Despite his gamma-irradiated powers making him “the strongest one there is,” the Hulk’s powers have been more of a curse than a blessing over the years, as he has wreaked havoc all over the world with his nearly mindless rampages. The Hulk claims he wants to be left alone, but it sure seems like he causes a lot of trouble even when he is left alone. However, along with the terrible things that he has done, the Hulk also has certainly had his share of heroic actions, as well. They probably don’t cancel each other, but they’re definitely there.
Here, we will count down the 8 most repulsive things that the Hulk has done and the 7 most heroic. We’re only talking the main Marvel Universe Hulk here, not the Ultimate Hulk (who has done so many awful things) or future versions of the Hulk (like the Maestro or the Hulk in “Old Man Logan”) or What If…? versions of the Hulk. These are all things done by the regular Hulk in the regular Marvel Universe, which honestly is quite enough.
15. REPULSIVE: NEARLY KILLED DAREDEVIL
One of the earliest classic issues of Daredevil was Daredevil #7 (by Wallace Wood and Stan Lee), where the Man Without Fear threw himself in between the Sub-Mariner and the United States Army in an attempt to keep Namor from killing any of the soldiers who were attacking him. Instead, Daredevil fights him one-on-one and nearly dies in the process, but impresses Namor so much that the Atlantean king leaves New York without hurting anyone else.
Exactly 156 issues later, the same thing happened in Daredevil #163 (by Roger McKenzie, Frank Miller and Klaus Janson), where Daredevil tries to keep a rampaging Hulk from hurting people in New York City by fighting him on his own. In a relatively minor rampage (by the Hulk’s standards), he still almost beats Daredevil to death, just because the hero tried to keep the Hulk from hurting others.
14. REPULSIVE: DESTROYED A TRAIN
In the early days of the Hulk, he would typically find himself on the run from the United States Army, who would attack him on sight. This would lead to the Hulk’s famous cry that he just wanted to be left alone. However, in Incredible Hulk #122 (by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe), no one was bothering the Hulk when he happened to see a train go by and decided to destroy it because the noise annoyed him.
As it turned out, there were no passengers on the train, but the Hulk did not know that when he destroyed it. He could have easily killed hundreds of people just because he was feeling annoyed. When he turned back into Bruce Banner, the incident caused Banner to re-double his efforts at curing himself, as he was distraught over how many people could have been killed.
13. REPULSIVE: FORCED HIMSELF ON SHE-HULK
Following the death of his wife, Betty Banner, Bruce Banner and the Hulk saw themselves revert to an almost vegetative state (especially since they believed that she died due to prolonged exposure to ambient gamma radiation from the Hulk). The Hulk was practically a mindless creature, striving for death to be with his wife. The villainous Tyrannus stepped into this situation and then took control of the Hulk’s mind and sent him on a rampage across the country.
Now freed of Tyrannus’ control, the Hulk wandered around the country in a strange mental state. In Incredible Hulk Annual 2000 (by Paul Jenkins and Mark Texeira), the Hulk’s mind was in such an addled place that he tried to mate with his own cousin, the She-Hulk. He tried to impress her by beating her up and then beating the Avengers up in front of her. It was super disturbing for everyone.
12. REPULSIVE: FOUGHT THE AVENGERS AND FF
For a while there, the Hulk was actually off the board at Marvel, with his original series ending after just six issues and Bruce Banner being essentially cured. Obviously, that did not last and he ended up being part of the Avengers but then quickly left the team after a shape-shifting villain exploited the fact that the Hulk’s teammates really didn’t particularly trust him.
However, while traveling on the road, the Hulk saw in a newspaper that the Avengers had replaced him with Captain America and his former sidekick, Rick Jones, was now with the Avengers, as well. So the Hulk decided to destroy the Avengers, heading out to New York to destroy things (as well as the Fantastic Four when they tried to stop him) until the Avengers showed up so that he could destroy them, too. It was terrible destruction for the worst of reasons — a bruised ego.
11. REPULSIVE: TORE THROUGH THE X-MEN
In general, we cut the Hulk a little slack for the events of World War Hulk. He had been banished from Earth by the Illuminati and then, after he had found peace on the planet that they had sent him to, the ship that they sent him in then exploded. He believed it was a deliberate piece of sabotage by the Illuminati, so he decided to return to Earth to get his revenge on them.
However, in the tie-in miniseries, World War Hulk: X-Men (by Christos Gage, Andrea DiVito and Laura Villari), while the Hulk was trying to capture Professor X (one of the Illuminati) to punish him, he faced off against all of the X-Men and he was just brutal to them, destroying Rockslide’s body, twisting Colossus’ metal arms into a tangled mess and repeatedly punching Wolverine in the face to give him brain damage from concussions.
10. REPULSIVE: WENT ON A RAMPAGE IN NEW YORK
In an attempt to get at his enemy, Doctor Strange, the evil dweller of dreams, Nightmare, began to mess with Bruce Banner’s mind to access the Hulk person that Banner had locked away when Banner took control of the Hulk and became a beloved hero (even getting an adamantium statue of the Hulk as part of a celebration of his heroism). When it was finally tapped into, the Banner persona was overwhelmed and now just the mindless Hulk remained. And he was pissed.
He cut a swath of destruction through New York City in Incredible Hulk #300 (by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema and Gerry Taloac), including attacking Thor with the very statue that people had made of the Hulk. The Hulk beat up all the heroes of New York until Doctor Strange finally just banished him to another dimension.
9. REPULSIVE: KILLED MULTIPLE PEOPLE IN LAS VEGAS
This is a bit of a strange one. The Hulk tearing through Las Vegas in Fantastic Four #534 (by J. Michael Straczynski, Mike McKone and Andy Lanning) after being exposed to a second Gamma Bomb explosion and being transformed into a particularly savage version of the Hulk. That was certainly not a good thing, but it also seemed like a fairly standard rampage by the Hulk.
However, in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 (by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev), we learned that over two dozen people were killed, including some children (and a dog). This is what led to the Illuminati deciding to send the Hulk into outer space to exile him from Earth, as they deemed him just too unsafe for the world.
8. REPULSIVE: NEARLY DESTROYED THE WORLD
While we tend to cut the Hulk a lot of slack for World War Hulk (he had been kidnapped by the Illuminati and sent to another planet and after he settled down there, the ship they sent him in exploded and it seemed like the Illuminati did it on purpose so he returned to Earth for revenge), he still invaded the Earth. He made a point of trying to avoid hurting any civilians while he got his revenge on the Illuminati, but he still took over New York City.
What was worse, though, is when he learned that one his alien friends had actually done the sabotage of his ship (because he wanted the Hulk to stay angry and enact his vengeful fury), the Hulk was so angry that he started to literally destroy the world by kicking into the ground. At least he did beg the heroes to stop him, which they did.
7. HEROIC: CO-FOUNDED THE AVENGERS
It is fair to say that one of the biggest sources of good in the Marvel Universe has been the Avengers, who have been Marvel’s premier superhero team for decades now. And they owe their very creation to the Hulk… in a roundabout fashion.
In Avengers #1 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers), Loki tried another one of his plots against his brother, Thor, by manipulating events into making it look like the Hulk was on a rampage. Loki planned to lure Thor into a conflict with the Hulk and then strike. However, other heroes heard about the Hulk rampage and they all answered the call. When it became clear that the Hulk was not on a rampage, the heroes all teamed up against Loki and decided to form a team, the Avengers, with Hulk a founding member!
6. HEROIC: DESTROYED AN ASTEROID
One of the oddest things about anthology titles is that the events of the stories in these titles rarely get much attention in the grand scheme of things, with a few exceptions. Namely, Chris Claremont and John Buscema’s launched of Marvel Comics Presents with a Wolverine story that led into the ongoing Wolverine series and Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X serialized story.
Therefore, few people know of the Ron Wilson Hulk story in Marvel Comics Presents #52 where the Hulk went on a suicide mission to destroy an asteroid that was set to destroy the Earth. Years before Bruce Willis and his crew tried to blow up the asteroid in Armageddon, Hulk did the same without any way of getting home! Luckily, the aliens who sent the asteroid (as part of a twisted game) saved him and, after he had defeated them in a “game,” returned him back to Earth.
5. HEROIC: STOPPED AN ALIEN INVASION
In a long-running storyline in Incredible Hulk by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, Bruce Banner saw his intellect take control of the Hulk’s body. He was now free to become an outright superhero and as part of this reversal, President Reagan gave Hulk a full Presidential pardon. Right when this was taking place, the Earth was suddenly invaded by aliens. The Hulk led the heroes who were there to honor his pardon into battle and they quickly defeated the invasion. Thereafter, the Hulk became one of the most popular heroes on Earth.
Later, it turned out that the invasion was a fraud by the Leader designed to test the Hulk out before the Leader took on the now intelligent Hulk in battle by himself, but the Hulk didn’t know that when he led Earth’s heroes into victory in front of the world!
4. HEROIC: DEFEATED… HIMSELF?
In the classic miniseries, Hulk: Future Imperfect (by Peter David and George Perez), the Hulk was brought into the future to take on the tyrannical Maestro, a despotic superhuman who had killed all of the other superheroes on Earth. The Maestro, as it turned out, was an older version of the Hulk himself, driven mad (and given increased strength) by a series of nuclear wars (and the deaths of most of the people he loved).
The Maestro was stronger than his younger counterpart and initially he enjoyed tormenting his younger self (while being sure not to actually kill him), but in the end, the younger Hulk managed to outsmart his older self by tricking the Maestro into stepping on to one of the relics of the past that Rick Jones had collected – Doctor Doom’s time machine! The Maestro was sent back to the original Gamma Bomb test… at Ground Zero!
3. HEROIC: CRACKED ONSLAUGHT’S ARMOR
The Hulk isn’t the only hero to deal with some multiple personality issues. After he used his powers to wipe Magneto’s mind during the “Fatal Attractions” storyline, Professor Charles Xavier found his mind polluted by Magneto’s mind and it slowly created a split personality known as Onslaught, who was the personification of Xavier and Magneto’s worst impulses and all of Xavier’s psionic energies.
Since he was just a being made out of energy, however, Onslaught needed to wear a special armor. During a final showdown between Onslaught and the collected Marvel heroes, the Hulk grew so angry that he managed to crack Onslaught’s armor. The force of the blow was so great that it split Hulk into two beings! When the heroes needed to then sacrifice themselves to soak up Onslaught’s energies, one of the Hulks sacrificed himself while the other remained behind.
2. HEROIC: SAVED “PLANET HULK”
When the Illuminati decided that the Hulk was too dangerous to leave alone on Earth, they tricked him into a rocket ship that took him to a peaceful planet where he could live out the rest of his days happy and by himself. However, the ship was then knocked off course and the Illuminati were so caught up in the events of Civil War that they never noticed the change in course. The Hulk landed on a gladiator planet. However, he slowly conquered the planet with his fellow outcasts.
The evil Red King, though, decided to destroy the planet rather than let others rule it. In Incredible Hulk (Vol.3) #102 (by Greg Pak, Aaron Lopresti and Sandu Florea), however, the Hulk managed to literally fuse the planet back together with his massive strength. He single-handedly saved a world!
1. HEROIC: SAVED ALL OF THE HEROES ON BATTLEWORLD
Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars was an event where a mysterious cosmic being known as the Beyonder took a group of the most famous Marvel heroes and villains and transported them to a world that the Beyonder created called Battleworld. He then told them to fight each other and the winners would get whatever they desired. Naturally, the villains took the bait and began to routinely attack the heroes.
One of the “villains” was the Molecule Man, who was dealing with his newfound limitless powers (he had put restraints on himself that didn’t need to be there). He tried to impress the other villains by dropping an entire mountain on the heroes after a battle! Luckily, the Hulk somehow managed to keep the mountain from crushing the greatest heroes in the world while they figured out a way of escaping certain death.
What do you think was the Hulk’s greatest moment and his lowest moment? Let us know in the comments section!
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