: Initially, he tried to kill Rick Jones for knowing the link between him and Banner. He cools off slightly after this, but their relationship still remains tense.
- Immune to Bullets: Starts off as not-quite immune. Bullets can pierce his skin, but he just doesn't feel (or doesn't care). By issue #2, he is properly immune.
- In a Single Bound: He can jump and land on another continent.
- I Work Alone: In issue #6, he seriously considers the Metal Master's offer of conquering the world together, but then decides he'd much rather conquer the world himself.
- Jerkass: Even when he's not trying to fight people, or turning on them for little to no reason, he's often hostile and rude to everyone around him. Rick Jones especially.
- Misanthrope Supreme: He really hates humans, right from the get-go. As in "tried to build a device that would've killed everyone everywhere". This died down to simply being a massive Grumpy Bear, but the dislike for puny humans remained.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Not quite at the stages the Savage Hulk would later reach, mind, but still... he shrugs off the Human Torch's flames like he doesn't even notice them, takes a several million-volt zap from some power cables, and keeps standing. The only reason the Avengers and Fantastic Four walk away from a fight with him alive is because of Ant-Man, Rick Jones, and Bruce being Crazy-Prepared. Early on, General Ross figures about the only thing that'd probably injure him is just nuking him... Tales to Astonish shows that even that might not work; Hulk is nearby when one goes off, and all it does is make him turn back into Banner.
- Off with His Head!: During a time-travel adventure, in Ultron Forever, he got decapitated by a future Captain America's shield. Mercifully, the nature of his powers (and by later inference, the One Below All) meant he got better (Avengers: No Surrender still counted it as the second of the many deaths of the Hulk).
- The Paranoiac: At times, which he might've gotten from Bruce, and which is not a good mix with his mind. This Hulk is utterly convinced everyone hates and fears him, and cannot be persuaded otherwise, which turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy - he lashes out at people to preemptively get them for hating and fearing him, giving them pretty legit reasons to be afraid of him. After his falling out with the Avengers, he becomes convinced Rick has betrayed his identity to the Avengers and sets out for vengeance.
- Secret Identity: At the time this Hulk was around, nobody knew he was Banner or vice-versa, and both parties were very invested in keeping it that way (Spidey nearly got smashed when he stumbled onto this Hulk hiding in a cave).
- Shout-Out: Since Stan and Jack were heavily inspired by Frankenstein in the making of the Hulk, it's not surprising that the original version takes so much inspiration from Shelley's creature - a grey-skinned monster who, despite being intelligent, is shunned and loathed by the rest of the world. His design even takes after the famous 1930s film version of the creature.
- Split-Personality Takeover: He could force the change from Bruce to Hulk, whether Bruce wanted it or not, and sought a way to make the takeover permanent. He didn't succeed, naturally.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: He's got a lung capacity that means he can survive in the rivers of New York (60s New York, no less) for hours.
- Third-Person Person: Only in a more eloquent fashion than merely "Hulk SMASH!" This Hulk tends to monologue while referring to himself as "the Hulk".
- Took a Level in Badass: Due to power creep and, again, being in the early stages. In his first issue, Hulk's no more immune to bullets than anyone. As time went on, Hulk's hide became more bulletproof.
- Unexplained Accent: Much like Joe, he occasionally speaks with a much more rough-n-tumble accent, unlike Banner's more refined diction. This dropped off as he became the Savage Hulk.
First Appearance: 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 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.
- A Day in the Limelight: A power boost provided by the Matrix Stone allowed him to become the dominant Hulk personality and physically manifest in Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3-4. He is no less Ax-Crazy in the real world, attempting to slaughter Kro and his Deviants to steal their arsenal and use it to go on a rampage.
- Emergency Transformation: Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3 reveals that Bruce actually did let him out once, in a desperate and absolutely last-minute bid to save himself from dying in the Valley of the Flame.Guilt Hulk: Hello. My name is Brian. And I'm going to destroy you all.
- Enemy Within: Yet another Hulk counterpart that Bruce occasionally transforms into.
- Evil Counterpart: The Guilt Hulk embodies the father that Bruce already has, in contrast to the Devil Hulk, who embodies the father that Bruce always wanted. And while the Devil Hulk was his own person, the Guilt Hulk has no apparent personality of his own, merely mimicking Brian Banner (to the point of even referring to himself by that name) when not just acting like a snarling beast.
- 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: He got killed by Joe Fixit, the Professor, and the Savage to stop him from taking over the mindscape, and hasn't resurfaced since. Bruce certainly doesn't seem to think he's around anymore, 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.
Mindless Hulk I/"Nightmare Hulk"
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 #299
During a period where Banner had gotten control over the Hulk's body, The Fear Lord Nightmare suppressed the Banner identity to use the Hulk as a weapon against Doctor Strange. After being freed from this control, Banner got fed up with living with the Hulk and effectively committed psychic suicide, leaving the Hulk with no mind or memories.
- Blank Slate: This Hulk has no mind or memories
Mindless Hulk II/"Hydra Hulk"
First Appearance: Secret Empire Vol. 1 #6
After Bruce died 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.
- It Is Dehumanising: Unlike all the other Hulks, this one is referred to as an "it", including by the Devil Hulk.
- 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).
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: Its momentary rampage gave the impression of working for HYDRA, which it wasn't, but it sure looked that way in-universe, so Bruce unfairly gets some stink-eye for that, including from Betty.
- 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.
First Appearance: Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Vol. 1, #4
The result of Hulk being inverted during the AXIS story arc.
- Evil Brit: For some reason...
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: He's got jet-black armored skin, glowing red eyes and Tron Lines, and claws.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: He's covered in a black exoskeleton with red Tron Lines.
- Sdrawkcab Name: It's kinda obvious who he is, despite the drastic change in his appearance.
- Superpowered Evil Side: He's this to the Hulk. He was strong enough to send Nova flying from Arizona to Paris with a single punch, damage his otherwise unbreakable helmet, and gave him a concussion for several weeks.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: An all-black monstrous Hulk's Hulk with Tron Lines who wants nothing but wanton destruction; very reminiscent of Nul from Fear Itself.
- Unexplained Accent: Apparently having his morality inverted also caused Hulk to become British.
- White Hair, Black Heart: He's got a white mohawk and is an evil Hulk.
First Appearance: Hulk (Vol. 5) #6 (April, 2022)
A version of the Hulk described as the "Hulk's Hulk". He emerged during an incendent in El Paso.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Has these colors, and is openly malicious in a way surpassing other Hulks.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes glow red, rather then the common green.
- Retcon: His existence replaces that of Kluh, who was previously stated to be "Hulk's Hulk". The only real similarity between them is their grey skin tone, especially given the circumstances of Titan coming out were different from Kluh.
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #370
The Dark Hulk was the result of Shanzar, a Sorcerer Supreme from his dimension, possessing his body. In this form, the Hulk had a black color to him and was more vicious.
Horseman of War
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #456
After a battle with the X-Men in their mansion, Hulk is taken by Apocalypse and becomes the new incarnation of War, being supplied with weaponry and a helmet that shields Hulk from his father's severely distracting and abusive spirit.
First Appearance: Captain Universe: Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #1
Captain Universe, suffering from memory and power loss, bonds with Bruce Banner and recruits him to assist in finding the scientist who knows the most about the uni-power.
See here for more info.
Nul, Breaker of Worlds
First Appearance: Fear Itself Vol. 1, #2
The hammer of Nul fell to the earth after the Serpent called a series of hammers to awaken the Worthy. It crashed in Brazil which got the attention of Bruce Banner & Betty Ross. While investigating the crash site, the Hulk was drawn to the hammer and was transformed into Nul, Breaker of Worlds.
First Appearance: Hulk Vol. 2, #30
The Compound Hulk was the result of Impossible Man using his magic to fuse the Hulk and the Red Hulk into the Compound Hulk to fight Xemnu and the Kluh, a deformed intelligent clone of the Gray Hulk.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Both Hulks declare this after they're unfused.
First Appearance: Indestructible Hulk Vol. 1, #14
The Hulk Squared was a powerful, yet brief incarnation of the Hulk. During a time-travel adventure, the Hulk went back in time to the day of the Hulk's origin. When he did, the Hulk got bombarded with a double dose of Gamma Radiation from the Gamma Bomb, transforming him into the Hulk Squared, also known as the Uberhulk.
Doc Green/Omega Hulk
First Appearance: Hulk Vol. 3, #5
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...
- 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 be referred to 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 of 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, Red She-Hulk, and Skaar can come 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. It's later shown Betty is pretty pissed about being forcibly depowered in the name of "the greater good".
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Depowering the Leader and Red Hulk, on the other hand, seems pretty justified.
- "Not So Different" Remark: During Immortal Hulk, a flashback shows General Ross, post-depowering, expressing his opinion that while more articulate than before, Doc Green remains as much of an angry, tantrum-throwing child as the Savage Hulk.
- 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.
- Split Personality: Subverted; per Al Ewing, he's an altered version of the Savage Hulk rather than a separate alter.
- 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.
First Appearance: Absolute Carnage Vol 1 #3 (November, 2019)
During a team-up with Venom, Spider-Man and the Avengers to fight against Dark Carnage in Absolute Carnage, the weight of the situation forces the Venom Symbiote to abandon Eddie Brock to find a stronger host to fight against Dark Carnage, that host being Bruce Banner.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Most of the Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk one-shot is Banner and the Hulks debating whether to team up with the symbiote.
First Appearance: Hulk Vol 5 #1 (November, 2021)
After an incident in El Paso that fractured the Hulk's psyche, Banner realized that one day the Hulk's subconscious is going to be so strong that he will take over completely. So, Banner shoved the Hulk deep into a part of his mind where the Hulk's psyche is kept angry, while Banner took control of the body.
With Banner controlling the Hulk's body via his psyche, powering it with the Hulk's rage and anger, and the Hulk's body surgically implanted with stolen technology, he has turned the Hulk into a kind of "Starship Hulk".
- Cyborg: A Hulk/AIM hybrid of technology and strength.
- Eye Beams: At higher levels of anger, this hulk can shoot gamma from its eyes.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Banner uses this iteration to travel through dimensions, which Tony Stark wasn't sure about him doing.
- Power Levels: The Starship Hulk can engage "engines" up to ten levels, each giving Savage Hulk different enemies to fight to make him stronger.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: With Savage Hulk kept in a perpetual state of anger to power the body while Banner controls it.
- Split-Personality Takeover: Through technology, Bruce Banner has forcibly taken control of the Hulk's body, keeping all the other personalities locked down.
Alter Egos: Goblin, Guardian, and Glow
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1, #308
Mental projections of the Hulk's mind
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: Their names.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The three of them are an oddity among the representations of Bruce's psyche, showing up a few years before Joe Fixit made his debut (or return, depending on how you look at it), and before the concept of Bruce's various split personalities was explored.
- Funetik Aksent: Same as Joe, who he predates by a while, Goblin speaks with a Brooklyn wiseguy accent.
- Freudian Trio: They're representative of Banner's id, ego, and super-ego.
- Put on a Bus: They haven't been seen in a good long while.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Goblin, the nasty one of the bunch, has glowing red eyes.
- Rule of Symbolism: Each of them is derived from a significant part of Bruce's infanthood. Guardian is Bruce's favorite toy, Glow a Christmas tree ornament (representing his mother's love), and Goblin his abusive nanny.
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect #1
A version of the Hulk from an alternate future (designated by Marvel Comics as Earth-9200), the Maestro possesses Bruce Banner's intelligence and the Hulk's more malevolent personality traits.
The Hulk's future counterpart is a true tyrant in every sense. Coming from a possible Bad Future where most of humanity was decimated by nuclear war, The Hulk was driven insane by the devastation of everything he has lost, along with the excess radiation he absorbed after the nuclear fallout. Eventually adopting the new name 'Maestro', he proceeded to kill the remaining heroes and villains that dared to oppose him.
Gaining even greater strength than before and an intelligence that is equal to or greater than Bruce Banner from absorbing the excess radiation after the nuclear holocaust, this new Hulk eventually seized control of the city of Dystopia, building field generators to protect the human population of the city, which he proceeded to rule with an iron fist.
- 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, designated as Earth-9200, 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.
- 2015's Secret Wars has a version of him on Doom's Battleworld. After that, he was one of the main characters in Contest of Champions, and is currently being held captive by the Collector of Earth-616.
- 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. This Maestro's still-living head and body were last seen being placed in stasis by the X-Men after he was decapitated by Logan.
- Always Second Best: Played for laughs, amazingly, during a Secret Wars tie-in, when a version of the Silver Surfer breaks into Battleworld Maestro's castle and effortlessly recovers Toomie from his trophy collection, never actually noticing Maestro's several spirited attempts to kill him.
- And This Is for...: While wailing on the Abomination in World War M #2, the Maestro declares, "Still haven't forgotten you tried to kill Betty. Itching to pay you back."
- Arch-Enemy: 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 a tyrant. Yep.
- Bait the Dog: When a minion asks if they should kill a bunch of children that they have just orphaned in War & Pax #2, the Maestro is disgusted, and invites the children to live with him in Dystopia. When the children spit on him and tell him to go to Hell, the Maestro orders that they all be shot (he does not actually watch the mass murder, though).
- 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.
- Beard of Evil: Has a full beard and he's easily the most famous evil Hulk.
- Berserk Button: He still hates his abusive father, Brian, and detests being compared to him, something which he makes very clear when Rick Jones calls the Maestro a perfect example of Like Father, Like Son.
- Big Bad: Of the 2015 Contest of Champions series.
- Blood Knight: Fully admits to being this in Contest of Champions. 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-traveling 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.
- Characterization Marches On: Before the introduction of the Devil Hulk persona, Maestro was shown to be rid of his other Alter's and was the same in both human and hulk form personality-wise. Then after the inclusion of the Devil Hulk persona, many speculated, and it was even hinted that Maestro is what Bruce is when the Devil Hulk takes over. Later, still, after it's shown that the Devil Hulk is not in fact nearly as evil or malicious as he first seemed in Immortal Hulk, it switched to Maestro being another alter of Bruce's but also succeeded in a Split Personality Take Over and he is the only one left in Bruce's head.
- 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, placing her instead 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 armor, 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 sunk 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 dishonors (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 seldom 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. (Though of note, he will refer to himself as Bruce Banner on occasion. Apparently it's okay for him to do it, just no-one else.)
- The Dreaded: To his subjects, with good reason. He's also this to the Hulk, in that Hulk fears becoming him.
- Dystopia: This is the actual name of his kingdom.
- Enemy Mine: He teamed-up with the Abomination against Doctor Doom, the Human Torch, and Namor in World War M.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He was distraught ("Shut it off. I SAID SHUT IT OFF!!!") by a recording of his mother's murder that the Pantheon showed him, and was tricked into lowering his guard and turning back into Bruce Banner when the Pantheon confronted him with an illusion of Rebecca Banner. On the other, once the ruse was revealed, the Maestro was shown in their Mental World calling Bruce out over letting them fall apart over an image of Rebecca ("You mewling, spineless quitter. What, you saw your mother and suddenly a lifetime of ineadequacy rears its head? Haven't I taught you anything?") before convincing Bruce to let him take the reigns again to deal with the Pantheon.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite his claims to the contrary, the Maestro still appears to have a soft spot for Betty Ross. While fighting the Abomination, he declares, "Still haven't forgotten you tried to kill Betty. Itching to pay you back." Later, when the two team-up against Doctor Doom, the Maestro admits, "You know, if you hadn't tried to kill my wife, I could really get to like you."
- 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 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.
- 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 atomized. 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 Avengers: No Surrender, 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 Contest of Champions, he kills off a load more heroes from other realities as part of the Contest.
- Horrifying the Horror: He is freaked out by Doctor Doom's unmasked face in War and Pax #5.
- Hulk Speak: Usually averted. His diction is incredibly eloquent, unlike most other Hulks, to highlight just how dangerously intelligent he is. However, during a Villainous Breakdown, the Battleworld Maestro briefly slips into it.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: When he explains (to Hulk) his backstory of 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.
- Legacy Character: He's actually the second Maestro, the first one (and the actual founder of Dystopia) was Hercules.
- 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 victimized 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 an One-Man Army as he is even stronger than the Hulk to the point of being near impossible to defeat.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Being as strong as he is, he can get really bored. At least some of his actions have been because he was just looking for something to alleviate that boredom.
- Pet the Dog: While traveling across what is left of the United States, the pre-Maestro Hulk comes across a bunch of dead animals and weeps for them, angrily opining that while humanity reaped what it sowed and got what it deserved, it dragged all of the "true innocents" down with it, with the incident turning the Hulk into even more of a Misanthrope Supreme. He still appears to have a soft spot for animals even after becoming the Maestro, stopping to pet a wolf while giving it a friendly "Hey there" after destroying the Pantheon in War & Pax #4.
- Physical God: As an even stronger Hulk, he already qualifies but when he steals the Iso-Sphere, he becomes a Reality Warper. He loses the Iso-Sphere in the end, though.
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Since his comeback in the 2000s, 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.
- Split-Personality Takeover: There's no more Banner, no more Hulk, and no sign of any of the other Hulks. It's just the Maestro.
- The Starscream: The Battleworld Maestro tried to overthrow God-Emperor Doom, but was severely outclassed. He had a little more luck with the Grandmaster and the Collector in Contest of Champions, though.
- Start of Darkness: Eighteen years after his debut, we finally got his full origin in the 2020 miniseries Maestro.
- Stronger with Age: In both physical strength and fighting experience.
- Super Strength: Well, yes. Years of absorbing fallout from nuclear wars have 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 from 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, but he also 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.
- Villain Has a Point: While the Maestro is a true monster with no redeeming traits and anything good about Bruce long since having died within him, he makes a damn compelling argument about why humans suck, and even if you don't agree with him about them deserving whatever they get (I.E. an immortal, green, god powerful giant who rules over them with an iron fist) you can at least understand why he doesn't feel they were ever worthy of heroes or people protecting them. After all, it was the normal humans with their petty squabbles and politicians that ultimately ended the world, not Dr. Doom, Kang the Conqueror, or even the Red Skull.
- Villainous Breakdown: Generally eloquent, if horribly nasty and sarcastic, but notably during the final issue of Contest of Champions, he momentarily reverts into Hulk Speak when things go wrong.
- Villain Protagonist: Of Secret Wars: Future Imperfect and Maestro.
- 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.
Breaker of Worlds/Breaker-Apart
First Appearance: Immortal Hulk #20
Introduced in Immortal Hulk as the logical endpoint of the Hulk's ever-growing power and rage reaching a multiversal level in a possible far-future timeline. A cosmic being of pure, mindless destruction, the Breaker-Apart is the result of The One-Below-All devouring every trace of Bruce Banner's mind and transforming him into a planet-sized behemoth that pounds the whole universe into a lifeless void, causing one of the last living mortals to send a message to the past to prevent the Breaker's inception.
- Ax-Crazy: Surprisingly, the essence of The One-Below-All within the Breaker's mind is capable of communication, as Par%l discovers, but it only wants to put the whole universe to death as revenge for its imprisonment in the Below-Place; this is firmly non-negotiable.
- Beyond the Impossible / Defeating the Undefeatable: His first victim that we see is Craig Hollis, a.k.a. Mister Immortal, a character whose entire schtick is Complete Immortality. Also counts as The Worf Effect to subtly demonstrate just how impossibly dangerous this Hulk is before we see the lengths of his insanity.
- Complete Immortality: It outlasts several beings who were destined to live to the end of the universe, as well as the embodiment of the universe itself, and will simply not stop until it has destroyed everything beyond even that.
- Composite Character: The Hulk mixed with Galactus and The One-Below-All. Fear is the natural reaction.
- Death of Personality: Aside from being big, green, and angry, all traces of what Bruce Banner and the Hulk once were are long gone. It is heavily implied that The One-Below-All ate all of Bruce's personalities in his mind-scape.
- Demonic Possession: The Breaker-Apart is the Marvel multiverse's ultimate Satanic figure in the body of the Hulk.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: This Hulk's body count explicitly includes Galactus, Franklin Richards, Mr. Immortal, and eventually the Sentience of the Universe itself, as well as every other god, celestial and Eldritch Abomination by implication.
- Empty Shell: It literally is a Hulk in the truest meaning of the word.
- Evil Counterpart: For Galactus, being the last survivor of the previous universe, empowered by the sentience of existence to serve as his replacement. Only while Galactus does have Blue-and-Orange Morality he is not malevolent and can be reasoned with. The Breaker cannot, and just wants to destroy everything everywhere.
- For the Evulz: Unlike Galactus, the Breaker doesn't absorb the life energy of the planets it destroys; it destroys just because it can.
- The Breaker also eats Metatron, when it could have just bonded with it.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Breaker eats its final prey, including fellow humans Franklin Richards and Mr. Immortal.
- Legacy Character: As the last surviving being of the Eighth Cosmos, the possessed Bruce becomes the next Galactus.
- The Breaker Apart also resembles the Green Scar in its outfit, and it is said it "will never stop making [surviving life] pay".
- Light Is Not Good: The beings of the Ninth Cosmos live in perpetual terror of the forbidden color green, which heralds the Breaker of World's approach.
- Ominous Message from the Future: To spare the Earth-616 timeline from the Breaker's wrath, the last surviving mortal, a strange alien named Par%l, sends a message back through time that unfortunately ends up in the hands of the Leader, potentially leading to a Stable Time Loop.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Beyond all reasoning, the Breaker-Apart destroys absolutely everything in its path, for all life is its enemy.
- Sizeshifter: It can go from big enough to punch planets and moons apart, to big enough to crush stars like they were balloons.
- Transhuman Abomination: The One-Below-All's influence has transformed the Hulk into a colossal, shapeshifting monstrosity that cannot be reasoned with. Even Metatron, the Sentience of the Universe, can only react with confused terror before being devoured.