• Bruce Banner’s alter ego, the Hulk, is one of the most powerful characters in the MCU, with potentially limitless strength.
  • The MCU has introduced multiple versions of the Hulk, with seven confirmed so far and a possible eighth on the way.
  • Other characters like She-Hulk and Abomination have gained Hulk-like abilities through exposure to Banner’s blood, but they may not be as strong as the original Hulk.



Bruce Banner’s gamma-irradiated alter ego was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, but the titular behemoth is not the franchise’s only iteration of Hulk. Like the Marvel Comics universe, the MCU has gradually introduced a variety of Hulk characters, ranging from allies to villains and even alternate Hulks from other realities. Among The Hulk’s defining traits are his rage and potentially limitless strength, which are intertwined. While Hulk is already powerful to begin with, his strength is potentially limitless, making him easily one of the most powerful characters in the MCU and giving him a distinct advantage over his opponents.

In the MCU, Bruce Banner’s origin is altered from its original incarnation. While Banner was exposed to gamma rays by an experimental explosive in the comics, his MCU counterpart knowingly exposed himself to the rays to test an attempted recreation of the Super Soldier Serum (though Banner believed he was creating a means to protect soldiers against radiation poisoning). Throughout the MCU franchise, several characters have become Hulks, typically through exposure to Bruce Banner’s irradiated blood, usually granting them comparable abilities. Thus far, the MCU has seven Hulks, though an eighth may appear in a forthcoming installment.


Every Actor Who’s Played Marvel’s Hulk In Live-Action

Generations have enjoyed Marvel’s Hulk smashing on screen. Here’s every actor who’s played the Incredible Hulk since his 1978 live-action debut.

8 Bruce Banner/Hulk

The Incredible Hulk

Debuting in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and becoming an original member of The Avengers, Bruce Banner is the original and most famous iteration of The Hulk. Like his comic counterpart, The Hulk is one of the strongest beings in the MCU, but his strength is virtually limitless, as The Hulk’s strength increases with his anger. While this makes The Hulk potentially unbeatable, several opponents managed to work around it. Tony Stark caught The Hulk while the latter was distracted and knocked him unconscious using the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos overpowered The Hulk before he could augment his strength with rage.


The Incredible Hulk Ending Explained

The Incredible Hulk launched Bruce Banner’s story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s what its ending means for the character and future.

7 Emil Blonsky/Abomination

The Incredible Hulk

Emil Blonsky became obsessed with defeating The Hulk in The Incredible Hulk, having proven no match for him even when empowered by the Super Soldier Serum. In the film’s third act, Blonsky forces Doctor Samuel Sterns to inject him with Bruce Banner’s irradiated blood and give him the same dose of gamma rays. This, combined with the Super Soldier Serum, turned Blonsky into a Hulk-like being, fittingly dubbed the Abomination. While Blonsky is intrinsically stronger than The Hulk at first, The Hulk gradually overpowers Abomination due to his strength being augmented by his anger, an ability that Abomination lacks.

6 Jen Walters/She-Hulk

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Jennifer Walters' She-Hulk dons her white and purple suit in the MCU's Phase 4

Jennifer Walters, who stars in the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, gains similar abilities to her cousin, Bruce Banner, following her accidental exposure to his blood. As She-Hulk, Walters maintains her intelligence, memories, and personality in her new form and can transform to and from her human form at will (like her comic counterpart). While extremely strong, She-Hulk is shown to not be quite as strong as the original Hulk, as she only overpowered her cousin due to Bruce both holding back and being in “Smart Hulk” form, in which he is less prone to rage and thus less likely to augment his strength.


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Hulk and She-Hulk’s MCU power level is extremely high, but there’s one key difference that makes one Gamma monster stronger than the other.

5 Hulk King

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Phelps turns into HulkKing in She-Hulk

Todd Phelps is an original character created for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, who later becomes the super-powered “Hulk King.” Phelps is the founder and leader of the cybercriminal organization known as Intelligencia, which, in the mainstream Marvel comic universe, is the name of a team of ultra-intelligent Marvel supervillains. In the season finale of She-Hulk, Phelps gains Hulk-like powers from a serum derived from Jennifer Walters’s blood. While Phelps does not get an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities, it is safe to assume that he is not as strong as She-Hulk, as his powers are derived from a weaker variant of the original Hulk.

4 Skaar

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Smart Hulk and Skaar in She-Hulk Attorney at Law episode 9

Introduced in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Skaar is Bruce Banner’s son and a new Hulk. In his brief appearance, Skaar does not demonstrate his abilities, but if his comic counterpart is any indication, he may be one of the MCU’s most powerful beings. In the comics, Skaar is a hybrid of a gamma-mutated human and the humanoid species from Sakaar known as the Shadow People. While Skaar could potentially be stronger than his father, he has yet to be depicted as capable of defeating Bruce Banner. Despite this, Skaar has a unique ability from his maternal lineage known as the “Old Power,” which gives him power over the Earth itself.

3 Happy Hogan/Purple Hulk

Marvel’s What If…?

Happy Hogan as Purple Hulk or The Freak in What If

An alternate universe Happy Hogan becomes a Hulk variant in the Marvel’s What If…? season 2 episode “What If… Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?” after accidentally injecting himself with a serum derived from Bruce Banner’s blood. As a purple Hulk, Hogan appears to be as powerful as the original behemoth, making short work of the reprogrammed Iron Legion, withstanding a beating from the Hulkbuster (Iron Man Mark 44) suit, and enduring the combined might of four of the Avengers members. Hogan’s strength and durability appear to exceed those of the original Hulk, but Hogan most likely lacks the ability to augment his strength with anger, which would make Banner the stronger Hulk.

2 Dr. Samuel Sterns/The Leader

The Incredible Hulk

Samuel Sterns becoming the Leader in The Incredible Hulk

Dr. Samuel Sterns was set up for a potential return as the classic Hulk villain The Leader at the end of The Incredible Hulk. After having an open wound in his head contaminated with Bruce Banner’s blood (a notable change from the comics), Sterns became a Hulk with a unique powerset. Rather than increasing his strength, the gamma-irradiated blood boosted his already high intellect. Sterns is due to return to the MCU in Captain America: Brave New World, but he also appeared in 2012’s MCU-set comic series The Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week, in which he is captured by Black Widow and held in SHIELD custody.

1 Honorable Mention: General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross/Red Hulk

The Incredible Hulk & Captain America: Brave New World

General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is one of the antagonists of The Incredible Hulk and he reappears in Captain America: Civil War. While the MCU’s Ross has remained in human form thus far, he is set to play a role in Captain America: Brave New World and is hypothesized to become Red Hulk like his comic counterpart. If Ross becomes Red Hulk in the MCU, he may be the first Hulk iteration to match the original behemoth’s strength. As Red Hulk, Ross retains his intelligence, personality, and memories and his strength is also potentially limitless. Unlike the original Hulk, however, Red Hulk’s strength is augmented by radiation absorption rather than rage.

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