If there's one hero in the Marvel Universe that everyone knows is hard to beat, it has to be the Incredible Hulk. After being belted with gamma rays, Dr. Bruce Banner was cursed with turning into the Hulk whenever he got angry. Over the years, the Hulk has faced many unique challenges, and he has been able to overcome all of them. His immense strength, agility, and drive to smash things all lend themselves to the Hulk being as durable and long-lasting a character as he has been. Hulk has been to space, he has fought at the bottom of the ocean, and he has pitted himself against heroes and villains alike. It may be hard to believe, considering that the Hulk is so unpredictable, but he really is one of the best teammates to have on your side.
Throughout his publication and film history, more and more aspects of the Hulk have come to light. Some of them are connected to his powers, and others are just a little bit weirder. In fact, there are probably plenty of things about the Hulk that many of his fans would like to just forget. Of course, this is the internet, where everything lives forever. The Hulk has seen his fair share of challenges, but he has also built up a fairly impressive personal history. He has been a mob enforcer, the ruler of a planet, and even the last man on Earth. Overall, the Hulk has led an interesting life. Obviously, with so many adventures under his belt (even if he doesn't wear one), the Hulk is sure to have some strange occurrences in his superheroing career. These are 20 strange things about the Hulk his biggest fans refuse to believe.
20 HE CAN SEE GHOSTS
If you asked most people what it would be like to see things from the Hulk's perspective, they might think that all he sees are things that can be smashed. However, Hulk's perception is far keener than that. While there are plenty of reasons to think that Hulk doesn't notice much, the truth is he sees far more than you might think.
For example, Hulk is able to see ghosts and otherwise invisible figures. This ability is never really explained, but it's probably due to the fact that everything about the Hulk is enhanced, including his senses. He is also able to see astral projections, meaning that he can tell when Doctor Strange is keeping tabs on him.
19 HE CAN BREATHE UNDERWATER
Hulk may just seem like a giant, green monster with super strength, but the other secret abilities that he has put him over the top in terms of superpowers. For example, it was revealed in Incredible Hulk #77 that Hulk's body adapts to any environment it is in, including any underwater environments.
Due to this power, the Hulk's lungs fill with "an oxygenated perfluorocarbon emulsion," equalizing the pressure of being underwater and also allowing him to breathe liquids. It's a bit of a cheat and seemed like it might just be a one-off power, but it was mentioned again in later issues written by Jason Aaron.
18 BANNER BECAME HULK WHEN HE WAS BORED
We all know that Hulk comes out when Bruce Banner gets angry (and you wouldn't like him when he's angry). However, are there other ways to get the Hulk to come out? In fact, there are. For example, in the Ultimate Universe, the Hulk emerges because Bruce Banner gets bored.
In an effort to help the Ultimates look like heroes, Banner devised a plan where he would turn himself into the Hulk and let them defeat him. If this sounds like a spectacularly bad idea, that's because it absolutely was. Even though Banner set up an antidote, he became far stronger and dangerous after mixing the Hulk and Super Soldier serums.
17 GOT JEALOUS OF FREDDIE PRINZE JR.
In that same ill-conceived confrontation with the Ultimates, Bruce Banner had another score to settle. At the time, Banner was no longer with Betty Ross, which must have been heartbreaking. However, as much as he may have loved Betty and wanted to be with her, he went about it in the worst way possible.
Hulk found out that Betty Ross was on a date with none other than actor Freddie Prinze Jr. He climbed up the building like King Kong and attacked the restaurant. He even told Betty to get away from Freddie Prinze Jr. This is a pretty sad moment, and also the absolute worst encounter anyone could have with an ex in a public place.
16 MERGED WITH SOLOMON GRUNDY
Marvel and DC may be seen as the two opposing powers of the comic book world, but they do occasionally play nice and allow their characters to interact with each other. In some cases, they even allow their characters to be combined into wholly new creations. Such was the case of Hulk and Solomon Grundy.
The two characters are already pretty similar, so allowing them to fuse together makes perfect sense. This happened in Amalgam Comics, the imprint that allowed DC and Marvel to combine characters. In this version, Banner was fused with Grundy by the Gamma bomb. Banner turns into Grundy when he gets angry and calls himself "Skulk."
15 HIS BLOOD MAKES FLOWERS GROW
"Planet Hulk" is one of the wildest storylines that the big green hero has ever seen. After the Illuminati send him into space, Hulk crash lands on the planet Sakaar, where he is forced to fight in Gladiator-style battles. It is during one of these fights that a huge secret is revealed about Hulk's blood.
It turns out that rather than being highly toxic or poisonous in any way, Hulk's blood is actually pretty good for plant life. After some of his blood is spilled on the ground, flowers begin sprouting in those spots. This leads to Hulk being considered a prophezied figure known as Sakaarson. It's good to know that Hulk could really spruce up a garden if he wanted.
14 WORKED AT A CASINO
It's kind of hard to think of the Hulk as the kind of guy who can hold down a job, but that's exactly what he did when he became a casino security guard and mob enforcer named Joe Fixit. These events occurred during a time when Bruce was permanently changed into the Hulk and unable to return to his Banner persona.
Joe Fixit would have been an imposing figure to run into if you were staying in Vegas. Imagine it: you spend the night counting cards at the blackjack table only to have a giant gray hand land on your shoulder and be escorted out of the casino by a giant monster-looking brute in a suit.
13 HAS A WEIRD RELATIONSHIP WITH SHE-HULK
She-Hulk came into existence after Bruce Banner gave a dose of his irradiated blood to his cousin, Jennifer Walters. Unlike the Hulk, She-Hulk maintained her intelligence and personality even when in Hulk form, and eventually chose to stay in her Hulk form permanently.
Despite the fact that Bruce and Jennifer are cousins, their relationship is a bit strange. For example, Hulk has put the moves on She-Hulk in the past, with her completely shutting it down. However, in "Old Man Logan", there are some very suggestive undertones about their relationship. Overall, the whole thing just feels very wrong.
12 MADE BANNER LIVE IN ISOLATION
The Incredible Hulk: The End may just be one of the most introspective and profoundly sad works the Hulk has ever appeared in. After a nuclear war has completely wiped out life on the planet, Bruce Banner is the only person left alive due to the Hulk's resistance to the explosion.
Understandably, Banner is extremely lonely being the last person on the planet. He wants to be put out of his misery, but the Hulk side of his personality refuses to let him give up, forcing him to live his days in a solitary, irradiated wasteland. It's a truly eye-opening look at the relationship between the two extremely different sides of one man.
11 HAS A DAD BOD IN THE FILMS
The Hulk has been an indispensable part of the MCU films. Whether he's smashing Loki or providing some company for Thor on Sakaar, Hulk has become a fan-favorite for his blunt manner of speaking and his propensity for fighting hard alongside the other Avengers. When it comes to his design, though, the people at Marvel wanted him to look a little more realistic.
Speaking with Wired, Jeff White from ILM said that Joss Whedon wanted the Hulk to have a little bit of paunch around the midsection. "This Hulk actually has a little bit of a muffin top," said White, "We gave him a little bit of bulge above the beltline because Joss told us he didn’t want somebody who was zero percent body fat."
10 DOESN'T NEED TO EAT OR SLEEP
The Hulk can withstand a lot of things. After all, his strength is almost immeasurable, and he gets stronger the angrier he gets. Of course, all that smashing would take a lot of energy, so you might be tempted to think that the Hulk needs to constantly eat or at least take a nap every once in a while.
However, this is not the case. While Bruce Banner needs to eat and sleep like a normal human, as long as he is the Hulk, he can keep going indefinitely. In The Incredible Hulk #275, Bruce Banner notes that the Hulk is capable of going for weeks without eating or sleeping. If only we could all be so efficient.
9 EMITS RADIATION
Hulk's origin story is rooted in the scare of radiation. After saving a young boy during the test of a gamma bomb, Bruce Banner is bombarded with gamma rays. This is the event that turned the mild-mannered scientist into one of the strongest and most dangerous heroes in the Marvel Universe.
Of course, getting that high a dose of radiation would have a lasting impact. What happened is that the Hulk is actually constantly emitting radiation. It's always been a fact that his blood is radioactive since that was how She-Hulk came to be, but to think that the Hulk is just putting off radiation constantly is a bit unsettling.
8 THREW FIN FANG FOOM TO THE MOON
Hulk has a tendency to hurl things at great speeds and distances, especially when he's mad. Okay, only when he's mad, really. However, you might underestimate just how strong he really is when it comes to how far he can throw something. Well, what if we told you that Hulk has the ability to throw things into orbit?
That's right, Hulk has the strength to toss things into space, and not just anything. He once hurled Fin Fang Foom, the giant dragon alien, all the way to the moon from Antarctica like he was throwing a jacket over a chair. Fans of the Hulk shouldn't have been surprised at his strength, but this was one display for the record books.
7 THANOS PREFERS TO AVOID THE HULK
When Thanos made his jump to the big screen in Avengers: Infinity War, viewers knew that not many heroes would be able to take on the Mad Titan. However, most heroes are not the Hulk, who is one of the only beings in the universe that Thanos would prefer not to get involved with.
Throughout Marvel history, Thanos has avoided confrontations with the Hulk, knowing that even if he can beat him, it's going to take a lot of time and strength. Instead, Thanos prefers to circumvent the Hulk entirely. Even in Infinity War, we see that Hulk gives Thanos a run for his money, at least for a moment.
6 JUMPED INTO LAVA AND LIVED
The Hulk can withstand a lot of different things. We know that his skin is bulletproof and that the angrier he gets, the stronger he becomes, but sometimes the displays of strength the Hulk puts on are just so insane that it's almost impossible to believe that he can get away with them.
One of these incredible feats of strength that the Hulk performed was jumping into actual lava and pulling planetary tectonic plates back together. This absolutely insane display of awesome power occurred in the "Planet Hulk" storyline. The fact that Hulk wasn't instantly incinerated and was literally able to fix a planet shows just how strong he is.
5 HIS HEAD WOULDN'T TRANSFORM
When Bruce Banner changes into the Hulk, he goes all the way. Every part of him turns green, gets bigger, and eventually, he is almost unrecognizable. Of course, there have been some other times where weird things happened in regards to the Hulk's physiology, such as the time when he couldn't get his head to change along with the rest of his body.
It was pretty weird to see Bruce Banner's "milksop face" on Hulk's body in The Incredible Hulk #6, but what was even weirder was that it resulted in Banner's decision to wear a Hulk mask in order to maintain his secret identity. It might be the only time the Hulk has had to wear an actual costume as part of being a superhero.
4 IS AFRAID OF THE VOID
There is only a handful of things in the universe that can strike fear into the Hulk. You might not think that the big green guy can feel any fear at all, considering how easy it is for him to smash things, but there are certainly some people, events, and possibilities that truly frighten the Hulk.
One of the things Hulk fears most is the Void, the evil alter-ego of Sentry. Even though Sentry and Hulk are friends and have worked together before, when Sentry takes Hulk into the Negative Zone, all bets are off. The Void appears and immediately puts the hurt on Hulk, leaving him a scared shell of his former self.
3 WAS DEFEATED BY A JOKE
When going up against the Hulk, it's best to have a strategy in mind for defeating him. Considering that he is one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe, this isn't always the easiest thing to do, but if you're someone like Spider-Man, then you know you have an ace up your sleeve that might just work: a sense of humor.
In Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2, Peter Parker finds himself facing off against the Hulk, and in need of a way to calm him down so that Bruce Banner can take control again. How does he do it? By telling a knock-knock joke, forcing the Hulk to calm down just long enough to turn back into Bruce Banner.
2 MIGHT LIVE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS
Everyone knows that the Hulk has an insane amount of strength and even some hidden powers that only come up when the occasion calls for them. However, one of Hulk's biggest secrets is that he might be able to live for thousands of years. While Bruce Banner may age normally, the Hulk stays relatively young.
This is shown to great effect in The Incredible Hulk: The End when Bruce and the Hulk are the lone survivors of a nuclear war. Bruce Banner has become an old man, but the Hulk has stayed pretty much the same. This is due to a decelerated aging process that is most likely tied to the Hulk's healing factor. Much like Wolverine, the Hulk ages at a much slower rate.
1 WAS DEFEATED BY PUPPIES
You might think that the only things that can beat the Hulk would be giant, powerful forces beyond comprehension. Well, in a way, you'd be right, as those are often the things that defeat the Hulk. However, there are easier ways to stop the Hulk, and sometimes those ways end up being a lot more fun as well.
For instance, the Hulk was once stopped in his tracks by... a bunch of puppies. If that sounds like it would look adorable, it definitely did. There might not be another image of the hulk as heartwarming as the big green guy smiling and laughing while a bunch of puppies crawl all over him and lick his ear.