The Hulk is one of the most enduring superheroes in comics. He has an unstoppable level of rage and power that has brought the world to its knees on several occasions. The Hulk has been a vital member of the Avengers since their inception back in 1963. Most recently we’ve seen Thor join the Hulk on Sakaar during Thor: Ragnarok, and with explosive scenes between the two it reminds us how lovable the Hulk can be. But given to the minds of certain writers and artists, the Hulk can become a truly dangerous force in the universe.
He’s conquered the world as Maestro, he’s plagued the United States during "Old Man Logan" and he’s even harnessed the Power Cosmic on occasion. Because of his near invulnerability, he’s one of the most interesting characters to delve into. But Marvel have made him commit some truly terrible acts across his long history, and we’re going to go through some of the awful. We’ve looked at everything from “World War Hulk”, “The Ultimates” and even “The Defenders” to find some of the most despicable acts of violence he’s committed. Here are the 15 worst things the Hulk has done (that Marvel want covered up).
15 ATE THE RHINO’S HEAD
Marvel Zombies is one of the weirder sides of the Marvel Universe. It’s quite self-explanatory, all the heroes and villains become infected with a plague that turns them into a horde of the undead. Funnily enough, it was also created by Robert Kirkman, the man behind The Walking Dead.
But during the last few issues, the Rhino was munched on by the Hulk. Whilst the rest of the undead heroes and villains were all fighting over the dead remains of Galactus, Spider-Man and Hulk ripped the Rhino apart. The Hulk began eating the zombified head of the villain, but he and Spider-Man both agreed that Aleksei Sytsevich did not taste great whatsoever. But then for a man with a name like ‘Rhino’ did they really expect him to taste like fresh villain cuisine?
14 SKULL CRUSHING
Before the Hulk was blasted off to the planet Sakaar, he was living in a self-imposed exile in Alaska. We see a bearded Hulk who feels more isolated than ever, and because he’s alone becomes easy to enrage. But he still has a sense of right and wrong. So when he sees a couple of men taking advantage of a young woman who’s drunk, he knows exactly what to do.
He follows them to a secluded spot in the woods where the men begin to assault the woman, and Bruce transforms into the Hulk, knowing what he needed to do. The Hulk grabs one of the men and crushes his skull with one hand. It’s a simple move that show us just how brutal the Hulk can truly be. It also reminds us not to forget, the Hulk is a violent killer, even if this was out of protection.
13 WORE BLACKFACE
No, we’re not joking -- the Hulk wore blackface to conceal his identity. And even if there was a reasonable justification, it still wouldn’t be okay. But the reason he wears makeup during The Incredible Hulk #435 is so that he can cheat his way onto the baseball field to gain a superheroic advantage over the other team. Wow. How insensitive can the Hulk get?
At least he acknowledges that it’s quite insensitive, and blames Betty for the idea. But still, it’s not exactly an excuse. The Rhino is hired by the rival team, as they need their own hulking pitcher. Ultimately, the two of them end up fighting on the field because…comics. It’s one of the stranger storylines that the Hulk deals with, and we’re not sure it should ever be revisited to be honest.
12 EATS CIVILIANS
Marvel Zombies was one of the most destructive and violent comic book series that the company can boast about. It’s a completely wild ride, with a huge spectacle and heaps of fun. Until you put yourself into the situation of a normal person running down the streets of a crowded city as the Hulk charges at you with rage and speed. Not fun.
Especially when he begins plucking people off the street and starts eating them. This is like a comic book version of Attack on Titan. He munches on the very civilians he’s previously fought for, except this time he’s a frenzied zombie with no sense of right and wrong, just hunger. Ultimately, this series doesn’t have any lasting effect on the main universe. Good thing really, most citizens already have polarizing views about the Hulk.
11 CRUSHES WOLVERINE
Bruce Banner and Wolverine rarely clash, they have no reason to. They live completely separate lies. But the Hulk? He has a constant vendetta against the mutant. Even when they’re on the same side, they have a passive aggressive way of dealing with each other. But that’s because their fights are always incredibly violent.
When Hulk returned during “World War Hulk” he visited Professor X to see if he would’ve voted to boost him into space as part of the Illuminati or not. Let’s just say a fight quickly ensues. And Wolverine is pounded into the floor, the forest and is generally crushed by the Hulk with his huge fists. Sorry Wolverine, but this time you really are outmatched, this is “World War Hulk” after all.
10 ATE THE SILVER SURFER
One of the key elements of the Galactus mythology is his herald. There’s been several across his decades long history, but the most famous is the Silver Surfer of course. His arrival on Earth after a zombie apocalypse with barely a civilization to warn, it shouldn’t have been too traumatic. Well, that is until all these zombies have superpowers, including the Hulk.
He grabs the Silver Surfer under one arm proclaiming to the rest of the horde that he deserves to eat him the most. He begins eating his head but quickly gets bored and leaves it for the rest of the zombies. It’s a strange way of throwing out a key portion of the mythology. It gets even worse when Galactus actually makes his way to Earth. It seems like someone at Marvel really had a grudge against the cosmic being.
9 BECAME A SLAVE FOR DORMAMMU’S SISTER TO ‘USE’
Back in 2005, Hulk became a plaything for Dormammu’s sister, Umar. She took him to her tower to have her way with him. The Defenders #3 saw Hulk being used by the sorceress until he passed out. But according to Umar herself, he doesn’t last very long at all. Six minutes to be exact. Awkward. But Umar is used to it, having scoured various dimensions for someone to keep up with her.
It’s surprising to see it put so bluntly within a mainstream comic about the sexual side of these heroes and villains. This wouldn’t be the first time that Umar would attempt to use the Hulk as a ‘mate’. But in this issue, he passes out very quickly. Surely there are better story beats to use the Hulk in rather than this type of slave?
8 THUNDERCLAPS SABRETOOTH TO DEATH
We’re not saying that Victor Creed is a nice character. He’s quite the opposite, he’s a straight up villain. But this entry has us feeling legitimately sorry for the mutant. It’s in a story set in the “Age of X Universe”, which sees Hulk have a team of mutant hating trackers kill as many mutants as they can, and when they find Sabretooth, it’s not pretty.
Firstly, they torture him. They strap an obedience collar to Creed and pump him full of electricity. And not content with the violence he’s already dished out, he takes it a step further. He uses one huge thunderclap to completely crush Sabretooth’s head. It’s savage, but it just shows how far the Hulk could go if he was ever turned evil, and not just uncontrollably angry. The image of the Hulk’s hands where Sabretooth’s head should be is striking.
7 HAS HIS NECK BROKEN BY MAESTRO
For those not familiar with Maestro, he’s a future version of the Hulk, who is infinitely more intelligent, ruthless and downright brutal. He exists in a world that has been ravaged by nuclear war, and was made stronger by the radiation that plunged the world into chaos. When a time travelling Rick Jones brings the Professor Hulk into the future, the two versions of the rage monster are pitted against each other.
Maestro almost instantly proves his superiority by breaking Hulk’s neck. It’s a simple yet brutal scene. A villain so willing to incapacitate his past self because he knows exactly how this all plays out. He even goes a step further by trying to persuade Hulk to stay on his side. Don’t mess with Maestro.
6 RIPPED WOLVERINE IN HALF
There’s an incredible series titled Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk. It’s centered around a Hulk that has been on the rampage for some time, and Nick Fury hires Wolverine to finish him so that no more innocent lives would be hurt. An unstoppable rage monster against a regenerative mutant with serious anger issues… it’s an iconic fight to say the least.
The series actually starts with Wolverine waking up to find the bottom have of his body completely missing after being ripped apart by the Hulk. Ouch. Towards the end of their fight Wolverine makes a sarcastic remark about Betty Ross, a very sore subject for the Hulk. In true Hulk fashion, he becomes furious grabbing Wolverine and pulling him literally apart. Wolverine doesn’t have a great run in the story, he even wakes up as just a decapitated head at one point.
5 BECOMES GALACTUS
Is there a sentence that sounds more like a parody comic book than “the Hulk eats Galactus and becomes the world eater himself”?, because if so, we’re interested to hear it. Yes, you read that right, and it’s all to do with those troublesome Marvel Zombies once again. It’s quite self-explanatory, the Hulk and the rest of the zombies manage to overpower Galactus and end up eating him. Due to the Hulk’s near invulnerability, he absorbs all Galactus’ powers. Oh.
He then becomes just as powerful as Galactus, if not more so. But our problem lies with the fact that Galactus is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy, he shouldn’t be able to be overthrown by some zombies. As fun as the storyline is, Marvel did both characters a disservice with this.
4 HERR KLEISER
Did you know that The Avengers film was adapted from The Ultimates series? Well here’s one element from the comics that certainly didn’t make the cut into live action. The Chitauri are led by Herr Kleiser, a shapeshifter who had stolen the identity of a Nazi in World War Two. In the final battle that saw many S.H.I.E.L.D. lives lost, Cap engaged the alien in a fierce battle.
And although the fight saw Kleiser lose his legs, Cap taunted the Hulk into finishing him off. He teased the big green rage monster that the alien had been having an affair with Betty Ross. The Hulk, obviously furious at the idea ripped Kleiser apart, eating the fleshy chunks of the alien. S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually had to check that Kleiser hadn’t survived the Hulk’s digestive process, because the alien was a shapeshifter. We wouldn’t want that job.
3 BECAME UMAR’S "MATE"
He might’ve already been used by Umar as her slave during The Defenders #3, but later on he became a willing participant with her antics. But during “Heart of the Monster”, the Hulk actually lost control of his rage and began getting close to his ‘Worldbreaker’ level of destruction. Umar, having been brought to our dimension by the Wishing Well, brought him to the Dark Dimension to take him as her King.
Here, they engaged in a very sexual relationship, with some of her minions noting at how long they’d been alone together by the noises coming from the tower. Oh. This version of the Hulk lasted far longer with Umar than their previous encounter. This time, Hulk lasted for three hours. Safe to say Umar was more impressed with her King this time around.
2 HE ATE LOGAN
We all know that Wolverine and the Hulk have had their differences across the years. And usually those fights see the Hulk do something extremely violent to Logan before the mutant gets the upper hand. Well, “Old Man Logan” is another instance of that, but it finishes the Hulk off completely.
During “Old Man Logan”, Banner’s offspring murder Wolverine’s family -- so Logan heads to finish off his old frenemy one last time. But an old frail Bruce Banner transforms into an ugly, disgusting version of the Hulk and eats Logan pretty much whole. But it’s only when Logan begins regenerating inside Bruce and claws his way out from inside that the Hulk is finally put to death. It’s a gruesome scene as Logan bursts out the back of the Hulk, but it’s worth it. Ouch.
1 GOT "CLOSE" WITH HIS COUSIN
We wish we were joking. If “Old Man Logan” wasn’t already a hugely controversial storyline, it gets a lot worse once you discover where all of Banner’s children have come from. Something snaps within the Hulk, and when realizing he needs to procreate, he chooses the one person who could physically withstand intimate relations with the big green guy… his cousin, She-Hulk.
That’s why all the Hulk offspring have decreased intelligence and are savages, they’re the result of inbreeding within the Banner family. “Old Man Logan” was already a violent, gritty take on the Marvel Universe -- but this is on a whole other level. Luckily, Banner and his offspring get what they deserve by the end of the storyline. Wolverine hands out his own brand of justice after all the heartbreak he endures.