She-Hulk has started on Disney+, let’s get to know her, and her cousin, a bit better!
Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Superhero Name: Hulk
Created By: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Played By: Eric Bana (2003), Edward Norton (2008), Mark Ruffalo (2012-now)
Powers: Transformation into the Hulk when angry/scared/stressed, Unlimited strength (the angrier Hulk gets, the stronger he gets), Superhuman leaping (up to 1000 miles in a single leap), Superhuman stamina, Increased durability, Advanced healing, Disease immunity, Decelerated aging, Superhuman speed, Adaption to any environment (including space and underwater), Telepathic resistence, Perception to astral forms and Super intelligence (as Bruce).
Mini Bio: Bruce Banner was born Robert Bruce Banner, son of Brian and Rebecca Banner. He had a good relationship with his mother, but his relationship with his father was incredibly abusive. Brian Banner was incredibly jealous of Bruce and Rebecca’s relationship, and the jealousy grew into hatred, which resulted in Brian physically abusing Bruce. Bruce’s only escape was at the local library, with his cousin Jennifer.
The abuse ended when Brian killed Rebecca out of rage, and he was sent to a mental health facility, and Bruce was sent to live with his aunt Susan, who treated him with love and care, refusing to have anything to do with her brother after what he had done. This didn’t stop Bruce becoming withdrawn, who started talking to an imaginary friend called ‘Hulk’ to cope with his trauma.
This imaginary friend convinced Bruce to create a bomb to put in his school as a teenager, and while Bruce built it, he refused to set it off. But that didn’t stop Hulk from taking over during the night and setting the bomb up to go off in the school boiler room. Luckily, Bruce woke up and managed to disarm the bomb in time, but he was still caught by his classmates, who beat him until the police arrived.
Bruce’s aunt then took him out of state, so he could avoid jail time, but that didn’t stop Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross of the military from taking an interest in Bruce – paying for his education in the hopes that he would become a weapons designer for the military in the future.
This did come true, after Bruce graduated from Caltech in nuclear physics. Originally, Bruce wanted to go down a more philanthropic route, but he couldn’t find any funding, so ended up joining Ross at the US Defence Department. There, Bruce oversaw the construction of the Gamma Bomb, which had a high gamma radiation output.
During a test of the bomb, everyone went to a safe distance, but Bruce was forced to go back in to save a young boy called Rick Jones, who had snuck onto the base. He managed to save Jones from the blast, but Bruce himself was hit with the radioactive particles, which transformed him into a huge, grey humanoid monster with incredible strength, which Ross nicknamed ‘Hulk.’
Originally, Bruce transformed during the night, but his body mutated to transform whenever he was angry, or scared. His grey skin would also eventually turn green, which it has stayed ever since.
Since then, Bruce has become a mainstay on the Avengers team, where he met up with an old friend, Tony Stark, who he’d met at Oxford University. The two have worked together multiple times to save the world, and have also worked against each other, meaning Tony, with the help of the Illuminati, sent Bruce into space when he became out of control.
In the future, Bruce is known as Maestro, a tyrant who has killed all the heroes and villains of the world and has crowned himself Ruler of the world. Bruce managed to overpower Maestro when he was sent to the future to see this, and has vowed to never loose control like that ever again, to the point where he has asked Hawkeye to kill him with a specially designed arrow if the need ever arises.
While Bruce has friends in the hero world, he still prefers to self isolate, and still hasn’t quite got the hang of sharing his body with the Hulk.
Interesting trivia: Spider-Man once managed to turn Hulk back into Bruce Banner by telling him a very funny joke, S.H.I.E.L.D. also once used a bunch of puppies to do the same thing, as Hulk ‘loves puppies.’
First Comic Appearance: The Incredible Hulk (1962) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Most Common Team Ups: Avengers, Defenders, S.H.I.E.L.D., Secret Avengers
Comic Recommendations: The Incredible Hulk (1962) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Incredible Hulk (1990) by Peter David, Planet Hulk (2007) by Greg Pak.