Heroes & villains who have destroyed the Hulk

Marvel's Hulk might be the strongest there is, but he's not invincible. The big green guy and his human alter ego, Bruce Banner, have battled heroes and villains alike since his debut in 1962 (in fact, he's one of the two baddies in 1963's The Avengers #1), and it's only natural that he's taken a few big losses in that time. Just one warning to those who've given the Hulk a decisive beatdown: not always does he always come back, but he always comes back angry—and you won't like him when he's angry.

Thor

It's a tale as old as time: the Hulk is attacked by villains in a densely populated area, he causes millions of dollars in property damage fighting them off, and then the military blames him for the whole mess.

At least, that's the story in Incredible Hulk Annual 2001, with the added twist: Thor, fresh off of a battle of his own, decides to help local authorities stop the Hulk's rampage. The Asgardian equivalent of an sucker-punch—a thunderbolt straight to Hulk's face—gives Thor an early edge, but the brawl continues across multiple dimensions before a winner emerges. Ultimately, however, it's Thor's biology, not his battle prowess, that puts him ahead. While the Hulk is distracted by local wildlife, Bruce Banner takes control of the Hulk's body. However, the otherworldly atmosphere doesn't have enough oxygen for a regular human, and Banner passes out, leaving Thor victorious.

Wolverine

Wolverine made his comics debut as a villain in The Incredible Hulk #180, so it's hardly a shock that the two characters have tussled more than a few times. After countless brawls, Wolverine has only won a handful: a super-charged Wolverine beat Hulk while working as one of Apocalypse's horsemen (Death, to be specific), but we're more partial to the time Wolverine tore the Hulk apart from the inside out.

In the post-apocalyptic Old Man Logan storyline by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, Banner rules part of the United States as a warlord. After the Hulk's children (the incestuous offspring of Bruce and his gamma-irradiated cousin, She-Hulk) kill Wolverine's family, Logan goes on the warpath, killing all the little Hulklings he can find. Eventually, Wolverine confronts Banner, who turns into the Hulk and promptly eats Wolverine. But Logan doesn't go down easy—during digestion, Wolverine's mutant healing factor kicks in, and Wolverine regenerates inside the Hulk's stomach. Logan tears his way out of the Hulk with his claws, bringing Banner's reign of terror to an abrupt—and disgusting—end.

Deadpool

It's hard to take Deadpool seriously (he certainly doesn't). but don't forget that when the Merc with a Mouth is backed against the wall, he can dish it out with the best of 'em. Need proof? In one of Wade Wilson's very first solo appearances, he picked a one-on-one fight with the Hulk and won.

In Deadpool #4 (published way back in April 1997, well before Deadpool was a household name), Wade Wilson learns that his healing factor is breaking down, and if that goes, the cancer that plagues his body will make a quick and fatal return. Even worse, there's only one cure: a sample of the Hulk's gamma-irradiated blood. Tracking down the Hulk proves fairly easy; getting a sample of his blood isn't. Deadpool's swords don't make much of a dent in the Hulk's thick green hide, and Deadpool doesn't stand a chance in a straight-up brawl.

But Deadpool's not just crazy, he's also smart. When the Hulk leaps straight towards him, Deadpool points an old broken pipe right at the charging beast. Hulk impales himself, and Deadpool collects a blood sample from the monster's bleeding wound before the Hulk can recover. Eventually, the Hulk frees himself by pulling the pipe out of the ground (it's not clear how he actually removes the pipe from his body), but not before Deadpool makes an extremely speedy getaway.

Juggernaut

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Spoiler: the immovable object gets his giant green butt kicked.

Empowered by the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, Cain Marko, a.k.a. the Juggernaut, sports super-strength and super-endurance, but his most notable power is that once he's in motion he's literally unstoppable. That ability came in pretty handy in The Incredible Hulk #402, when the Hulk took over a government agency called the Pantheon and immediately headed to South America on a peacekeeping mission. There, Hulk ran into a casually dressed Juggernaut, who immediately launched an attack. Hulk spent most of the fight distracted—he didn't recognize Marko in everyday clothes—and yet seemed to have the Juggernaut put away when Marko sank in a pit of quicksand.

But nothing can stop the Juggernaut, not even Mother Nature. Juggernaut burst out of the trap, put Hulk in a sleeper-hold, and went on to beat the stuffing out of his opponent. In fact, there's only one reason why the Hulk survived the encounter: the Red Skull, who was pulling Marko's strings, stopped the Juggernaut right before the villain could deliver a killing blow.

Batman

Batman has a plan for every possible situation—remember, this is the guy who had a collection of secret files cataloging his best friends' weaknesses—so even though the Hulk belongs to DC's distinguished competition, it's not surprising that Bruce Wayne has the perfect plan for beating the Green Goliath. What is surprising is just how simple Batman's plan is: a pellet of sleeping gas and a well-timed kick to the gut, and the Hulk goes down.

It all happened in DC Special Series #27, an intercompany crossover that came out in September of 1981. Using a false identity, Bruce Banner sneaked his way into a job at Wayne Enterprises, which was manufacturing a brand new gamma radiation gun. Banner hoped the device could get rid of the Hulk once and for all, but before he could find out, the Joker attacked. Bruce hulked out just as Batman arrived, and it wasn't long before they were duking it out in a Wayne Research laboratory. Thankfully, after Batman's beatdown, the Hulk turned back into Bruce Banner, who helped Batman take out the Joker, the Shaper of Worlds, Rhino, and the Abomination.

Superman

Batman isn't the only DC Superhero who has taught the Hulk a thing or two. In 1996, the DC and Marvel universes squared off in a four-part miniseries appropriately called DC vs. Marvel (or Marvel vs. DC, for issues #2 and #3). While the outcome of some of the fights in the series were predetermined for story reasons—for example, Silver Surfer's victory over Green Lantern—others, like the Hulk and Superman battle, were decided by votes from fans.

While the Marvel Universe ended up on top once the dust cleared, Superman didn't just beat the Hulk at the polls, but defeated him on the printed page as well. It's not even close—the entire encounter only lasts for a measly three pages, and while the Hulk lands a few good punches, a heat-vision barrage and a well-placed strike to the jaw is all that the Last Son of Krypton needs to put him down.

The only silver lining for Hulk fans? The version of the Hulk featured in DC vs. Marvel had previously traded some of his strength in order to keep Bruce Banner's intellect. If the Hulk had been at full power, it might have been a different story.

The KGB

For five seasons, the Hulk appeared every week on television screens across America on NBC's The Incredible Hulk, which starred Bill Bixby as David Bruce Banner and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno as his monstrous counterpart. Throughout the series, Banner roamed from town to town, helping those in need while trying to cure his unique illness. The show was cancelled in 1982, but the Hulk's television adventures continued in a series of made-for-TV movies that featured cameos from other Marvel superheroes like Thor and Daredevil.

Unfortunately, Banner's adventures came to a quick and sudden end in 1990's ominously titled The Death of the Incredible Hulk. While working on a cure for his condition, David Banner fell in love with Jasmin, a beautiful Russian spy. Jasmin and Hulk teamed up to rescue Banner's lab partner and his family from Jasmin's spy network, but their success came with a price. During the final confrontation, a wayward bullet struck a plane's fuel tank, and the resulting explosion propelled the Hulk high into the air. The Hulk crashed on the pavement, transformed back into Banner, and passed away, finally free of the Hulk's curse.

Oddly enough, while that sounds like a pretty final conclusion to the long-running television franchise, screenwriter Gerald Di Pego was reportedly working on a sequel called The Revenge of the Incredible Hulk. Unfortunately for fans, the project was axed due to The Death of the Incredible Hulk's lackluster ratings.

Puppies

Over the years, S.H.I.E.L.D. has tangled with the Hulk numerous times, and as one of the most important and technologically advanced peacekeeping agencies on the planet, it only makes sense that they'd put that experience to good use. In 2013's The Indestructible Hulk Special, S.H.I.E.L.D. unleashed its latest, greatest, and cutest anti-Hulk weapon: a crate crammed full of puppies.

See, while the Hulk might be a monster, he's not heartless. The onslaught of adorable little furballs eased the Green Goliath's nerves and forced a transformation back into the Hulk's mild-mannered alter-ego, Bruce Banner. Not very scientific, but it got the job done.

Hawkeye

The Hulk is strong. Bruce Banner isn't. If the Hulk has a weakness, it's the puny scientist with whom he shares a body, and the easiest way to put down the jade giant is to stop Banner before any kind of transformation takes place.

That's how Hawkeye deals with the Hulk in Marvel's Civil War II mega-event. When a young man named Ulysses starts seeing visions of the future, the Avengers (led by Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel) start acting on Ulysses' predictions, taking action before a catastrophe takes place. When Ulysses "sees" a Hulk-fueled disaster, superheroes gather on Bruce Banner's doorstep and ask the scientist to turn himself in. Before Banner can comply, however, Hawkeye—who claims that he saw Banner's eyes flash green—lets loose an arrow, killing him instantly (supposedly, Banner asked Clint Barton to kill him if there was ever a chance that the Hulk would reappear). With the Hulk crisis averted, everybody returns home, safe and sound—at least until a group of superheroes led by Iron Man take action against Captain Marvel and her followers, leading to a full-on superhero civil war.

The Hulk

Nobody knows the Hulk better than Bruce Banner, and if there's one theme that's driven the past half-century's worth of Hulk stories, it's the idea that the Hulk is his own worst enemy. That's not just a concept, however. In Peter David and George Perez's Future Imperfect storyline, the Hulk takes on the Hulk, and as expected, it doesn't go so well.

Set about 100 years in the future, Future Imperfect explores in a world where war has wiped out heroes and villains alike. The Hulk, now calling himself the Maestro, rules the world with an iron fist, thanks to a combination of Bruce Banner's intelligence, nuclear-powered strength, and a century's worth of pent-up rage.

Rebels use a time machine to bring the present-day Hulk into the future, hoping that the strongest one there is can stop a warlord who's even stronger. Unfortunately, the Maestro knows all of the Hulk's moves and then some, and easily defeats his younger counterpart, ultimately snapping the Hulk's neck. The Hulk eventually recovers and confronts the Maestro again, and while he still can't physically defeat the despot, he does end up winning. Using the same time machine that propelled him into the future, Hulk sends the Maestro back to the gamma explosion that created him in the first place. The Maestro is incinerated at the exact same time that the Hulk is born, leading to a victory for the good guys—and two decisive Hulk beatdowns in one epic story.

The Silver Surfer

As it turns out, gamma radiation is no match for the Power Cosmic. In Tales to Astonish #92 and #93, the Hulk understandably decides that he's sick of being hunted by, well, everyone on Earth, and tries to find a way off-planet. When the Silver Surfer comes zooming by, the Hulk thinks he's found his escape route. Unfortunately, the Surfer misinterprets Hulk's escape attempt for an attack and starts to fight back.

That's not great news for the Hulk. While Bruce Banner's alter-ego and the Silver Surfer seem evenly matched, Galactus' former herald has a secret weapon: his surfboard. While the Hulk whales on the Surfer, Norrin Radd uses his board to execute a cosmic sucker-punch, leaving Hulk dazed. Later, when the Hulk steals the surfboard and tries to fly off-planet, the Surfer users his power to send an electric shock through the board, which—with the help of some nearby boulders—knocks the Hulk out cold.

Oh, and the real kicker? Not only did the Silver Surfer give Hulk a physical beatdown, but he dominated the Jade Giant emotionally, too. As the story concludes, the Silver Surfer is ready to help the Hulk get rid of the gamma radiation in his blood but decides not to after Hulk decides to keep fighting. The Surfer exits exclaiming, "A monster you are—and so you shall remain," sending the Hulk into a deep funk. Chin up, Bruce—once you actually do resettle on a foreign planet, you'll beat the stuffing out of old Norrin during the rematch. (For more on that, check out Planet Hulk.)