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"Sure he's incredible, but can he dance."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

The Hulk (Dr. Robert Bruce Banner), sometimes referred to as The Incredible Hulk, is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in the Marvel Comics Universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Hulk first appeared in Incredible Hulk # 1 (May 1962). He has since become one of Marvel Comics' most recognized superhero characters.

After nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Bruce Banner is caught in the blast of a gamma bomb he created, he is transformed into the Hulk, a raging monstrosity. The character, both as Banner and the Hulk, is frequently pursued by the police or the armed forces, often as a result of the destruction he causes.

While the coloration of the character's skin varies during the course of its publication history, the Hulk is most often depicted as green. He is featured in a number of animated series, a feature film directed by Ang Lee, and a long-running television series and spin-off television movies starring Bill Bixby as Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk.

In the Hulk's debut appearance in The Incredible Hulk #1, the character was gray rather than his longtime trademark green. That initial color choice was by writer and Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee, who wanted a color that did not suggest any particular ethnic group. Colorist Stan Goldberg, however, insisted to Lee that the coloring technology at the time could not present the color gray clearly or consistently, resulting in different shades of gray, and even green, in the issue. So in issue #2 and after, Goldberg colored the Hulk's skin green. Reprints and retellings of the Hulk's origin during the next two decades feature him with green skin from the beginning, but in 1986, issue #324 states that the Hulk had been gray at the time of his creation.

In early stories, Banner becomes the Hulk at sunset each day, but he later transforms whenever he becomes angry or panicked. Another method was shown in Fantastic Four #12 (Mar, 1963), featuring the Hulk's first battle with The Thing; Banner uses a gamma ray machine of his own design to intentionally transform into the Hulk. Many early Hulk stories involve General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross trying to capture or destroy the Hulk with his U.S. Army battalion, the Hulkbusters, at his side. Ross' daughter, Betty, loves Banner and criticizes her father for pursuing the Hulk. General Ross' right-hand man, Major Glenn Talbot, also loves Betty and is torn between pursuing the Hulk and trying to gain Betty's love in a more honorable way. Rick Jones serves as the Hulk's friend and sidekick for a time. Later, another teenager, Jim Wilson, also befriends the Hulk.

Marvel published only six issues of the original Hulk series before canceling it to free space on the publishing schedule in order to give the Nick Fury character his own series, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Shortly after the official cancellation notice was issued, creator Jack Kirby received a letter from a college dormitory stating that the Hulk had been chosen as their official mascot. Kirby and Lee realized that their character had found an audience in college-age readers. They featured the Hulk in numerous guest appearances in other series and added him to the founding ranks of the Avengers. The Hulk was then given a regular backup feature in Marvel's ongoing series Tales to Astonish. After several years, the series was re-titled The Incredible Hulk due to the character's popularity (#102), and it ran until March 1999, when Marvel restarted the series with a new issue #1.

The Hulk started out in television as part of the Marvel Super Heroes animated television series in 1966. The 39 (10-minute) episodes were shown along with those featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Sub-Mariner episodes based on early stories appearing in the Hulk and Tales to Astonish series.

The most famous TV adaptation is the live-action The Incredible Hulk TV series and its spin-off TV movies, starring Bill Bixby as David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. It was this series that coined Banner's catchphrase "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry", which has since appeared in the comics, and (in Spanish) at the end of the 2003 film.

After the live-action show ended in 1982, the Hulk returned to cartoon format with 13 episodes of The Incredible Hulk, which aired in a combined hour with Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. The series featured more characters from the comics than the live-action series, including Rick Jones, Betty Ross, and General Ross. Bruce Banner/Hulk was voiced by Michael Bell in the 1982 series and by Peter Cullen in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.

Typical of many superhero cartoons of the era, the show used stock transformation scenes which include Bruce Banner transforming back with his clothing somehow restored intact. The She-Hulk and the Leader made an appearance in the show. This series featured Stan Lee as a narrator. Bruce Banner and the Hulk also appeared in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode, "Spidey Goes Hollywood."

Hulk had appeared in the 90's Iron Man series and Fantastic Four voiced by Ron Perlman. Hulk appeared without any lines, in the Season 3 episode of the X-Men Animated Series, "The Juggernaut Returns."

Dark Hulk from The Incredible Hulk TV series.In 1996, Marvel Studios and Saban Entertainment brought the Hulk back to animated form in the animated series The Incredible Hulk, with Neal McDonough voicing Bruce Banner and Lou Ferrigno providing the voice of the Hulk. The first season's stories are exceptionally dark, but in 1997, the show's name changed to The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk, and featured She-Hulk in several episodes with the Gray Hulk. In the episode "Mind Over Anti-Matter", (which was based on Incredible Hulk v1 #370-371) Banner turns into a monstrous Dark Hulk when he was possessed by an evil being (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) which causes Hulk and Grey Hulk to defeat Dark Hulk. The series became much lighter during this season and was canceled quickly. The show aired briefly on ABC Family following the release of the live-action movie in 2003.

Hulk appeared in the 2006 Fantastic Four cartoon voiced by Eli Gabay (Bruce Banner) and Mark Gibbon (Hulk).

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In 2003, Ang Lee directed a film based on the Hulk for Universal Pictures. Eric Bana played Bruce Banner, and the Hulk was created with special effects. Here, Banner's father, David Banner (played by Nick Nolte), is partly responsible for the Hulk's origin as before Banner was born, he experiments on himself and passes his mutated genes onto his son. When Banner grows up, believing his real parents died (this is only half-true, as only his mother dies and his father is incarcerated for thirty years), he saves a co-worker from being killed by gamma radiation and takes the impact of the rays instead, mysteriously surviving the onslaught.

The Hulk causes a lot of destruction, wounding Glenn Talbot, killing his father's mutated dogs in battle, makes a path of danger from the Desert Base to San Francisco, and finally in a final battle against his insane father who had morphed into an amorphous cloud of energy. General Ross decides to end the battle by having one of his soldiers drop a gamma bomb at the site of the battle, ending the confrontation. It kills and disintegrates David, with the Hulk/Banner presumed dead from the event, but it is revealed at the very end of the movie that he did survive and is living as a secret doctor in South America, protecting the innocent from any intruders.

In 2006, the Hulk appears in the animated movie Ultimate Avengers, which is based on the comic book The Ultimates. The second Ultimate Avengers movie was released on August 8, 2006.

A second Hulk movie is in pre-production and scheduled for release on June 27 2008. Titled The Incredible Hulk, it will be directed by Louis Leterrier. At the 2006 Comic-con Incredible Hulk panel, Letterier revealed that Abomination will be the villain.

The Incredible Hulk is a 2008 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character the Hulk. It is directed by Louis Leterrier and stars Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner/the Hulk. It is not a sequel to Hulk (2003), but rather a reboot that establishes a new back-story where Banner became the Hulk as an unwitting pawn in a military scheme to reinvigorate the supersoldier program through gamma radiation. On the run, he attempts to cure himself of the Hulk before he is captured by General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt), but his worst fears are realized when power-hungry soldier Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) becomes the Abomination. Liv Tyler also stars as Betty Ross, Banner's girlfriend and General Ross's daughter.

Marvel Studios reacquired the rights to the character after the mixed reception to Hulk, and writer Zak Penn began work on a loose sequel that would be much closer to the comics and the television series. Norton rewrote the script after he signed on to star, which clarified the film's new back-story. Leterrier aimed to make the film realistic, giving a more frightening direction for the look of the monsters, while redesigning the Abomination from the comics' reptilian humanoid into a mutated monster with bony protrusions. Filming mostly took place in Toronto, Canada in 2007, where the production attempted to be environmentally friendly.

The film outgrossed its predecessor and generally received more positive reviews. Despite this positive reception Marvel chose to put off a possible sequel until after 2012's The Avengers.

During the 2008 New York Comic Con Leterrier publicly offered Ferrigno the chance to voice the Hulk for the film. This marks the third time Ferrigno portrayed the Hulk, having also voiced the character in the 1996 animated series. Originally, the Hulk's only line was "Betty" at the film's ending, which would have been his first word. Leterrier was aware that fans wanted him to speak normally, and added "leave me alone" and "Hulk smash!" The latter line received cheers during a screening he attended. Ferrigno also has a cameo in the film as a security guard who is bribed by Banner with a pizza. Ferrigno had also made a cameo as a security guard in the 2003 film.

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