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The Most Terrible Things The Hulk Has Ever Done

Don't make the Hulk angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry—or when he's destroying major American cities, murdering innocent citizens, eating his fellow superheroes, or conquering the world.

Look, the Hulk is more of a living wrecking ball than a real superhero—with a temper like that, how could he be anything else? Tortured scientist Bruce Banner means well (at least when he's not too busy feeling sorry for himself), but his gamma-irradiated alter ego is a force of pure destruction that nobody can contain. If he manages to do some good along the way, that's a bonus—but don't get used to it.

He hunted the Fantastic Four and the Avengers out of spite

In the early days, the Hulk didn't get into trouble because he was a bad guy. He was just dumber than a bag of gamma-irradiated rocks. In The Avengers #1, Loki tricks the Hulk into fighting Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp. In The Avengers #3, Namor the Sub-Mariner talks Hulk into taking on his former teammates. In Fantastic Four #12, the General Ross blames the Hulk for sabotaging one of his missile bases and sics Marvel's first family on the jade giant—despite the fact that neither the Hulk nor his alter ego Bruce Banner had anything to do with it.

But whether or not the Hulk means well, his constant mood swings make him unreliable, and his allies ultimately abandon him. In response, he snaps. In Fantastic Four #24, after learning that Captain America has taken his spot in the Avengers and that his only friend, Rick Jones, has left to play sidekick to the Star-Spangled Avenger, the Hulk turns on his "friends" and starts hunting them down. This time, it's not mind control or manipulation. It's just the Hulk, a massive grudge, and all the power he needs to take down Earth's mightiest heroes. After all, the angrier the Hulk is, the stronger he gets—and he is pissed.

Just to make things even more complicated, the Fantastic Four's Human Torch finds the Hulk first, drawing a second superteam into the conflict. Johnny Storm goes down quickly, but the Thing puts up more of a fight, and the following brawl rocks downtown Manhattan. In Fantastic Four #25, the Avengers arrive, and the Hulk takes them on too—all at once. He would've won, too, if Rick Jones hadn't slipped him a gamma-irradiated pill at the last minute, transforming the Hulk back into puny Banner and sending him careening into the Hudson River, where the teamed-up superheroes foolishly believed he'd been defeated for good.

He hit on his cousin

Sometimes, the Hulk's signature strength causes unexpected problems—especially when it comes to the ladies. Like Superman, whose reproductive woes are outlined in excruciating detail in the classic essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex," Hulk can't safely get it on with a regular person. He's too strong. Any normal lover would be crushed by his tender, loving embrace. 

No, when the Hulk gets in the mood, he needs someone special, and in The Incredible Hulk Annual 2000 he finds her. In the comic, the Avengers step in to stop a run-of-the-mill Hulk attack, and during the battle the Vision realizes that the Hulk isn't angry—he's horny. "He attacks the female in order to assert his dominance over her," the Vision explains, "a display of superiority that will decrease the likelihood of submission later on."

Hey, if it works for monkeys, it should work for the Hulk—except that he chooses the wrong mate. In The Incredible Hulk Annual 2000, the object of the Hulk's affections is She-Hulk ("the only other of his kind," the Vision says). Now, remember: Jen Walters is not just She-Hulk, she's also Bruce Banner's cousin. His first cousin, too, not some kind of distant kissing-cousin that might make everything sort of okay. And yes, they've shared bodily fluids in the past—Jen became She-Hulk after receiving a blood transfusion from Bruce—but if you don't know the difference, you need to sit down with your parents and have a long, long talk.

Anyway, She-Hulk lets her cousin down with a simple no, and Hulk gets the hint and leaves. For now, anyway. In Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Old Man Logan storyline, the Hulk sleeps with She-Hulk (possibly against her will) and their mutated inbred babies form an army that rules over the Hulk's wasteland kingdom. Yeeech.

He's a cannibal

If regular Hulk smashes, then Ultimate Hulk eats. While all the Ultimates tend to be a few shades darker, morally speaking, than their counterparts in the Avengers, Ultimate Hulk is far and away the worst. The mainstream Hulk tends to get in trouble thanks to his low intellect and hair-trigger temper. In the Ultimate universe, the Hulk flat-out eats people. He doesn't seem very picky about who—or what—he's chowing down on, either.

It happens repeatedly. The first volume of The Ultimates ends with the Hulk eating the leader of an invading alien army, known on Earth as Herr Kleiser, after Captain America tells Hulk that Kleiser's been sleeping with Bruce's crush. In Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, Hulk tears the X-Man in half and is ready to dine on his legs before Ultimate She-Hulk (in this reality, a gamma-irradiated version of Betty Ross) stops him. In The Ultimates 2, the Hulk helps defeat the supervillain team known as the Liberators by tearing his arms off, decapitating him, and consuming the remaining pieces. In Ultimate War, after Magneto shuts down the Triskelion's power grid, Hulk breaks loose from his prison and eats every member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s nursing staff. All six of 'em.

Oh, and just to make matters worse, Ultimate Bruce Banner is a vegetarian, and has been for a decade and a half. That's 15 years of a cheeseburger-free existence down the drain, all thanks to Bruce's sociopathic alter-ego. Thanks for nothing, Hulk.

He killed his wife

Like most stars of long-running comic book series, the Hulk has cycled through a number of different paramours over the years, but one thing remains consistent: at the end of the day, Bruce Banner always comes back to Betty Ross, his first true love. Too bad he murdered her. 

Technically, it's the gamma radiation in Bruce's body that kills Betty, but given that Bruce irradiated himself while developing a nuclear weapon, it's all pretty much the same thing. In The Incredible Hulk #466, Bruce wakes up from a peaceful sleep only to find Betty, who he's been married to for years, dying of radiation poisoning. It's all downhill from there. Bruce transforms into the Hulk and rushes Betty to a medical facility, where he confirms that, yes, gamma radiation is poisoning her, and that she probably became overexposed due to spending so much time with both Bruce and the Hulk (a blood transfusion from the Hulk's irradiated nemesis, the Abomination, helped speed things up a little, but the damage was already done).

Bruce builds a device to save her, but it's too little, too late: Betty's body shuts down, and she dies clutching her wedding ring, as Bruce and her father General Ross look on, helpless.

He conquered the world

If there's one recurring theme in Marvel's alternate universes, it's that the Hulk could be a whole hell of a lot worse. In Old Man Logan, the Hulk kills Thor, steals the territory formerly known as California from his old nemesis the Abomination, and transforms it into Hulkland, which he runs like a mix between a fascist dictator and an old-time mafia boss. In Future Imperfect, he goes even further. After a nuclear blast decimates the world's superhero population—but not the radioactive Hulk—the jade giant renames himself the Maestro and conquers Dystopia, humanity's final refuge.

Before you get any wrong ideas, rest assured that the Maestro is just as ruthless as any other post-apocalyptic dictator. He rules by fear, and crushes—or, in this case, smashes—any organized resistance against his regime. He spies on his political opponents, uses innocent lives as bargaining chips, and provides food and supplies to humanity's remnants in exchange for young girls, building a harem of women ready to tend to his needs at any moment. In other words, the Maestro is a monster.

None of this sits well with the present-day Hulk, who travels 90 years into the future to stop the Maestro's reign of terror. It doesn't go well. The Maestro breaks the Hulk's neck, has one of his concubines rape his younger self, and then offers the young Hulk a place at his side as the Maestro's right-hand man. When the Hulk fights back, Maestro pummels him with a special anti-Hulk weapon (like any good despot, he plans ahead), kills Rick Jones with Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, and tries to lift Thor's hammer. The Maestro only loses because he gets Betty Ross's ashes in his eyes, which gives Hulk the opening he needs to send the Maestro back in time to the original gamma bomb blast—incinerating the Maestro even as it gives Bruce Banner his original powers.

He beat up his friends with a gift they gave him

In The Incredible Hulk #279, the Avengers and the United States military finally give Marvel's longest-suffering hero the respect he deserves. Following a presidential pardon for all the destruction he's caused over the years, the Hulk is honored in Manhattan with a parade, the key to New York City, an inter-dimensional welcoming committee (seriously, the ceremony stretches from the Big Apple to Atlantis to Asgard), and a giant statue celebrating his accomplishments.

Of course, it doesn't last. The Hulk's pardon and all the related honors come after Bruce Banner figures out a way to remain the dominant personality even after hulking out, maintaining some semblance of control over his body. In The Incredible Hulk #299, he fails after the villain called Nightmare infiltrates Banner's subconscious and transforms the Hulk back into a savage, unthinking monster. As he rampages through New York, the newly unleashed Hulk beats up Banner's girlfriend (a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Kate Waynesboro), dispatches police officers and U.S. soldiers, and attacks Nightmare's arch-nemesis, Doctor Strange.

Unfortunately, Strange can't help his on-again, off-again friend. Thanks to Nightmare's influence, Banner's personality is gone. Marvel's superheroes gather to put the mindless beast down, and during the battle, the Hulk rips up the statue they gave him and hurls it at Thor, who barely escapes. Still, the Avengers and their pals can't bring themselves to kill the Hulk outright—instead, Doctor Strange banishes him to an entirely different plane of reality.

He destroyed Las Vegas

Thanks to a quirk in Bruce Banner's genetics, when the scientist was standing at the center of a gamma bomb explosion, his body absorbed the radiation and transformed him into the Hulk. But what happens if he's exposed to gamma radiation again? The answer comes in Fantastic Four #533, and it's not pretty: not only does Bruce's body suck up the radiation a second time, it makes him even bigger, stronger, and angrier than he was before. 

Unfortunately, it also makes him a lot dumber—before the second blast, he was actually fairly intelligent—and as a result, there's no reasoning with him. In order to stop the rampaging beast, authorities call on the Fantastic Four for help. With Reed and Sue busy fighting to keep custody of their children (because legal battles always make for exciting superhero comics), the Human Torch and the Thing must take on the supercharged Hulk all by their lonesome. It goes about as well as you'd expect.

Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm can't stop the Hulk before he reaches Las Vegas, where a confused Hulk trashes a hospital and the better part of the Strip before the Human Torch goes supernova, eventually shocking Bruce back to his senses. Unfortunately, the damage has been done. In the wake of the attack, a group of high-powered superheroes who call themselves the Illuminati decide to put the Hulk in a rocket and send him into space, where he won't be able to hurt anyone ever again.

Spoiler alert: it doesn't go according to plan.

He turned Madison Square Garden into an arena and made the Avengers fight each other

En route to an uninhabited world after being exiled by the Illuminati, the Hulk landed on the hostile planet Sakaar, where he was captured and forced to fight in an arena as a gladiator. He became so popular that he staged a rebellion, overthrew the dictatorial Red King, and married one of Sakaar's natives, the Red King's former lieutenant Caiera.

But the Hulk doesn't get happy endings, and as the Planet Hulk storyline winds to a close, the rocket that brought him to Sakaar starts its auto self-destruct sequence and explodes, killing Caiera and a number of the Hulk's other subjects. If you guessed that this makes Hulk angry, you're right—and you know what he's like when he's angry. Hulk gathers his allies and returns to Earth, pummeling members of the Illuminati (and their allies, because the dude's got one planet-sized chip on his shoulders). Throughout World War Hulk, the jade giant decimates the Inhuman leader Black Bolt, clobbers the Juggernaut, beats Iron Man and reduces Stark Tower to rubble, and defeats the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, General Ross' soldiers, and countless others.

But he doesn't stop there. Once his foes are utterly vanquished, Hulk locks up the Illuminati in Madison Square Garden and makes them fight a giant alien to the death. And then Hulk learns the Illuminati aren't responsible for Caiera's death at all: on Sakaar, a group of Red King sympathizers (including one of Hulk's closest allies, the bug-like creature Miek) sabotaged the spaceship and caused the explosion. Whoops! Tony Stark uses a satellite system to subdue the Hulk and the Illuminati give Bruce Banner to S.H.I.E.L.D. for safekeeping, which is awfully nice considering he was about to kill him for a crime they didn't commit. But, y'know, they're heroes. That's the kind of thing they do.

He helped the police murder homeless people

Emil Blonsky, better known the Abomination, isn't a very nice guy. Over the years, he's worked as a KGB spy, taken the Kennedy Space Center hostage, helped kill Bruce Banner's wife Betty, stalked his ex, and teamed up with various supervillains to bring the Hulk to his knees. In The Incredible Hulk #431, however, the tables are turned. In this story, the Abomination is a hero, leaving the Hulk to play the villain.

As revealed in The Incredible Hulk Annual #20, the Abomination has staked out a productive and satisfying life for himself in the New York City sewers, where he takes care of New York City's homeless population. Unfortunately for Emil and his charges, a drug lord named Mr. Christopher wants to use the underground tunnels for his smuggling operation—meaning that he needs any potential witnesses, including Emil's motley gang, eliminated. Christopher uses his considerable pull in the New York City government to lean on New York's police commissioner, who sends a platoon of cops underground to wipe out Emil's operation for good.

The Hulk catches wind of the Abomination's new career and, assuming that Emil is kidnapping the homeless people (he's not), travels to New York to assist the government-controlled hit squads. With the Hulk at their side, the police officers attack, shooting many members of the underground commune. When the Abomination retaliates by killing a police officer, the Hulk vows to bring the gamma-powered villain to justice. From there, things go from bad to worse: the Abomination declares war on humanity, the Hulk is forced to put him down, the police officer in charge of the sewer-cleaning operation quits (but not before he decks the commissioner), and scores of homeless people are dead—and, most damningly, nobody seems to care.

He betrayed and destroyed the Avengers

Most of the Avengers are dead. Others are missing or dying. Janet van Dyne, the Wasp, is shrinking one inch per year, with no sign of stopping. Her former husband, Hank Pym, has spent the past decade searching in vain for a cure. After a nuclear bomb detonates above Avengers mansion, killing the second-stringers that stepped up to take Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man's place, Ultron-59 visits Pym and issues a warning: assemble the remaining Avengers for one final showdown, or Earth's supervillains will hunt them down and murder them one by one.

That's the setup for The Last Avengers Story by Peter David and Ariel Olivetti, and if it sounds grim, just wait until the Hulk gets involved. Pym rounds up Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Cannonball, and a few second-generation superheroes, including Tommy Maximoff and Jesse Wingfoot—the children of Vision and the Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk and Wyatt Wingfoot, respectively. But where's Bruce Banner?

On the side of the villains, as it turns out. In the past, Hulk accompanied Thor and Hercules to Asgard during an event called "The Great Cataclysm." When he returned—alone—he wasn't the same, and during the battle with Ultron-19, he switched sides. With one motion, the Hulk tore Tigra in half. Next, he moved on to Wonder Man. The following brawl lasted for hours, and ended when the Hulk broke Wonder Man's impenetrable skin. In the ensuing explosion, Wonder Man died, Hawkeye went blind, and the Hulk disappeared—with any luck, for good.