When Jennifer Walters was rushed to the hospital after being shot by a crime boss, it was clear she would need an immediate emergency blood transfusion to survive. Her cousin felt the only option would be to donate his own blood to ensure she lived. But Jennifer’s cousin is no ordinary man. In fact, her cousin is Bruce Banner – a man who, after being exposed to gamma radiation, became the Incredible Hulk. This transfusion introduced gamma radiation to Jennifer’s blood, and she soon adopted the super-persona She-Hulk.
Gifted with both brains and brawn, She-Hulk has become a beloved superhero, capable of astonishing feats while remaining more grounded than her rage-fueled cousin when her green counterpart takes over. A more reliable team member than Hulk, she’s served alongside the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and even led the all-female Avenger team, A-Force. But when it comes to measuring sheer strength, it’s a close race between her abilities and Bruce’s. Let’s explore this family rivalry and take a look at five reasons She-Hulk is the strongest Hulk, and five reasons why Bruce Banner will always come out on top.
10 She-Hulk: She's Strong in Both Hulk Form and Human Form
There are few heroes more powerful than the Hulks, but outside of his green form, Bruce Banner wouldn’t be able to put up much of a fight with his fists alone. Jennifer, however, is an excellent combatant and skilled martial artist, able to protect herself when she’s in her human form.
Having been trained by Captain America, as well as the Guardian of the Galaxy’s Gamora and Drax the Destroyer, she has no qualms in taking on thugs with her own human fists and winning. To encourage building her regular strength levels, the stronger she is as Jennifer, the stronger she is as She-Hulk!
9 Hulk: He's Strong Enough to Hold Up Entire Sections of Earth
Bruce Banner might sometimes feel like he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, given his complex relationship with Hulk, but as his green counterpart, he literally can hold huge sections of earth above his head.
In ‘Secret Wars’, Molecule Man threw an entire mountain range at a group of heroes during battle. With the risk of them all being crushed, Hulk boldly caught the range and kept it aloft until his friends were able to escape – thanks to a little bit of taunting from Mr Fantastic, keeping Hulk’s anger and strength up. He showed off his monstrous muscles again in Incredible Hulks #631 as Las Vegas found itself launched in the air, becoming a floating city. Using his extraordinary might, Hulk was able to stop Vegas from crashing back down to earth, destroying the surrounding land.
8 She-Hulk: She Defeated Thanos
Or, at least, a version of Thanos. A Titanian Eternal, his immense cosmic powers have led him to become one of the most feared villains in the Marvel Universe, with many heroes banding together to try and defeat his nefarious plans over the years. Even the combined might of the Avengers hasn't been enough to stop the Mad Titan, but She-Hulk got the chance to best him in She-Hulk #13.
Confronted with a synthetic duplicate of Thanos, Shulkie gets the opportunity to take out all of her anger about the pain he has caused the universe on him. While it may be a double, this version of Thanos still held all of the Titan’s original powers, making him by no means a weak enemy – and one that She-Hulk swiftly defeated.
7 Hulk: He Smashes Harder
The well-known secret behind Bruce Banner’s incredible power as the Hulk is his anger. The green giant is fueled by rage: the angrier he becomes, the stronger he is. Over the years, Bruce has grown to understand and accept this, learning to control his rage and unleashing it fully when necessary. This has led the Hulk to evolve into different, stronger forms.
It’s doubted by many that the true peak of Hulk’s powers has been witnessed, although his increasing strength has caused the world concern and trouble many times. As Hulk took on his World Breaker form in ‘World War Hulk’, Jennifer herself admitted that Bruce is capable of smashing harder than She-Hulk.
6 She-Hulk: She Can Reach Unstoppable Levels In A Berserker Rampage
"Avengers Disassembled" saw Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic cause trouble in the Marvel Universe once more, pulling the Avengers apart with devastating effect. Along with Ant-Man being killed in a blast and Vision leading a horde of Ultron robots to attack the Avengers Mansion, She-Hulk found herself bewitched by Scarlet Witch’s magic, unleashing her unstoppable fury on those around her.
Not only was Shulkie able to rip Vision in half with her bare hands, but she nearly killed Captain America and destroyed a small town in Idaho. The remaining Avengers were forced to take her down, but Lionheart’s Sword of Might – a powerful weapon with mystical origins, able to cut through anything – didn’t even leave a scratch on She-Hulk, showing that blind rage is just as effective in boosting Jennifer’s strength as it is Bruce’s.
5 Hulk: He Has Punched Time Itself
Time-traveling supervillain Kang the Conqueror has caused countless problems for the Avengers in various realities throughout history. Using his Time Sphere, he has been hell-bent on destroying Earth’s mightiest heroes since he first confronted them in The Avengers #8.
When he encountered a time storm that prevented him from traveling through time to defeat the Avengers in 1964, he knew he would need a strong force to break through and land in the past. So, in The Incredible Hulk #135, he recruits Hulk, promising that if he helps him travel to the past, he will rid Hulk of Banner once and for all. At a time when his relationship with his human half was more fraught, Hulk agreed and jumped into the time stream. He didn’t even think to turn back when he encountered the time storm, instead jumping into it with full force and punching time so hard that he arrived in the past.
4 She-Hulk: She Has Successfully Stood Against the Mightiest Olympians
Greek mythology inspired some of Marvel Comics’ toughest characters: Zeus and Hercules. Zeus is one of the most powerful deities in the Marvel Universe, so rarely venturing from his realm to intervene in Earth’s problems that when his true strength is unleashed, it’s astounding. When he comes to Earth on a rampage in Avengers #247, the Avengers came together to stop him from destroying the planet. It was a hard battle, but She-Hulk (backed up by the team) delivered damaging blows to the god, proving herself a worthy combatant.
Zeus isn’t the only Olympian Shulkie matches in strength. She challenged his son, the demi-god Hercules, to an arm-wrestling match. Hercules has a history of flaunting his strength, once even throwing the entire planet Earth out of orbit during an arm-wrestle, so this challenge was no mean feat. While Hercules strained to win, Shulkie barely broke a sweat, throwing the match to ensure Hercules’ ego remained unscathed.
3 Hulk: He Ripped Reality With A Clap
Hulk’s thunderclap is one of his most incredible powers. It’s capable of vast destruction, with strong sonic vibrations blasting through the air. It has destroyed demons, extinguished fires, flattened buildings, and swept enemies away completely.
In The Incredible Hulk #126, Hulk would demonstrate the immense power of his signature move. Kidnapped by a cult who forced him to fight a deadly villain in an alternate realm, Bruce reluctantly entered into a long, brutal battle. Finally losing his patience with the grueling fight, Hulk used his thunderclap which proved to be so powerful that it tore the realm’s reality apart – all with a mere clap of his hands.
2 She-Hulk: She Received a Power-Up from a Celestial
With She-Hulk rejoining the Avengers to stand against an invasion from the Dark Celestials, Jennifer received an incredible power upgrade. Speaking with a fallen, seemingly good Celestial named Eson, he told her that humanity had been created by a fallen Celestial to provide a cure against their enemies, the horde. He connected to her mind and teleported her into the midst of the Avengers’ battle against the Celestials, where she succumbed to her more savage side and began to smash.
She would later join Thor in taking the Blood of Ymir, causing them to grow into giants with mighty power. Following the battle, it was revealed that she maintained some of the enhancements. In 2018’s Avengers #8, Doctor Strange revealed that her gamma output had “skyrocketed,” meaning that she is capable of releasing energy “in the most explosive of ways” – even more explosive than Bruce’s power!
1 Hulk: He Bore the Weight of a Celestial
While She-Hulk may have received extra power from a Celestial, Hulk has single-handedly stopped one from destroying Earth. When the almighty Celestial giant, Exitar the Exterminator, traveled towards Earth intent on crushing it, heroes gathered together to figure out a way to stop him. Large enough to completely flatten the planet with the sole of his foot, and one of the most powerful Celestials in existence, it’s one of the most potentially devastating threats Earth-616 has faced.
Doctor Doom quickly developed a machine capable of projecting a protective barrier around the planet, but needed extreme power for it to work. Bruce Banner stepped forward, providing enough energy to keep the machine running until the giant Celestial moved on.