The Hulk was one of the first characters that Marvel Comics gave his own comic book, following The Fantastic Four, and one of the first new heroes to debut in the silver age, months before Spider-Man and a year before Iron Man. From that point on, no matter how many monsters appeared in the Marvel Universe, they all had to follow in the footsteps of The Incredible Hulk. It is also quite easy to say that no monster — or superhero for that matter — ever matched Hulk in raw power. As a result, Marvel chose to try to find new characters that could match up to Hulk in order to at least make people doubt his chances of winning, and the best way to do that was to create other Hulks.
While Bruce Banner is the one character that has always embodied what it means to be The Hulk, there has also been the extended Hulk-family, which included relatives such as his kids and cousin and his acquaintances, such as ex-girlfriends and enemies. There are also a number of enemies who gained their powers through the same gamma radiation that turned Banner into the Green Goliath, as well as Hulk’s on alternate Earths. Finally, there are the wonderful What If stories and other Elseworlds-styled tales that wonders what would happen if someone else took on the role of The Hulk. While few of these came close to the power of the original, they all can lay claim to being a Hulk in the Marvel Universe.
30. BEN GRIMM
In the Age of Apocalypse world, Bruce Banner still became Hulk but he called himself The Thing instead. With that said, Ben Grimm was The Hulk in even another parallel universe — Earth-523003. This was the What If issue where Doctor Doom became The Thing instead of Grimm.
However, while Grimm did not get his rocky body in that comic book, he still became The Hulk when he saved Reed, Sue and Johnny from a gamma bomb. The Fantastic Four then included The Hulk while Dr. Doom’s Thing became the same bad guy he was in the mainstream timeline.
29. PETER PARKER
In 2007, Marvel Comics released the series Bullet Points, which changes the origin of Steve Rogers and permanently bonds him into Iron Man armor instead of injecting him with the super soldier serum. With Steve as Iron Man, things change for Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Peter Parker, Hank Pym, and May Parker.
In this series, Parker grows up without his Uncle Ben, who died saving the life of Dr. Erskine, and ends up getting into a lot of trouble, including sneaking into a military testing site where a gamma bomb exploded and turned him into The Hulk.
28. RICK JONES
Rick Jones makes his list for two reasons. First, he was part of the Hulk family when he became A-Bomb. As this character, A-Bomb became a hero, helping save people’s lives before losing his powers when Bruce Banner forcibly cured him as Doc Green.
On top of that, there was also a What If issue titled “What if Rick Jones had become The Hulk” that came out in 1978. In this world, Rick pushed Banner out of the way when he tried to save him and took the entire gamma blast himself.
27. DOCTOR DOOM CLONE
In the mainstream Marvel Universe, Doctor Doom was at one time The Hulk. More accurately, as is often the case with Victor Von Doom, it was just one of his many clones that took on the role of The Hulk. This started in Incredible Hulk Vol. 3 #5 when Hulk asked Doom to remove the parts of his brain belonging to Banner.
Dr. Doom then created a cloned body of Bruce Banner, who soon started experimenting on creatures himself in a Dr. Mureau fashion. This all came to a head when the original Hulk returned to defeat him.
26. DOC SAMSON
One of the interesting things about The Hulk is that there have been many people in Marvel Comics who have become a Hulk-like creature. All of them were due to gamma radiation and many of them became superpowered due to actions of either Hulk or Bruce Banner.
In the case of Leonard Samson, in Incredible Hulk #141, he came up with a scientific plan to save the life of Betty Ross — who was in a crystalline form — and cure Bruce Banner at the same time. It worked but then Samson chose to irradiate himself with the gamma radiation and he became a superpowered Hulk with green hair.
25. TYRONE CASH
Bruce Banner was the Hulk in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, but he wasn’t the first man to hold the title. Tyrone Cash was a British scientist who was working on the super soldier serum with Bruce Banner. Cash then took the serum and became the first Hulk, going on the run after taking the lives of a number of people.
24. SAMUEL STERNS
Samuel Sterns was the polar opposite of Bruce Banner in every way. Where Bruce was intelligent and heroic, Samuel had a low IQ and was a high school dropout who worked manual labor in a chemical research plant.
Where Bruce was exposed to gamma radiation that made him super strong with limited intelligence, Sterns was made super intelligent but his transformation did not come with giant muscles. Sterns became The Leader and was one of Hulk’s greatest villains over the years, even appearing in a cameo in The Incredible Hulk.
It makes sense that the iconic superhero who made his original debut in the pages of Hulk would also end up as a Hulk one day himself. Wolverine made his debut in Incredible Hulk #180 battling Hulk and Wendigo, and Hulk was also one of the last villains he fought as an old man in Old Man Logan.
However, What If #28 had Captain American leading an army of super soldiers after Red Skull took over America after World War II. One of them was Logan, who instead of becoming Wolverine, ended up with the Wendigo curse and called himself The Hulk.
22. WONDER MAN
In Exiles #23, an alternate Earth where Tony Stark became the Emperor of the Planet for life was introduced. Everyone who opposed him was eliminated but he found an enemy in the Inhumans.
One of the heroes that Iron Man took out was Hulk, doing so by dropping a giant gamma bomb on him. However, Wonder Man was close by and took the hit, becoming a stronger version of Hulk. Simon Williams was smart and came to an agreement with Tony Stark to leave him alone in exchange for living in peace.
21. PHILIP STERNS
Philip Sterns was the older brother of Samuel Sterns, who himself became The Leader. However, unlike Samuel, who lacked intelligence and driver before his transformation, Philip was a brilliant nuclear physicist who worked with Bruce Banner.
Sterns ended up infatuated with Banner, and more specifically The Hulk. This caused him to want to emulate his hero and he took part in a number of experiments with gamma radiation and ended up as the Madman, a gamma radiated monster with multiple personality disorder.
20. DELL FRYE
The Incredible Hulk is one of the most fondly remembered classic television shows based on comic books. With Bill Bixby portraying David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk, the show lasted for five seasons and even spawned three made-for-TV films.
There was one great supernatural villain on a series that mostly focused on human bad guys. This character was named Dell Frye and he appeared in the season four episode “The First.” He’s an older man who had transformed into a savage Hulk creature 30 years before and found a way to do it again to gain revenge on the townspeople who bullied him.
19. ORANGE HULK
There is almost nothing known about the Orange Hulk outside of the fact that he was presumedly genetically created. Orange Hulk was part of the world of the Age of Apocalypse and was part of the Black Legion along with fun characters like The Iron Ghost — a mix of Ghost Rider and Iron Man.
These creatures were possibly created by either Dark Beast or Sugar Man and served Weapon Omega after he took control of the world. The one thing known is that Orange Hulk gets his powers from solar radiation instead of gamma radiation.
18. THEODORE ALTMAN
Theodore Altman’s real name is Price Dorreck VIII and he is the son of Captain Mar-Vell and the daughter of the Skrull Emperor, Princess Anelle. Knowing that he would be in danger as a half-breed, she sent him away to Earth to live in hiding.
Going by the name Hulkling, Teddy joined the Young Avengers with no knowledge that he was, in fact, a Skrull at all. Hulking is not technically a Hulk-like creature and is instead a shape-shifting hero.
17. TODD ZILLER
Todd Ziller is not just a character with Hulk DNA but he also possesses the DNA from heroes such as Captain America, Hank Pym, The Lizard, and Marvel’s mutants. The United States had the smart idea to inject US Army Corporal Ziller with gamma radiation, MGH, Pym Particles, and the Connors’ Formula, which to no one’s surprise created a monster.
Rogue’s powers involve touching someone and stealing their powers and memories for a short time. This has meant she has become everyone from The Human Torch and Ice-Man to Mystique and The Hulk.
This specific instance happened in Uncanny Avengers #21 when Rogue absorbed the powers of the Avengers and X-Men to battle Exitar. This included The Hulk. Rogue also stole the powers from She-Hulk at another point, proving she could smash things with the best of them.
15. BETTY ROSS
It seems that everyone close to Bruce Banner, from friends to loved ones to enemies, at one time or another became a Hulk. This includes the love of his life, Betty Ross. There were two points where Ross became a Hulk.
The first occurred in Incredible Hulk #168 when A.I.M. turned her into a gamma radiated monster called Harpy. The more prominent version appeared for the first time in Hulk Vol. 2 #15 when she returned as Red She-Hulk to interfere in the battle between Red Hulk and X-Force. In this case, she was resurrected by the Leader and MODOK and exposed to gamma radiation to change her into a Hulk.
Possibly the craziest version of Hulk ever put into a comic book came when Deadpool became Hulkpool in Hulk #21. This is a time travel story and gave Deadpool the powers of The Hulk that combined with his own arrogance and wit to make him very dangerous and unforgettable.
This started out as part of the World War Hulks storyline Hulked Out Heroes and it saw Bob, Agent of HYDRA send Hulkpool back in time to take out Deadpool. Confusion in time travel took place where he ended up stopping the origin stories of most major superheroes — including The Hulk.
13. THE WASP
The Incursion storyline created some very interesting alternate Earths that made up the landscape for the new world. Battleworld was all that remained and Earth-71612 was revived on this world as a domain called Greenland, which made its first appearance in Planet Hulk #1.
In Greenland, Amadeus Cho saved everyone there from an attack but also turned them all into Hulks as a side effect. This included Janet Van Dyne –The Wasp. She turned out to be more successful than her husband when she commercialized unstable molecules, which helped Hulks grow and shrink back to normal without losing their clothes.
12. EMIL BLONSKY
Possibly Hulk’s greatest archnemesis is Emil Blonsky, the Abomination. In Tales to Astonish #90, Bruce Banner created a machine that he believed would bombard him with so much gamma radiation that it would finally end his life and the threat of the Hulk forever.
Security arrived and stopped him, taking him away. Blonsky was there, and turned the machine on, bombarding himself with the gamma radiation and, just like Banner before him, he turned into a Hulk-like creature, but with greater natural strength and his intelligence intact.
11. JAMIE CARLSON
In 2015, the very first issue of Superior Iron Man saw Iron Man and She-Hulk battling a new villain who went by the name Teen Abomination. She-Hulk said he was not as strong as Abomination, but he proved strong enough to knock her for a loop.
Turns out an accident at Stark Industries exposed Jamie to gamma radiation at the age of five and he first turned into a Hulk-like creature at the age of 13. Unlike the real Abomination, Jamie was not a bad guy at all and just wanted help.
10. GENERAL ROSS
One of the most infamous versions of Hulk came in the form of General Thunderbolt Ross. For years, Ross wanted nothing more than to capture and bring down Hulk and Bruce Banner, both of which he held strong contempt for. However, in Hulk #1, Ross debuted as the Red Hulk.
It was a mystery at first, with General Ross leading the investigation into an international incident that allegedly involved Hulk. Later, it proved to be Ross’ Red Hulk persona, created by Ross and Doc Samson to get revenge on The Hulk.
9. JENNIFER WALTERS
The most famous alternate version of Hulk is his cousin Jennifer Walters. In Savage She-Hulk #1, Jennifer was an attorney who was attacked and was about to pass away when her cousin Bruce Banner made the life-changing choice to give her his own blood in a transfusion.
The transfusion saved her life but transformed her into the She-Hulk. The difference is that she kept her intelligence and could not change back. She-Hulk became a hero and even continued to work as an attorney despite her large green appearance.
Lyra is the second hero to use the name She-Hulk. Unlike Jennifer Walters, who was Bruce Banner’s cousin, Lyra was Banner’s daughter from Earth-8099. Her mother Thundra came to the mainstream Marvel Universe and got DNA from the Hulk before using it to genetically engineer her daughter.
Maestro is actually Bruce Banner, but a Banner from an alternate Earth. This Earth had suffered through a nuclear war and Hulk became a villain known as Maestro in the wake of that devastating event. This is actually an alternate future where Maestro became the ruler of the world.
6. JOHN EISENHART
In the ’90s, a line of comic books detailing superheroes in the year 2099 arrived. The most famous of these characters was Miguel O’Hara’s Spider-Man 2099 but there were many others along the way. In 2099, there was also another Hulk — this one a man named John Eisenhart.
There was a cult that worshipped the old Hulk — known as the Knights of Banner. Eisenhart was a ruthless Hollywood player who wanted to exploit this group. When he learned about their illegal gamma experimentation, he ended up changed into Hulk 2099 following a confrontation between the corrupt police and the Knights.
5. BRIAN BANNER
Brian Banner is the father of Bruce Banner and he is the main reason that Hulk and Banner have split personalities. Brian was terrible to his son and messed up Bruce mentally long before his son ever became The Hulk. After taking the life of Bruce’s mother and spending years behind bars, he got out and tried to come after Bruce, only to perish in an accident as Bruce defended himself.
For years, Brian Banner haunted Bruce’s dreams and tormented both Bruce and The Hulk. In Incredible Hulk #619, all the Hulks were battling the Chaos King and Brian Banner returned from Hell as a mix of Devil Hulk and Guilt Hulk, feeding off his son’s fear to gain power.
Skaar is the son of Hulk and Caiera the Oldstrong from Hulk’s time on the planet Sakaar. When an explosion took the life of his pregnant wife, Hulk left for Earth to gain revenge on the men he believed to be responsible. What Hulk did not know what that Caiera left a cocoon with Skaar in the lake of fire and the child was born with both parents gone.
Most fans of the Marvel Comics Universe know about Skaar, Hulk’s son with Caiera from Sakaar. However, Skaar was not an only child. A second child was Hiro-Kala, who was also placed in a cocoon by their mother, just like his brother, for their survival.
Unlike Skaar, who was born with great power, Hiro-Kala was born weak and was taken in by Axeman Bone, who had vowed vengeance on Hulk. While his power is a mixture of the Old Power and Power Cosmic, he also has a Hulk transformation that is said to be triggered by love.
2. AMADEUS CHO
Long before Amadeus Cho became a Hulk, he was a Rick Jones-styled sidekick for both Hercules and the Hulk. He is also one of the ten smartest humans on Earth. That gave him the brains to come up with a plan to save the world from Hulk.
When Bruce Banner absorbed a new type of radiation to save numerous people, he also became a superconductor himself. Amadeus was able to absorb all the Hulk’s powers to stop Hulk from a meltdown and became the Totally Awesome Hulk.
1. SOLOMAN GRUNDY
Possibly the craziest alternate Hulk came in the amalgam world of Marvel Comics and DC Comics. In Doctor Stragefate #1, a number of Marvel and DC heroes and villains were combined into new, unique characters. When it came to Hulk, he was combined with Solomon Grundy.
In this story, Bruce Banner was experimenting with radiation and an accident ended up fusing him with Soloman Grundy. This being became known as the Skulk and Dr. Strangefate helped keep his transformation under control in exchange for becoming an agent for the hero.
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