Bruce Banner is a bit of a weird dude. He's unfathomably brilliant, socially withdrawn, and is filled with more melancholy than an Elliott Smith album. Now these traits might make it sound like he's just another genius trying to hold it together and not feeling as if anyone could possibly see the world as he does, but what really separates him from his peers is the fact he transforms in to massive, green rage monster that is the physical embodiment of the human id. As the Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner is someone who is increasingly difficult to get along with. All that internalized sadness is gone, or at the very least its buried so deep it is impossible for it to breakthrough the layers of muscle and anger.
This stark vacillation between emotions is rather disturbing when you look at it with a critical eye. The mania and the depression the Bruce Banner/Hulk dynamic creates echoes mental health disorders in the real world. But there is a level of fantastical separation readers can glom onto to make it more palatable and not remind us of how our emotions often gets the best of us. We get a sense of catharsis when the downtrodden Bruce Banner turns his turmoil into a raw destructive force and wields it for good. However, when it comes to some of his fellow Avenger teammates, there is rarely a sense of separation for good and ill. Not everyone is a huge fan of Bruce Banner, while some see him as a valuable ally or simply a blunt weapon.
20 GETS ALONG WITH: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America is a born leader who earns the respect of just about anyone who serve on a team with him. While he may not be the strongest or the fastest member of the Avengers, he has more will and heart than most of them combined. While the Hulk and Steve Rogers have gone at it before, when the dust settles, Bruce Banner has nothing but respect of the star-spangled hero.
Oddly enough, Captain America has been able to hold his own in a fight against the Hulk, which is something that does truly elevate him above just being another puny mortal in the green eyes of rage.
19 CAN'T STAND: DEADPOOL
Can anyone really stand Wade Wilson? The guy has plenty of fans, but at the end of the day he’s pretty insufferable to even those with extremely tender hearts. You can only turn a blind eye and lend a deaf ear to so much constant blathering and bad puns before you want to test out Deadpool’s highly advance healing factor yourself.
Now take all the things that make Deadpool some a tough person to be around and drop them in front of the angriest man in the world: the Hulk. It’s like giving Cujo a chew toy… one that can regrow its stuffing.
18 GETS ALONG WITH: SKAAR
Father and son relationships in comic books are rarely conventional when both of them are superpowered beings. You’ll never catch Wolverine and Daken tossing around the old pigskin in the backyard or Magneto take Quicksilver to a parent/teacher conference. So naturally, the relationship between Hulk and his son Skaar is a somewhat tumultuous one.
When Skaar first came to Earth his sole intention was to kill his father, but after seeing the bravery and kindness Hulk’s true self, Bruce Banner, possessed, he realized it would net fix anything and he was not the same man as the brute he knew before. Now, if that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, we don’t know what will.
17 CAN'T STAND: HAWKEYE
Clint Barton and Bruce Banner were pretty much always on good terms. Clint recognizes Banner’s brilliance and acknowledges the good his alter ego, the Hulk had done. They’re colleagues and friends, who understand one another. This might be why Bruce entrusted Clint to take him out with engineered arrows that would kill Banner and stop the Hulk from taking the wheel.
However, this begs the question of whether or not the Hulk was privy to this plan. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dynamic between Banner and his inner green monster suggests no. It might be a bit of a reach, but the newly resurrected Immortal Hulk probably remembers who killed him and isn't too happy about it.
16 GETS ALONG WITH: NAMOR
Namor is a bit of a jerk. But he’s willing go to bat for one of his oldest superhero buddies, the Incredible Hulk. These two have teamed up on multiple occasions and were both members of the Defenders at one point. But the moment that really galvanized their relationship occurred before the events of the story arc “Planet Hulk.”
The superhero council known as the Illuminati have a lot of sway over how massive global events will play out. When it came to the decision to send Bruce Banner to an alien planet due to his alter ego’s destructive nature, Namor was the only member of the Illuminati to protest the decision. He’s still a jerk, but we suppose Namor is a good friend.
15 CAN'T STAND: SPIDER-MAN
Puny bug indeed. Spider-Man can be quite the nuisance for even level-headed superheroes. Much like Deadpool, Peter Parker is known for cracking jokes at inappropriate times and not knowing when to keep his mouth shut. But whereas Deadpool is a punching bag, Spider-Man is a moving target. With his narrow frame and lightning fast reflexes, old Webhead is slick in a fight.
The few times the Hulk and Spider-Man have squared off, Peter Parker’s aversion to just taking a hit, drove the big green monster nuts. But during one particular fight with Spider-Man after he was imbued with cosmic strength, the Hulk found a new reason to loath Spidey after getting knocked out of orbit by him.
14 GETS ALONG WITH: AMADEUS CHO
Both Amadeus Cho and Bruce Banner experienced deep trauma in their youth. Cho lost his own loving parents at the hands of a villainous genius who didn’t want to have any intellectual rivals, while Banner grappled with domestic violence from his juvenile years that would later turn deadly in a confrontation with his abusive father.
These two both share an off the charts level of intellect which left them vastly misunderstood. Banner took Cho under his wing after the loss of his parents and their friendship flourished. Their respect for one another even lead to Cho being able to briefly talk some sense into Banner during the event “World War Hulk.” After all, they both know it’s not easy being green.
13 CAN'T STAND: RED HULK
The relationship between General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and Bruce Banner is almost Shakespearean. The two were colleagues for quite some time until Ross’ daughter (and Bruce Banner’s love interest), Betty passed away possibly due to the gamma radiation from Bruce. No parent should ever have to experience losing a child, so a bit of overreaction is understandable.
However, Thunderbolt Ross took things to a new level by stalking the Hulk for what he did to Betty (albeit inadvertently). As the Red Hulk, Ross was able to go toe-to-toe with Banner, which the Incredible Hulk did not too kindly to. The tension between these two is palpable and it’s hard to tell who hates who more. Maybe Banner’s self-loathing takes the cake.
12 GETS ALONG WITH: IRON MAN
To be fair, Hulk and Iron Man have had their spats, but it’s to be expected to happen between longtime friends and team mates. Usually this tussles spawn because Tony Stark is trying his hardest to get Bruce to reemerge from the blind, green fury that is the Hulk. Of course, Tony did agree to blast Bruce into space, so…
But despite their sporadic misunderstandings and disagreements, they have remained two of the most prominent members of the Avengers and have a good working rapport together. The Marvel Cinematic Universe capitalized on this in a big way, turning the two of them best buds in the realm of science as well as making Tony something of his brother’s keeper to Banner.
11 CAN'T STAND: THOR
Just because an indestructible monster and a literal god can be teammates doesn’t mean they have to be friends. In fact, when it comes to two of the Avengers longest servicing and heaviest hitting members, the Incredible Hulk and the Mighty Thor, their respective brute forces can be a point of contention instead of a point of commonality.
One of their earliest scuffles occurred when a group of kids wanted to know who was stronger, and the two heroes put it to the test. Since then, things haven’t gotten better. These two will still scoff at the each for claiming to be stronger. We even get a taste of this rivalry in the MCU, which is played for laughs more than anything else.
10 GETS ALONG WITH: HERCULES
Whereas the relationship between Thor and Hulk is more of debate over who is top dog, the strength measuring contest between Hercules and Hulk is mired in mutual respect. Hercules doesn’t want to test Hulk’s abilities to the point of making him a rival. He just loves the fact this green beast who happens to also be a nebbish scientist can give the god a run for his money.
The two heroes became close friends over the years. Hercules even once stepped in for Hulk in his absence during Planet Hulk and continued to do so with another one of Banner’s close friends, Amadeus Cho. It seems punching things exceptionally well brings people together.
9 CAN'T STAND: ANT-MAN
Hank Pym is not a likable guy. Not in the main Marvel continuity (Earth-616) or the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610). He’s done some pretty bad things and still somehow is seen as a superhero. In the comic series The Ultimates, Hank Pym loses a fight with Hulk and instead of swallowing his pride, he takes it out on his wife, Janet.
Naturally, this didn’t sit well with the team, especially Bruce Banner, who already had a lot of animosity toward Pym for making larger strides in scientific research. After Hulk was deemed too dangerous to live, it was Pym who also created a sedative to incapacitate Banner long enough to execute him. Worst teammate ever.
8 GETS ALONG WITH: SENTRY
Despite being one of the most powerful members of the Avengers in comic book history, Sentry is also immensely lame, but that doesn’t mean his teammates think the same. In fact the Incredible Hulk is pretty big fan of Marvel’s golden boy for a few reasons.
The first being that Sentry can take down the Hulk if needed. This acts as a pretty solid contingency plan if Bruce Banner’s green monster gets out of control. The other thing is that Sentry is basically a giant Xanax for the Hulk. That’s right. For some reason Sentry’s golden glow is calming to the big green fella. We suppose the sun doesn’t have to get real low to get Bruce to come back.
7 CAN'T STAND: GHOST RIDER
By any measurement, Ghost Rider is a heavy hitter. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Johnny Blaze, Robbie Reyes, or even Frank Castle imbued with cosmic power, the Spirit of Vengeance possess superhuman strength, immortality, a healing factor, and of course the signature ability of the Penance Stare.
Hulk and Ghost Rider have gotten into a few bouts before and oddly enough The Rider often comes out on top, but to the Hulk’s chagrin. Early on Johnny Blaze took out Hulk by basically suffocating him with hellfire. Much later, Hulk and Ghost Rider had another encounter during the “World War Hulk” event, in which Banner tried desperately to snuff of the fire of that flaming skull and only strengthened Blaze.
6 GETS ALONG WITH: DOCTOR STRANGE
Hulk has a lot of issues that never got worked out. Even after his apparent death, the only thing Bruce Banner had was bigger (and weirder) problems. And because of those issues, keeping friends can be tough, especially when one returns to face the people most trusted in their life after being blasted off into space by them. But transgressions do not erase the past, nor do they dictate the future.
Despite breaking Doctor Strange’s hands at one point, he and Bruce Banner have been friends and teammates for decades, both serving as Defenders and Avengers. Even after the crippling attack the Hulk used against his old friend, the two men have rekindled their friendship. At this point they are even-steven.
5 CAN'T STAND: HAVOK
Alex Summers is not known for being the most warm and fuzzy character. The guy has a lot of pent up aggression and spent decades parsing out the fact he often lives in the shadow of his older brother and has a well of energy pent up inside him. It’s enough to make anyone bottle up and explode.
When a guy that volatile butts up against a man who is the physical embodiment of rage, it’s bound to end in a massive ball of violence. But strangely enough, that only happened once in an issue of X-Factor. What’s even stranger is Havok has come out the winner twice against the Hulk, which is still a sore spot for our favorite green rage monster.
4 GETS ALONG WITH: SHE-HULK
Bonds between family members are strong, especially when those bonds are forged from gamma radiated blood. Jennifer Walters became She-Hulk after an emergency blood transfusion from her cousin, Bruce Banner. While these two possess similar abilities, Jennifer is able to keep her rage in check much better than her cousin.
But despite this, they find commonality in their shared affliction. In fact, in some realities, their bond might be a smidge too strong. In the Wolverine story arc “Old Man Logan” we meet the offspring of these two who strike a closer resemblance to the villains of the film Deliverance more than the heroes their parents were. Yuck...
3 CAN'T STAND: THE THING
Ben Grimm’s tenure as an Avenger was terrible long-lasting, but the strife between him and the Incredible Hulk is pretty much everlasting. Their rivalry in brute strength has lent itself to some pretty awesome battles scenes in comic books. The slugfests that occur on the page between them are moments of pure battles of strength and durability. It’s like breaking rocks with a sledge hammer.
Unfortunately, for the Thing, he’s more often than not the rock being broken. And the Hulk seems to revel in this fact. If anything Ben Grimm is not much more than a bench mark for seeing how devastating a blow from the Hulk really is.
2 GETS ALONG WITH: BLACK WIDOW
The timid scientist, Bruce Banner and the trained assassin, Natasha Romanoff never had any sort of romantic fling in the comics as far as we can tell. They two respected each other as member of the Avengers, but that was about the extent of it on the page.
However, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, things are much different. Despite being a bit hamfisted and seemingly to come out of left field, Black Widow made a real connection with the Hulk and was even deployed to bring the big guy down through sheer compassion. While the scenes between them have spawned several memes and some curious fan fiction, their relationship was a bit odd, albeit rather sweet.
1 CAN'T STAND: WOLVERINE
Boy do these two have some history together. Wolverine was originally introduced as a villain in the pages of The Incredible Hulk back in 1974 and the two never really found common ground. In the primary Marvel Universe (Earth-616) they have gone head to head several time. But their rivalry extends beyond decades into alternate timelines and realities.
Whether it’s the old, savage versions of the Hulk, Maestro or the green neck patriarch of the Hulk Gang from the pages of “Old Man Logan” the battle between Logan and Banner rages in all corners of Marvel Comics continuity. Even in the Ultimate Universe, the Hulk wants nothing to do with Wolverine, and once bisected him on a mountain top. That’ll teach him…