"Sure he's incredible,
but can he dance."
- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.