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We all know he is one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe but what exactly are the Hulk’s powers and abilities. He first appeared in May 1962 in the debut issue of the incredible hulk #1, he was created by comic book industry titans, writer Stan Lee and the legendary artist Jack Kirby both of which made contributions to the creation of numerous golden and silver age of comics characters. Both Lee and Kirby stated that they heavily influenced by the classic horror tropes of Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and that influence is easy to see through the green skinned(sometime grey skinned) goliath’s career, although technically a founding member of the Avengers alongside Iron Man, Thor, Antman and the Wasp it was clear from the beginning whilst the Hulk was incredibly strong(nearly to the point of being unstoppable) he was not a team player and quickly turned on the Avengers.
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What Are The Incredible Hulk’s Super powers
So What are the Incredible Hulk’s superpowers? Well it turns out that he’s got a lot of different powers and abilities and some of them will definitely surprise you.
- Near Infinite Strength, this of course if what he is most famous for, but although most people know that Gamma radiation is the source of his powers, most people probably aren’t aware that his body is channelling it from every universe and dimension in reality, giving him potentially limitless power. This power is tied to the Hulk’s emotions, particularly strength, meaning that the madder he gets the more powerful he becomes.
- Superhuman Durability, well not only does the Hulk dish out the punishment it seems he can take it too. His skin is all but impervious to small arms fire(and most larger calibre weapons too) aswell as normal bladed weapons, in addition to this his physique is able to take punishment that would literally shatter a planet, and of course the angrier he gets the harder it is to hurt him.
- Vastly Accelerated Regeneration, meaning that even that if you do manage somehow to wound the hulk he’s pretty much gonna heal right away, and he’s healed from pretty some nasty stuff, including taking blasts from the super villain Vector and melting most of his skin and muscle virtually right down to the bone, which didn’t stop him at all, as he still kicked vector ass. And afterwards he regenerated to full health in only a few minutes(take that Wolverine and Deadpool). He does this this because the Gamma radiation channelling through his body provides near unlimited fuel for cellular growth and it actually turns out Hulk’s powers of regeneration are some the strongest in the Marvel Universe (go figure), this of course provides him with immunities to all known diseases and poisons aswell giving him what is sure to be an extended lifespan(on Earth 616 anyway).
- Superhuman Speed, this one seems kind of obvious in retrospect but is still a little surprising, the Hulk can run over 300 hundred miles an hour, although as he grows angrier and more powerful, his footfalls cause more and more damage to the ground, causing the ground to break apart under him, thus giving him no traction(so it’s easier to jump a few miles at a time. Apparently), the other example of his superhuman speeds is those thunderclaps he does producing sonic booms, this is achieved because his hand speed can exceed Mach 1.
- Adaptation is the Hulk’s most unique ability, it seems the hulk’s physiology will rapidly adapt to keep him alive adverse conditions, for example if he were in space, then his body would adapt so that it didn’t need any oxygen(and that includes being underwater), again the madder he gets the quicker his body will adapt to a bad situation(except knock out gas apparently)
- Self Sustaining, as long as Bruce Banner remains in Hulk form then he won’t need any food(or oxygen), this is likely due to a combination of the Hulk’s adaptation ability combined with having access to unlimited energy via his being a Gamma radiation conduit(from everywhere)
- Near Infinite Stamina, as you’ve probably already guessed as long as the Hulk stays mad then his abilities stay charged, and the madder he gets the more powerful those abilities become, so when the your fighting the Hulk and you’re beginning to tire out, that’s a big problem, because the Hulk is only just getting started(just another reason he’s one the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe), even calm he can go for several days without any signs of fatigue.
- Gamma Radiation Absorption And Projection, we already told you he absorbs Gamma radiation from every universe and dimension to power his abilities, but he has also been known project that radiation as an omnidirectional force(which sucks for everyone else), this ability manifests when the Hulk is extremely, extremely, extremely mad and extremely, extremely, extremely powered up(as opposed to being just run of the mill Hulk mad)
- Genius Level Intelligence, mostly we are talking about Bruce Banners intelligence level, but in some story arcs the Hulk has been known to tap into Banner’s intellect granting him extraordinary intelligence, generally speaking these changes don’t last very long.
How Did The Hulk Get His Powers
But just how did the Hulk get his powers? For that you have to go way back to Incredible Hulk issue #1. Bruce Banner was the lead scientist on a U.S government weapons research project headed by General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross which was developing a Gamma bomb, and on the day that the bomb was due to be tested in a secure and abandoned testing ground(well nearly) a young teenager named Rick Jones wandered on the site on a dare(not knowing that a test was immanent). Seeing a person on the test site Bruce told his assistant Igor Drenkov to halt the countdown while he tried to save Rick, but unfortunately this is the comics and Igor was in fact a foreign agent, who wanted the secrets of the Gamma bomb for himself and so he didn’t halt the countdown.
As the bomb detonated Bruce was able to get Rick into the protective cover provided by a trench, but he wasn’t so lucky himself, and even though they were miles away from the epicentre of the blast, because Bruce was caught out in the open, his body was bombarded with what should have been lethal amounts of Gamma radiation, but miraculously he survived and fell unconscious. Rick feeling responsible(which he was) took Bruce back to the base where they both placed in the hospitals infirmary in isolation for observation. Bruce regained consciousness and everything seemed fine until the sun went down and the Hulk made his first appearance, before Rick Joneses eyes Bruce Banner’s skin turned grey and he grow in size and muscle density until he towered over rick. Swatting Rick aside he burst through the wall, but Rick feeling more responsible than ever now followed the Hulk, who was subconsciously heading back to Banners quarters, and when the two of them got there Igor was ransacking the place looking for Banner’s notes, a scuffle broke out and Igor pulled a gun and shot the Hulk(and we how that turned out, right) ignoring the bullets the Hulk snatched the gun of Igor and crushed with his bare hands. At this point Rick was pleading with the Hulk not to kill Igor and try and calm him down, it must have worked because he only knocked Igor unconscious on the floor.
As things calmed down the Hulk reverted back to Bruce Banner, and not a moment too soon as guards hearing the gunshots came rushing into the room. They arresting Igor for being a spy, and had some doubts about Banner’s version of events because they were looking for an oversized and powerful intruder on the base and nearly surmised it was Bruce, until Rick was able to deflect the accusations by pointing out the absurdity of Bruce Banner being the Hulk.
That’s how the Hulk was born, and from those humble beginnings Rick Jones would become the Hulk’s most trusted friend and an avenger in his own right aswell as gaining superpowers of his own for a time, until he was tortured to death on the orders of Captain America(it’s the comics). Aother character who go on to gain superpowers of his own was General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, father of Bruce’s romantic interest Betty Ross. Upon discovering Bruce Banner’s secret identity and the cause of his transformation, the general’s extreme hatred of the Hulk would see him become the very thing he detested, and after exposing himself to Gamma radiation on purpose he became the Red Hulk.
One last thing worth mentioning was that in the first few issues the Hulk was grey skinned and not green skinned and it was mainly due to technical issues with the printing of the comics that they changed his skin colour. This was later retconned into the official story line, as writers explained that inside the mind of the Hulk was Bruce Banner’s very fractured mind, with several portions of his psyche vying for dominance, and this manifested itself with different colored hulks who had different skin tones, aswell different personalities and abilities(nice save). The other difference was because of the horror genre influence the Hulk’s powers originally manifested after the sun went down, similar to the Wolfman, but thankfully it evolved to the point that the Hulk manifested when Bruce got angry.
How Strong Is The Hulk
So just how strong is the Hulk? Well you wouldn’t believe the answer, it turns outs he can lift a mountain range, shatter a planet with a punch, pull a planet back together, there is literally nothing guy can’t do(except beat Zeus in a fight, but hey Zeus is the king of the gods, right?). But at Superheroes Central we always looking for to cool stuff to share with you guys and we found this great clip on you Tube which explains better than we ever could just how strong the Hulk is. Enjoy.
Well we’ve loved talking about the Hulk and all the things he can do, he’s definitely one of the more interesting characters out there, alternating from superhero to supervillain with alarming regularity, indeed he’s fought entire teams of superheroes combined. And won. Triumphed where others have failed, whatever the world may think of him, it is in his debt several times over. And as one of the Marvel Universes most recognizable heroes/villains he has had some great team ups and battles with other Marvel fan favourites like Spiderman, Deadpool, Black Widow(his movie love interest) and of course his notoriously long running battle with Wolverine which lasted decades and alternate realities and which didn’t end well. (note to all the would be cannibals out there, don’t eat someone who has a ridiculously powerful healing factor)
Apart from cutting your way out of the Hulk’s stomach it seems the best way to beat the Hulk is to calm him down to the point where he reverts back into Bruce Banner(maybe some jokes?) or if you are the Batman, just use knock out gas and hit him in the solar plexus really hard so the Hulk has to breathe the gas in. Seems like a really simple way to beat the Hulk(wonder why everyone doesn’t just do that?)