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The Incredible Hulk

One of Marvel Comics' original breakthrough characters, The Incredible Hulk is Dr. Bruce Banner's alter ego, a large green beast possessed of superhuman strength and endurance.

In the original comic book, the Hulk was supposed to be gray, however a misprint made him green and that color was preferred and so it stuck. For a period later in the series, the Hulk was indeed printed gray.

In the original story of the Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner was a military scientist who had developed a new type of weapon called the "Gamma Bomb." As the bomb was being tested (in a fashion reminiscent of the Trinity atomic bomb test, Dr. Banner noticed that a teenager (Rick Jones[?]) had driven his car onto the test site. Banner raced out into the open to bring the young man to safety, but the bomb exploded before he could reach safety himself. Banner was subjected to an incredible dose of gamma rays, and this was what caused him to transform into the rampaging Hulk. At first he became the Hulk when the sun went down, but this was soon changed to the more familiar transformation whenever Dr. Banner became angry or emotional.

The first Hulk story had a strong Cold War subtext to it; in addition to the Gamma Bomb test, the Hulk was promptly captured in the first issue of the book and brought to a country which is presumably the Soviet Union (though the name "Soviet Union" was never used in the book, the story ended with a statement about the end of "Red tyranny"). Later revisions of the Hulk's origin (especially for the TV series of the 1970s and the animated TV cartoon of the 1980s) removed the military subtext and made Bruce Banner a non-military scientist.

For over twenty years, the Hulk would rampage across the face of Marvel comics, engaging in titanic battles and leaving destruction in his wake. He became the ultimate personification of "brute strength" in comic books, something that not even Superman would be able to match in terms of sheer, raw power. Futhermore, the Hulk's strength can increase further when he is further provoked into more intense anger which leads to his enemies often underestimating his power at critical moments. The story of the Hulk was also a tragic take on the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, updated for modern times with the dictomy usually consisting the simple minded and emotional brute who springs from a quiet intellectual. In deed, in contrast to the quiet Banner, the most famous version of the Hulk has been as a childlike persona who just wants to be left alone, but is continually forced to battle foes determined to hunt him down.

Occasionally the Hulk would gain a decent intelligence, only to lose it again; during the mid-1980s, Bruce Banner "lost control" of the Hulk and he became a truly mindless, rampaging monster. Shortly after this, however, writer Peter David took on the mantle of the Incredible Hulk and made some drastic changes to the character. He returned the Hulk to his original "grey" state -- his skin became gray instead of green, and he gained a brutish intelligence which got him a job as a Las Vegas casino enforcer. Later, David expanded on an earlier story that established that Banner had an abused childhood which fostered a great deal of repressed anger which triggered a latent case of multiple personality disorder. The three dominant personalities are the quiet intellectual Banner, the Gray Hulk which embodies his more antisocial cunning side and the Green Hulk which embodies his inner child and repressed rage. Eventually, Doc Samson, a scientist who had his body enhanced by a controlled gamma radiation exposure managed to merge Banner's personalities into one healthy personality which balanced Banner's intellect and conscience, the Gray's cunning and confidence and the Green's body. David spent the next decade taking the Hulk on a series of adventures that many fans considered to be a change of direction that breathed new life into the character.

After David left the comic series in the mid-1990s, the Hulk reverted back to a green-skinned, rampaging behemoth.

The Incredible Hulk's enemies include The Leader[?], The Abomination[?] and The Champion.

There was a cartoon, TV series, and even a few TV movies for the Hulk. The TV series and movies starred Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner (note the name-change for television purposes) and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk himself. As of February 2003, Ang Lee was directing a film on the Hulk, set for release on June 20, 2003.

External links

  • Click to download trailer for movie (http://a772.g.akamai.net/5/772/51/d4fa7fc238b374/1a1a1aaa2198c627970773d80669d84574a8d80d3cb12453c02589f25382f668c9329e0375e8178cfa63d93eb02384f01f93fb60bf279c0873/hulk-international-tlr_320.mov)

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