Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

MCU Fans Don't Think Red Hulk Stands A Chance Against Bruce Banner's Hulk

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, and Harrison Ford is taking up the mantle of General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in Phase 5. Ford is slated to portray Thunderbolt twice in 2024: first in "Captain America: New World Order" and then in "Thunderbolts." And fans of the MCU anxiously anticipate Ford's transformation into Ross' monstrous alter ego, the Red Hulk.

General Ross first appeared in "The Incredible Hulk" No. 1 in 1962, but it took 46 years before Thunderbolt finally became the red-hued foil to Banner's green goliath in "Hulk" No.1 (2008). But what makes Red Hulk — aka Rulk — such an imposing threat to not only Dr. Banner, but to the rest of the MCU's Avengers? Writer Jeph Loeb didn't waste any time showing off the supernatural strength and cunning, military-trained abilities of the latest Hulk incarnation. During the series' initial 12-book run, and in several additional titles, the Red Hulk makes a memorable first impression on comic book readers. Ross gets revenge on the Abomination for killing his daughter, Betty. And then the Red Hulk goes on a rampage, encountering and defeating the impressive likes of The Watcher, She-Hulk, and Iron Man. One of Red Hulk's standout moments comes when he fights Thor in space, and in the absence of gravity, Rulk lifts Mjölnir. Red Hulk then uses the God of Thunder's own hammer to best him. 

But even with Red Hulk's impressive resume of victories, fans still think the MCU's Hulk will take Rulk down.

The fans deliberate

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's jolly green Avenger faced off against a litany of worthy super-villains on the Silver Screen mano a mano, including the Abomination (Tim Roth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and Ultron (James Spader). And with the exception of the Power Stone-enhanced Thanos (Josh Brolin), the Hulk emerged victorious in every battle. Now that Harrison Ford has taken over the role of General "Thunderbolt" Ross in the MCU, will he eventually metamorphose into Ross' Red Hulk alter ego?

If Ford does, some fans aren't entirely sure if Rulk even has a chance against Bruce Banner's Smart/Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). "If Red Hulk has his radiation sponging ability, then he can win, but he'd have to outsmart Hulk (depending on the Hulk persona, this would be very plausible)," u/Tralan commented on Reddit. Theoretically, Red Hulk would grow in strength because he'd be absorbing Banner's gamma radiation when they face off toe-to-toe. "Red grows in strength with heat, but is more limited than Green despite having a higher base strength and more intelligence," Redditor u/RONALDROGAN wrote. "Green is slightly weaker than Red, but grows with anger and without limitations." 

Bottom line: Rulk will burn up as he grows angrier. Red Hulk becomes more incensed the hotter he grows — to the point of overheating. Hulk, on the other hand, will become infinitely more powerful with rage. But will the red-hued Thunderbolt's scorching Achilles' heel be enough for puny Banner to take him out should they face off in the MCU?

The fans believe Hulk wins

Whether we see General Ross (Harrison Ford) transform into the Red Hulk remains to be seen. However, MCU followers are already calling the fight. "Green Hulk always wins in the end," u/Dagordae posted on Reddit. "Because Rulk simply can't put him down. And if you don't straight up kill Hulk, he's just going to get angrier and stronger." U/Dagordae makes a solid point: the Green Hulk becomes more powerful the angrier he gets. And in the comic books, Red Hulk relies on radiation exposure, not hatred, to elevate his strength.

"Green Hulk," u/Thallex7 said, casting his vote. "Sure, Red Hulk won in their first meeting. But after that first fight, Green Hulk figured it out that Red Hulk doesn't get stronger as he gets madder. Once Red Hulk overheats, it's over." 

Now, fan conjecture is all well and good, but here's what Marvel officially has to say on the matter: The Hulk and Red Hulk both tie when it comes to their strength, fighting skills, and speed. However, Banner holds the edge when it comes to energy, durability, and intelligence. With this in mind, the official numbers back up the fan speculation, but moviegoers have already witnessed liberties taken in "Avengers: Infinity War." Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) actually put up a fight against Thanos when the Mad Titan should have easily defeated him. Therefore, time will tell what exactly will happen if the two Hulks ever cross paths in the MCU.