Answer: A lot.
As ComicBook.com reported last week, Marvel announced a new Hulk would appear in their upcoming “All-New, All-Different” relaunch. While his identity is currently unknown, we speculated who might be the not-so-jolly Green Giant next fall. Whoever this mystery character is, he (or she) joins an ever growing list of Hulks to appear in Marvel Universe. So how many Hulks are there? Let’s run through all the various Big Guys to show up over the years.
The Mighty Hulk (Grutan)
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby thought they struck gold when they created the Hulk in 1960…only, this Hulk isn’t the one we know and love today. Tired of other scientists teasing him for his short stature, scientist Albert Poole created a giant suit of robotic armor named “the Mighty Hulk”. Once Poole completed the suit, he climbed in the Hulk armor and locked himself inside. Unfortunately, Poole left his keys to start the armor outside and realized the armor wouldn't unlock when turned off.
Marvel would later change of the name of the armor to “Grutan” to keep fans from confusing the robot from the real Hulk.
Living Hulk (Xemnu)
Lee and Kirby recycled the Hulk name for another monster who appeared in Journey into Mystery. Xemnu the Living Hulk was an alien criminal resembling a cyborg version of the Abominable Snowman who crash landed on Earth. While Xemnu successfully enthralled mankind with his telepathic powers, his attempts to escape the planet failed. Xemnu would later telepathically take over a carnival before becoming a recurring foe of the Hulk (Bruce Banner). Xemnu (renamed Xemnu the Titan) still occasionally appears in cosmic Marvel books. Stan Lee would later rename Xemnu “The Titan” so as not to confuse readers.
Not content with using the Hulk name for two other monsters, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created a third Hulk character in Tales to Astonish, this time as a gooey orange monster. The third Hulk was a gooey orange movie monster who would step out of the movie screen to terrorize audiences, only for Lee and Kirby to reveal that this too was part of the same movie. Lee and Kirby repeated the gag over and over, with the Hulk stepping out of multiple screens to scare multiple theaters with each one revealed to be “part of the film.” At the end of the Hulk’s short story, Lee asked readers to write in for feedback about his mind twisting tale. As the Hulk (renamed the Glop in reprints) again, it must have been a dud with readers.
The Incredible Hulk (Bruce Banner)
It’s a tale as old as time. Scientist creates gamma bomb. Scientist tests gamma bomb. Scientist saves stupid teenager from gamma bomb explosion when he wanders onto the testing field. Scientist is irradiated with gamma radiation and transforms into a giant grey monster. Bruce Banner was the first of the modern superhero Hulks, a walking poster child for the dangers of nuclear radiation. Capable of nearly unlimited strength, the Hulk’s physical power increased the angrier he got. Over time, the Hulk and Banner became separate personas often at odds with one another while uneasily sharing a body.
She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters)
She-Hulk was the first “spinoff” version of the Hulk, a cousin of Bruce Banner named Jennifer Walters. Walters received her Hulk-like powers after receiving a blood transfusion from Banner when an enemy of her father’s shot and seriously wounded her. Unlike Banner, She-Hulk retained her intelligence and control when Hulked out, and she became a member of the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Walters was also a successful lawyer and many of her solo comics focus on her legal career defending clients with superpowers.
Rick Jones was the teenager responsible for turning Bruce Banner into the Hulk. An early sidekick of the Hulk, Jones gained his own Hulk powers after he fell into a chemical bath intended to cure Banner of his Hulk powers. Unlike Banner, Jones’ transformations would only occur at night while he slept. Jones eventually lost his Hulk powers, but he later became A-Bomb, a blue version of the Hulk’s longtime enemy the Abomination.
The Grey Hulk
The Hulk’s early appearances showed his skin color as grey. However, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the Hulk’s color to green due to poor ink quality. Using the same chemical bath that gave Jones his Hulk powers, the Hulk regained his original grey form and a new personality. The Grey Hulk was more intelligent and physically weaker than his green form. He was also crueler and more manipulative than either Banner or the Hulk. Taking the name Joe Fixit, the Hulk moved to Vegas and became a crooked casino enforcer.
In the late-2000s, Marvel introduced a mysterious Red Hulk who carried a massive gun, killed with abandon, and had all the strength and power of the original Hulk. After a series of ridiculous adventures (the Red Hulk fought Galactus and punched out the Watcher at one point), readers discovered the Red Hulk was General Thunderbolt Ross, the Hulk’s oldest foe. , working for a group of other Hulk foes known as “the Intelligencia”. While Ross was initially a villain, he helped the Hulk defeat the Intelligencia and became a member of the Avengers and Thunderbolts.
Skarr, Son of Hulk
Skarr is the son of Hulk and Caiera, an alien princess from the planet Skarr whom Hulk married during a forcible exile from Earth. After an explosion killed Caiera, Hulk blamed his former allies and returned to Earth for revenge, not knowing he had left behind a son. Skarr followed the Hulk to earth with a big sword, mystical stone powers and much of the Hulk’s strength. Skarr would train with Bruce Banner and helped the New Avengers defeat Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers.
The Savage She-Hulk
A new Savage She-Hulk named Lyra appeared during Marvel's Dark Reign storyline. A daughter of Hulk and the villain Thundra from the future, Lyra traveled back in time to mate with Osborn and save her people, the Femizons. Osborn's evil ways and greasy brillo-pad hair disgusted Lyra and she decided to help the original She-Hulk fight Osborn and his cronies. Unlike her father, Lyra’s strength increases when she’s calm and anger causes her to become weaker.
The Red She-Hulk
Another addition to the Hulk family, the Red She-Hulk was Betty Ross, Bruce Banner’s longtime love interest. After dying at the hands of the Abomination, the Intelligencia resurrected Betty and gave her the same powers as her father, the Red Hulk. As the Red She-Hulk, Betty helped the Hulk and her father defeat the Intelligencia. She later joined the Defenders until the Hulk recently cured her of her powers.
Which version of the Hulk is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!