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Headscratchers / Incredible Hulk

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  • Why is Betty's hair black in 626-629? Is it something to do with my theory?
    • Hasn't her hair always been black? Also, what theory?
    • Betty's hair is one of those things that'll depend on the artist. Traditionally it's been brown though.
  • Why doesn't Bruce Banner get in touch with the Fantastic Four and get himself an 'unstable-molecule' suit, or an oufit made of whatever the one She-Hulk's is made of, so he doesn't have to keep buying new pants?
    • For that matter he could probably make a suit like that himself if he had the resources. Likely it has to do with iconography. Hulk in ripped pants is more iconic than Hulk in anything else.
    • In a recent storyline, Banner was given a tuxedo of unstable molecules that stretched when he became the Hulk. The suit wound up getting torn apart by a magical being, though, and the Hulk still ended the story in torn trousers.
  • Something the Hulk pointed out in Fear Itself; why didn't Banner just stop the countdown for the Gamma Bomb from inside the bunker?
    • Without knowing the nature of the bomb, it's possible once the countdown reached a certain point it couldn't be stopped. If that seems like a serious design flaw, well, the military never did put Banner's Gamma Bomb into mass production, did they?
    • Official explanation is that the Hulk wanted to be let out, so Banner wasn't thinking clearly. Even before he was big and green (or gray), the Hulk existed as a part of Banner and had some influence in the back of Bruce's mind.
    • If this troper remembers correctly banner did tell his assistant to stop the countdown but said assistant was a spy and was hoping the bomb would kill Banner so he couldn't produce anymore weapons like the gamma bomb
      • This troper is correct. Banner told his assistant, Ivan, to stop the countdown, but Ivan was actually a Soviet spy that was sent to steal his research, Ivan figured it be easier to break into Banner's safe with Banner dead. So he didn't stop the countdown.
  • Has The Punisher ever met Hulk?
    • They met during the David-Keown era. The Hulk had returned to Vegas for a funeral, and Castle was there hunting a gangster. They had a brief fight before teaming up. (The fight consisted of the Punisher riddling Hulk's tailored suit with bullets, before the Hulk knocked him out with one finger.)
    • While he didn't meet the Hulk in the storyline that comes to mind, he did meet the Red Hulk, and tried to attack him with a knife. I'm going to repeat that. He attacked a Hulk with a knife. Such an act of supreme stupidity leads me to believe he's either never met the Hulk or that if he has, the meeting resulted in such extreme brain damage that he lost all memory of the encounter.
    • It isn't Too Dumb to Live, It just shows that The Punisher isn't scared of anybody.
      • Not being afraid of a super who has spent the last few months laying waste to some of the most powerful people in the world when you're a Badass Normal who isn't Batman with a week of preptime counts as being too dumb to live.
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    • They team up during Jason Aaron's run on the Hulk, for all of one issue, where they take down a cartel of drug-dealing dog-men south of the boarder.
  • I always wondered why Hulk refers to everyone else as *insert insult here* humans, when he himself is technically still a human being. I assume it's because subconsciously he knows that everyone else considers him nothing but a monster, basically everything the opposite of human, but it's just something that bugged me, regardless of it being one of his catchphrases.
    • Hulk sees himself as completely distinct from Banner. Banner is human, but the Hulk sees himself as something else, something considerably above "human". It's kind of hard to argue with the logic, given the vastly different biology his transformation brings on.
      • To quote the being himself in many different types of media "Hulk is Hulk."
  • Bruce charges into the Hulk if he's angry, injured, or outraged—all adrenaline reactions. What happens if Bruce has a panic attack?
    • In Peter Davids run, When Banner first reemerges after Hulk has been Mr Fixit for three months, Banner reads of the Gamma bomb detonation in Middletown and begins to have a panic attack, and is very scared he will change if he is upset taking loads of sleeping pills to counteract it, so yeah.
    • He probably still changes, as the Hulk more or less comes out due to Banner reacting to a stressful episode. Panic attacks come from something subconsciously frightening you.
  • I know we just take it at face value that Hulk becomes more powerful the angrier he becomes and that he could essentially become invincible if he got angry enough. How does this happen though? How does anger increase the intensity of the gamma radiation that gives the Hulk persona power, is gamma radiation sympathetic to emotions?
  • The storyline that reveals to us that Dr. Banner's father was abusive as a child has the father say that he knew, "what monster he (Bruce Banner) would become". This implies that the Hulk already existed inside of Banner and that the gamma radiation that he was exposed to simply brought the monster out, and that the abuse Banner suffered as a child makes it so that he is always angry and it is a constant struggle to keep the Hulk in. The recent Avengers movie even went so far as to have Tony Stark tell Dr. Banner that the gamma radiation he was exposed to should have been instantly lethal to any living organism, no amount of luck could have saved him, and that it had to be the Hulk inside of him that saved his life that day. Is it accurate to assume that Tony and Dr. Banner's father are correct in saying that the Hulk has always been inside Bruce?
    • There was a storyline a few years ago (Tempest Fugit, issues 77-81, written by Peter David) that revealed that Hulk was Banner's imaginary friend when he was a child. Banner's aunt (who raised him) believed it to be gone, but the flashbacks in the story show Banner talking to Hulk while in high school. At one point, Hulk took over Banner's body and tried to set up an explosion to destroy the school, but Banner stopped him in time and it was revealed that the bomb never worked because of an error in calculation. In the end, it is revealed that General Ross recruited Banner because he was impressed by the bomb.
    • Also, it's stated the reason Brian Banner thought Bruce was a monster is because Brian was in an accident at work involving radiation not long before Rebecca Banner got pregnant, and he never believed it when the doctors said baby Bruce was fine. (From Hulk #312.)
      • Also, Brian believed he himself had the "Banner monster" gene, and that he passed it onto Bruce. The "monster gene" is, according to Brian, why he's abusive. Bruce Banner (senior) had it and was abusive to his wife and three children: Elaine, Susan, and Brian; and Brian had it, so Brian reasoned the Bruce would have it too.
  • How is it that the Hulk's pants stay on when he turns green, when the rest of his clothes have completely torn apart? I realize that there isn't a terribly large demographic of those who want to see the Hulk nude, but do they ever give an in-universe reason?
    • Maybe the pants are nylon?
      • I think someone once got a no-prize by explaining why the Hulks pants turned purple even when the pants Banner was wearing were a different color. The Gamma radiation released by the transformation dyes the fabric. Maybe it also makes it stretchy?
    • The Ed Norton movie sorta hints at this- we see Banner actively buying pants that are way too big for him and stretchy besides.
  • The very concept of the Hulk breaks all (okay, many) known laws of thermodynamics. Where does all the extra mass come from, and why isn't Bruce either ravenously hungry, horribly emaciated, or some combination of the two from the extreme energy burn when he turns back (like the Flash at least acknowledges sometimes).
    • Their have been hints that the Hulk is not purely a creature of science, having a few abilities that border on the mystical, and being referred to as a being of (potentially) infinite energy by various sources, including writers and the Beyonder.
    • I vaguely - very, very vaguely - recall one of thoes discovery/history channel "The Science of Superheroes/Comicbooks" shows from quite a few years ago(I believe it was right around when Ang Lee's Hulk was coming out, though it might have been later) that it was mentioned that gamma radiation was so powerful that it could even create(I imagine this was someone mispeaking when they meant transform into) matter, which is what accounted for Banner's expansion of size. Of course, the actual science of that show was very, very soft and again, this is going off a ten+ year old memory, so I'm probably doing it a disservice, but given that the Marvel Universe obviously doesn't conform to real world laws of physics, it's as good a handwave as any.
  • Aside from Just Eat Gilligan, why doesn't Ross just order himself a sniper and have a bullet put through the untransformed Banner's head from a mile away?
    • This is (sort of) explained in a throwaway line in The Avengers, after Banner confesses that he tried to shoot himself in the head, but "the other guy" spit the bullet out. Maybe the Hulk actively prevents Bruce from being killed.
    • A lot of good that would do if neither knew that the bullet was even coming. Sure, Hulk could stop Banner from killing himself because he knows that Banner is going to do it, but some hidden crackshot Sniper firing from who knows how far away out of the blue while Banner's leisurely eating breakfast one random morning?
      • Because for the most part, they don't want to kill Banner, they want to capture him so they can harness his power.
      • And because unless you hit him in the 'apricot' (the 100%-dead-right-away-point in the brain), he will still have a tiny moment to react before he dies. This might be enough for The Hulk to emerge, which will cause severe collateral damage. Granted, General Ross normally does not care, but it could be a reason. It's simply too risky.
      • Worst case, you might end up managing to only kill Banner, leaving a potentially brain-damaged and now completely out of control Hulk behind...
  • Why does Ross' mustache vanish when he becomes the Red Hulk but returns when he reverts into a human form?
    • Presumably just to keep the character's identity a secret initially...which is a shame, now that you've mentioned it, because a raging red giant with that ridiculous mustache would be hilarious.
    • The creators themselves were asked this, and they just simply handwaved the issue by pointing out that his eyebrows likewise dissapear when he turns. I think the idea was that his facial hair burns off when he transforms, although how they manage to grow back instantenously and why he still has hair on his head doesn't seem to garner any explanation.
  • Has the Hulk ever rejoined the Avengers (or even been offered) since he first quit in issue #2? Seems kinda sad that he quit after he finally found a home.
    • He's always been more or less an unofficial official member. He helps out on occasion when they have common enemies, but he's never gotten over the fact that they don't trust him due to the first brainwashing freakout via Loki.
  • Why didn't the death of Betty Ross trigger the creation of the Green Scar persona?
    • Her death wasn't the result of his so-called "friends" on Earth betraying him.
    • The Green Scar persona was really more a throwback to the Hulk's original persona back before he became dumb muscle. That being said, it could be seen more as an example of the Hulk's adaptability; in the same way he can adapt to breath underwater or on Venus, his personality adapted into one that allowed him to survive on a savage, brutal world like Sakaar. Now, if you're wondering why Betty's death didn't trigger him going World Breaker - which is separate but related to the Green Scar persona - well the actual answer is that the World Breaker hadn't been conceived of yet and wouldn't be for over a decade, by a completely different writer from the one who wrote Betty's death. If you want an actual justification, playing off what the above troper said, World Breaker was a result of cumulative trauma; Death of his wife, his unborn children, the betrayal of his friend, the murder of another friend by the friend who betrayed him, the realization that everything he had done in the past twenty four hours - including brutalizing innocent people, family, and friends - had been for nothing. Betty's death was traumatic, but the events of Planet Hulk and World War Hulk were certainly more-so.
    • The Green Scar wasn't called so at the time but was seen before, Planet Hulk, back when Hulk was made into a Horseman Of Apocalypse. Minus the fanatical Brainwashing, it's the exact same personality and it was caused by the exact same thing. Hulk and Banner working together. Grief alone doesn't do the trick, although grief has had some odd affects on Banner's Hulk outs, like the potential releasing of The Beast(given that's another apocalyptic reference, that probably wasn't coincidental). But to get the World Breaker, Hulk and Banner have to be one, and given they don't like each other, have several differences of opinion, and several other green scar incompatible voices occasionally trying to butt in, it doesn't happen very often.

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