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10 Things Hulk Comics Have Done That No Other Marvel Series Has – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The Hulk is already one of Marvel’s most unique characters, but some Hulk Comics have included elements found in no other Marvel comics.
The Hulk has always been a singular hero in the Marvel Universe. For years, the strongest one there is has been wreaking havoc on heroes and villains alike, battling against everyone in his way on his endless quest to be left alone. It doesn’t matter if they’re gods, monsters, heroes, or villains; Hulk is an equal opportunity smasher. His adventures have thrilled readers for a long time, and he’s one of the most iconic Marvel characters ever created.
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Over the years, the Hulk’s books have done things that have made them unique. From character introductions to storylines to just amazing moments, they’ve definitely proven to be quite an experience.
The Incredible Hulk was a popular book throughout its run but it was never exactly huge for long periods of time. However, it did introduce a character that would become one of Marvel’s most popular heroes of all time, Wolverine. First debuting on the last page of The Incredible Hulk #180 before fully appearing in the next issue, Wolverine would eclipse the Jade Giant in popularity in the years to come.
Wolverine’s debut changed Marvel forever. He would herald a new kind of Marvel hero and become a breakout star that quickly left most of Marvel’s other popular characters in the dust.
Before DC brought back superheroes in a big way with Showcase #4, kicking off the Silver Age and influencing Marvel’s later superhero turn, the publisher mostly did Western, romance, and monster comics. While it took them several years to shift to superheroes, once they did, Marvel went all in on the resurgent genre. Except for the Hulk’s comic, that is.
The Hulk’s book was a throwback to old the pre-superhero Marvel monster comics, with the character fighting against all kinds of monsters, then acting as the monster in other stories. He was a throwback to an earlier time in Marvel history that the publisher left behind.
Marvel in the Silver Age was very much about American exceptionalism. While Lee, Kirby, and others did their best to include hot-button social issues, they were still all about the dominance of the US, and it showed in just about every comic. Hulk’s book was the exception to this rule, though, as he was the only Marvel hero actively fighting against the military.
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Even the X-Men didn’t fight the military, as the Sentinels were created by a private corporation. It was yet another way that Hulk was unlike other Marvel heroes, and the military became his most iconic foe.
The Horsemen of Apocalypse are top-notch henchmen, but most readers don’t expect to see them outside of the X-Men comics. Apocalypse has made appearances in other comics, but for the most part, he stays on the X-Men side of things. In the late ’90s, he appeared in The Incredible Hulk and did something no one expected.
Apocalypse was able to capture the Hulk and transform him into War. It didn’t last very long, but it was so iconic that an action figure was made of that version of the Hulk not long after the story started. It makes perfect sense for Apocalypse to pick Hulk as a Horsemen and made for an interesting story.
One of the biggest tropes in comics is to introduce villains who are evil versions of the heroes they fight. While Hulk already had one in the Abomination, he would get another in the late ’00s, one who would quickly become one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Red Hulk was introduced in the pages of writer Jeph Loeb and artists Ed McGuinness and Ian Churchill’s Hulk,¬†and he took Marvel by storm.
The mystery of the Red Hulk absorbed readers for months. Red Hulk defeated some of the most powerful heroes and villains, ended up joining the Avengers, and became something of a minor icon for a few years.
Superheroes are known for their costume changes. While A-listers usually only get minor alterations to their iconic looks, lower-tier heroes’ costumes change all the time, often pretty drastically. The Hulk doesn’t really wear costumes, except his purple pants, so creators had to go in different directions for the kind of cosmetic changes that drive sales.
Instead of costume changes, the Hulk himself changes, becoming different versions with varying strength and personalities. Different eras of the Hulk focus on entirely different Hulks, making reading his book more interesting than others.
Peter David is the most iconic Hulk writer of them all. David wrote the book for twelve years and transformed a rather simplistic character into one of Marvel’s most complex. David did this by completely changing the way the Hulk worked. David fleshed out Bruce Banner’s backstory, making him into an abused child. His psychological state played into the Hulk’s development and was the catalyst for all of the changes in the character over the years.
David injected a heaping helping of psychology into the Hulk’s adventures. While there were still the big fights everyone loved, fans also learned about the ego, superego, and id, as well as getting a realistic look at the consequences of abuse on the human psyche.
Heroes Reborn was Marvel’s abortive attempt at revitalizing iconic Silver Age books like the Fantastic Four, Avengers, Captain America, and Iron Man. The Hulk was and wasn’t a part of this. He appeared in both the Heroes Reborn Iron Man and Avengers, but his book still sold well, so it was also still being published outside of the imprint.
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The Hulk was the only hero to appear in both universes at the same time. This was accomplished because Hulk and Banner separated during the battle with Onslaught. Banner traveled to the new universe with the others, leaving Banner-less Hulk to wreak havoc in the main universe after he left.
Bruce Banner is one of Marvel’s smartest heroes, and that’s on display in his newest series, Hulk,¬†by writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Ottley. In it, Banner has taken back control of the Hulk and has transformed his body into a starship, taking advantage of his disparate psyche to act as the crew of the new Starship Hulk, who has left the Earth in order to be left alone.
It’s a radically different take on the Hulk. It takes the years of psychological development on the character and takes it to the next level in a novel way. While it’s only just started, it’s already one of the more intriguing Hulk runs of recent years.
Marvel’s horror books don’t have the reputation that DC’s do. Over the years, DC has taken several of its classic superhero characters and transformed them into horror icons, whereas Marvel had a strict demarcation between superheroes and horror. The two genres rarely mixed until writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennet launched The Immortal Hulk.
The Immortal Hulk was a triumph, taking a character that had flirted with being a horror monster all the way there. Fans loved this new version of the character, and the book became one of Marvel’s most acclaimed books of the 2010s. Marvel had never succeeded at transforming a superhero into a horror icon before, making this a truly unique book for its fifty-issue run.
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David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter- https://www.twitter.com/harth_david.

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