Many consider Bruce Banner, aka The Incredible Hulk, to be one of the strongest mortals to ever walk on planet Earth. With gamma-irradiated strength, a healing factor that’s on par with Wolverine’s, and his notorious ability for getting stronger the madder he gets, many believe the Hulk is unbeatable. Heck, even the Hulk believes his own hype. He probably is the hype, what with going around and constantly yelling, “Hulk is the strongest one there is!”
Though the early days of Marvel definitely helped reinforce the idea, the Hulk has only seemingly gotten stronger with every comic book he’s been featured in. The only Marvel heroes who can stand on equal footing when it comes to raw power, are gods like Thor. Despite the overwhelming abilities of the God of Thunder, the Hulk has proved time and again, that if ever there’s a dire situation that requires raw physicality, he’s the guy you go to. Demonstrating the ability to do everything ranging from nearly breaking off the Eastern Seaboard with a footstep, to defeating the dreaded demon Dormammu with a simple thunderclap, the upper limits to the Hulk’s strength have yet to be determined. Today at CBR we’re checking out 21 one of the Hulk’s most ridiculous strength-related moments!
For better or worse, the Hulk is typically known for smashing…it’s kind of his thing. Anyway, after Earth’s heroes sent the Hulk into space and he landed on the planet Sakaar, in spite of all the hardships he endured while on the planet, the Hulk acquired a fondness for his new home. He found a place to belong in the barbarian-esque battleword. It’s where he discovered love and forged everlasting friendships.
In Incredible Hulk #102, the Hulk is leading a rebellion against the tyrant Red King, all in the name of freeing the people on the planet he now adores.
The Red King, pretty aware that he’s about to get overthrown, takes a page right of the ”if I can’t have it, no one can” handbook and triggers a doomsday device built to tear the planet apart by its tectonic plates. The Hulk steps in, doing what he does best, and utilizes his awesome strength to maximum effect in one of his most epic moments. Up until this point in the story arc, the Hulk had been going by the nickname the “World Breaker”. This time around, rather than breaking apart a planet, the Hulk dove into the lava-filled depths of the planet’s core and saved the world by keeping the plates of the planet together with nothing but raw strength. We don’t know the exact size of Sakarr, but it is larger than Earth and holding together a planet is still holding together a planet.
For literally decades, comic book fans have argued over who is stronger, the Hulk or Superman, and who would beat whom in a fight. The Hulk’s advantage is that he gets stronger the more angry he becomes, but Superman is practically a living god. Regardless, Marvel and DC Comics haven’t shared many crossovers, so fans of either hero could only boast various feats to supply their arguments. Though the two faced off in DC vs. Marvel, the fights in the mini-series were determined by votes; essentially who was most popular.
Yet in July 1999 Marvel released the one-shot, The Incredible Hulk vs. Superman #1. This time around, it wasn’t quite as clear as to who was superior; each character demonstrates incredibly impressive feats. One such moment featured the Hulk hitting Superman so hard that the Man of Steel got launched into space. Completely taken off-guard by the display of strength, Superman can only marvel at the Hulk from orbit, thinking, "Wow! He's not only big, he's fast”. In this universe, Superman has never battled anyone of the Hulk’s power. The feat itself is positively mind-boggling. The Hulk isn’t even at full power when he shrugs Superman into orbit, and considering the Man of Steel’s own powers and durability, the actual science behind such a blow is probably astonishing.
Powerful enough to have a full-on event revolve around him; Onslaught is one of the most evil and strongest villains to ever threaten Earth. After Xavier used his telepathic powers to shut down Magneto’s mind, part of the latter’s darker aspects merged with Xavier’s subconscious and grew into the persona known as Onslaught. With nearly unrivaled power, Onslaught possessed the combined powers of Charles Xavier, Magneto, Nate Grey, and Franklin Richards. This meant he could manipulate reality and magnetic fields, utilize telepathy, telekinesis, energy projection, and he could even increase his size and strength. Eventually it was time for the final battle.
In spite of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men throwing everything they had at the psionic being, it’s not enough.
They barely make a dent. The Hulk, having returned from being mind-controlled by Onslaught earlier in the series, is hot for revenge. Realizing he’s still in need of a boost, he asks Jean Grey to cut the tether between the Hulk and Bruce Banner. The idea is that without Banner, the Hulk will be a pure rage monster. The Hulk is right. Now unleashed, the Hulk fights Onslaught and hits him so hard that the villain’s armor shatters, the resulting "psionic wave" was so immense that Hulk and Banner are split into two separate people. And so the Hulk proved his strength as greater than the combined efforts of the majority of Earth’s heroes and even Doctor Doom’s.
One of the most iconic moments in the history of the incredible Hulk undoubtedly took place in the Marvel event "Secret Wars". It is here where the Hulk shows off his fantastic power, as the green goliath holds up a literal mountain range to ensure he and his friends aren’t crushed. The original "Secret Wars" from 1984 featured Marvel’s most popular heroes and villains brought to an alien world to do battle, thanks of the enigmatic and all-powerful Beyonder. In one of the series’ many awesome fights, issue four featured the Molecule Man dropping an entire mountain range on Earth’s heroes.
Everyone present would have surely met their maker, if not for the Hulk catching the 150-billion-ton mass. There’s little any of the other heroes can do to help take any weight off the Hulk. Reed Richards, realizing their plight, intentionally goads the Hulk, making the hero angrier and stronger in the process. This provides Mr. Fantastic time to whip up some clever science that eventually gets everyone to safety. The moment paved the way for many other feats the Hulk would demonstrate over the years. Additionally, so iconic was this display of strength, that the scene was retold in 2015's "Secret Wars" arc in a tribute to the original.
Despite what you might think, the Hulk actually has many different skills available for attacking an opponent. One of his most famous moves in his sonic clap. The clap is a signature attack that’s remained a constant throughout the years. Though the Hulk has used it primarily for destruction, the sound waves can discharge enough of a wind burst to put out fires, or even displace an entire beach to send sand flying and provide a cushion to others.
However, in The Incredible Hulk #126, the jade giant demonstrated he could use the technique in order to rip apart the seams of reality.
Of course such a clap would have to be extra loud, and the green behemoth needs some motivation to do so and he had it. In the issue, the Hulk is sent to another dimension, thanks to a group of crazed cultists, who want the Hulk to fight the villain known as Night-Crawler for them. Despite Bruce Banner’s reluctance to transform, a young woman from the cult defies the leader and is thrown in the middle of the confrontation between Bruce and Night-Crawler, forcing Banner to transform in order to protect her. Their battle is intense and lengthy, until finally the Hulk has had enough. Unleashing his thunderclap, he accidentally tears apart the cosmos all three individuals are residing in.
After some of Earth’s heroes launched the Hulk into space, the jade giant landed on the planet Sakarr. A bunch of stuff happened, fisticuffs ensued, and eventfully the Hulk found love. Unfortunately Hulk’s love life came to an end when the ship he’d arrived in exploded, killing the Hulk’s Queen and many of his subjects. Grief-stricken, Hulk believed his former friends from Earth were responsible and swore vengeance on them. So began the "World War Hulk" storyline, wherein the Hulk returns to Earth, angrier than ever before, looking for revenge. When he arrives, Hulk promptly defeats Black Bolt, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the U.S. Army, and even Doctor Strange.
His final fight comes when he battles the Sentry, which he obviously wins too. By this time everyone’s calmed down a bit, until Miek, one of Hulk’s subjects, stabs Rick Jones (the Hulk’s best friend) through the chest. Miek then reveals he detonated the bomb. The heroes assembled try calming the Hulk down, but the revelation is too much and a newly enraged Hulk powers up again to his World Breaker form. The Hulk takes one step and almost breaks the third-largest continent on the planet. His stomp starts to break apart New York, after which we hear the phrase, "two more footsteps like that and we lose the eastern seaboard."
If anyone was looking for evidence that the Hulk could annihilate a planet, then look no further than the following example. The entry is only the more astonishing since the Hulk performed this feat while Banner was in his gray Hulk persona. This is especially relevant because the gray Hulk was notorious for being substantially weaker than his green version. Without delay, let’s get to it. The Hulk, in a feat the likes of which is usually reserved for Superman, strapped on a jetpack and punched an asteroid so hard that it broke into a million little pieces. Additionally, this wasn’t just any old asteroid we’re talking about.
In Marvel Comics Presents #52 the asteroid in question is estimated to be twice the size of the planet Earth.
This giant rock of doom got knocked onto a collision course thanks to a couple of aliens playing nearby. With no one else up to the task, the Hulk put on a pair of "experimental anti-magnetic, jet-propelled, fortified rocket springs", flew into space, and did his thing. Like previously stated, the Hulk was in his weakest form when he accomplished this feat, but if that wasn’t enough, he wasn’t even angry when he did it!
General Thaddeus Ross has hated Bruce Banner even before the scientist turned into the Hulk. After Banner transformed, it gave Ross the excuse he needed to try and kill him, spending the rest of his military career dedicated to hunting down the Hulk. After trying nearly every option, Ross turned to the villain the Leader and got the bad guy to turn him into the Red Hulk. With his newfound power, the Red Hulk immediately killed the Abomination, and then defeated the Hulk. He’d go on to do things like punch the Watcher, try and take over the U.S. and steal the Silver Surfer’s power. Ross reveled in this power, almost losing himself in it; his nearly fractured mind leads him to his being overly aggressive. Regardless, the Hulk later defeated him, but that wasn’t the last time they fought.
After Bruce Banner was shot in the head, he was healed with Extremis technology; this turned him into Doc Green, the Hulk with all the intelligence of Banner and all the Hulk’s strength. Doc then decided to cure those with gamma radiation, which involved going about and depowering other Hulks. Finally, Hulk encounters Red Hulk and their encounter is so destructive that it generates earthquakes around the world, brought on by the sheer force of their punches.
The Marvel Ultimate Comics universe is a dark and violent place. Known for trying to ground its characters, many superheroes in the Ultimate Universe are far more vicious than their mainstream Marvel Universe counterparts. Yet out of all the Ultimate heroes, it’s the Hulk who’s the most despicable. With a record involving eating people, tearing folks apart, and going on murderous rampages, the mini-series titled Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk was yet another opportunity for the Hulk to exercise his bloodlust. The story revolves around the Hulk and, to no one’s surprise, the fact that he’s been on a tear for quite a while. In order to ensure no additional innocent lives are lost, Nick Fury hires Wolverine to hunt down the Hulk and finish him off.
Although the fight is relatively short-lived, it’s one of the most iconic battles in the history of the Ultimate Comics line.
The series actually starts with Wolverine waking up to find the bottom half of his torso completely missing after being ripped apart by the Hulk. To the Hulk’s credit, this demonstrated his ability to break apart the fabled metal adamantium. Considered to be unbreakable, the Hulk proved believers otherwise. Of course Wolverine wouldn’t have gotten into such a predicament if he hadn’t made a sarcastic remark about Betty Ross, resulting in his dismemberment.
George Tarelton once worked for A.I.M on experiments to unlock his mental potential. After a series of experiments, he finally achieved his goal. However, accomplishing this mad feat transformed him into a giant floating cyborg head. From there, he became known as the villain M.O.D.O.K. Capable of firing psychic energy blasts, and imbued with a massive intellect, M.O.D.O.K. is a fearsome being; he’s also pretty unpleasant to even look at.
Anyway, in The Incredible Hulk #167, M.O.D.O.K. is off musing in his laboratory that in order for him to eventually fulfill his goals of world domination or whatever, he’s going to have to beat everyone who might oppose him. Having faced the Hulk before, M.O.D.O.K. knows that their paths will likely cross again. With that in mind, he decides to take a preemptive strike. M.O.D.O.K. dons a mountainous suit of armor that’s an alloy made from adamantium and steel. By all accounts, the armor should be resistant to all physical forms of attack. He also plans to capture Betty, Bruce’s love interest. When M.O.D.O.K. is about to capture Betty, the Hulk stops him. Their fight is explosive, but concludes when the Hulk shatters the armor and M.O.D.O.K. is forced to flee.
A member of the Strontian species, Gladiator is the leader of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and many people tremble at his power. Considered one of the mightiest mortals in the universe, Gladiator was essentially written to be an analogue of Superman. The Strontian possesses nearly every power the Man of Steel does.
Gladiator is even deadlier because of his extreme hyper violent nature and has zero compunction about ending an opponent’s life.
Gladiator has performed too many mind-boggling feats to count. That said, he’s punched Wonder Woman to the center of a planet, flown across galaxies (and through suns) in seconds, kicked Thor’s hammer across a city, and even destroyed an entire world with a single punch. Additionally, Gladiator has many sensory powers like heat vision. Gladiator’s only real weakness is his self-confidence; at least until he ran into the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk ’97 Annual. When Gladiator comes to Earth, it’s to take an alien psionic entity back with him to the stars. This little entity looks and sounds like a frightened boy and Gladiator will probably kill him. The Hulk interferes and the two do battle. Despite Gladiator’s best efforts, including blasting a hole through the Hulk’s chest, the Hulk overpowers the alien and beats him senseless.
Time travel plays a rather a big part in comic books, but a side effect of time travel and everything it entails is that there are occasional tears in the fabric of the space-time continuum that threaten to destroy all of reality. So of course this is something the Hulk had to deal with. In The Incredible Hulk #135, the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror is scheming various ways to finally take down the Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Kang tries to go back in time to cause some malevolent mischief, but a time storm prevents him from doing so and he must go back to his ship. His resolve not diminished, Kang comes to the conclusions that if his personal Time Sphere can’t make the journey, then he needs someone or something that’s strong enough to get through the time-storm. Just like that, he thinks to abduct the Hulk for his nefarious plans.
Kang convinces the Hulk to go back in time and eliminate some of Kang’s enemies, saying that doing so will help the Hulk get rid of Bruce Banner once and for all. The Hulk agrees and Kang sends the powerful superhero through the timestream. Like Kang before him, the Hulk encounters the time-storm. Unlike Kang, the Hulk is not deterred and plunges into the storm and proceeds to punch time so hard that he makes it to the past. That’s right, even time itself can’t stand up to the Hulk’s fists.
Thanos is one of the greatest threats the Marvel Universe has ever known. With his relentless hunger to extinguish life, all in the name of appeasing Lady Death, there are no limits to Thanos’ ambition and what he’s willing to do. For years, Thanos has quested after Earth, if only because of the symbolic value it holds, as the world’s champions are the only beings to effectively defeat him time and again. During the event "Infinity", the Avengers are forced to go into space to battle the intergalactic threat of the Builders, an ancient race of aliens who are penchant to going about and destroying worlds, only to remake them in their image. They take their quest on a universal scale, forcing heroes and villains from all across the cosmos to unite.
Meanwhile, Thanos has decided to take advantage of the confusion.
With the Avengers having left Earth, the world is reasonably unprotected. Thanos seems about to get started with taking over the planet, when the Avengers get back just in time to do battle with the Mad Titan and his henchmen, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive. At one point, Proxima Midnight hits the Hulk with her spear, a weapon that channels the weight of a star. The Hulk doesn’t crumble under the weight, but rather holds it up while on his knees. For clarification, your average star’s weight ranges anywhere from Octillions to Decillions of tons.
Let’s get on thing crystal clear, throwing anything to the moon, much less a gigantic dragon, is impressive. Now, on to the subject at hand. The Marvel Universe is chock full of creatures that range from the bizarre and harmless, to the zany and not-so-harmless. Depending on the way the wind blows on a given day, Fin Fang Foom can be either one of those, or everything in between. Since we’re discussing Fin Fang Foom, it derives mention that he isn't a dragon per se, but actually a shapeshifting alien who happens to enjoy looking like a dragon. According to his Marvel biography, Fin Fang Foom weighs 20 tons in his dragon form; this’ll be relevant in a bit.
He’s fought the Hulk a number of times, but it was in the 2008 one-shot Hulk vs. Fin Fang Foom #1 where the alien dragon fought a rather disgruntled Bruce Banner. Yet Hulk wasn’t angrier than usual when he performed this feat, an accomplishment involving throwing a twenty-ton lizard a distance of 238,900 miles! Science would dictate that such a throw would result in a profound impact, the likes of which would likely have ridiculous consequences on Earth’s tidal activity.
When it comes to raw magic, there are few entities more fearsome than the nightmarish Cyttorak. A ridiculously powerful god, Cyttorak He is known for using the Juggernaut as his avatar on Earth via the Amulet of Cyttorak. See, many moons ago, Cyttorak participated in the Octessence, a wager made between eight inter-dimensional beings that wanted to find out who was the most powerful. They decided to provide a fraction of their power to eight human avatars to fight in their honor. Cyttorak cheated, stuff happened, and Cain Marko became the Juggernaut. One of Earth’s strongest villains, the Juggernaut’s power is still only a fraction of Cyttorak’s might.
Able to access Cyttorak’s powers with the Amulet, the gem is as durable, if not more so, than the Juggernaut.
In Marvel Adventures Hulk #10, Bruce Banner is on an archeological dig and makes the mistake of asking Cain for directions. Cain agrees, betrays Bruce, and then acquires the Amulet of Cyttorak and becomes the Juggernaut once again. The Juggernaut then traps Bruce under some debris, while Rick Jones tries to escape with the Amulet. Rick evades the Juggernaut long enough for Bruce to transform into the Hulk. From there, the two battle, but the Juggernaut gets the upper hand until Rick uses the Amulet to cast a spell wherein the Juggernaut is trapped by the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. The Hulk, having recovered, proceeds to smash the amulet and then defeats Juggernaut.
The Hulk has plenty of ridiculously powerful villains; a couple of them being Wendigo and Bi-Beast. In Incredible Hulks #631, the Hulk, who is currently harnessing his World Breaker power, is hanging out in Las Vegas when chaos ensues. Thanks the villain Tyrannus and the A.I.M. scientist supreme Monica Rappaccini misusing the Fountain of Youth, some indecent wishes are made, which resulted in a bunch of the Hulk’s enemies not only returning, but receiving a power boost as well. Typically, Wendigo or the Bi-Beast are dangerous enough, but when they become the size of literal buildings, their power is amplified like never before. To make matters worse, a chunk of Las Vegas is turned into a flying city (don’t ask questions, just roll with it), and throughout the fight enough damage is caused that the majority of the flying Las Vegas is threatening to crash down into what’s left of the town miles below, along with its inhabitants.
The Hulk jumps off the floating city, lands on the ground, and then jumps right back into it, preventing the massive chunk of rock from slamming down at a disastrous angle. Not a single person is harmed and the Hulk receives a monstrous applause from all the citizens present, something he’s rarely had the chance to experience.
Skarr is the son of Bruce Banner and the Shadow Queen Caiera. With a Hulked out appearance mirroring his father’s likeness, he has both the Hulk’s powers, along with the abilities granted to him by the Old Power. Given to him by his mother’s side of the family, the Old Power allows Skarr to literally move continents and forge the earth itself into weapons. If that weren’t enough, Skarr can summon magma and turn it into energy projectiles, siphon off a planet’s power, and focus the energy into his fists, which he can then unleash with devastating effect.
To put his power in perspective, every punch Skarr throws is the equivalent of hitting someone with a planet.
Skarr and Hulk share a rather dysfunctional father-son relationship, especially since Hulk left Skarr on Sakarr and had no knowledge of his son’s birth. This resulted in Skarr coming to Earth, blaming dad for the destruction of his home world, along with a series of abandonment issues. Following up right after the event "World War Hulks", Hulk and Skarr have a father-son chat, Hulk style. They fight and it’s enough to rock the planet. At one point, Skarr uses his power to move the tectonic plates, taps into the tremors, absorbs the energy to commander the kinetic power of a hundred trillion tons… and then hits the Hulk square in the chest with it. Hulk gets sent flying to another state, but then gets up, unfazed, like nothing ever happened.
Marvel’s supervillain team the U-Foes first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #254. The leader of the team, Simon Utrecht, originally wanted to recreate the historic flight of the Fantastic Four. He assembles three other colleagues and together they take a rocket ship to fly off into the great beyond. Bruce Banner saw their flight from a control room and tried to alter their course, noticing they were headed into a cosmic storm. Yet his attempts are too little too late as the entire crew is bombarded with cosmic radiation and they all transform into beings of nearly limitless power. Still, they blame Bruce Banner for robbing them of what they assumed would be even greater power.
Out of the group, the strongman as it were, was Ironclad. With Hulk-level strength, he also came with the ability to change his density at will, further increasing the levels of his already-astonishing strength. In The Incredible Hulk #304, the Hulk, having been banished to another dimension by Doctor Strange, runs into the U-Foes who are also in the same dimension. With nothing but hatred for the Hulk, the group attacks, with Ironclad the first to jump in. Hulk meets his attack with a ramming of his own; the combined force of their blows shakes the entire multiverse. If you’re looking for incredible Hulk feats, this is one issue where the achievements pile on.
In Incredible Hulks #632, the Hulk, still at top form, has already faced down powered-up versions of the Wendigo and Bi-Beast. Additionally, he’s also had to deal with a wishing well, thanks to Tyrannus. In short, the Hulk has his hands full and things don’t get any easier when one of his greatest foes, Arm’Chedon, warlord of the Troyjan empire, takes advantage of the chaos and makes his move, taking She-Hulk and Rick Jones hostage and poisons them. From there, he nearly kills the duo and throws them off a floating aircraft high in the sky. Enraged beyond belief, the Hulk unleashes the full extent of his Worldbreaker power and prepares to do battle.
It deserves mentioning that Arm’Chedon isn’t like most of the Hulk’s other foes. His powers are cosmic in nature. He’s so mighty that he’s even defeated the likes of the Silver Surfer, who has beaten the Hulk without throwing a single blow. That doesn’t stop the Hulk as he rushes to fight the evildoer. Arm’Chedon hits the Hulk with his most powerful energy blast, but it doesn’t even slow the Hulk down. Giving Arm’Chedon a savage and bloody pounding, the Hulk nearly loses all semblance of control and gets this close to straight-up murdering the cosmic baddie.
The Hulk is a monstrous engine of destruction. Oftentimes you’ll see heroes and villains alike equate the Hulk and his fury to a force of nature that cannot be stopped, rather than a lone individual. So what happens if the Hulk ever had to face an actual force of nature like an earthquake? In the "Planet Hulk" saga, the Hulk keeps a planet from being ripped apart, but that wasn’t the first time he’s performed such a feat.
In The Incredible Hulk #202 our titular hero falls through time and space and ends up on an alien world.
Yet it turns out Hulk knows where he is, having been there before, but is greeted by a pair of gigantic pig-dogs the size of dinosaurs. The Hulk dispatches them with relative ease by throwing them beyond the horizon. Continuing on his journey, the Hulk comes across his former love Jarella about to literally get catapulted out of a primitive contraption. The Hulk saves her and fends off her attackers by hitting the earth so hard that an earthquake starts. Unlike in Planet Hulk where the Green Goliath had to act after the planet had torn apart, this time the Hulk grabs the tectonic plates before any cataclysmic damage can follow, and pulls them back in place.
First appearing in Thor #387, Exitar the Exterminator, much as his name implies, is not the sort of fellow known for holding house parties. If anything, he’ll be the one to destroy said house, its occupants, and the world it was constructed on. A member of the Celestial race, group of planet-sized aliens know for destroying worlds with the flick of a finger, Exitar was summoned by Arishem the Judge to purify galaxies by way of blasting planets to pieces. One of the most powerful Celestials to ever exist, there are few sentient beings as mighty as Exitar.
When the children of Archangel used Thor’s axe Jarnborn to slay a Celestial Gardner and Kang the Conqueror was being a troublemaker, a series of shenanigans and misunderstandings ensued, as one might expect. Because of all this, Exitar heads to Earth in order to destroy the planet. All of Earth’s heroes assemble to try and find a way to prevent Exitar from delivering his destruction. As it turns out, the Celestial wouldn’t have to do much, as his foot is large enough to smash the world. With every intention of stomping on Earth, Doctor Doom builds a machine that can emit a protective barrier around the planet. However he needs something, or some one, to power it. And so, the Hulk ends up providing enough force to keep a planet-sized entity from stepping on the world; and this was with no external stimuli to make him angry.