Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Occupation: Nuclear physicist, leader of the new Hulkbusters
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with criminal record pardoned
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Dayton, Ohio
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Betty Ross Talbot (wife, deceased), Brian (father, apparently deceased), Rebecca Walters (mother, deceased), Morris Walters (uncle), Elaine Walters (aunt, deceased), Jennifer Walters (alias She-Hulk, cousin), Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross (father-in-law, deceased), Mrs. Drake (aunt, possibly deceased)
Group Affiliation: Leader of the new Hulkbusters, former member of the Avengers, former member of the Defenders
Base of Operations: (Banner) Hulkbuster Base, New Mexico, (Hulk) Mobile, but prefers New Mexico
First Appearance: HULK #1
History: Robert Bruce Banner was the son of Dr. Brian Banner, an atomic scientist, and his wife Rebecca. Although Rebecca deeply loved Bruce, who returned her affection, Brian hated the child. Possibly an alcoholic, Brian Banner was driven by an insane jealousy of Bruce for being an object of Rebecca's love. Brian Banner finally murdered Rebecca and was placed in a mental hospital. Bruce, a highly withdrawn, intellectual youth, was raised by his aunt, Mrs. Drake, and internalized his great pain and rage over his childhood sufferings.
Eventually, as an adult and a genius in nuclear physics, Banner went to work at a United States Defense Department nuclear research facility at Desert Base, New Mexico. There Banner met General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross, the Air Force officer in command of the base, and his daughter Betty. Banner and Betty Ross eventually fell in love with each other. Banner designed and oversaw construction of the "gamma bomb" or "G-bomb," a nuclear weapon that had a high gamma radiation output.
Banner was present in the instrumentation bunker at the test site for the first underground test detonation of the gamma bomb. Observing that a civilian had breached security and entered the restricted test area, Banner told his colleague Igor Starsky to delay the countdown while he tried to get the civilian to safety, Starsky, secretly a Soviet agent, did nothing, confident that Banner would die in the explosion, bringing the project to a halt. Reaching the civilian, a teenager named Rick Jones, Banner threw him into a protective trench. Before Banner could get himself to safety, the gamma-bomb detonated, and intense waves of radiation reached the surface. Banner was irradiated with highly charged, radioactive particles. Due to an unknown genetic factor in his body, Banner was not killed by the radiation, which instead caused him to transform frequently into the vastly powerful, green-skinned named "the Hulk" by the military present at the test site.
At first Banner changed into the Hulk at sunset and reverted to human form at dawn. However, Banner's body eventually changed so that his transformations into the Hulk were triggered by the release of adrenaline when he became intensely excited, no matter what time of day or night it was. Usually the Hulk possessed little of Banner's memory and intelligence and was easily enraged. Hence, the Hulk was a menace, continually hunted by military forces commanded by the implacable General Ross. For a short time Banner managed through radiation treatments to maintain enough of his own personality when he became the Hulk to control himself in that form, and he even became a founding member of the Avengers in this form. But once again the Hulk lost Banner's intelligence and became a brutish menace. For a surprisingly long time Banner managed to conceal the fact that he was the Hulk, but his secret inevitably became public knowledge. For years Banner wandered the world as a hunted fugitive, cursed by his recurring transformations into the bestial Hulk.
One day Banner went to visit his beloved cousin Jennifer Walters, a Los Angeles based lawyer. At that time Walters had been defending a hood named Lou Monkdon, whom gangster Nicholas Trask had framed for murder. While Walters drove Banner to her home, one of Trask's henchmen shot her. To save his cousin's life, Banner improvised an emergency blood transfusion. The transfusion of Banner's mutated blood mutated Walters herself, causing her to become the She-Hulk.
Finally, scientist Leonard "Doc" Samson captured the Hulk and succeeded through unknown means in separating Banner's psyche and atomic structure from the larger atomic structure of the Hulk. Hence Banner and the Hulk were now two separate beings. The Hulk, escaped, and no longer having Banner's buried personality to restrain him in the least, became a greater menace than ever before. Banner became leader of a new government task force to capture the Hulk, called the new Hulkbusters. Banner also finally married Betty Ross, believing himself free of the curse of turning into the Hulk.
Realizing there was only one way to reign in the Hulk, Banner agreed to merge with the monster. But the stress of the re-integration fractured Banner's subconscious, creating the street-smart gray Hulk. Through hypnosis, Samson created the green but intelligent "Professor" Hulk -- believed at the time to be the integration of Banner's separate personalities, but since revealed as a new persona the psychiatrist crafted to help keep the monster's destructive powers in check.
Due to the deteriorating effects of ALS and the chaos ravaging his mindscape, Banner cut a deal with the three dominant Hulk personalities - -the green Hulk, the gray "Joe Fixit" Hulk and the "Professor" Hulk -- essentially to time-share their existence, in return for stabilizing his fractured psyche and providing him with release from his disease.Though never a team player, the Hulk joined forces with the Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, and Namor, the Atlantean Sub-Mariner, to defeat the techno-wizard Yandroth and his ultimate computer, the Omegatron.
Thereafter, this loose-knit band of Defenders would unite periodically to oppose threats to humanity. The original Defenders reluctantly re-formed when Yandroth surfaced again to menace the world. Though the heroes defeated his plan, Yandroth used his sorcery to levy a deathbed curse upon their heads, binding them to come together in times of crisis.
Height: 7 ft. as green Hulk, 5 ft. 9 in. as Banner, 6 ft. 6 in. as gray
Strength Level: The Hulk possesses superhuman strength of the Class 100 level, enabling him to lift (press) in excess of 100 tons. The Hulk only attains this strength level when he is enraged. In a totally, calm state his functional strength is significantly less, perhaps in the 70 ton range. In human form Bruce Banner possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in no regular exercise.
Known superhuman powers: The Hulk possesses the capacity for nearly limitless physical strength. The gamma radiation that mutated the Hulk's body fortified his cellular structure and added, from some as yet unknown source, over 800 pounds of bone marrow and tissue to his body.
Previously, this mutation was not a stable one. The Hulk would periodically revert o the human form of Bruce Banner, losing the extra mass and energy to the same as yet unknown source from which he derived it. The process by which Banner transformed into the Hulk had a chemical catalyst, adrenalinc. As in normal humans, Banner's adrenal medulla secrets large amounts of adrenaline in times of fear, range, or stress, which hormonally stimulates the heartbeat rate, raises blood-sugar levels, and inhibits sensations of fatigue. Whereas this secretion simply heightens normal physical abilities in normal human beings, in Banner's case it triggered the complex chemical/ extra-physical process that transformed him into the Hulk. The total transformation took from 25 seconds to as long as 5 minutes, depending on the initial adrenaline surge which is determined by the original, external stimulus. Soon after the transformation, the amount of adrenaline in the Hulk would return to more normal, reduced levels. However, since Dr. Leonard Samson separated the Hulk and Banner into two discrete beings, Banner remains in human form and the Hulk remains in his superhuman mutated one.
In times of stress the Hulk's adrenaline level escalates, causing a corresponding escalation in strength. This is not accompanied by an additional gain in mass, but does appear to promote increased levels of energy efficiency. To date the Hulk has never apparently been provoked into demonstrating a maximum output of strength; hence, its upper limit remains a mystery.
In addition to great strength, the Hulk's body possesses a high degree of resistance to injury, pain, and disease. The Hulk's skin is capable of withstanding great heat without blistering (up to 3,000° Fahrenheit), great cold without freezing (down to -190° F), and great impacts (he can survive direct hits by field artillery cannon shells). It is possible to injure him: he could not, for example, survive a near-hit with a nuclear warhead. The Hulk's highly efficient physiology renders him immune to all terrestrial disease.
The Hulk can use his superhumanly strong leg muscles to leap great distances. The Hulk has been known to cover 3 miles in a single bound.
The Hulk has two powers apparently not related to his physical attributes, he can see astral forms, and he as a seemingly mystical homing ability that enables him to locate the area in New Mexico where he first became the Hulk. The nature of these abilities is not yet known.
Abilities: Dr. Bruce Banner is a genius in nuclear physics. On the
other hand, the Hulk has low intelligence, comparable to that of a small
child, although he has an undeniable cunning that aids him in battle. When
Banner and the Hulk were the same being, and Banner was in the Hulk's form,
Banner's consciousness was buried within the Hulk's, and could influence the
Hulk's behavior only to a very limited extent.