The Hulk is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962). Throughout his comic book appearances, the Hulk is portrayed as a large green humanoid that possesses near limitless superhuman strength and great invulnerability, attributes that grow more potent the angrier he becomes. Hulk is the alter ego of Bruce Banner, a socially withdrawn and emotionally reserved physicist who physically transforms into the Hulk under emotional stress and other specific circumstances at will or against it; these involuntary transformations lead to many complications in Banner's life. When transformed, the Hulk often acts as a disassociated separate personality that hates Banner. Over the decades of Hulk stories, the Hulk has been represented with several different personalities based on Hulk and Banner's fractured psyche, ranging from mindless savage to brilliant warrior, and Banner has taken control of the Hulk's form on occasion. Banner first transforms into the Hulk after being caught in the blast of the gamma bomb he invented while saving Rick Jones, a youth who had wandered onto the testing range.
Lee said that the Hulk's creation was inspired by a combination of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Although the Hulk's coloration has varied throughout the character's publication history, the most consistent shade is green. As a child, Banner's father Brian Banner often got mad and physically abused his mother, creating the psychological complex of fear, anger, and the fear of anger and the destruction it can cause that underlies the character. A common storyline is the pursuit of both Banner and the Hulk by the U.S. armed forces, because of all the destruction that he causes. He has two main catchphrases: "Hulk is strongest one there is!" and the better-known "HULK SMASH!", which has founded the basis for a number of pop culture memes.
In 2011 Hulk placed 9th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.
During the experimental detonation of a microwave, scientist Bruce Banner rushes to save teenager Rick Jones who has driven onto the testing field; Banner pushes Jones into a trench to save him, but is himself hit with the blast, absorbing massive amounts of microwave radiation. And instantly become the Hulk. He awakens later in an infirmary, seeming relatively unscathed, but that night transforms into a lumbering grey form that breaks through the wall and escapes. A soldier in the ensuing search party dubs the otherwise unidentified creature a "hulk". The original incarnation of Banner transformed into the Hulk at sunset and reverted at sunrise. Banner was cured in The Incredible Hulk #4, but chose to restore Hulk's powers with Banner's intelligence. The gamma-ray machine needed to effect the transformation induced side-effects that made Banner temporarily sick and weak when returned to his normal state.
The Hulk first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 (cover dated May 1962), written by writer-editor Stan Lee, penciled and co-plotted by Jack Kirby, and inked by Paul Reinman. Lee cites influence from Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the Hulk's creation. Lee also compared Hulk to the Golem of Jewish myth. In The Science of Superheroes, Gresh and Weinberg see the Hulk as a reaction to the Cold War and the threat of nuclear attack, an interpretation shared by Weinstein in Up, Up and Oy Vey. This interpretation corresponds well when taken into account alongside other popularized fictional media created during this time period, which took advantage of the prevailing sense among Americans that nuclear power could produce monsters and mutants. Arie Kaplan calls Hulk "schizophrenic." Jack Kirby has also commented upon his influences in drawing the character, recalling as inspiration the tale of a mother who rescues her child who is trapped beneath a car.
In the debut, Lee chose grey for the Hulk because he wanted a color that did not suggest any particular ethnic group. Colorist Stan Goldberg, however, had problems with the grey coloring, resulting in different shades of grey, and even green, in the issue. After seeing the first published issue, Lee chose to change the skin color to green. Green was used in retellings of the origin, with even reprints of the original story being recolored for the next two decades, until The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #302 (December 1984) reintroduced the grey Hulk in flashbacks set close to the origin story. Since then, reprints of the first issue have displayed the original grey coloring, with the fictional canon specifying that the Hulk's skin had initially been grey. An exception is the early trade paperback, Origins of Marvel Comics, from 1974, which explains the difficulties in keeping the grey color consistent in a Stan Lee written prologue, and reprints the origin story keeping the grey coloration.
The Hulk's original series was canceled with issue #6 (March 1963). Lee had written each story, with Kirby penciling the first five issues and Steve Ditko penciling and inking the sixth. The character immediately guest-starred in The Fantastic Four #12 (March 1963), and months later became a founding member of the superhero team the Avengers, appearing in the first two issues of the team's eponymous series (Sept. and Nov. 1963), and returning as an antagonist in issue #3 and as an ally in #5 (Jan.–May 1964). He then guest-starred in Fantastic Four #25–26 (April–May 1964), which revealed Banner's full name as Robert Bruce Banner, and The Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964).
Bruce Banner is considered one of the greatest scientific minds on Earth, possessing "a mind so brilliant it cannot be measured on any known intelligence test." He holds expertise in biology, chemistry, engineering, physiology, and nuclear physics. Using this knowledge, Banner creates advanced technology dubbed "Bannertech", which is on par with technological development from Tony Stark or Doctor Doom. Some of these technologies include a force field that can protect him from the attacks of Hulk-level entities, and a teleporter.
The Hulk possesses the potential for limitless physical strength depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. This has been reflected in the repeated comment, "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets". His durability, regeneration, and endurance also increase in proportion to his temper. Hulk is resistant to injury or damage, though the degree to which varies between interpretations, but he has withstood the equivalent of solar temperatures, nuclear explosions, and planet-shattering impacts. Despite his remarkable resiliency, continuous barrages of high-caliber gunfire can hinder his movement to some degree while he can be temporarily subdued with intense attacks with chemical weapons such as anesthetic gases, although any interruption of such dosages will allow him to quickly recover. He has been shown to have both regenerative and adaptive healing abilities, including growing tissues to allow him to breathe underwater, surviving unprotected in space for extended periods, and when injured, healing from most wounds within seconds. In the first Hulk comic series, "massive" doses of gamma rays would cause the Hulk to transform back to Banner, although this ability was written out of the character by the 1970s.